If you’re struggling in the dating world, it could be that it’s all in your head. Mindlessness is something that many people struggle with when it comes to dating and personal relationships. People spend an exorbitant amount of time ruminating over being rejected, whether or not they look good, sound good or why they can’t seem to get past a first date or make a relationship work. Enter mindful dating.
Mindful dating allows you to stop fretting about how things are going when you’re on a date. It allows you to simply be in the moment. When you date mindfully, you end up attracting like-minded people who will make compatible, long-term partners. Mindful dating also makes dating downright fun and keeps you from giving up or becoming debilitated by things like anxiety, stress and low self-esteem.
In this article, I’ll break down exactly how you can use mindful dating to lead a more fulfilling life and find your most ideal girlfriend. But first, let’s discuss exactly what mindfulness and mindful dating are.
What Mindfulness Is
At its most simplistic, mindfulness is the conscious observation of your thoughts and actions in the present moment with the absence of judgment. When you practice mindfulness, you are focusing on the current situation in front of you, and the way you feel about the situation.
Now, let’s get a little deeper into that definition. Being present and aware of yourself and the activity around you is a great exercise in clarity, understanding, and empathy. The goal of mindfulness — in the dating world and outside of it — is similar to the goals of meditation.
Why Mindfulness is Important for Dating
When it comes to dating, mindfulness is important for several reasons.
It Keeps You in a Growth Mindset
By keeping yourself in the present moment and allowing yourself to assess your thoughts and feelings in a non-judgmental way, you are able to open yourself to growth and opportunity.
The practice of mindfulness is one that boasts a belief in the world being your oyster. When you are outcome-focused, you look at the endless opportunities before you in a “sky’s the limit” sort of way. You view challenges as exciting rather than intimidating, have a thirst for learning and view mistakes or missteps as opportunities for growth, rather than failures or points of humiliation.
When you are mindless as opposed to mindful, it is easy to fall into what is known as a fixed mindset. Someone with a fixed mindset looks at traits like creativity, intelligence and talents as innate and often out of reach. A person with a fixed mindset will not rise to occasions and often internalizes dating woes in a way that will lead to thoughts, such as:
- “Women just don’t like me.”
- “I’m never going to get married.”
- “I’m not good on dates.”
- “I can never come up with the right thing to say.”
People with fixed mindsets forget to tap into the inner curiosity that allows them to experience situations organically and view the experience as one that is important for growth, regardless of whether it’s a great date or a bad date.
It Provides Clarity
A big part of mindful dating is getting clarity on what you truly want in a partner. Moreover, this clarity is intended to help you find the type of partner that will add to your fulfillment and overall satisfaction in life.
Are you looking for a relationship because you’re scared to be alone? Do you have insecurities over your appearance or job? Do you feel like getting a girlfriend will mitigate those insecurities or validate you in some way? Are you grieving a breakup and just want another girlfriend to numb the pain?
All of those are bad reasons for wanting to have a partner and won’t lead you to a fulfilling relationship.
When you practice mindfulness, it is easier to cut through all the insecurities and ruminations over the past that are coloring the types of unsuccessful relationships you’re pursuing. You can gain clarity on the things that truly matter to you in a relationship, such as:
- Shared interests that you want to have with a partner
- Morals and values that are an important part of the way you live your life and that you want to align with the person you’re dating
- How you want to be treated in a relationship, and how you believe a person should be treated
It Makes You Ditch Criticism
When you are mindful, you are focusing on the present moment.
For example, let’s say that you are traveling abroad for the first time. You are with a group of friends in a beautiful village in Italy. Although everything could not be more idyllic and wonderful, you feel like this is going to catalyze an anxiety attack. The newness of the experience makes you nervous and because it is not a place of familiarity, it becomes a place of discomfort. You’re suddenly feeling the need to retreat back to your hotel and later chastise yourself for sucking at new experiences.
Mindfulness eliminates anxiety and forces us to ditch our criticism by bringing everything to an organic place of curiosity and observation. In the above analogy, you could use mindfulness to take notice of the things around you. Take inventory of the sounds, the beauty of the different cottages and how each is making you feel.
Eventually, you will be able to reduce anxiety by experiencing things in a natural, authentic way, instead of mindlessly worrying about things that haven’t even happened yet.
How to Incorporate Mindfulness into Your Date Planning
When you plan dates according to mindfulness, you open yourself to much more interesting and varied experiences. Instead of relegating yourself to “let’s meet at [insert really generic bar or restaurant here] for a happy hour and hopefully not be debilitated by awkwardness” for first and second date planning, you can plan your dates according to things that spark curiosity and interest in you and your date.
