When dating, it can be easy to get wrapped up in the outcome of your date. That can create a lot of anticipatory anxiety and can make the experience more stressful than necessary.
Cultivating a calm approach can help you manage your anxiety and be able to show up as your best self on your date.
Focus on the present
Staying focused on the present can help you enjoy your time with a date. It’s easy to get caught up in worries about the future and rethinking things that happened in the past, but these thoughts can detract from your experience.
Focusing on the present can also help you remain mindful of your needs during a date. For example, if you notice that you’re hungry or thirsty, you can remind yourself to eat or drink, which will bring you back to the present moment.
Some people find it easier to remain focused on the present by incorporating meditation or mindfulness exercises into their daily routine. For instance, a mindfulness body scan can help you focus on how your body feels in the current moment by encouraging you to notice and feel each part of your body starting with your toes. Some people also find that a walk in nature or a guided meditation before bed can help them stay focused on the present.
Be mindful of your thoughts
A big part of mindfulness is being aware of your own thoughts and emotions. This can help you avoid making impulsive decisions during a date or getting attached to someone too quickly.
Being mindful of your thoughts can also help you keep your expectations realistic. It’s okay to have some expectations for a date, but be sure they are reasonable. For example, don’t expect your date to open up right away or assume that they will be a good conversationalist.
It’s important to be aware of your own expectations and boundaries when dating mindfully. This means knowing what you want and being willing to let your date know if they aren’t a good fit for you. This can be difficult, but it’s best for both parties if you are honest and upfront about what you’re looking for. Being able to empathize with your date can also help you find common interests and build stronger connections.
Be mindful of your body
Mindful dating requires you to be fully present and available for your date. It also means being able to recognize when someone is not a good match and having the courage to say so. This may feel difficult at first, but it is ultimately the most respectful thing you can do for yourself and your date.
Being mindful of your body can help you get clear on what you want in a partner. It can also help you notice how you respond to certain situations during your dates and make changes. For example, instead of sitting interview-style on your date, consider doing something active.
To practice being mindful of your body, try a simple mindfulness meditation called the “body scan.” Lie down on your back and focus attention on each part of the body, starting with your feet. Notice how each part feels, including whether it is pleasant or unpleasant. Then practice greeting each sensation with equanimity, recognizing that all sensations are acceptable.
Be mindful of your emotions
Being mindful means paying attention to your emotions so you can respond appropriately. This is important in dating because if you are experiencing negative emotions, it may be a sign that the relationship is not going to work.
Being aware of your feelings will also help you to set appropriate boundaries. For example, if you notice that your emotions are becoming overly intense during a date, it may be a good idea to end the date early or take a break from dating.
It is also important to be mindful of your verbal and non-verbal communication. Pay attention to your body language, facial expressions, and voice tone and amplitude. This will give you a better sense of how your date is responding to what you are saying. In addition, it is helpful to avoid complaining or criticizing people or things because it can make you appear insecure and negative. Instead, focus on expressing yourself positively and being a kind person.