Life

Why You Need To Step Outside Your Dating Comfort Zone

Forget your "type".

When it comes to romance, most of us have a type. But how often do we make an effort to date someone different?

In the words of our Westerosi life coach, Margery Tyrell, “most (people) don’t know what they like until they’ve tried it.” So here’s our case for why you should step outside your dating comfort zone.

You Have More Options Than Ever

With so much conflicting advice about modern dating, we can practically guarantee you’ve pulled some hair out over your search for the right partner. What’s more, the advent of internet dating and apps like Tinder have made the Australian dating market even larger and more diverse than ever before. But don’t stress, despite what you might have heard about the paradox of choice, a diverse range of options can actually be a good thing for your love life.

As a tech-savvy generation, we have more options than our parents and grandparents when choosing whom to date. While going to uni brings us together with a wide range of people, being open to modern dating can widen that group even further.

This is because we often exclude ourselves from social groups without even realizing it. Maybe we live in an area that isn’t very culturally diverse, and aren’t often exposed to dating outside our race or culture. Maybe we only mix with other uni students and don’t get to meet people interested in trades or other skilled work. Maybe we’ve only dated people who live near your local area. Whatever it is, there has never been a better time to explore our options without any of these outdated restrictions.

You Might Surprise Yourself

Our Westerosi bestie had it right; most of the time we don’t know what we want. According to Match.com and Dan Slater’s Love In The Time Of Algorithms, the kind of partner people said they wanted didn’t tend to match up with whom they pursued.

In the studies, there was a big difference between the traits people said they were attracted to compared to whom they actually contacted and connected with. You might have already seen this with your friends – they’re into tall, dark and brooding, but end up dating the blonde excitable-puppy type.

There are some things that all the algorithms and anecdotes in the world can’t predict. Whether you’ll have that spark with someone is, for now, pure chance.

There’s No Harm In A First Date

Here’s the dilemma. Since we have so many options and a plenty of ways to get in touch, how do we go about narrowing down our dating choices?

Actually, that might be the wrong question entirely. What if we didn’t put so much focus on narrowing down the field, and instead opened ourselves up to dating partners we haven’t considered before? That spark you’ve been searching for might be hidden away somewhere you never thought to look.

Forget Your Type, Find Your Match

So why not say yes to more first dates? You might end up finding the perfect match you never would have noticed before. You might not. We can’t tell you what will work for you, but we bet you’ll get a better picture of what you’re really looking for once you’ve met a broader variety of potential partners.

Using a first date to test the waters is the first step, and there’s no harm in trying out a few pools before deciding on one. After all, isn’t that what first dates are for?

So why not step outside your dating comfort zone? You never know where that spark is waiting.

Casey Barber is a freelance writer based in Brisbane. She’s trying to make sense of what it means to be a millennial in Australia. You can follow her on Twitter at @CaseyBarberAU.

(Lead image: The Incredible Jessica James/Netflix)