No moment is quite as ironic as the one when you look back on your dating history and realize you’ve been dating the same type of person your entire life.(So that’s why it’s never worked out! Eureka!) But in all seriousness, it’s so common to have a specific “type” of person you always look to date — whether it’s athletes, artists, intellectuals, and everything in between — and veering away from that type can be challenging. When you find yourself ready or about to start dating someone who’s not your type, it’s important to remember the benefits that branching out can really have.
In his blog, FrankTalks, dating coach Frank Kermit defined what a type really is. “Each of us has our preference of what we like, what turns us on, and what drives us wild,” he wrote. “Sometimes, the type of person we are attracted to is the kind of person that we can function well in a relationship with. But other times, the very type of person we are most attracted to is exactly the type of person that is simply incompatible as a long-term partner.” If you usually fall into the latter category, then giving someone who’s not your usual type a chance is a step in the right direction.
The most important thing to keep in mind when you’re ready to start dating outside your typical type is to keep an open mind about the possibilities this person might bring, Shula Melamed, MA, MPH, and well-being coach says. “If they are not your usual type, is there something about the things you do share in common or the way that they make you feel that transcend [that] type?” she tells Elite Daily.
Even if you don’t think you and this person will work together, just trying to date outside your type can really improve your love life, Melamed points out. By being open to it, you may find “the missing link in having better relationships,” she says.
“It’s good to expand your horizons,” Melamed says. But it can be important to keep in mind that, “going outside your type might cause challenges in some ways, and if these challenges arise, [don’t] try and turn this person into someone they are not,” she continues. You’re a total gem, and the person you’re considering dating probably is, too. Maybe they’re a ruby, and you usually prefer sapphires, but that’s fine! But both are gems with wonderful qualities, nonetheless. See where I’m going with this? Case in point: Dating outside of your type may pay off in ways you never would’ve expected, and make you happier than you ever thought possible.
In fact, your type can change over time. According to Kermit, attraction can be “programmed and re-programmed throughout our lives by life experience.” So, what may be your type today, may not be your type in five years. “Romance and lust tend to be time-limited,” he wrote. “What drives us to feel attraction is not solely based on what we were born to feel attraction for.”
Your type may change repeatedly until you find someone you want to stick with for life, and that person may be the exact opposite of what you thought you were looking for in the first place. So, maybe it’s better to avoid labeling certain people your “type” and others “not your type,” and just date whoever you’re curious about. Granted, the people you date may have similar characteristics that you’re drawn to, but that doesn’t mean they’re all the same person. So, when you’re ready to start dating someone who’s not your usual type, keep this in mind: I’m trying something new, and it might be fully worth it.
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