Like most women, you probably have a certain type of man you’re normally attracted to, but if you never date outside of that type you could be missing out on someone great.

You may only ever date men 6’0 and taller, but what if you meet a man who’s 5’8 and a total sweetheart? Would you shun him just because he’s a few inches shy of your height requirement? According to relationship expert and life coach, Andrea Syrah, giving someone different a shot may be a very pleasant surprise. She says you should step outside of your comfort zone and be open to meeting men who aren’t your usual type. She believes you can find your soul mate this way, since you don’t always end up with who you picture in your mind.

The Three Non-Types to Date

In her book, He’s Just Not you’re Type (and that’s a Good Thing): How to Find Love Where You Least Expect It, Syrtash describes the three non-types she recommends you date. The departure non-type is the total opposite of the type you normally date.

For example, you may prefer to date outgoing men, but instead meet someone shy. The superficial non-type is someone who’s outward appearance isn’t what you are usually attracted to. The man may carry a few extra pounds or be shorter than you prefer. The circumstantial non-type is someone whose life circumstances may not be what you would find ideal. You could meet someone who is divorced, has children, or lives very far away. You may find yourself attracted to any of these non-types and develop strong feelings for them, but end up questioning yourself. You should eliminate all doubt and go with what makes you happy.

Reasons to Date Your Non-Type

You may think you can change someone if you stick around long enough, but Syrah says that’s not possible. It’s important for you to pay close attention to a man’s actions, rather than his words. If you aren’t getting what you need out of a relationship, you should move on. If dating the same types of men has garnered little success, it’s time for you to consider branching out. This isn’t about lowering your standards, but instead being more open.

Your non-type could actually be better suited for you than the type you normally go for. They could bring out the best in you and uncover aspects of your personality you weren’t even aware of. For example, if you’re shy and feel you need to be with someone who is extroverted, you may meet another introvert who allows you to discover you can be more outspoken and assertive.

How to Begin Dating Outside of Your Type

You should take baby steps when you decide to date outside of your usual type. Be aware of your normal dating patterns and make a conscious effort to break them. Everyone is entitled to their own deal breakers, but the list shouldn’t be too long. Syrtash suggests making a list of five must-haves. However, she cautions having too many of them can lead to failure, and cause you to close yourself off to someone who may have been a good match. It’s very easy to make quick judgments on others and deem them un-datable. The key is to not make generalizations about any types of men.

You shouldn’t be afraid to step outside of your normal dating routine, because change is good. Try new avenues to find a date such as calling one of popular chatlines, or go places you are not used to go to before. Maybe someone doesn’t fit the tall, dark and handsome mold, but he could have other great qualities that would make for a wonderful mate. The bottom line is to not be too quick to judge based on any criteria. It’s all about being open-minded and willing to take a chance on love.

Dating Outside of Your Comfort Zone Can Lead to Mr. Right