And yup, mindfulness can — and should — be applied to dating if you’re looking to form deep, meaningful connections with a partner.
Do you feel stuck in your love life? Are you ending up with the wrong people over and over again? Is your current dating experience miserable for you? Well, mindfulness might be able to help.
The first step to mindful dating is setting your intentions. Understand your desires, listen to your intuition, and follow your gut. Ask yourself, what are you looking for in a partner? Do you want them to share the same values and interests as you? Are you looking for something casual and short-term, or are you looking for a life partner? Once you are sure of your intentions and you know what you want, you will better be able to communicate that while dating. This will help you to avoid wasting your time with people who don’t want the same thing as you.
We’re always told to look beneath the surface – not to judge a book by its cover. Yet the main way we meet people to date these days is through apps where we’re usually deciding within a couple of seconds whether or not we’re interested based on someone’s first photo. So, let’s use these apps a bit more mindfully. Take time to actually read profiles. Don’t swipe based on a photo alone. After you’ve been chatting on the app for a bit, try out a video call or phone call before you meet. Be brave and let them know your intentions. This can help you get a better idea if you both are on the same page. If they’re only looking for a casual friend with benefits and you’re looking for the real deal, you can cut it off and move on to finding someone more aligned with what you’re looking for.
When you’re on a date, be present. We know it isn’t always easy to be present on dates or...anywhere else, but hear us out. How well can you really get to know someone when you’re on a date with them but your mind is in another place thinking about 1000 other things? When your mind drifts off to thinking about your workday, or your ex, or whatever else, just direct your attention back to the present moment. Try to really listen when your date speaks, and enjoy whatever it is that you’re doing on your date. Keeping your phone away can also help with staying present, and not to mention, it’s just good date etiquette. Your social media profiles and text messages can wait.
A big component of mindfulness is checking in and noticing how you feel, being aware of it, and not judging it. Apply this to dating by noticing how you feel when you’re talking to the person (whether you’re texting or FaceTiming) and how you feel when you’re with the person. Are you feeling excited? Happy? Smitten? Or...are you feeling invalidated? Bored? Disrespected? Notice how you feel during the date and after the date. Don’t ignore these feelings. Use them to decide if you’d like to move forward with seeing this person or cut things off (in a respectful, mature way...no ghosting!)
If you’ve never applied the principles of mindfulness to dating before, it might feel weird at first. But if you stick with it, you’ll be able to hone your craft and experience all the benefits of dating mindfully.
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