Mindfulness can apply to more than just yoga and meditation. Mindful dating can help us date more intentionally and successfully. In partnership with GAZE, a light, low-alcohol blend of wine and coconut water or wine, blueberry, and pomegranate, we offer a few smart tips.
The concept of mindfulness has extended far beyond the meditation pillow and into our everyday lives. While you may have turned to mindfulness before a yoga class, on an airplane to calm your nerves, or even to prepare for a job interview, there’s one area of your life in which you probably haven’t thought to bring in the benefits of mindfulness: dating.
“Mindfulness is all about being present and staying true to your authentic self, so dating is a great way to apply this spiritual practice,” says Christina Giaquinto, a spiritual and life coach.
Read on for six tips on how to date mindfully—both online and IRL.
1. Swipe slowly and intentionally. While modern apps and websites may open up a lot of romantic opportunities, they can also lead to dating absent-mindedly, notes Adreanna Limbach, meditation instructor and author of Tea and Cake with Demons: A Buddhist Guide to Feeling Worthy. “When we treat online dating as a quick, distracted scroll, it sets up a weird relationship to our romantic lives from the very beginning.”
Are you habitually swiping through photos of people while you’re waiting in line? Or are you carving out time to sit down and look around the “room” to see who you might be interested in? “Notice how and when you’re interacting with the dating app that you use,” Limbach says.
“Take your time, clearly define what you are looking for—as well as your deal breakers—and read profiles carefully instead of choosing someone for their looks alone,” says Dawn Burnett, a writer and transformational divorce coach.
2. Leave expectations behind. Any meet-up or first date is filled with a lot of anticipation and nerves. One key to doing anything mindfully is to notice if you’re making up stories in your mind about what the experience is going to be like, and then see if you can leave those expectations behind, Limbach explains.
“Checking our expectations at the door gives our actual experience an opportunity to surprise us, and it gives us a chance to connect with this person, without prematurely placing them on a pedestal or kicking them to the curb,” Limbach says.
3. Bring your best energy. Don’t lose sight of the fact that dating is designed to be fun. “Try to remain positive, regardless of what direction the date goes in,” Burnett says.
If you’re feeling nervous, remember that it’s completely normal. Savor each sip of your drink, take in the moment, and remind yourself to be present. See the date as an opportunity to have an interesting conversation with someone new—or, at the very least, an opportunity to have a nice glass of wine or cocktail (or wine-tail!).
4. Listen to your inner voice. During and after the date, remember to check in with yourself. Stay keyed into your emotions so that you’re able to trust your gut when it gives you feedback, Limbach says. “Even if we can’t cognitively explain why we might or might not click with a person, our bodies are always sending us emotional signals. The trick is to be present enough to allow us to make decisions that best serve us on the spot,” she says.
5. Be open to receiving love. “A big part of being mindful and conscious is being open to receive,” says Giaquinto. One way to practice being open is to repeat affirmations, perhaps before or after a meditation session, or right before a date.
Some of Giaquinto’s favorite affirmations that can help you welcome a relationship include:
- I am open to attracting a loving, respectful, fun, and beautiful relationship."
- I am so full of joy. Thank you for bringing the most wonderful relationship into my life. Thank you!"
- I easily and effortlessly attract healthy, loving relationships into my life."
6. Practice acceptance. Let’s be real: Dating can be filled with disappointment, heartache, and frustration. But the silver lining is that these times provide a great opportunity to practice mindfulness. “By truly believing you are where you’re meant to be in your life, you show the universe you fully trust that the right person will come into your life at the right time,” Giaquinto says.
Drink in every moment of every date with GAZE, a refreshing new wine cocktail.