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How to Bring Mindfulness to Dating

by Elise Wile

Mother Theresa once said, "Be happy in the moment, that's enough. Each moment is all we need, not more." In other words, seize the day and don't worry about whether or not you'll have a second date or even a good time on the present one. Mindfulness is taking each moment as it comes, and it will make you a more enjoyable person to spend time with.

Go With the Flow

Mindfulness involves a "willingness to be with what is," according to the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center. Being able to accept the present reality can be a helpful dating strategy, as you won't get stressed out when you arrive at the restaurant with your date and discover there's an hour and a half wait. You will either be happy to have the opportunity to spend the time talking to your date, or be able to embrace the small adventure of finding a different, possibly untried restaurant at which to eat.

Wait to Judge

In a state of mindfulness, you are more likely to be open and non-judgmental. Embrace this idea and apply it to your dating life. Doing so can prove to be an advantage when you see that your date is wearing white socks with brown dress shoes. When you put judgement on hold and strive to be fully present, you can get past superficial differences and get to know who the person truly is.

Be Present

"Mindfulness is being fully present in the here and now," says mindfulness teacher and monk Thich Nhat Hanh in his book, "The Art of Power." Learn to capture wandering thoughts and redirect them. You'll be a better date when you're able to fully engage in a conversation with the guy you're hoping to impress, rather than dwelling on the possibility that there might be spinach in your teeth or desperately trying to think of something witty to say. Your dates will be more enjoyable when you are not worried about whether or not there will be a future date, or any other factor besides the present moment, which is really the only moment you have, says Hanh.

Activities

The practice of mindfulness requires that you do whatever it is you're doing with your whole being, says Hanh. While you don't have to do anything special to enter a state of mindfulness, planning a date that facilitates mindful awareness can lead to a relaxing and fun time. Plan an outside activity that will connect you both with nature, such as canoeing or hiking. Buy some watercolors and spend some time with your date painting. Take her rock climbing. When it comes to living in the moment, nothing compares to clinging to a rock face and searching for the next foothold.

References

About the Author

Elise Wile has been a writer since 2003. Holding a master's degree in curriculum and Instruction, she has written training materials for three school districts. Her expertise includes mentoring, serving at-risk students and corporate training.

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