July 15, 2024
Chicago 12, Melborne City, USA
Love Doctor Advice Dating advice Relationship

Should You Try “Contra-Dating”? Learn More About This New Dating Trend

In the ever-evolving dating world, contra-dating has emerged as a fascinating new trend. As dating apps and online dating sites become the norm, singles increasingly seek innovative ways to find true love. Contra-dating encourages people to date outside of their usual type, offering a refreshing approach that could lead to deeper, more meaningful connections. In this article, we’ll explore reasons why you should try contra-dating, backed by expert insights and practical advice. Whether you’re tired of the same dating patterns or looking to broaden your horizons, this guide will help you understand why contra dating might be the key to your dating success.

What is Contra-Dating?

Contra dating is all about stepping outside of your comfort zone and dating individuals who differ from your usual preferences. Coined by the online dating site Plenty of Fish, contra-dating encourages singles to move away from their typical “type” and explore connections with a broader range of people. This approach not only expands your dating pool but also allows for personal growth and new experiences.

Why People Stick to a Type

1. Psychological Comfort and Familiarity

People often choose a certain kind of person because it feels familiar and safe. This comfort comes from knowing what to expect and feeling at ease with a certain set of traits. In a perfect world, we might hope to find love at first sightwith someone who fits our preconceived notions.

However, staying within this comfort zone limits your dating experiences. To shake up your dating experience, it’s essential to step outside your comfort zone and explore connections with different types of people. This approach can lead to personal growth and help you find a more fulfilling relationship.

2. Cultural and Societal Influences

Cultural norms and societal influences significantly shape our dating preferences. Given that dating these days is influenced by media and familial expectations, it can be challenging to break free from ingrained non-negotiables.

However, if you’re looking to step outside your usual type and shake up your dating experience, recognising these influences is crucial. By doing so, you can consciously decide to step outside your comfort zone and explore relationships with people you might have previously overlooked.

Embracing contra-dating allows you to shake up your dating experience and discover potential partners you might have been missing. When seeking a partner, evaluate if your non-negotiables are truly essential or if they’re shaped by societal expectations. This approach helps broaden your horizons and find a more fulfilling relationship.


The Benefits of Contra-Dating

  1. Expanding Your Dating Pool

One of the most significant advantages of contra dating is the expansion of your dating pool. By considering people outside of your usual type, you open yourself up to a wider range of potential matches. This can lead to exciting and unexpected connections that you might have otherwise overlooked. By broadening your horizons, you increase your chances of meeting someone who could be a great match, even if they don’t fit your initial criteria.

  1. Personal Growth and New Experiences

Contra dating fosters personal growth by challenging you to step outside of your comfort zone. Engaging with different types of people can offer new perspectives and experiences, contributing to your overall personal development. It pushes you to reflect more deeply on what you’re looking for in a partner and can lead to surprising discoveries about yourself and your preferences.

  1. Success Stories

Many individuals have found success through contra-dating. Stories of couples who have found love by dating outside of their type highlight the potential benefits of this approach. These success stories can be incredibly motivating for those considering contra dating. For example, a friend might share how they met their now-partner by deciding to date outside of the bubble they had previously confined themselves to, leading to a fulfilling and happy relationship.

How to Date Outside of Your Type

  1. Revamping Your Dating Profile

To attract a more diverse range of potential matches, consider updating your dating profile. Highlight varied interests and preferences that reflect your openness to new experiences. Mention activities and hobbies you enjoy that could attract people with different backgrounds. For example, if you’ve always been into finance but want to broaden your dating pool, try adding interests that show your adventurous side, like hiking or cooking classes.

  1. Trying New Activities and Hobbies

Engaging in new activities and hobbies is a great way to meet people outside of your usual type. From joining a hiking group to taking a cooking class, these activities can introduce you to a diverse range of individuals. By stepping into new social circles, you increase the likelihood of meeting someone who brings a fresh perspective to your life.

  1. Exploring Different Social Circles

Expand your social circles by attending events and gatherings outside your usual routine. This can increase your chances of meeting people from different backgrounds and with different interests. Try going to a community event, a workshop, or a social gathering that you wouldn’t normally attend. These new environments can be great places to meet potential partners who differ from your usual type.

Relationship Experts on Contra-Dating

Experts like dating coaches often recommend contra-dating as a way to break out of unproductive dating patterns. They suggest that stepping outside of your comfort zone can lead to more fulfilling relationships. Dating coaches emphasise that being too rigid in your dating criteria can limit your opportunities to find love and that a more flexible approach can be beneficial.

Potential Challenges and How to Overcome Them

1. Common Fears and Reservations

Stepping outside of your comfort zone can be daunting. The fear of the unknown often holds people back from trying new dating approaches. It’s natural to feel apprehensive about dating someone who doesn’t fit your usual type, but it’s important to remember that growth often comes from taking risks.

2. Concern About Compatibility

Worries about compatibility are common when considering contra-dating. It’s important to remember that core values and mutual respect often outweigh superficial traits. Instead of focusing solely on shared interests or backgrounds, look for common values and goals that align with yours.

3. Practical Solutions and Coping Strategies

Start small by making minor adjustments to your dating approach. Gradually expand your preferences and remain open-minded to different types of people. Keeping an open mind is crucial when trying contra-dating. Focus on the person’s qualities and values rather than strictly adhering to your usual preferences. Reflecting more deeply on these patterns can help you find a more compatible partner.

How to Meet People Outside of Your Type

Dating apps can be a useful tool for contra-dating. Adjust your filters and preferences to include a broader range of potential matches. Instead of swiping right only on people who fit your usual type, try giving a chance to those who have different backgrounds or interests.

While dating apps are convenient, meeting people in person can offer richer, more authentic connections. Participating in activities and groups that interest you can lead to natural interactions with people outside of your usual type. Attend community gatherings, workshops, and other social events to broaden your social circle. Whether it’s a new hobby or a social event, stepping into new environments can help you meet people outside your usual dating patterns.


Contra dating offers a unique and effective approach to finding love by encouraging individuals to date outside of their usual type. By expanding your dating pool and stepping outside of your comfort zone, you open yourself up to new experiences and personal growth.

Don’t be afraid to try contra dating. It could be the key to breaking old patterns and finding a more compatible partner. Embrace the new dating trend and see how it can positively impact your love life.

FAQ Section

What is contra-dating and how does it help in finding true love?

Contra dating is a new dating trend that encourages people to step outside their usual type and explore relationships with a broader range of individuals. By doing so, you open up new possibilities to find true love and discover common interests that can lead to deeper connections.

Why do relationship experts recommend contra-dating?

Relationship experts recommend contra-dating because it helps break out of unproductive dating patterns, broadens your dating pool, and can lead to personal growth and new experiences. This relationship trend increases the chances of dating people with whom you share common interests, leading to a more compatible and fulfilling relationship.

Rachel Hall, M.A., completed her education in English at the University of Pennsylvania and received her master’s degree in family therapy from Northern Washington University. She has been actively involved in the treatment of anxiety disorders, depression, OCD, and coping with life changes and traumatic events for both families and individual clients for over a decade. Her areas of expertise include narrative therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and therapy for traumatic cases. In addition, Rachel conducts workshops focusing on the psychology of positive thinking and coping skills for both parents and teens. She has also authored numerous articles on the topics of mental health, stress, family dynamics and parenting.

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