The Juice & the Squeeze

Why You Should Be Open to Dating Outside Your Type.

You might just learn a thing or two about yourself.

Two penguins

When it comes to dating, we’re all a bit like Indiana Jones. (No, that doesn’t mean you should bring a whip to a first date.) Dating is a dangerous adventure into the unknown, a new experience with new people — and most of us are looking for our own “Holy Grail” person.

When people envision the actual Holy Grail chalice, they picture a fancy golden goblet adorned with fancy jewels and textures. And much like our romanticized version of the sacred chalice, our own Holy Grail romantic partner is, metaphorically, made of gold and adorned with gemstones. That is, we make a mental image of our ideal type and tell ourselves that’s who we should be with.

The funny thing about the actual Holy Grail, if it existed, is that it would have been made of wood. It’s just a wooden wine cup. You probably wouldn’t think anything of it if you saw it.

The point is, sometimes the most special and valuable things aren’t anything like what we expected. That applies to romantic prospects too.

That’s why we advise you to stop “groundhogging” and screw your “type” (ignore the pun, please)—and don’t take that out of context. When you narrow your dating life down to one “type,” you predetermine the things you’re looking for, and they might not always be the right things. If your type is “long, tan, and handsome,” you might end up dating… well, this guy:

Date outside your type2

Here are just a few awesome benefits of dating someone outside your “type”.

1. You open yourself up to more possibilities.

By ditching your type, you’re expanding your dating horizon exponentially. After all, there are 7 billion people in the world — most of them aren’t going to be your “dream” person, but they might still be amazing partners.

Obviously, you’re going to have some dealbreakers, we all do. You shouldn’t ignore those, but does the color of someone’s hair really matter that much or their height? People are interesting, and the more of them you get to know, the more you’ll learn.

2. You could learn something new about yourself or pick up some new hobbies and interests.

Sure, it’s nice to date someone who enjoys movies as much as you do, but have you ever tried salsa dancing? Sometimes people push you out of your comfort zone, but your comfort zone is holding you back! You know what’s comfortable? Sitting on the couch in a robe with a tub of ice cream. You probably shouldn’t do that every day. Sometimes, we need someone to come along and make us do something new. You might even find something you like.

Oh, and by the way, anything can be fun with the right person. It’s a pretty good test of how compatible you are.

3. Even if it doesn’t work out, you may become more flexible in your dating approach.

Okay, so maybe everything went up in smoke after all, but you may actually learn something about yourself and what’s truly important to look for the next time around. Maybe you realize that someone’s job matters a lot less than how often they make you laugh, or that you need someone who knows how to calm you down when you’re stressed without trying to fix everything for you.

There are probably a million examples, but at the end of the day, the only way you’ll learn what you need is by first learning what you don’t. Give it a try.

Dating different types of people makes us more open-minded and diverse. It opens us up to new experiences that help us learn and grow as people, meaning we can gain new perspectives and develop more empathy.

We can all use that these days.

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