“Once you are consciously aware that dating people who are your type doesn’t equate to happiness, you can open your eyes that what is familiar is not necessarily good. Try not to judge people quickly but rather allow the relationship to grow and become more comfortable with change,” says California-based psychologist Diane Strachowski, Ed.D.
Katie Lear, a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, says that “identifying what you want out of a relationship and common warning signs that you’re falling into familiar patterns in advance can help to combat this.”
Referring to the work of Sue Johnson and attachment theory, Games says, “People who approach relationships from a secure based [attachment] believe that they are deserving of love and that they will find love
Another important reason why it’s in your best interest to date someone who isn’t your typical type is that it can help break a detrimental relationship pattern. In fact, you e kind of person over again, such as continually dating someone who can’t or won’t commit, or whom you’re trying to fix. “That being said, if you’ve experienced a pattern of chaotic, deceitful, abusive, or uncaring dating experiences, then I would urge you to seek some guidance from a licensed mental health provider,” says Curry. “A competent and qualified therapist can help you work through underlying issues that may be standing in the way of the relationship you want.”
You’ll challenge your comfort zone. While scanning online profiles for a specific “look” has become a quick way to navigate through thousands of options, says Julie Ingenohl, a Connecticut-based Licensed ily Therapist, “when we consistently opt for looks first, we miss out on the big picture. Who is this person? What are their strengths as a human being? What kind of heart do they have? Will they treat me right?” Ingenohl’s suggestion, particularly with online dating is this: “Scan until you find someone who is not your typical type. Continue to look at their picture until you find one attractive feature, then click and read their profile. In this way, you can begin to retrain your brain on how it finds beauty.”
Turn off any unnecessary filters you might have set on your dating apps-this alone can help you branch out and connect with someone you might not have otherwise.
You may not know who’s “right” for you. It’s true: Your type may actually be wrong for you. While you may be looking to meet someone who shares all of your interests, has a similar background, and/or is just like you, it’s important to keep an open mind. The key to keeping an open mind, says Lear, is taking the time to analyze past relationships and look for similarities. For example, “Do I tend to be attracted to guys who come on really strong at first, and then ghost me in a few weeks? Do I keep chasing men who are more aloof and distant than I am?” offers Lear.
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When it comes to relationship satisfaction, Curry references the work of psychologist Ty Tashiro, who identified personality traits that tend to be associated with it, including high levels of agreeableness (kind, tolerant), emotional stability, and lower levels of novelty-seeking. “While these traits may not sound as sexy as a combination of good looks, wealth, and adventurousness, Tashiro’s research has shown that couples who rate their partners higher in the stable stuff have the strongest levels of intimacy and sexual satisfaction,” says Curry. Similarly, psychologists John and Julie Gottman have researched couples for more than five decades to learn that intimacy and sexual satisfaction are strengthened when partners are attuned to each other’s needs, says Curry.
It may also be helpful to understand your attachment style. ” What does this look like? Says Games, “They communicate their needs and wants clearly. They are transparent about their dealbreakers and tackle red flags head-on. They also give their partner the benefit of the doubt and extend [them] grace.” Additionally, people with a secure attachment style know how to balance their lives as a couple and their own life outside of the relationship, says Games.
You’re prematurely judging someone. Along these lines, if you only date people you consider to be your ideal type, you’re passing judgment on them before taking the time to get to know them, which is especially easy to do with online dating. And in today’s app and online dating world where the information provided by a potential match can be sparse, you may be missing out on meeting someone truly great by evaluating them under such rigid standards.