Should You Have a Dating Type?

Whether you're into creative artists or uber-preppy bankers, there's something to be said for trying something new.
by Zahra Barnes

John Dolan
John Dolan

When I heard that is using facial recognition technology to help people find matches who look like their exes, my first thought was: this "type" insanity has officially gone too far. It's okay to branch out! There is no need to shell out $5,000 for a replica of someone who, for whatever reason, isn't right for you. Instead, follow the advice of dating coach and relationship expert Tracey Steinberg, author of Flirt for Fun and Meet the One, and open up your mind.

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First, figure out if your specific type is a problem: "Think about if there have been any consistent patterns in your love life that aren't working," Steinberg says. She offered the example of a client of hers who felt like she was never number one in a guy's life. After Steinberg walked her through her dating history, the client realized she was attracted to workaholic types. "I pointed out that if she was always trying to make it work with very educated, extremely ambitious people, she was always going to feel like she wasn't their top priority." So, think about it: do you routinely find yourself playing out the same drama in one relationship after another? It may be because you're too stuck on your type.

So, you met someone you're wildly attracted to? Run the other way. It sounds extreme, but sometimes that's the only way to break the habit! If you're into someone, it might be because he reminds you of guys from your past. Instead, seek out a different kind of person. "The next time you meet someone who doesn't really attract you, give him a chance," Steinberg recommends. Let's make this clear: she's not advocating settling. "Settling would be staying in a relationship that isn't satisfying you. Instead, you'll be opening yourself up to the infinite number of single people in the world to see what can work for you," she clarifies. Point taken.

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That's not to say it's always bad to have a type. "I'm all about being open-minded, but if what you're doing is working, keep doing it," Steinberg says. The key, according to her, is that your partner is healthy (free from addictions or similar issues that could hinder a relationship), confident (can hold down a job and be self-actualizing), and available (able to be in the kind of relationship you're looking for). If he has those qualities and just happens to play into your type, then by all means, you have our permission to, as Steinberg says, "ride off into the sunset together."

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