How to Get Over the Idea of Having a ‘Type’ While Dating

A couple who are dating outside their type laughing in a crowd.

I remember getting into an argument on the playground when I was in elementary school about who was the cutest Jonas Brother. My best friend said it was Joe and I was a staunch Nick supporter. Who could resist those curly locks? And I always liked strong arms but a skinnier frame. Or at least I think I always liked them?

Where our types come from isn’t a simple question. I think I had a type all the way back in elementary school. Did young Nick Jonas influence the forming of my type? Or was my crush on him a result of me already having a type? It’s very much of a chicken or the egg situation. I’m not sure what came first. In a way, I kind of think the answer to both questions is yes. They influenced each other.

During our young formative years, we learn a lot about what we want. We learn about our sexuality. In a way we both learn about our type and develop our type. Perhaps we are predisposed to like some people, but external influences help form our type further.

But are types really good for us? Well, yes and no. They help us have standards. They help us find someone who we’re sexually attracted to which is important in a sexual relationship. But types also cause great hindrances. Sometimes we meet someone who we’re not immediately attracted to and we get to know them and the attraction develops. If we mentally write them off because they aren’t our type, we could be missing out on something great.

So how do you get your type out of your mind so you can focus on finding someone who’s good for you? Here are a few steps to date beyond your type: 

Ask a friend to do some swiping on your dating apps.
This advice comes from experience. My friends and I do this very often, especially when we fall into a dating rut and we start saying that we’ve been through everyone on Tinder. That’s never true. You’ve just been through everyone who’s your type.

Your friends know you and they know your type. But they’re also influenced by who they think would be a good match for you. They know you in ways that maybe you don’t know yourself. You might be looking for someone who’s in finance only and you’ve only ever dated people in finance. But your friend might think you need a break from finance guys and they’ll randomly match you with a teacher. It’s kind of like the new version of blind dates. That match could be the first step you need to take to break free of your type.

Do a little blind swiping yourself.
Our types can be both physical and intellectual. This particular action can be used in two ways. The first way is to break you out of your intellectual type. Don’t overthink it. Swipe based on your physical attraction to what you see. If you feel any semblance of a spark looking at their pictures, like them!

But you should also give this a try the other way around. This one won’t really work on Tinder, where you have to see their images first, but it’ll work on something like OkCupid. Anything where you can read someone’s profile in-depth. Ignore the pictures and scroll right to the profile. If you feel any connection to the profile, give them a like! This way will break you out of your physical type.

Try speed dating.
As I mentioned earlier, sometimes we meet someone and don’t feel an initial spark. And then we talk to someone and we become attracted to them. Speed dating is the perfect place to develop a spark.

Even if you don’t feel the initial attraction when they sit down, you have time to get talking and see if that changes. And, if it doesn’t, you don’t have to talk for long. But, still, in this case, you’re not making many of the choices here. You don’t really choose who sits down in front of you, which means your physical type doesn’t influence the situation. You ultimately decide if you want to meet up with them again, but only after getting to know them a bit.

Swipe right on someone totally new.
Face it, you know who your type is. If you really think about it, you would come up with something, even if it’s pretty vague. Ask your friends. They probably know your type better than you do, at least consciously. Try to get a good idea of what your type is. Then swipe on someone who is the exact opposite.

Okay, not the exact opposite. But close to. Swipe on someone who has a totally different career than the people you usually date. Swipe on someone who has a totally different body type. Maybe it’ll end up being a great match. Go into it open-minded. Maybe it won’t work out, but just this simple act might help you break out of your type. You might learn from this person that there are many more things you like which can help you expand who you swipe on next time.

Meet someone in a new place.
We fall into the habit of going to the same spots every day. We have our coffee shop and the same grocery store and the same clubs. Which means that we see the same people day in and day out. Ask a friend to take you out to a new place.

Maybe offer to go to a concert with them with a band you don’t really know that well. Or go to their gym with them even. Just making a few changes like this changes who you see every day and might introduce you to some new people. Maybe you’ll meet your friend’s friends or maybe it’ll be a totally new person. But branching out like that puts you out of your comfort zone and introduces you to people you may not have considered as a partner before.

Our types can both help and hurt us when it comes to meeting someone, so it’s important to know when your type is holding you back. If you find yourself complaining that there’s no one on dating apps, you’re probably in a rut because of your type. Time to try something and someone new!

Jacqueline Gualtieri

Freelance Writer

Jacqueline Gualtieri is a writer and blogger whose best friend once told her to quit her job and become a couples and sex therapist. Since she’d miss writing too much, she figured writing for The Date Mix would be the next best thing.

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