PIN IT!Dating is hard.
It’s a lot of work to meet someone, strike up a conversation, someone asks the other on a date, you go on a date, maybe a couple of dates, then it’s over. And you have to start the process over again.
Humans are emotional beings. Our thoughts and feelings determine our decisions. That is why it is important that we be mindful about our emotions and how those emotions translate into thoughts and actions.
Here are 5 tips to date mindfully:
Understand how you react to your emotions. To improve mindful living (including mindful dating), you must first know and understand how your emotions translate into thoughts and actions. Everyone reacts differently to different situations. Knowing yourself to the fullest extent will help you to realize, and potentially change, how you react to certain situations. The better you know yourself, the more you know about what you want and need from a partner. A great relationship begins with you.
Practice Yoga Together
Practicing yoga with your partner will not only help an individual mindfulness practice but will also help to include mindfulness in your relationship. Practicing yoga together will also strengthen your relationship as it involves trust, communication, and fun- all things needed for a healthy relationship. And it’s a great date night!
I’m not talking about “Hi. How was your day?” communication, I’m talking real communication. “How are you feeling right now?”, “What can I do to help/make you feel better?”, “What do you need from me right now?”, “Describe your thought process and what you are thinking”. Making the effort to hold “real” conversations will not only help to improve your personal mindful practice but will help to build a strong foundation for your relationship.
Don’t Move Too Fast
A new relationship can be a lot of fun and super exciting. As a result, we tend to move too quickly, which can lead to a crash and burn. Take your time to really get to know your partner and to make sure that you are what they need and they are what you need.
That said, nobody can tell you what is “too fast” for you and your partner. Relationships move at a different, comfortable pace for different couples. Know what is right for you and your partner and stick to it.
Take the time to reflect on your dates- what did you like about the person, what did you dislike, could you really see yourself with this person, what do you want to know about this person that you did not learn on your date? Also, take the time to think back on the date itself- how did the person treat others (i.e. the waitress), how did they treat you, did they talk over you or always try to “one up” you in conversation, reflect on their actions as actions speak louder than words.
Taking the time to reflect on your dates and the people who are dating will help to ensure that you are making conscious, mindful decisions about whether to see the person again.
Be Careful About the Online Dating Time-Trap
A dating app or website is designed to keep you on their webpage for hours on end. This can really disrupt your mindfulness practice and cause you to make more rash decisions when it comes to dating. It’s like opening a bag of chips and realizing a few minutes later that they are all gone.
To help reduce the amount of time you spend on the app or website, get real about what you want to get out of the app or website- a date? A lot of dates? The one? Be clear on what your negotiables and non-negotiables are when it comes to dating. Also, setting a timer for yourself will help you to reduce the amount of time spent in one sitting on the website or app.
Whatever you dating practice, be sure to include mindfulness. Being present will help you to be sure that you are ready to date, as well as help you to reconnect and refocus. It is important that we take the time to take care of ourselves during this emotional process to improve our overall emotional health.
Megan holds a Bachelor of Arts, a Master of Education and is a certified yoga and mindfulness instructor for both children and adults. Megan is the founder of Learning Lotuses, a website and blog aimed at encouraging social-emotional well-being in education using the practices of yoga and mindfulness.