Mindful dating requires you to pay attention to your interests as well as the interests of the woman you are asking out.
You can practice mindfulness when planning a date by using a TDL when asking a woman out. A TDL is an acronym for “Time, Date, and Location” and it’s what we here at EmLovz use to refer to a date’s call-to-action. A good TDL will offer a woman a compelling date idea and provide her with the exact time the date will take place, the specific day of the week the date will occur, and the location of the event or activity.
When you select a compelling date mindfully, the date is one that appeals to a woman’s interests and provides her with a new experience. For example, if the girl you’re asking out is really into art, you could suggest going to an exhibit at a museum that is brand new to both of you and appeals to the types of art she likes.
Planning dates this way makes for a more exciting date experience and also makes you stand out from other guys because you are being considerate and chivalrous. Giving her specifics about the date and offering something compelling also lessens the chances of rejection.
How to Use Mindfulness to Reduce Anxiety
Mindfulness is a great way to work through anxiety and discomfort naturally over time. Whether you are in a social situation or alone, you can practice mindfulness in order to ease stress and tension.
Acknowledge Your Anxiety
When you’re feeling anxious, don’t try to force down those feelings or push away bad thoughts — that’s going to be counterintuitive. Instead, acknowledge your feelings in a non-judgmental way. Try to allow mindfulness to play a middleman between yourself and your anxiety.
Act as an observer when you’re nervous. Acknowledge how bad it feels without beating yourself up and offer yourself patience during the anxious episode. Remember that as bad as anxiety attacks and moments of nervous discomfort feel, they will pass.
Don’t Attempt to Change Your Experience
A lot of times when we’re anxious, we will freak out about how to change or hide this anxiety. This behavior (SPOILER ALERT) does little more than lead to even more anxiety.
One way you can practice mindfulness to alleviate anxiety is by not attempting to change the current situation. Anxiety can trigger our fight-or-flight response. In dating, this will make us want to make a hasty exit from the situation.
But instead of telling your date that you need to go to the bathroom and then ghost her, take time to pause and simply be in the situation. Let yourself experience the sensations and — again — understand they will pass. Don’t strive to change or alter the situation. Accept things for what they are and let go.
Even if your nervousness puts a damper on your date, pausing and making it through the situation will lead to growth and help you understand yourself. Ultimately, this unpleasantness will lessen and these experiences will propel you forward in your dating life and overall fulfillment.
Meditate and do Yoga
The practice of mindfulness is interwoven throughout meditation and yoga practices. Attending meditation and yoga classes or practicing both of these in your home regularly can have a great effect on your overall wellness.
Healthine cited several science-based benefits of meditation, such as reduced stress and anxiety, improved sleep and improved emotional health.
Taking a meditation class can be a great way to get started, but you can meditate anywhere and at any time. Google “meditation” and you can find tons of videos and apps to help you get your meditation on.
Yoga studios, classes and events are prevalent throughout the country and you can find a ton of opportunities with a simple Google search or through websites like Eventbrite.
Take a Deep Breath
Something as easy as taking a deep breath can help alleviate anxiety and keep your awareness in the present moment.
According to studies, diaphragmatic breathing can alleviate stress and anxiety, while also potentially leading to significant health benefits like brain growth.
Taking yoga classes and meditation can be a great way to practice deep breathing, and you can also do it yourself with the following steps. One of the best times to do a deep breathing exercise — aside from when you’re having anxiety — is before you go to sleep. Deep breathing can help stave off insomnia so that you can enjoy the health benefits of a good night’s sleep:
- Find a comfortable place with limited distractions, such as your living room or bedroom. If you have electrical devices on that can cause noise, turn them off. Set your phone to silent.
- Take a regular breath first.
- Breath in deeply through your nose into your abdomen, so that you feel your entire abdomen fill with air. Place one hand on the bottom of your belly if that helps you assess.
- Exhale through your mouth.
- Alternate between normal breaths and deep breaths for several minutes.
As you continue to practice deep breathing, it will become more natural over time and help to keep stress at bay.
How to Use Mindfulness to Improve Your Dating App Experience
A big part of mindful dating is finding like-minded partners and ditching criticism — both of yourself and of others.
You can improve your dating app experiences by including things that reflect mindfulness.
Choose photos that show you as your best self, living life in the present moment. Obviously, you want to have solo photos so that the people going through your profile are aware of exactly what you look like. Make the first photo one of you that is forward-facing, great lighting and of you smiling.
Other photos can include pictures of you while doing something you love. For example, if you like fishing, you can post a picture of you holding up a good catch. You can also do pictures with family and friends that show you are fun-loving and have good family values.
Finally, pictures of you with animals (preferably adorable baby animals) is always a plus.
