Getting Over Your Type | Dating Outside Your Comfort Zone

LAST NIGHT I HAD A CONVERSATION WITH A FRIEND… I WAS TELLING HER HOW I WAS CURRENTLY TALKING TO SOMEONE I DIDN’T FIND PHYSICALLY ATTRACTIVE, BUT HE HAD SUPERB CONVERSATION AND WE VIBED ON A LEVEL I COULD APPRECIATE. THEREFORE, I CONTINUED TO GET TO KNOW HIM.

She commented, saying in a nutshell, that if I wasn’t attracted to him and if he wasn’t my”type”, then I shouldn’t be giving him the time of the day, but I beg to differ…

HERE’S WHY

In the dating world, we all have a “type.” It’s normal. Natural. We’re attracted to folks who are tall, sport pearly whites with an adventurous personality.

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 what a partner is probably the reason you (and I) are still single (BLOOP) 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 have we rejected over the years simply on the basis that he didn’t check off everything on our imaginary mental list? 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 unpredictable aspects of their looks or personality. I’ve said it before: “I don’t like short guys” (boy did I do myself a disservice by chanting this) or “I’m not into the [insert vague modifier here] type.”

Having a type is normal for most people, but it’s also 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,  girl now would we?

For most of my life I’ve gravitated toward one “type” of guy: tall, outgoing, plays some sort of sport, dark dark-skinned 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 music, loves talking arts, faith, and life. This man treated me well, he made me laugh, he taught me a new perspective about life and a love for Mariah Carey—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.

AT THE END OF THE DAY, WHAT I’M ESSENTIALLY TRYING TO SAY IS SUS….

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 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 /Jehovah Witness/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?

Have your last five relationships looked (and ended) exactly the same way? It’s possible that your type falls short of what you need for a lasting relationship.  With that being said, it’s time for you to venture outside of your bullet point list girl!

Dating can be an enriching experience for many reasons. It’s a chance to meet new people, enjoy new experiences and transform as a person. Even if the relationship doesn’t last, you get to know more about yourself and what you like in a potential partner along the way.

If your relationships always seem to fizzle and burn out, the problem isn’t necessarily you. On the contrary, it might simply be your heart’s way of telling you that you’ve matured. Boredom with your go-to type can be an indicator that you’ve outgrown a certain kind of person. Especially if your type has never brought you the kind of love you want — is often a sign that you’re outgrowing old, unproductive patterns, and getting more in touch with how to really be your essential self.

By taking a hard look at the type of person you gravitate toward, you could end up learning a lot about yourself — and why it’s a good idea to dig a little deeper in the dating pool.

Have you ever dated outside of your type? Comment below!

Jasemine Knowles