A Psychologist Spills the Truth on Dating Outside Your Type

Should you date outside your type? First, declaring that you have a “type” in the first place can pigeonhole you into overlooking potential partners based on superficial traits. While it’s common for us to gravitate toward people with specific qualities, being attracted to one “archetype” doesn’t necessarily mean we’re pursuing relationships with compatible partners.

Science confirms that “having a type” is actually real. According to research by social psychologists at the University of Toronto, people often look for love with the same type of person over and over again. Researchers also found that people will turn around to date someone with the exact same personality type as the person they just broke up with! Don’t you think a change will do you good? Take a look at three things that can happen when you decide to date outside your type.

You Might Learn That Your Type Wasn’t Really Your Type at All

If you’ve been what you consider “unsuccessful” in dating when pursuing your type, you may be about to find out that the archetype you’re attracted to by default may not be what you need. In fact, you may constantly be running into the same conflicts and disappointments with partners because you’re selecting them from a place of lacking instead of a place of wholeness.

Let’s say that you are constantly drawn to outgoing, “life the party” partners. While the excitement of dating a high-energy, highly social person may make you feel energized, exhilarated, and important early on, you soon turn resentful of all of the time your partner spends out of the house. This brings up childhood feelings of rejection that constantly destroy your relationships in a haze of arguments and disagreements.

What happens if you try dating someone who is slightly more introverted? You may not find this person as “exciting” at first. However, dating someone who prefers to stay in more often might help you to enjoy the intimacy and security you are actually craving in a relationship.

You’ll Learn More About Yourself

When you get out of the “cycle” of dating the same type of person over and over, you get a chance to feel “uncomfortable.” This can actually help you to learn new things about yourself. Let’s say you only like to date “artsy” types. Dating a person who loves sports may open you up to new activities and experiences that you would never try on your own. While a person may not ultimately be your perfect fit, the time spent with them will help you discover new parts of yourself.

You’ll Become More Open

Dating beyond “type” makes us less rigid in our dating styles. Once you discover that dating someone who doesn’t check off every box on your list isn’t the end of the world, you may become more open to saying “yes” to dates. As a result, you may simply go on more dates that will potentially lead to your big “forever.”

Should you date outside your type? While I’m not suggesting that you agree to a date with someone who makes you feel uncomfortable, I am saying that it doesn’t hurt to move beyond your comfort zone. Dating outside your type is actually more about giving yourself room to have new experiences than it is about finding the “perfect” person.