The convenience and speed of online dating is intoxicating.
Of course it can also be overwhelming, time consuming and a little weird, depending on whom you ask. The fact that it’s such a popular option in today’s career-drunk, time swept culture is convenient for many. But it’s not for everyone.
If you’re looking for a new approach to dating this year, you may want to consider pursuing your love life in a more mindful manner. Start with a few simple steps. Take your time, notice any unhealthy patterns, and be more aware of the impressions and impact you leave on others. Mindful dating also requires ‘discerning the trivial many from the essential few’ so your precious time is spent with quality people in alignment with who you really are.
Here are three key ways to experience more mindfulness in your dating life:
Strive to always be in the present moment.
This means paying active attention to what’s happening in the “now,” staying out of our head and listening with our heart. It’s so easy to get caught up in our thoughts while we’re on a date that we’re constantly missing the authenticity of a moment. A great way to stay in the moment is to plan an activity that’s fun so that you both get lost in the moment and are fully engaged with one another. There’s no better way to get to know someone than when they reveal their inner child through an activity they thoroughly enjoy. That’s when spontaneous, priceless moments can be revealed. Skip the first-date drinks and do something more interactive instead like a theme park or street fair, bowling or shuffleboard, or a cooking or art class. Showing your capacity to have fun speak volumes about what kind of person you’ll be in a relationship with.
Often in dating, our instant expectations (or disappointments) get in the way of actually accepting how someone is and allowing ourselves to enjoy them for who they are. Not reacting to impulses to judge and letting things (people) be as they are without trying to change them is incredibly powerful. When we let ourselves relax into a moment without being attached to the outcome, we win every time. It may not be evident at first, but the mere act of genuine acceptance is incredibly sexy and will attract like-minded people to you.
Expand your awareness.
When you choose to date mindfully, you gain priceless insight about yourself. Just the pure act of paying more attention to how you connect with the people around you is worth the shift. When you start getting serious about committing your time and energy towards your love life, you start to see a change but only when you’re willing to change. This begins when you start asking yourself tough questions like: Is there room for improvement in how I present myself and interact with others? Are my choices and behavior in alignment with the type of person I’m trying to attract? Am I giving people enough of a chance? Am I looking for someone to date or someone with whom to build a long lasting relationship?
Cultivating these mindful dating practices will hopefully help you enjoy the process of dating with more grace, less struggle, meaningful connections and genuine fulfillment.