The Mindfulauren Guide to Dating
Updated: Aug 12, 2019
Dating can be scary. It can be exhilarating. It can be exhausting. But more than anything, I see dating as an opportunity to reevaluate or affirm your values and priorities, gain greater self awareness and openness to possibility.
I call this approach–bet you’re surprised–mindful dating.
Introducing strangers to our inner world can put us in un-comfy space; like, how do we know we’re seeing things clearly and not being emotionally blocked by previous experiences and current expectations? How can we be more mindful in choosing who to connect with and how deeply to connect with them?
Here's how (and what's worked for me):
Set clear intentions.
I point you to the meme-ified line from The Notebook (barf), “what do you want?” Estás perdido if you can’t answer this question. What is your goal? Before moving forward with a first date or continuing to see someone, make sure you know what you’re ready for. The catch is... just because you want something, whatever that is for you, doesn’t mean you’re ready for it. And that’s okay! This is when you tune into yourself to....
Know where you’re at and what you need.
Every time we meet someone, we meet them where they’re at from where we’re at, hoping our worlds overlap and bring us together. Most likely, you’ll meet in differing seasons of your lives: whether that season is focusing on career or education, healing after a break up or in a period of radical self growth, and so on. We can’t expect this person to be on the same page or even in the same chapter, and that's fine. Notice where you are, do your best to accept where that is and let that guide you in moving forward (or not moving forward). If you're not quite sure where you're at, perhaps thinking about what you need can help. We tend to fixate on getting what we want vs. seeking what we need, so putting together a list of two to three "needs" in a potential partner should get you there. As an example, I'd say three needs for me are: communication, consistency and absolute advocacy for my happiness. My needs have actually become clearer and clearer each time I meet someone and it's been enlightening, to say the least.
Be willing and ready to stop or go, as needed.
It’s okay if things get murky. It’s okay if you’re not absolutely sure what’s next. What’s not okay is settling, rushing or forcing yourself into anything that doesn’t align with your intentions, state of being and needs. Your joy comes first and you absolutely deserve a connection that supports your fulfillment. The perfect time for this part of your life exists, trust in that, trust in yourself and things will fall into place without friction.
Single and Grateful