By Case Kenny

Date outside your "type"

We all tend to do this thing where we only date our "type" and then end up having the same issues and frustrating outcomes. BUT in spite of a clear pattern… we still jump right back in and date the same kind of people again and again.

Then we wonder why we're stuck in a cycle of disappointing outcomes.

It’s because we’ve developed a habit of only dating our "type."

I respect that you have "a type." I respect that you're attracted to tall dark and handsome, athletic blondes, artsy types, grungy musician types, goofy free spirits, etc.

BUT if you find yourself in a cycle of bad dating outcomes… what is the one thing you can control?

You control who you decide to date in the first place. You get to decide your gut reaction to someone and what to do next.

You get to decide if you’re someone who only dates their "type" OR if you're open to possibilities.

I'm suggesting we all take a step back for a moment and date outside of our type.

Free yourself to realize that you never truly know what you want until you experience it.

It’s not enough to assume you’re attracted or not attracted to something.

You are a unique individual person and there’s no way ALL your assumptions are true.

There's no way what you wanted when you were 22 is the same as when you’re 28.

You simply don’t know what you want until you’ve experienced it.

How do you know what will make you happy if you’re only basing your assumption on what made you happy once in the past?

How do you know what will make you happy if you’re basing your assumption on what made you happy when you were 22 but now you’re 5 years older?

Consider the QUALITIES you look for in someone.

Let's say you're attracted to type A, successful, business professionals. That's your type.

That may very well have proven to be true for you before... but what would happen if you opened that mold up a bit?

Your first reaction might be No! I need someone who exudes confidence. I need someone who is type A and takes charge.

That's great. Don't change that... but consider HOW that might show up.

Confidence doesn't always have to manifest itself in the form of a Huge Boss wearing finance bro (lol) or an athlete.

It doesn't always have to manifest itself with loud assertive words, dominating action and the same typical Hinge profile.

You can very well find those same qualities in the humble words and creative action of someone completely different.

Attraction is contextual.

You're attracted to confident people because they exhibit confidence in certain settings. They prove it in certain ways.

But confidence can manifest itself in many different ways.

If you've created a mold that says your attraction to confidence only exists with a certain type - say 6 foot tall, dark and handsome startup type guys - you’re limiting yourself and creating that cycle for yourself.

Or let's say you think your "type" is only athletes because you love their sense of confidence and discipline. What if you looked for that same confidence and discipline elsewhere?

Maybe your neighbor the medical student? Maybe that musician on Hinge? They both ooze confidence and discipline as well BUT you don't even give them a look because they don't fit that original mold of yours.

Let's say your "type" is the outgoing, extroverted club guy. You're attracted to them because they're spontaneous and the life of the party. I’m sure you can find those qualities elsewhere.

Maybe that guy who’s part of your softball league but you don't give the time of day because you've never seen him out?

Context is everything.

You simply don’t give yourself the opportunity to realize this if you’re limiting yourself by only dating your "type."

You are more than capable of finding new varieties and flavors of the qualities you're attracted.

Be open to finding them! How do you know which flavor is for you if you only date one "type?"

Dating is about trial and error. If you’re only dating one specific type… where is the trial and error?

Trial comes into place when you say HERE is what I’m attracted… BUT I am open to seeing if it manifests itself in different ways than what I’m used to.

Open yourself up to that opportunity. Know what you want BUT be open to other contexts for those qualities to present themselves.

THAT is what it means to look outside your "type." You don't reinvent what you're attracted to.

You're simply open to finding new flavors of those qualities. Stop trying to control every element of your attraction from the start.

Let the story unfold in front of you and look for those qualities to appear in new and exciting ways. Along the way you might realize that what you’re attracted to changes over time.

Open yourself up to new people, new opportunities and what’s best for you TODAY. What was good for you in the past might not be what's good for you now... and the only way to realize it is to experience different.

A willingness to date outside your type is what is going to eventually deliver the outcome you deserve in your dating life.