Create a self-summary or tagline that showcases your interests and the best parts of your personality. Don’t be negative or take self-deprecating humor (which can work well if used appropriately) to a place that makes it seem like you have low self-esteem.
Be specific when mentioning the things you like to do and offer humor charismatically if able:
- Example of a good bio: “French engineer + personal development mentor + fitness enthusiast. Love traveling, exploring and colonizing…just kidding, that was so last century ;)”
- Example of a bad bio: “I’m 44, not 34. IDK how to fix it.”
How to Use Mindfulness to Select Compatible Dating Partners
When we behave mindlessly as opposed to mindfully, we’re often focused on how people are going to perceive us, how we can get someone to like us, and how we can adhere to certain standards or perceived expectations in order to accommodate what we think someone wants from us.
When you behave mindfully, your focus turns inward and you are able to decide what you want in a partner, how you foresee a successful relationship transpiring in your perfect world, and the steps you can take to feel fulfilled both in and out of a relationship.
You can use mindfulness to select compatible dating partners by practicing some introspection when swiping on dating apps (like Bumble, Hinge, or others), when getting set up with women thru friends, or meeting different women at social events and recreational activities. Ask yourself questions like:
- What are my core values when it comes to the things I believe in?
- Which values do I feel are a partner needs to share with me in order for the relationship to be successful?
- Which values would I prefer a partner to share with me in a relationship?
- Where do I see myself in the future as far as marriage and having children are concerned?
- What activities and passions are extremely important to me? What passions do I want a partner to support me in?
- How open am I to trying new things? How open would I like my partner to be?
- How important is humor in a relationship?
- How important is spirituality in a relationship?
How to Use Mindfulness to Recognize and Avoid Wasting Time and Money on Red Flag Women
Mindfulness is all about being in the present moment, assessing the situation at hand and addressing your emotions — particularly, uncomfortable emotions — so that you can behave accordingly in situations without becoming overwhelmed.
One thing that mindfulness really helps with is recognizing red flags. When you’re attracted to someone, it can be really easy to overlook red flags, such as moodiness, love bombing, jealousy and the like. But look back at past relationships that went really south and you probably can recognize some issues that were somewhat present from the beginning.
With mindfulness, you are able to pay attention to those gut instincts when something feels off during the early stages of dating. Mindfulness helps you to recognize red flags so that you can stop seeing someone before it turns into an ugly situation.
How to Use Mindfulness to Be More Present on Dates and Have More Fun
Mindful dating allows you to have more fun on dates by being in the moment. You can be more present on dates by choosing environments that naturally allow you to take things in without overthinking.
Some compelling date ideas that encourage mindfulness include:
- Nature-based dates, such as hiking or taking a bike ride
- Visiting museums and art exhibits
- Stimulating dates like ziplining or riding a roller coaster at a local theme park
- Tours of unique breweries or wineries
Don’t choose dates where you are simply sitting interview-style at a bar or cafe. This makes things way too formal and can cause you to overthink what you’re doing. Active dates make it a lot easier to be mindful and they also make dating a lot of fun!
How to Use Mindfulness to Improve Your In-Person Approach Game
When you approach a woman you’re interested in mindfully, you can do the following things to make sure that you stay engaged, comfortable and in the present moment:
- Prolong eye contact
- Notice things that you like about her
- Use a TDL and compelling date idea
- Listen to her instead of allowing your mind to wander
How to Use Mindfulness to Overcome Her Objections
If a girl turns you down because she has something else going on during the time and day of your suggested date, don’t let that be the end of the conversation. In fact, even if she gives you a flat no, that doesn’t have to be the end. Unless she’s extremely rude to you (which 99% of the time won’t be the case) or says something like, “I have a boyfriend,” “I have a husband,” “I’m almost divorced, but not quite there yet,” or “I’m certifiably insane,” try to overcome her objection three times before giving up.
Some ways you can overcome her objection include:
- Presenting a different compelling date idea
- Asking her when she is available and picking a date that fits her schedule
- Reversing her expectations
- Anticipating objections and making a list of objection-handling responses beforehand
Mindful Dating Wrap Up
Want more help with mindful dating and finding your next real life relationship? Head over to my calendar and book a new client 1-on-1 Skype session with me today. During our session, we will come up with an action plan to help you overcome your dating roadblocks and achieve your goals.
You can also check out my comprehensive online dating course for men, which has everything you need to attract gorgeous women and stay out of the friend-zone for good!
Finally, my Dating Profile Services are perfect for getting the most out of your online dating experience. Whether you need a full-on dating profile writing service or an assessment of your current profiles, I’ve got you covered.