Everyone has a type: People we are just more naturally attracted to than other people. Stand in any group of people and you'll find yourself quickly gravitating toward one of them and, if you're single, probably thinking something along the lines of, "He's cute ... I really like what he's saying ... I could picture myself with him." And yet, you've just met this person and have no idea if he's a serial killer. But you truly feel you know him. There's a reason for this. Experts theorize that "chemistry" serves a purpose -- your body may be sniffing out whose DNA would best align with yours to make the healthiest offspring. So your intuition about who you mesh with means that is the person you should probably breed with. The problem? Often the best breeder isn't going to make the best partner. Here are 5 reasons to break away from your type.

Think long-term. While a man's DNA, all wrapped up in his scent, the sparkle in his eye, and the spring in his step, may sing to your uterus like a fertile clarion call, the fact is that these days we want someone who will make a good lifelong partner, not just the best genetic match for our possible future children. We also have a host of other needs -- like a guy who is a good listener, who is communicative, who seems like someone you might want to spend the next 20 or 30 years with. So next time you meet a man, instead of gaping at his beautiful eyes and strong jaw, listen to what he's saying. Close your eyes, if you must.

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Breaking your pattern. Unfortunately, patterns of dysfunction are set very early in childhood. So when you find yourself instantly attracted to someone, it can sometimes be because that person pushes all of your buttons and perfectly dances the dance of dysfunction with you. For example, if you had an emotionally distant father, you can find yourself attracted to emotionally distant men without even knowing why you're attracted. Try dating men you don't have "instant" chemistry with -- in fact, if you do, maybe you should run.

Your type can change. I used to have a distinct type all through my teens and 20s. Then, suddenly, in my 30s, I found myself attracted to guys who were the exact opposite of my type. Hormonal change? I'm not sure. But it definitely opened up my eyes to new possibilities. Who wants to eat the same thing every night for a decade anyway?

Not your type can become your type. I remember a friend of mine who had started dating a man that she liked but didn't think was good-looking. She would constantly tell me, "He's nice, but he's kind of ugly. I'm just being honest." Several years, one wedding, and one child later, I reminded her of what she said to me. She was astonished and couldn't remember any of it. "I think he's so hot!" she insisted to me. This "ugly" man had become the man of her dreams.

Your type may not really be your type. It's amazing how stuck people get on certain criteria that a guy (or gal) MUST have that -- several years down the road -- don't matter at all. Take my friend who was determined to marry rich. She did. And then a few years into her marriage, the guy had a nervous breakdown, quit his high-paying job, and became a poor writer. At this point, she just wanted him to be happy, and once he finally was, she was. "I should have been looking for a happy man, not a rich one," she once confessed. Yeah, they do have financial issues, but she's just so relieved to have a husband who actually smiles again.

Have you ever dated someone who was not your type?