Should You Date Outside Your Type? 6 People Share What Happened When They Did

IMHO, there are many pros and cons to having a "type." Sometimes, it can feel like life would be easier if your Venn Diagram didn't include "Looks like a skater, but isn't" and "Could be mistaken for Ellen Degeneres" (not speaking from experience or anything). So, should you date outside of your type? TBH, you really shouldn't feel any pressure to do anything you don't want to do. But if you're exhausted by the similarities in the people you've been dating, looking outside your type could be a huge relief.

Dating can be about a plethora of factors — luck, timing, or, well, having a satellite-level talent for surveilling the people orbiting your life. But at the end of the day, your Venn diagram could be, like, 12 circles with a ton of different qualities, and the center where they all overlap could be their feelings for you!

On the other hand, maybe you only have two circles: "looks a lot like Chad Michael Murray" and "smells nice." If you're struggling in your dating life and wondering if it's the sample population that's to blame, then check out what the following people had to say about dating outside of your type.

When you meet "The One" in an unexpected place.

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My type is typically guys who are in sports (swimmers and soccer players, mostly), super into health and fitness, and not super tall. Mentally, they are usually more dominant, for lack of a better term. My boyfriend is a foot taller than me, down to earth, not super into sports or working out, more willing to be vulnerable and emotional, and isn't the most dominating person. Instead, he communicates really well and works with me. He is also ridiculously smart and hardworking.

Sarah, 24

When dating outside of your type pushes you in a good way.

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The person I am dating right now is kind of quiet, which is different for me. I usually date people that are kind of loud and outgoing, and I'm kind of quiet so it balances out. But this person is also quiet, so it makes me have to be sort of more outgoing than I'm used to.

— Jime, 26

When dating outside of your type teaches you a lot.

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I think [my ex] was way out of my type. He was a super masculine boy that was obsessed with the gym. I think it definitely made me realize that type is... not real? And that you can find compatibility with a wide range of people. And that can help you figure out what it is you need in a relationship. Me and that guy didn't work super well emotionally, but the ways that we were different helped me understand myself a lot more.

— Kassiani, 26

When you realize you have a type for a reason.

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I dated out of my type during college and it taught me that I have a type for a reason. The last two people I dated were not my type and they hurt me so much. For one partner, we were both brown and grad students — still didn't work. For another, we were both gay and women — didn't work. I thought that the things that we had in common were enough for us to be a match but they weren't. Dating outside of my type showed me the importance of all of my identities and how my specific intersections demand to be seen and acknowledged by similar people.

— Raquel, 24

When your type is frustrating.

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I feel really alienated by my type sometimes. I don't really understand it and can't exactly name it? But I know someone is my type when I see them and I literally can't form thoughts in my head lol. Then I am like oh there they are. I honestly haven't been dating for a while because people who are my type are kind of rare to come by, and when they do, it just wrecks my focus on everything else? Like, I feel drunk on the crush! So I guess yes I have dated outside of my type and it's been boring. And when I do date in my type it's so far from boring that i go crazy.... Maybe I will figure this out one day. Overall, I guess I will say that I would love to date outside of my type, but I am just not attracted to anyone that isn't my type? Chicken or the egg much?

—Jess,* 25

When you aren't convinced about the whole "type" thing.

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I have dated outside of my type before and it kind of taught me that I don't know if I have one (or if anyone has one, for that matter. I think 'types' can be kind of limiting for some people, because they can make them feel like they're only supposed to be with a certain person when there are literally so many people out there. I will say that the last person I dated wasn't my type and it ended very badly, so I guess I am not sure.

— Alex, 23

If you're interested in dating someone outside of your type, know that you're absolutely not alone. Here's to trying new things and meeting new people. You never know who might walk into your life and surprise the heck out of you — and your Venn diagram!

*Names have been changed.