Why Dating Someone Who Isn’t Your Type Can Be a Good Thing

In the dating world, being attracted to a certain “type” of person is normal. You might like people who are tall or have specific personality traits that match yours. With dating apps, finding people who fit these preferences is easy.

However, it’s worth thinking about whether sticking to your usual type is the best approach. Dating someone different from your usual type can actually be good for you and lead to a more meaningful relationship. In this article, we’ll explain why we often repeat the same dating patterns and give you five reasons why mental health experts suggest trying something different and dating people who aren’t your usual type.

Why Do We Date the Same Type?

Experts say there are several reasons why we’re attracted to a specific type of person. From an evolutionary perspective, our ancestors paired up for survival rather than love. Dr. Shannon Curry, a psychologist, explains that choosing partners who were healthy and strong helped people survive in tough times. Selecting partners who seemed healthy and fertile also helped continue their family line.

Personal history plays a role, too. Our early experiences with parents or caregivers shape how we see ourselves and what we expect from others. These early interactions affect our self-worth and our expectations for how people should behave, even as adults. According to Genesis Games, a mental health counselor, these important figures can include parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, or even nannies. The absence of these adults can also leave a lasting impact on our preferences.

Let’s break it down:

1. If we grow up with love and care, we learn that we deserve love and kindness from others.

2. If we grow up with pain and fear, we might think that’s normal.

3. Our brains like to find patterns and stick with them.

4. We tend to date similar people because we have a type, we attract a certain kind of person, and we often meet that type of person.

In simpler terms, our past experiences shape our expectations, our brains like routines, and sometimes we just meet the same kind of people frequently.

Why Should You Break the Pattern?

First of all, sticking to a specific “type” limits your options. You might miss out on meeting the right person if you only date a certain kind of person. You don’t have to lower your standards, but being open-minded and giving different people a chance is good. You never know who you might connect with, whether they fit your usual type or not. Dr. Curry says that if you narrow down your dating choices based only on physical appearance and wealth, you reduce your chances of finding someone with the personality traits that lead to long-lasting happiness.

You’re also making quick judgments about someone. If you only date people who fit your ideal type, you judge them before getting to know them. This is especially common with online dating where you might not have a lot of information about a potential match. By being too strict with your standards, you might miss out on the opportunity to meet someone truly wonderful.

Continuing to date someone who fits your usual “type” means you’re stuck in a pattern that might not be good for you. Dating someone different can help break this pattern. Sometimes, people don’t even realize they keep dating the same kind of person, like someone who can’t commit or needs fixing. If you’ve had a history of chaotic, deceitful, abusive, or uncaring relationships, consider seeking guidance from a licensed therapist to work through any underlying issues.

Dating someone outside your usual type can also push you to step out of your comfort zone. Instead of focusing solely on looks, think about who the person is and what kind of heart they have. This shift in perspective can help you find deeper connections and retrain your brain on how to see beauty, especially in the world of online dating.

You might not know who’s the perfect match for you. Your usual type might not be the right fit. While you might want someone who shares all your interests, has a similar background, or is just like you, it’s good to be open-minded. To do that, look at your past relationships and see if there are any patterns. For instance, ask yourself if you often find guys who start strong but disappear after a few weeks or if you tend to chase after men who are distant. This analysis can help you see if your usual type is really working for you.

The Keys to a Happy Relationship

When it comes to having a satisfying relationship, some personality traits matter a lot. Dr. Curry mentions a psychologist named Ty Tashiro, who found that being kind, tolerant, emotionally stable, and not always seeking excitement are traits linked to relationship satisfaction. These qualities might not seem as exciting as good looks or adventure, but research shows that couples who value these stable traits tend to have strong intimacy and sexual satisfaction.

Understanding your attachment style can also help. Sue Johnson’s work on attachment theory shows that people with a secure attachment style believe they deserve love and can find it. They are open about their needs and dealbreakers, address problems directly, and give their partner the benefit of the doubt. People with secure attachments can balance their relationships and personal life well.


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