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We asked April Masini, relationship expert behind the AskApril.com advice column and author of Think and Date Like a Man, for her dating tips on meeting someone outside of your comfort zone – and some important reasons why you should.
Dating tips: Your type has changed – and you don’t know it
Sometimes we decide who we should be with and discount the fact that we change and evolve over the years (or even months). “Who you thought you should be dating might have been right last year, but this year, with changes in your personality, lifestyle and goals, someone else entirely could be a better match,” Masini says. Think about who you dated ten years ago and who you date now. There is likely a fairly significant difference. “Dating outside our pre-conceived type may remind us that what we thought we needed in a man is no longer true.”
Dating tips: You could meet someone great
Automatically dismissing someone because they don’t fit into your type could mean you’re missing out on meeting someone great. “Chameleons abound,” says Masini. You may not normally look twice at a suit-wearing financial planner but he could be closer to your type than you realize. Maybe he actually shares your passion for hiking or weekend camping trips. “Just because he looks a certain way or even presents a certain way on first meeting doesn't mean he's the type you think he is,” she explains. That three-piece suit might just be part of his day job and not a good representation of his whole personality.
More dating tips and reasons you should date outside of your type on the next page…
Dating tips: You need to expand your dating circle
Ruling out certain types of people based on the wrong reasons can really limit your options. Just because the first guy who broke your heart was a musician doesn’t mean every musician should be off your dating radar. Or if your family has always told you to date someone with an office job and you feel they're controlling and meddling, you may have decided long ago your type is anything but what they suggest. “This type of thinking doesn't serve you well,” Masini says. You may bypass a potential match simply because he happens to be a type you previously ruled out.
Dating tips: You need a dating boost
If you start dreading dating it’s likely because you're stuck in a rut. Every guy seems the same; you talk about the same things, go to the same venues and at the end of the week can’t decipher one date from the last. In other words, you're bored. “By dating outside your type you can refresh yourself and your outlook on dating,” Masini says. If you usually date layers or doctors, consider a firefighter or a blue-collar employee instead to get a new perspective. If you usually go for artsy, creative types try dating someone who wears a suit for a change. The only way you can really break through the boredom is to date someone who falls outside of the dating parameters you have set for yourself.
Dating tips: You were right to begin with
When enough time passes without making a love connection some people switch types all together. This can be beneficial (as we have already indicated) but it can also put you off course. Dating outside your (current) type may actually remind you that you were right to begin with. “You didn't meet Mr. Right so you changed you type, but the reason you didn't meet Mr. Right doesn't mean you were dating the wrong type. You just hadn't met him yet,” Masini says. Dating a few different types can also help lead you full circle right back to where you should be.