If you’re sick of ending up in the same relationships with the same issues, you should reconsider the type of people you’re dating.
It’s not easy to make this switch, but even if it’s only temporary, it can really open your eyes to what you want and need out of a relationship.
Changing your type can change everything.
This process will require you to get outside your comfort zone and date the kind of people you don’t typically go for. Start with an open mind, trust the process and stop obsessing over outcomes.
What is a Type?
So what does it mean to have a “type”? Well first off I do want to say that while we may be quick to categorize, we’re all unique people with their own strengths, weaknesses and quirks. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t similarities between the people you choose to date.
These break down into a few categories of similarity: physical type, personality, line of work, and general vibe. Of course, there’s a lot of crossover here. For example, and I’m generalizing here, but a blue collar person is more likely to be physically stronger and less cerebral than your average college professor. A guy with a bunch of tattoos and a big beard is less likely to be in the military. See what I’m saying?
This is important information to know when you’re trying to sort out what your “type” has been in the past. Some people will be attracted to a certain physical type but don’t get along with that type of person in a relationship. Others think they’re attracted to athletes but what they’re really attracted to is a person who is driven and disciplined.
It’s important to go over your dating history and sort out what attracted you to these people. What did you like and dislike? Was it something about this type of person in particular that got in the way of your relationships or was it something else?
For example, maybe you tend to fall for unavailable people. Is this just a coincidence or are you doing it because you’re afraid to get close to them? Maybe you always date people older than you. Why do you think that is?
It’s very common for people to gravitate to a certain type of person in relationships. It may be that these are the type of people who seek us out in the first place. Maybe they represent a sort of version of our first crush and we’re still unconsciously chasing that. Maybe they remind us of someone from our past that made us feel safe.
Whatever sets off the initial attraction, this can easily become a pattern. You have one relationship, then you break up and the next person you’re interested in just happens to remind you of your ex. After doing this a few times, it just feels more comfortable and natural to date this type of person.
You know what they like, what they bring to the table and their different red flags. While every one of them is going to be a little different, you’ll be surprised at how you attract and are attracted to more similar people as time goes on, because you’ve built this habit.
Why Should You Date Outside Your Type?
Now why is that a problem? It seems like a good thing to find the kind of people you’re attracted to and stick with them. That way you avoid wasting time on people who aren’t right for you. And this is true to some extent. But I think if you’re here, it means that you’ve been running into problems because you’re stuck on a certain type and you’re wanting to try something new.
So with that in mind, how do you go about dating people outside of your type? Well my first advice is to open your mind. It’s not as simple as flipping a switch and changing who you’re attracted to. It’s going to mean going on dates with people who don’t immediately drive you wild. It’s going to mean fighting your instinct to say “no” to everyone who doesn’t fit a certain profile.
Let friends set you up with people who you might not typically give a chance. Swipe right more on dating apps. Fight through awkward silences and really get to know people. It’s all about being open minded and being willing to connect.
Here are a few things to keep in mind during this process.
Learn to separate anxiety from love
One of the reasons that people end up in a cycle of dating a certain type of person is that they only experience “butterflies” with people who treat them a certain way. Namely, they only experience these sort of intense feelings with a person who doesn’t treat them very well.
I think of it this way: if you already know what’s coming then there’s less anticipation and less of a payoff at the end. This is what you get when you date someone who is open and honest about their feelings for you, communicates their needs and expectations, and is willing to be affectionate and loving towards you.
Then there are people who keep you at arms length, run hot and cold, and never reveal how they’re feeling or what they want. On paper, this is obviously a negative situation but early on it can feel like they’re just mysterious, spontaneous, and in high demand.
This makes you work extra hard to win their attention and love, and when you get it, it feels all the more exciting. This push pull cycle can have you equating anxiety and love and is one of the main reasons that people will get stuck in situations with people who are clearly bad for them.
So long story short, if you’re used to dating emotionally unavailable people, breaking this cycle is going to be uncomfortable. You might find that the people you date feel too eager or even come across as desperate. You might find that talking about your feelings is difficult and not sexy. This is normal. Try not to run away.
And even if you don’t date people who treat you this way, dating outside your type is oftentimes less exciting in the early stages simply because they’re so different that you don’t hit the typical milestones. This is where being open minded and patient comes in.
Don’t compare your dates to past relationships
It can be so easy to measure someone new against someone from our past. It can also be extremely destructive to our new relationship. This is especially true when you start dating someone outside of your type for the first time.
I’ll tell you right now, if you compare them to past partners, they’re going to come up short every time. This is not because they’re lacking anything. It’s because you’re lacking the ability to see all the good things that they bring to the table, at least at this point. It makes sense, doesn’t it?
You’re now dating someone who you wouldn’t have given a second glance in most cases. Because you’ve never given people like this a chance, you don’t know what they have to offer and what makes them special. Maybe you’re incapable of seeing it at first glance. That’s what makes them “not your type.”
But if you can stop comparing them to your past partners and take the time to get to know them, then you’ll find that they have qualities that you’d never have imagined.
If you’re struggling with comparison, the best way to escape it is to take the time to get over a breakup before you begin dating again. If you have been apart for a long time and this is still coming up then this may mean that you haven’t fully processed these breakups.
Get out of your comfort zone
One of the biggest reasons that people only date their type is because it’s comfortable. This is understandable but the more time you spend outside your comfort zone, the more you learn and grow.
So get comfortable being uncomfortable. Accept the fact that this is going to be different and that will be scary and then do it anyway. The reason you’re even watching this video is because you’re feeling stuck in a cycle of bad dates and unfulfilling relationships and if you want that to change, you’ll have to change it.
Focus on what’s been missing
Instead of focusing on what this person lacks compared to the people you’ve dated in the past, focus on what’s been missing in your past relationships that’s making you take a different approach.
Maybe you’ve always dated people with high expectations who pushed you to be the best version of yourself. Did that mean you couldn’t relax and had to put on a false front?
Maybe you dated people with big personalities. Did you ever feel like you had to shrink yourself to fit into their lives?
These are just examples but one of the big benefits of this exercise is to find out if things could be different so don’t waste the opportunity by trying to create the same relationships you’ve had in the past.
Remember that this is an experiment
It can be difficult for some people to break away from their type because of the way they’re thinking of potential dates. I think many people go into a date with the mindset of “is this someone I want to spend the rest of my life with?”
This makes sense if you’re looking to settle down and are sick of wasting your time on people who aren’t right for you. But this attitude can do you a disservice early on. As difficult as it may be, I want you to try to empty your head of these thoughts.
Get out of your head and simply enjoy this other person’s company. Focus on expressing yourself and getting to know them without trying to tick boxes on your ideal partner checklist. This is easier said than done but when you find your mind wandering and you start to think “my last partner would never say something like that,” remind yourself that this is an experiment and you need to let yourself get invested in it rather than trying to maintain control.