Don’t be a creature of habit. Break out of your dating routine and experience new people, new perspectives, and dating success. How to do it? Just date outside your type.
Dating outside your type can bring many benefits to your romantic journey, from breaking negative cycles to discovering new things about yourself and focusing on the things that matter. Let’s dive in to learn more.
You Can Break Out of Set Patterns
Sometimes people tend to date the same types. Maybe you can’t resist a man with a motorcycle or a woman who’s a CEO. Or on a more serious level, perhaps you keep going for people who are tenderhearted and kind or those who, well, aren’t. Dating patterns can be positive and negative.
You may fall into dating or relationship patterns because you find the familiarity comforting. In fact, many people seek out relationships that mirror the ones they saw from parents or caretakers.
But if these relationships are not serving you, fulfilling you, or pushing you to be the best version of yourself, your dating pattern isn’t healthy. If you find that you’re continually dealing with the same issues no matter who you date or experiencing the same detrimental cycles, it might be time to date outside your type.
You Can Focus on the Things That Matter
Dating only those who fit your physical type can keep you from focusing on the things that really matter: their heart, their personality, and their passions and goals. Focusing on physical traits isn’t abnormal by any means, especially when you first meet someone, but only selecting people you date based on certain physical criteria limits you.
For example, avoiding dating a shorter man can keep you from meeting someone who potentially fits all of your deal-breakers, who accepts you for who you are, and has confidence in themselves (read more about why confidence over looks is attractive).
There might be a huge pool of people out there who you’ll never get to know if you’re passing them by due to certain characteristics. Try to focus on shared interests, similar life goals and relationship values, and other meaningful things that help lead to dating success.
You’ll Learn That Attraction Can Grow Over Time
The friends-to-lovers trope isn’t new; you’ve probably seen it portrayed in countless movies and books. But it’s continually written about in stories because it can happen quite often in real life.
While your situation might be less about dating a friend and more about considering dating someone who doesn’t fit your physical type, the same potential outcome is true: sometimes getting to know someone and sharing in experiences can lead to physical attraction.
Maybe you find that you share a lot in common, from childhood experiences to hobbies or religion. Perhaps hours go by talking on the phone, but it feels like no time at all.
Love (or like) at first sight can happen, but remember that that’s not how every relationship begins. The more you learn about someone and get vulnerable, the deeper the bond and the more you both might develop feelings, which can lead to physical attraction.
You Might Discover New Things About Yourself
If you’ve been dating the same types of people without much luck, it’s time to branch out. In addition to more chances of dating success, another one of the benefits of dating outside your type is being able to learn something about yourself.
Let’s say that you’re an introvert who has always thought you needed an extroverted partner to balance you out. You’ve always dated people who are the life of the party, but find that in every relationship, you become exhausted and feel that your S.O. doesn’t understand you. You branched out recently and dated someone who’s an introvert like you. You feel more “seen” and more yourself than anyone you’ve dated in the past. You’ve learned something new about yourself! Turns out that You need someone who can tell when you need a break or time to yourself—someone who gets you.
This is just one example of dating outside your type to find out that what you thought you needed wasn’t what you needed at all.
You’ll Broaden Your Perspectives
Your outlook on life is based on a mix of things, from childhood experiences and parental influence to friendships and religion and where you live. While it’s important to fight for what you believe in, it’s equally important to challenge your perspectives. One way of doing that is to date outside your type.
Meeting different types of people can help you grow into a more well-rounded, accepting individual. Take interfaith dating, for example. While aligning on religion or beliefs (religious or not) can be a deal-breaker for some, if you’re on the fence, try dating those who have different beliefs than you do. Chances are that some eye-opening conversations will arise.
You’ll Be Open to New Experiences
The older we grow, the more set in our routines we get. This could involve your morning routine, how you travel, the work-dinner-bedtime weekday grind, and so on. But you can also slide into a routine with who you date.
You might find that you’re asking the same types of people out—perhaps they’re settled high on the corporate ladder or are Type A or don’t have kids or participate in your adult volleyball league. Instead of sticking to the same type of person, seek out those who have different interests, who might have an unconventional job, and so on—basically, someone who doesn’t fit your type.
The benefits of dating outside your type are that they might lead to new experiences, potentially getting you out of your comfort zone. Perhaps you’ll find a new hobby or realize that the job doesn’t really matter or learn that you love kids or … the list goes on. Even if some of these dates don’t turn into romantic relationships, experiences are what make life interesting.
It Doesn’t Mean You’re Sacrificing Your Standards
When you date outside your type, it doesn’t mean that your standards or deal-breakers go out the window. But it could mean that you reevaluate what matters most to you.
It’s always a good idea to align on finances, but perhaps you’ve always avoided dating someone who makes less than you. Dating outside of this type could open your eyes to the fact that money isn’t always everything.
Perhaps you travel a lot for your job and you only date people who do the same. By expanding your search, you might find that dating someone who is settled in a particular location can help you grow some roots or provide a sense of stability amid what might be a chaotic work life.
A good rule of thumb when dating is to always keep your deal-breakers top of mind, as these almost guarantee dating success. However, it can also be helpful to take a closer look at what you thought you needed and be pleasantly surprised when the person you love is different from who you had imagined.
It can be an eye-opening and beneficial experience to date outside your type. Why not give it a try?