Here’s Why You Should Date Someone Who Isn’t Your “Type”


We all have a “type.” It’s normal. Natural. We’re attracted to someone with perhaps dark hair and eyes, or with an adventurous personality, or someone who falls into myriad “categories” of people. So many of us, myself included, find ourselves attracted to and dating the same kinds of people over and over again, and we hardly deviate from this pattern because we tell ourselves, “he’s so my type” as if that “formula” of human is the only kind of person on earth we could ever possibly fall in love with. But sticking to your own self-imposed prescribed formula of partner is probably the reason you (and I) are still single and constantly unlucky in love.

An old saying defines insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Why do we constantly date our type over and over again, and expect things to turn out differently? It’s time to make a change.

How many amazing men or women have we rejected over the years simply on the basis that he/she isn’t our type? Without even so much as taking a second glance at someone, we already assume that we won’t be attracted to or have a connection with this person, because of arbitrary aspects of their looks or personality. I’ve said it before: “I don’t like blonde guys” or “I’m not into the [insert vague modifier here] type.”

Having a type is normal for most people, but it’s dangerous when we start to categorize people based on only vague notions of their aspect and character, and disregard the very real possibility that we could be rejecting people with whom we may actually find happiness. It makes entirely too much sense to say that widening our “dating pool” can only lead to more options, and better results. And after all, if our types were working out so well, then we wouldn’t be single, would we?

For most of my life I’ve gravitated toward one “type” of guy: artistic, distant, vaguely broody, dark and sexy. I thought very strongly that this was the only type of man I would ever want to date, until I met and started spending a lot of time with someone I can only call a “nice guy.” Kind, honest, obsessed with sports and knowing nothing about books, art, or other faintly hipster things I thought were so important, this guy shattered all my expectations of what a relationship should be like. He treated me well, he made me laugh, he was my buddy and my confidante.

After dating someone who was, in personality, starkly opposite to my predetermined “type,” I found myself having no type at all. I found myself looking past superficial attributes and spent more time trying hard to get to know the men I met. I found that having a type can seriously pigeonhole you until dating the same person over and over again becomes more frustrating than anyone should be able to endure.

Date someone who surprises you. Date someone who challenges the notions and preconceived ideas you’ve built up in your head as to what a man/woman should be like. Date someone who breaks the mold and makes you feel like you’ve only just started dating, like you have a fresh start, a clean slate. Date someone without the same interests and likes as you, and learn something new. Step out of your comfort zone. Feel afraid. Feel unsafe. Feel free, at the same time.

Ignore what you think you want. If you thought you’d never date an artist/musician/athlete/sikh/Catholic/person with tattoos, take a chance on the next person you meet who falls into one of those “categories.” Don’t wait for the person of your dreams to suddenly materialize in front of you and sweep you off your feet—take a chance on something you never even imagined. What’s the worst that can happen?

Lisa Lo Paro
Lisa is a freelance writer and bibliophile living on the outskirts of New York City. She likes 2 a.m. with a good book, takes cream in her coffee and heavily filters her photos. Check out her blog The Most Happy, her Instagram, and Twitter.

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