Ahh, the “type."
This is the limiting umbrella under which all our romantic prospects must fall.
Perhaps you can recall a time you could have clicked with someone, only to be burdened with that thought in the back of your mind: “Ugh, but they’re not my type.”
I can certainly say it’s happened to me.
Flash back three-ish years.
The man I planned to meet at the altar had to look excellent on paper.
He had to be conventionally handsome, well-mannered and impeccably successful.
He had to be an obvious catch you bring home to your family, and brag about to your friends.
Here I am today, smitten and going strong with the quintessential "bad boy." He's a cigarette-smoking, music festival-hopping, blue collar-working man with long, messy hair that forms dreadlocks on its own due to lack of maintenance.
Isn’t life funny?
Enough talk about me and my relationship, though.
What I’m really here to tell you is how you're potentially missing out on someone who could be perfect for you.
We all crave change every now and then.
Typically, we satisfy it in safe ways. We dye our hair, order something new off the menu or take a vacation. It is rare we do something as drastic as open our hearts to novelty in human form.
Dating someone outside your type is nothing short of a journey. It flips your world upside-down, changes your perspective and gives you a run for your money.
I’m not going to tell you it’s easy.
You’re going to have naysayers, your patience is going to be tested and you’ll question facets of your character you didn't know existed.
But if you haven’t learned by now, it's amidst adversity that we find ourselves. If we’re lucky, we find genuine love, too.
Here are five reasons you should date someone outside your type:
1. Comfort zones are danger zones.
We, as a society, love being comfortable. We take the road most traveled for fear of being shaken up.
Throwing off our routine, thinking in ways that don’t jive with our set beliefs and dating people who don’t fit our requirements scares the hell out of us.
Not only is it immature to navigate the dating world through the lens of your type, it's dangerous.
“Growth and comfort do not coexist.”
2. You miss out on the opportunity to grow.
Experience is the universal way we grow. You stifle that growth by limiting yourself to consistently similar experiences. This can be directly applied to dating.
Whether dating someone outside your type ends up being a massive failure or the greatest love of your life, it's always worthwhile for the sake of experience.
Say, for example, you only date girls with college degrees.
You could be missing out on that tough-as-nails waitress who could open your eyes to see intelligence can't be measured in such narrow ways.
She’ll lend you mind-bending books and captivate you all night with conversation and good wine.
You’ll laugh in disbelief that you dated three different blonde sorority girls named Katie prior to this.
3. It makes for an excellent conversation piece.
What’s better than having something new and exciting to share with your loved ones? Trust me when I say your friends and family will take notice.
Maybe they’ll be proud, or maybe they’ll be weirded out.
Nonetheless, you can exuberantly entertain them with the ups and downs of being with someone who doesn’t quite get all the check marks off your mental list.
4. You can expand your friends' circles.
Dating someone outside your type brings uniqueness to your circle. More often than not, birds of a feather flock together.
When you introduce someone you wouldn’t typically date, it adds vibrancy to the mix.
Not only you will grow from the experience, but your friends and family will, too.
5. It will make you a better person.
All in all, dating someone outside your type makes you a better person.
Maybe your “type” is strictly comprised of physical features. Taking the leap with someone who doesn’t match that will make you ultimately less shallow.
Your type is the manifestation of an image in your head.
Breaking away from that makes you more open, thoughtful and a better person.