I have been on so many un-mindful dates I can’t even count them. There was the guy who spit his beer all over me, then there was the homophobic guy; there was a guy who baby-talked to me over dinner; the guy who showed up thirty minutes late because he was hungover then preceded to whine about how bad he felt the entire time. And there was the guy who showed me naked pictures of women he had slept with previously.
Let’s just say, when I told myself I’d date to find out what I want and don’t want, I’ve found a lot more “don’t wants.” All of these experiences made me stop and ponder, what does it really take to meet a mindful mate?
Here’s what I discovered.
Six Tips on How to Meet a Mindful Mate
1. Gaze Inward
Perhaps it’s the writer in me that always wants to sit down and analyze myself, but without understanding what one is actually looking for then it is much harder to find.
Use these prompts:
What is love?
How do you want to be loved?
Love This? Never Miss Another Story.
How do you want to love others?
How is life is best fulfilled?
Who are you?
Who do you want to be?
These are not easy questions; there’s no need to rush through them, this is about getting deeper in order to open further and expand opportunity.
Understanding the how, what, why and who of one’s own concepts of love will help reel in that exact thing.
2. Reflect Outward
Become the person you want to date. Sure opposites attract, but most relationships have common ground when it comes to the important traits like honesty, trust, loyalty, sense of humor, thoughtfulness etc. because those are the things humans generally want from each other. Opening up and truly being those things that you want to be and want to have takes vulnerability; it takes moving away from the safety of cynicism and control and tapping into a more exposed “you.”
Many people feel deep down that for some reason or another they don’t deserve happiness and so they shut people out and surround themselves with unfulfilling events and people. We all deserve happiness, it’s okay to have it and give it to others.
3. Embrace Imperfections
That which is not perfect is way more common than that which is and so accepting that helps one grow. There are two ways to do this. One is accepting the things that cannot change and loving them anyway, like having a big nose or thin lips or a strong southern accent. Another is recognizing an imperfection and trying to improve upon it, like having road rage and channeling that anger into red light meditations or being clingy and learning how to give someone else space.
We are always works in progress, but understanding who we are and just “being” with that and loving that is just as important too.
4. Establish your Dealbreakers
Sure there are plenty of situations, habits, ugly kahki pants that can be taken care of in a relationship, but figure out the things that are not tolerable. Big things like, marriage, children, religion, finances, housing, pets, lifestyle and health as well as the smaller things like looks, cleaning ability, diet etc. should be taken into account. It’s okay if the dealbreakers seem shallow or vain or silly, they are yours and only you can know what you can live with and what you prefer to live without.
5. Discover Your Passions and Do Them
There is nothing wrong with actively searching for a mate by utilizing online dating, friends and family and regularly meeting people, but that shouldn’t be all of one’s free time. A majority of one’s free time should be spent doing passion-filled activities, or at least the search for them.
If searching for a mindful mate, mindful living practices may be the best areas to explore; something fitness related like hiking or ultimate Frisbee, something spiritual related like yoga or meditation. Local volunteering is always a great way to give back and perhaps meet someone likeminded (though that shouldn’t be the main goal). Whatever one truly loves doing they should do it, others with the same love will show up.
This may seem a little hokey but it can actually work. Project what you want into the universe. Make that dream guy or gal come to life by visualizing who they are and focusing on finding those qualities in another. Say it out loud. Maybe even put it on a vision board if you’re into that kind of thing. Write it out. Make finding a mindful mate a concrete priority for your life, or else, who knows, you might end up going on as many bad dates as I have and trust me, it’s not necessary.