Should You Go On A Date With Someone You're Not Into? Here’s What Experts Say
How important is instant chemistry when you're deciding whether or not to go on a date with someone new? Is it essential, or are there times when you actually should go on a date with someone you’re not into just to see what happens? If the dates I've gone on with folks who I had that instant spark with are any indication, instant attraction is no guarantee that the date will be successful, like at all. But if that's the case, then is the opposite true as well? Can a date with someone who you don't have that immediate attraction to turn out to be amazing if you only gave it a shot? Have you been passing up on a good thing because you weren't totally into them right away? Kind of a scary thought, really.
To help get to the bottom of this, I reached out to experts to ask if you should actually be open to dating folks who you aren't feeling it with right away. I wanted to know how to tell when to trust that instinct and turn down the date, and when to keep an open mind. Here's why they say you should consider dating folks you're not into, and when to trust your instincts and turn down the date.
1. Dating someone you're not that into might help you break a pattern.
According to NYC dating and relationships expert Susan Winter, one of the best reasons to be open to dating people you don't have that instant attraction to is that it can help you break out of harmful dating patterns, especially if "you've realized you have an unhealthy attraction to a certain type of partner. You're purposefully choosing the type of people that don't spark that automatic attraction.” In this case, by deciding to open yourself up to exploring a romantic relationship with someone different, it's a way to actively “retrain your inner compass to make different (and better) choices,” says Winter.
2. Just because someone's not your “type,” doesn't mean they're not worth dating.
For Diana Dorell, intuitive dating coach and author of The Dating Mirror: Trust Again, Love Again, the first step in deciding whether or not to go out with someone you're not into is to ask why you feel, or — more accurately — don't feel something for them. If the answer is just that they’re not your “type” physically, Dorell says you may want to keep an open mind rather than turn them down right away. “If you tend to go off a 'list' of physical attributes and if the person in front of you doesn't meet that criteria, my advice is to not write them off,” Dorell tells Elite Daily. She explains that by going off this mental checklist rather than focusing on your gut feeling about their qualities, it may be “holding you back from seeing a great match.” In the same way you may feel compelled to keep dating someone who fits your “stats” despite there being a lack of chemistry, Dorell says focusing on type is "the wrong way to go about it.” Instead, she advises that you “Go for qualities and how your body feels vs. physical attributes to determine whether or not you are ‘into’ [them].”
3. It'll help you get back out there.
If you’ve just gotten out of a relationship, or for whatever reason you’ve taken a break from dating, Winter says another reason you should be open to going out with someone you're not that into is to just help you get back out into the dating world. Winter calls this a “duty date.” As she explains, “You know you need to get yourself out there and begin dating again. You don't feel like it. You may not even feel good about yourself. The point of ‘duty dating’ is to get you back into the flow of meeting new people. Think of it as warming up an engine of a car that's been sitting for awhile.” She does add one caveat, and that's to not be rude or unkind about it. “As long as you're thoughtful and polite, it can be a good experience for both of you,” she says.
When you should say no to the date.
Focusing on qualities over appearance or breaking out of bad patterns are both totally OK reasons to broaden your dating horizons. However, even more important is honoring your instincts. So while both the experts agree that keeping an open mind is a good thing, you should first and foremost consider what your internal voice is telling you, and go from from there. “I think we need to define ‘not into.’ Because if we are talking strictly physical/sexual attraction, that's one thing. But if it's incompatibility in other key areas, like life values, personalities just don't jive and you feel like you are having to force it or rationalize all the reasons why you should stick it out, that's not a good sign, especially early on!” says Dorell, adding that “listening to your body’s instincts about whether you want to be physically near someone is essential.”
Ultimately, the question of whether or not you should give someone you're not totally into right away a shot is totally up to you. There are some really compelling reasons to keep an open mind, since you never know who may actually turn out to be a the best match for you, and chemistry can grow over time. However, if your heart or body is telling you someone is not for you, believe and honor that voice. You certainly don't owe anyone a date and you have the right to say no. Period.
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