08/19/2010 11:21 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Thug, Romantic Lead or Grownup? What's Your Type?

I've been accused of harping on domestic violence, and after working in the field (with batterers) for many years, I admit my abuse-radar may be higher than some. There were times my daughters dreaded my meeting their boyfriends, anticipating my narrowed eyes as I looked for signs of danger.

I took a hard look at this recently (after being told by a magazine editor not to throw 'exciting' men in the same pot with 'dangerous' ones.) Was I being too hard in my judgments? How does one know the difference between edgy and over the edge? You may think you have Hans Solo, when in truth you're harboring Hannibal Lector. Are you always overlooking Jack--the savior of "Lost"--in favor of Sawyer?

What's your usual type?

The Thug:
Example: Tony Soprano. Will sweet-talk you while trying to get some. Smack you away when done. Unless you're his wife. In which case, he'll buy you a fur coat after giving someone else the big O.
Upside: Frenzied excitement.
Downside: Black eyes and heartbreak.

The Romantic Lead:
Example: Rhett Butler. Heart of gold hiding inside a scallywag. Has tons of money or none. Disappears for months then shows up to rescue you. Lots of roses and/or jewelry. May sweep you away to a fully staffed mansion and the best big O you've ever had--but don't ever count on couples counseling.
Upside: Smooth-talking excitement.
Downside: Low, low, low on the trust factor.

The Grown Up:
Example: Atticus Finch. Won't lie, cheat or steal. You'll never starve and there will always be gas in your car. The one you want holding your hand while waiting for scary news and at your side during the tough times. Known for dry sense of humor. You'll be the only one getting the O from him.
Upside: Broad shoulders to lean on.
Downside: Furrowed brows.

Which guy do you have?

1) When you speculate about whether he'll ever cheat on you, your instinct tells you:
a. Of course. He cheated with me before we got married.
b. Um ... I guess it's possible.
c. Are you kidding? Before or after he finishes sorting out receipts for the taxes?

2) During an argument, he is most likely to:
a. Swear, call you names, pin all the blame on you.
b. Yell until you back down.
c. Walk away until he calms down.

3) For Christmas, he will:
a. Have his mistress or secretary pick something out for you.
b. Run into Macy's on Christmas Eve and buy the most expensive thing he sees.
c. Agonize so much that whatever he buys, you feel the effort and love.

4) When you're sick, you expect:
a. Nothing.
b. He'll move the remote to your side of the bed.
c. He'll ask if you need him to stay home.

5) When your mother becomes ill, he might:
a) Yell because you're not home to make supper.
b) Ask how long this is going to go on.
c) Offer to let her come live with the two of you

If your man is an "A," get yourself to a therapist if you're not yet married and to a lawyer if you are.

If he's a "B," do you have lots of girlfriends to mop up your tears? Thank goodness!

You have a "C?" Congratulations, you'll have someone to watch the Emmys with at the end of the month.