Most people find certain characteristics charming or attractive in potential dating partners.
However, if you refuse to date anyone without these characteristics, you could be screening out the very person who could be your perfect match.
This is because love is unpredictable, and while you might think you know what you want, making a break from old habits could be the very thing which leads you to dating success.
Here are some top tips for broadening your dating horizons.
Challenge your beliefs Yes, you know that, say, tall men or blonde women tend to catch your eye.
However, having dated only tall men (or blonde women), have you found your perfect match? If you have consistently rejected dating partners because they are not who you would usually see yourself with, take a second look.
You might have rejected the very person who could make you truly happy.
Face your fears Some people who stay within a certain comfort zone when dating because this seems like the easy option - dating similar types of people (for example, only people who share your profession, or just people between the ages of 30 and 33), can start to become second nature, while venturing into new territory becomes increasingly daunting.
If this sounds like you, bear in mind that, as soon as you start to move outside your comfort zone, you will start to become desensitized to the change.
Your comfort zone will then begin to expand, giving you more and more options when it comes to dating.
The more comfortable you are, the more confident you will become with all different kinds of people.
Put past experiences behind you While learning from dating is usually a good thing, it is important not to let bad experiences prejudice you against whole genres of potential dating partners.
For example, while you may have had a dull date with an accountant, this does not mean that all accountants are dull.
Don't rule people out simply because you see them as a 'type' which hasn't worked for you in the past - everyone's different and you may find yourself pleasantly surprised, just when you least expect it.
Break all the rules Without even acknowledging it to yourself, you might be being governed by assumptions or influences you're not even aware of.
Perhaps your parents suggested it would be good for you to marry a doctor, or your group of friends will only consider a dating partner if they have a university degree.
We are all influenced by the people around us, but you need to examine whether or not these are your choices, or whether you are blindly following the crowd, or some distant memory of what you've been told is the 'right' kind of dating partner for you.
Try to identify, and then break free, from some of the unconscious rules you have set for yourself.
You will enjoy a much broader range of opportunities and might just find your match.