Many of us have that go-to meal at a restaurant and trying something different can cause anxiety. The fear of the unknown can be unnerving. The same happens in dating, people usually have a type and dating outside their type can cause a dilemma.
However, let’s face it if you’re wondering whether to date someone who you wouldn’t typically date, chances are it hasn’t worked out with “ your type” or you’re falling for someone who doesn’t fit the category. Here are a few reasons why it might be a good idea to date outside your type.
1. You could learn a lot about yourself
If you constantly date people with similar traits you often find yourself in familiar situations which elicit the same reactions from you. Dating someone different exposes you to dissimilar situations which get you out of your comfort zone and you learn more about yourself. For example, if you constantly date extroverts who enjoy being around people, dating an introvert who wants more one-on-one time with you could make you realize that you value that kind of quality time.
2. You expand your dating pool
“Tall, dark, handsome, financially stable” is a popular criterion for many women. However, in reality, the majority of men don’t meet these requirements. People will often pick a type based on physical attributes and personality but your preferred personality could come packaged in a body physique that’s outside your preference scope. Do you miss out on someone who could be good for you because they’re not tall enough? Exploring dating options outside your type gives you more potential mates to choose from which increases your chances of finding a partner.
3. You could experience growth
Interacting with new people gives you opportunities to explore different interests and gain new perspectives. If you date outgoing people, an introvert could introduce you to indoor activities like cooking or reading. You could get to experience another dimension of relationships which makes you a better person.
4. You could break unhealthy cycles
If you’re wondering whether to date outside your type it’s because your usual relationship patterns aren’t working. For example, if you choose emotionally unavailable people, dating someone with healthier attachment styles could help you break toxic cycles. It may feel different at first because it’s not familiar but it could result in healthier relationships.
5. You could learn what you don’t want
A relationship doesn’t have to end in marriage. Some relationships serve as lessons for what to avoid in the future. Relationships could fail due to false beliefs, and exploring outside your type could teach you what doesn’t work. For example, people often say that opposites attract so you choose partners who are different from you because you think you’ll complement each other. However, while the difference could cause excitement at the beginning of the relationship, the differences could cause friction later on for the couple.
In this case, dating someone who is like you could teach you that you don’t want someone so different from you. You could let go of misguided notions about relationships.
Tips on dating outside your type
It can feel like a scary thing to try the unknown especially when your heart is on the line. Here are a few things to remember as you take the plunge.
1. Pay attention to how the person makes you feel instead of their type
Focus on what matters most, how a person treats you and makes you feel. Your bias against a certain type could come from the wrong place. For example, you could have grown up with misconceptions about a certain race, focusing on a person’s actions helps you see them for who they are rather than their race.
2. Keep an open mind
It’s easy to give up at the first sign of discomfort or an argument. You could quickly decide that it won’t work. However, just because it’s different doesn’t mean it will fail. Stay open to new possibilities and to learning new things. You should also be open to unlearning old habits.
3. Be ready for discomfort
It is going to be weird at first. Accepting that makes you mentally prepared to deal with any discomfort you encounter in the new situation. For example, if you avoid privileged people because you feel they don’t understand hard work, dating a hardworking person from privilege could be challenging at first. Expect some differences in problem-solving and analyze their reasoning. You might find that people make decisions based on their options.
Taking a leap of faith and trying something different can be nerve-wracking. There’s comfort in the familiar even when it’s clear that it’s not working. Dating outside your type could be a welcome experience. While it might not lead to marriage, there are several benefits to it if you keep an open mind.
Also, check out
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