“What’s your type?” is one of the first questions you’ll be asked if you’re single by a well-meaning friend hoping to set you up. Many people will say they have a “type” in dating, whether it’s more looks- or personality-based. I tend to go for people with darker hair rather than blondes, and people who are always at least a little geeky and funny. The former is sort of arbitrary — it’s just what I’m attracted to, rather than something I’m compatible with, but the latter is probably because it makes them a better match for me. I’m pretty nerdy myself, so I need someone on the same page. But is it an absolute prerequisite? Some people adhere to their type religiously, while others realize that there’s room for maneuvering. Personally, I’d say I’m not set in stone about what I like but I’ve yet to date someone in a real way who isn’t funny.
I have dated other types — in fact, everyone should at least try dating outside of their type once in a while. It can be harder than it seems — because you’re attracted to what you’re attracted to, and that can be hard to change. But if you keep an open mind, you may find that you can end up being attracted to all different types.
Here’s why should you try dating someone outside of your normal type:
1. You Probably Don’t Even Know Other Types
Firstly, if you have a type that you’ve stuck to, then you don’t know what else is out there. Yes, you may think you always need to be with really muscly guys or girls in bed— but have you tried anything else? You just don’t know until you give it a try.
2. Your Type Has Let You Down Before
If we’re talking about your type, you’re probably single and looking— which means your type has let you down before. I know, the emotionally unavailable girl who takes you to another world until she changes her mind is so hot— but she changes her mind. Every. Damn. Time. Try something new.
3. “Types” Are Reductive
My biggest problem with “types” is that they make you talk about people in the most basic possible terms. Not all blondes look the same. Not all “bad boys” act the same. If you’re looking for certain personality traits to identify people and insist on focusing on those, you’re going to miss out on everything else about them. It’s not a good way to look for a partner and it’s just not a good way to view people.
4. It’s A Way To Go Outside Your Comfort Zone
It’s always good to push your boundaries, in and outside of dating. New experiences that challenge you help you to become more and more comfortable in different areas. Plus, if you date someone completely different they’ll be able to show you things you’ve never seen before.
5. Compatibility Is Confusing
Compatibility isn’t about one thing. Things like how well communicate, whether or not you have the same long-term goals, if you’re sexually compatible, and more come into play. These vary person to person and have nothing to do with “type.” If you just boil it down to a formula or a type, the things that make a relationship last— like being kind and sharing the same values— won’t necessarily be there.
Originally posted on Bustle