There’s a thing where some of us date the same person over and over again. I know I have an incredibly specific type: he’s tall and skinny with very little muscle but not just like complete skin flab, he’s artsy or crafty or creative and intelligent, and he either has or is a likely candidate to get tattoos. That’s my guy.
When I was a sophomore in college I met this guy Jeremy who I thought was the one. I was like 19, so whatever. Anyway, he was tall, had tattoos, was a skateboarder (o.m.g.), worked in graphic design, was well read, sometimes painted his fingernails black, and he had a tiny septum piercing. Literally dyyyinnng. I thought I hit the jackpot. But things didn’t work out, he moved to the West Coast, and that was that.
My best friend and I talk all the time about the types of guys we both like. He jokes that I’ll never like anyone over the age of over 35, which is easy for him to say because he has a thing for daddys which I definitely do not have. He always tells me how limiting it is when we assign ourselves a type and stick with it, when we keep dating the same guy over and over again. Everyone should be completely open to the types of people they date.
In a lot of ways, digital dating culture promotes the idea of having a strict “type.” We shop through profile pages or a grid of bodies, and we wait for OkCupid to tell us we are like definitely a 97% match. But what about all the people who don’t seem like “our type”?
Dating someone who is your type is easy, familiar. You should date someone who’s not your type because they won’t be in the same social universe as you. Even if you didn’t know them before you went on your first date, the fact that they’re already your “type” means they are in a social place that you’re comfortable with, that you’re fluent in. Dating someone who’s not your type means you have to learn brand new social codes, hobbies, and will probably discover a whole new approach to life, too!
Date a person who’s not your type because you will surprise yourself. The best thing about being in a relationship is learning about someone. Not just memorizing what they do and do not eat, but learning about their background or culture. Maybe you date an ethnic person you’ve never dated before, or a person from a region you’ve never been to, and you discover a new food that you can’t live without, or a new place you are in love with. No matter what, dating a person who’s not your type will be a learning experience you’ll never be able to quantify.
You should date a person who’s not your type because they might actually rock your world, kind of like when you thought you hated broccoli but you were at a dinner party and you didn’t want to be rude and pick around the food so you ate the broccoli and Holy Shit! it was amazing and now you love broccoli.
You should date a person who’s not your type because having a “type” of girl or guy you’re interested in is based on looks, the old “judging a book by its cover.” You see a girl or a guy at the bar and you pass them by because, “Eeh, s/he’s not my type.” Looks do matter, it’s true, but personality and real-life chemistry can change someone from “not my type” to the love of your life — or at least to some bomb-ass sex. And hey, nobody says you have to marry the person who’s not your type. But don’t knock it till you try it!