Should You Date Someone Who Isn't Your Type?

Couple on a date
Geber86/E+/Getty Images

When you’re in the dating world, it’s not uncommon to be drawn to a certain “type” of person. And whether you’re interested in a physical type, such as you tend to date men who are taller than you or women who are brunettes, or you’re looking for a certain personality type, such as men who are musicians or women who are extroverts, it’s important to recognize that dating someone who isn’t your typical type can be quite beneficial.

In fact, there are six key reasons why going out with someone you may think is wrong for you can actually be right.   

6 Reasons Why

1. You’re limiting yourself. If you only date a certain type of person, you’re limiting the number of people who could potentially be right for you. And while you shouldn’t lower your standards or feel like you’re settling, you should open your mind and give other people a chance—even though they don’t necessarily fall into your usual dating category. After all, you simply don’t know who you’re going to mesh with, and that’s true for people who are your type or not. So it’s clearly in your best interest to stop limiting yourself and keep your dating options open by not sticking to a certain type.

2. You’re prematurely judging someone. Along these lines, if you only date people you consider to be your ideal type, you’re passing judgment on them before taking the time to get to know them.

And in today’s app and online dating world where the information provided by a potential match can be sparse, you may be missing out on meeting someone truly great by evaluating him or her under such rigid standards. For example, you may swipe left on someone who could actually be right for you, but being quick to judge is preventing you from even having the opportunity to meet IRL.

3. You’re stuck in an unhealthy relationship pattern. Another important reason why it’s in your best interest to date someone who isn’t your typical type is that it can help break a detrimental relationship pattern. In fact, you may not even realize that you’re dating the same kind of person over again, and in many cases, you may find yourself continually dating someone who can’t commit, who you’re trying to fix and/or who ends up leaving you brokenhearted. With this in mind, choosing to date someone who doesn’t fall into your typical type category can be a great way to break out of this harmful pattern so that you’re not stuck in relationship replay.

4. You’re getting out of your comfort zone. Dating someone who isn’t your type can also be advantageous in terms of pushing you out of your comfort zone. In fact, if you’re dating someone who has different passions and perspectives than you do, you may find that you truly enjoy engaging in these new and exciting activities and seeing things from a new point of view. For instance, if you’re more of an indoor person but you’re dating an adventure-seeker, you may end up realizing that you actually enjoy these kinds of outdoor escapades and experiences.

In a word, dating someone who isn’t your type can help encourage you to venture into unfamiliar territory and push yourself in new ways.

5. You may not know who’s “right” for you. An additional reason why you should date someone who isn’t your type is that your type may actually be wrong for you. In fact, while you may be looking to meet someone who shares all of your interests, has a similar background and/or is just like you, it’s important to keep in mind that having differences from a potential partner is truly important for a relationship to succeed. Specifically, it enables you and your partner to learn from one another, complements each other as well as create a healthy relationship dynamic where you both have your strengths, pursuits, and passions. Plus, there’s a reason why “opposites attract,” so don’t make the same mistake by saying “no” to someone who seems different from you.​

6. You have nothing to lose. If you’re debating if you should date someone who isn’t your type, it’s important to recognize that you have absolutely nothing to lose by going out with this person. In fact, you should approach dating with a positive and upbeat attitude, and that means taking risks while staying optimistic. After all, if the situation were reversed, wouldn’t you hope that someone would take a chance on you rather than writing you off because you were off-type?