Get Out of a Dating Rut By Dating Outside Your Type
Why dating someone new might actually be the best thing ever for you
Are you finding yourself stuck in a dating rut? Are you always drawn to the same type of person without really understanding why? If so, now might be time to start dating outside your type.
Let's be honest. Dating can be challenging. It's hard to find someone you're compatible with without compromising your values. But what if you could break out of your dating comfort zone and try something new?
One of the most common questions I get asked as an intimacy and empowerment coach is how to break out of old dating patterns that aren't serving them anymore.
So here are a few tips to help you date outside your type.
Identify your type
Have you actually spent some time thinking about what your type is? Sometimes we need to take a step back and reevaluate our current dating patterns. Suppose you want something different than your past relationships. In that case, the first step is to cozy up with a journal and get honest with yourself.
What are you looking for in a date or in a relationship? Why do you want to date someone different from your usual type? What would you change about the past? What do you want now? What do you desire for the future? Once you know what you want, it will be easier to find the right date.
Become a detective of your own love life. Review both positive AND negative aspects of every date from now on. That way, you won't be disappointed later when things don't work out with anyone else ... because they're all just like previous partners.
Setting standards for dating
I don't subscribe to the belief that you absolutely have to love yourself first before loving others. You can learn to love yourself, AND you can find a loving relationship in the process. But the key is to actually heal and do the inner work, and not look to others to fill up a void inside you. Otherwise, you'll keep up the harmful patterns and look for love in all the wrong places.
Get started by answering these questions: Are there parts of yourself that need healing, acceptance, or forgiveness? Are there unhealed trauma lurking about in your subconscious? Are you looking for others to validate you? Do you "need" a partner to feel whole?
Another favorite exercise of mine is writing "dating standards". These are the standards you set for dating and relationships, and you won't expect anything less. Once you've written them out, hang them up somewhere you see them every day to start re-coding your beliefs. Read them out loud every morning. Feel into them. Visualize them. Let them become your new normal.
Your whole "dating-energy" will be radically different when you do the inner work and uphold your standards. You might just find yourself attracted to a completely different "type".
What are your dating priorities?
When it comes to your love life, do you know what's really important to you now and in the long run? You might find that the person who seems perfect for now isn't actually ideal in all ways, especially not for your long-term vision.
Your love life is an investment, so make sure you have the right tools to choose your partner. Decide how long you want to date this person before settling down into a relationship that doesn't quite fit into your long-term priorities.
Shorten your checklist
Even if your standards are sensible and make sense for you, it's practical to keep your checklist for a prospective partner as short and sweet as possible. You'll have more people to choose from, and you'll avoid missing out on someone who'd actually be good for you.
How to Meet New People Outside Your Type
So you're ready to meet someone completely new. But where do you find this new mystery date? It's not always easy, but you can definitely get creative and find new and exciting ways to meet people who aren't your usual type.
Get out of your own way and try out new things. Put yourself in situations where there are new people to meet! Why not ask your family, friends or colleagues to introduce you to someone new? This can be an excellent opportunity to meet someone outside your usual social circle.
It might feel scary at first, but who knows; you might fall in love with your best friend's neighbor.
You can also get a new hobby or join social groups online or offline. Maybe you'll meet someone who catches your eye when you least expect it? You never know.
Start going to events that aren't your type of scene. You might be pleasantly surprised. You can also join a club, join a meetup group, or a volunteer organization.
Challenge your stranger danger
Alright, so this one might be scary. Especially if you think it sounds more fun to chew off your arm than to talk to strangers. But challenge yourself to start talking to interesting strangers and to welcome their efforts to get to know you.
You don't have to accept a date if you don't fancy them after all. But there is a good chance you might meet someone who will become a friend, if not a romantic interest!
Keeping an Open Mind for Love
Here's the thing about love: it has no boundaries or limits. There are no rules to dictate who you should be with, and how your partner should look, act like or do for a living. If you step outside your "dating comfort zone", then there's every chance that the right person could come along at just the right time.
So replace that filter of yours to open your eyes for new love. Screening people before dating them is a habit that many fall into. Are you screening them out for sensible reasons, or are your old patterns holding you back? For example, do you automatically reject anyone under 6 feet tall?
Be honest with yourself. Why are you actually saying "no"? Give the person a chance by getting to know them before dismissing them.
Keep track of your dates and how you feel
When you start dating people outside your usual comfort zone, keep tabs on how you feel. Do you feel happy? Are there positive changes in your life? If so, you're on the right track. If you feel like you're not as satisfied with dating as you used to be, or if it's not working out how you'd imagined, then maybe it's time to reassess and see what needs to change.
Be mindful of the reactions from your family and friends. Are the people who love you used to see you with extroverted career-chasers? Then they might need some time to wrap their heads around you dating a quiet, cute professor. Respect their opinion, but decide for yourself what you want in a relationship.
Dating outside your type is a learning process. Honestly, any form of dating and relationship is a learning process. It's crucial to have a positive mindset and learn from your experiences. Just think of your dates as little steps on the path towards the love you desire. Sometimes we stumble; other times, we have to jump over obstacles.
I once went on a date with this guy, and it was pretty disastrous. We had nothing in common, and it was really awkward. I felt like I was only there because of my politeness. I learned a lot from that, though. I realized that it's crucial to be on the same wavelength as my date. I learned that it's okay to step away from uncomfortable situations, and not overstep my boundaries out of "politeness".
If you're open, willing, and eager to learn from these experiences, then dating outside of your type could lead you down a path towards true love.
Conclusion: Dating outside your type can be a good thing
Dating outside of your usual "type" can be scary AF. But honestly, it doesn't have to be SO hard. It may or may not work out with that person, but at least you won't be limiting yourself in the future. And maybe you'll have some funny dating stories to share with your best friend?
All in all, the best way to date outside of your type is to be honest with yourself about what you want. Open yourself up to brand new possibilities. After all, you may find the love you desire where you least expect it!