By Amy Osmond Cook for Divorce Support Center

“For great things to happen— get out of your comfort zone,” that is the mantra of famous personalities like Danica Patrick- as she cruises through industry stereotypes to actors like: Charlize Theron and Jared Leto, who made a career out of avant-garde movie roles. Testing the boundaries of convention is the secret sauce for those hungry for change in their lives. But what about breaking out of your comfort zone in relationships? “When it comes to relationships, some feel it is best to date someone who has the same morals, taste, traditions, and beliefs as them,” wrote relationship expert and contributor Elizabeth Aguirre. “But rest assured it is quite okay to step outside of your comfort zone and explore someone from a different background as a potential partner.” If it’s been two weeks since the date with Mr. McDreamboat, and your texts have gone unanswered— again. Here are four reasons why going outside your comfort zone may be just what you need, and some dating advice to improve your chances in finding “the one.”

Dating Advice That Will Help You Experience Something New

1. You can reevaluate your “type.” Moving beyond your comfort zone draws attention to the type you typically chase. If those pursuits have proven unsuccessful, this is the time to evaluate why your type isn’t making you truly happy.

Related Link: Dating Advice: Why Do I Attract The Wrong Men?

2. You can learn to take chances on other people. Now, don’t be reckless and start pursuing somebody who is clearly a bad influence, but try connecting with someone who breaks the pattern of your dating behavior. If you only date short women, try one that is tall. Have you ever dated a man with facial hair? Perhaps you should date someone with an interesting job or hobby.

Related Link: Relationship Advice: True Love or Rebound?

3. You can become more self-aware. Dating outside your comfort zone may want you to change something about yourself or add another quality to your life. “There is something about challenging yourself, and doing something a bit different that gives you confidence, an edge, and a sense of accomplishment that does wonders for your personal growth,” wrote relationship blogger Monique A. Honaman. A self-examination may not result in a lifelong partner, but it will help you discover things about yourself that add zest to your life.

Related Link: Relationship Advice: 5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Saying “I Do”

4. You can uncover hidden strengths or desires. “I never thought I would want a man who—” you can fill in the blank. The point is, dating outside of your comfort zone forces you to use skills or behavior traits that you haven’t used before, including patience. Exploring new social territory means a possible match may be slow to materialize. Unlike your usual connections where the results are quick, venturing into unknown territory takes time to maneuver, but it could be well worth the wait. The good news is, once you find yourself in a happy, healthy relationship, the skills you developed while venturing beyond your comfort zone will stay with you long after you’ve left the dating scene. “I have seen the difference a good attitude and living a life with purpose can make on an individual’s quality of life,” said Jim Morrison, executive director of Redmond Care and Rehabilitation Center. “So if there’s a secret to living a good life, it’s loving the life you have and making the most of it every day.”

So get out there and experience a different part of life with someone new. With the dating tips provided, you might just end up loving a person you never thought of giving a chance before!

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