2021 is soon approaching and it’s safe to say that 2020 has been quite a rollercoaster that’s left individuals worldwide devastated in one form or another. But entering the new year is the best reason to leave the negativity behind and be more mindful.
Optimistically, we’re looking at going “back to normal” soon, and when that time comes around, we’ll be able to date safely once again. For that reason, it seems like the perfect time to talk about how to date mindfully in 2021.
If you’re looking for “Mx. Right”, here are a few tips and tricks that’ll help you to become more in-the-now, and to live regardfully. This will help you during the dating process, and help you to find more meaningful relationships.
First off, let’s start with the basics…
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is when one is completely conscious and focused on the present moment. It’s a state of mind that allows a person to acknowledge their thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations in a calm way. This will help individuals to become more in-tune with themselves and their surroundings.
What is Mindful Dating?
Mindful dating is when one approaches their dating life in a proactive way. By practicing mindfulness, one will be able to know themselves, what they want out of the dating experience, and their boundaries. It gives one a true sense of themselves, and in this way, they won’t settle when it comes to what they truly need or want.
Additionally, mindful dating will help overcome one’s fear of rejection and to realise that this is oftentimes inevitable in dating. Those who practice mindful dating will be entirely present during each date and this will allow them to choose a partner who is truly right for them.
What Mindful Dating Is Not
With online dating apps being the frontrunner in meeting people these days, it’s easy to do the very opposite of mindful dating.
The mere action of swiping left or right on someone solely based on their looks, not taking the time to read about them, or write your own bio is the shallow approach to dating. And eventually, if a conversation is even conjured up, it’s usually completely mechanical. There’s just no mindfulness involved whatsoever.
Inevitably, we end up conversing about nonsense as if we’re on autopilot, never really forming real, meaningful, or intimate relationships.
Now is the time to change your approach to dating if you’re looking for “Mx. Right”, whether it’s in real life or online.
10 Tips to Date Mindfully in 2021
1. Figure Out What You Want
We all have values and things that we seek in a partner. So before you start swiping furiously and going on tons of dates, take the time to figure out what you want.
When you have a clear idea of the type of person you’d like to spend time with and stick to it without compromise, you won’t have to be with someone with whom your values and morals do not align.
This doesn’t mean that you need to start being extremely picky. It does however mean that you should never settle for someone that doesn’t meet your needs or have the capacity to comprise.
Some examples: is smoking a big no? Do you want to be with someone who is open to learning about or who practices the same religion as you? Do you want someone who values a healthy lifestyle? Or perhaps you’d like to find a partner that wants to have children in the future.
2. Set Boundaries & Discover Your Deal-Breakers
Figuring out what it is that you want out of your dating experience will help you to set boundaries and potential deal-breakers. As mentioned, perhaps you cannot see yourself dating a smoker. This, for you, is a deal-breaker.
Or, perhaps you really value time alone, and you want your partner to appreciate this and give you room to develop and be by yourself from time to time. This is a boundary that you have that you can use when you begin to date.
3. Use Useful Resources
Because there are dozens of online dating apps, using all of them isn’t the best way to go. By knowing what interests you, what you’re looking for, and your values, try to choose platforms that appreciate them.
For example, Christian Mingle would be a great platform for those who are devoted Christians and seek a partner who too values this religion.
4. Go on Many Dates
Well, not too many, but it’s actually healthy to date around. In this way, you’re increasing your chances of meeting someone that you feel is a good fit for you.
And remember, dating is a two-way street. You may really like someone but perhaps they may not have romantic feelings for you. Yes, dating is hard. So, choose to date around to find someone who you truly feel is right for you.
5. Check-In With Yourself During the Date
When you start dating, remember the definition of mindfulness: acknowledging your thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations in a calm way whilst living in the present. This is not to take away from your dating experience, dazing away in a daydream, but is something that you should be doing throughout the date.
Try to acknowledge how your date makes you feel. Are you comfortable? Relaxed? Do you feel an awkwardness that you can’t shake? Or maybe the things they’re saying are signalling red flags. These are the things you’ll be able to know if you date mindfully, and will thus guide you to find “Mx. Right”.
Active listening is important when dating. It’s not about listening in such a way that you can simply respond, but more so about really understanding what the other person is saying.
When you learn more about the person you’re on a date with, you can learn about their values and morals. You can gain insight into what they’re like, as well as their needs, thoughts, and wants.
When you have this kind of experience, it will help you to judge them against your own needs, thoughts, and wants.
7. Ask Questions to Gauge Compatibility
Another way to listen and get to know someone is to ask questions that reveal parts of them that are important to you.
An example: if you’re an animal lover, have several pets, or hope to have several pets in the future, ask them if they have any furry friends at home, or if they’re a dog or a cat person. Allow the conversation to steer into the realm of animals to see what they think of them.
Or, if you’re a very social or cultural person who likes to travel, keep up with trends and go out to different events, ask them what they generally enjoy doing in their free time. Perhaps they’re a homebody and prefer to stay in on weekends rather than going to a museum or travelling. This may just be a deal-breaker for you when it comes to everyday compatibility.
8. Be Cautious of Instant Chemistry
Instant chemistry or “love at first sight” is a warm and gooey feeling that sometimes completely takes over a person. It’s hard to find or believe any flaws that you may spot, because you’re so full of dopamine that the person before you is simply “the one”.
But these feelings are oftentimes fleeting, and finding “Mx. Right” is more so about being able to develop chemistry as you go in order to have a long term commitment.
Instant chemistry tends to temporarily blinds us, so try to come back down to earth and consult your list of things you seek in a long term partner when meeting someone who you think is totally amazing at first glance.
9. Introspection, Reflection & Mindful Change
Introspection is when you examine your own mental and emotional processes. And doing so after a date will allow you to feel more in-tune with yourself, and to successfully think about your date from a more grounded place.
Try to understand how the person made you feel, if you think you’ll be a good fit, and if they seem to align with what you’re looking for. Your gut feeling is extremely powerful. Use it and trust it in dating.
Also take the time to think about your behaviour on the date. Maybe you’ll notice later that you were a bit negative or didn’t let your true personality shine. Once you reach these kinds of conclusions, you can start to actively change them in the future.
10. Rejection is Normal
If marriage or a monogamous long term relationship is your goal, there is only one person out there for you. This of course means that you’ll have to kiss a few frogs before you find “Mx. Right”.
So if it is you who feels you two are not compatible, it’s always best to be mindful when you let them know. We’re all human and we have different values and ideals, so it’s not always realistic to think that you’ll find “the one” after one date.
And if you’re the one who’s been let down or broken up with, remember the above. The person may not feel that you two align well together because you have different ways of living your life, and different needs and wants.
Rejection in dating is not a reflection on you, and being able to take rejection as an opportunity to get one step closer to finding the right match for you will make you a more positive and stronger person.
With these 10 tips, you should be able to become more in-tune with yourself and those you choose to spend your time with. It’s never a good idea to settle or make big decisions based on strong emotions, so take it slow.
Have firm goals and deal breakers in place, use the power of introspection, date mindfully, and continue to use these techniques throughout your dating experience and ultimately you’ll find your “Mx. Right”.
Psst! Interested to learn more about facial expressions and body language? Have a peek at our recent blog, 18 Flirty Facial Expressions and Body Language Men Actually Respond to.