Insider Tips

Do you know someone who has been in the dating circuit for as long as you can remember, is still looking or has given up as dating is so hard? Perhaps that someone is you.
Is there nobody in this world wide web of dating available, suitable, decent?
Could it be possible that we’ve all been doing it wrong or rather, unconsciously? Swiping the same profile on the dating apps, catching a few catfish, having the same conversations, experiencing the same triggers, ghosting or being ghosted, deliberating whether to let go or say, “no”, despairing, doing it all over again. Doesn’t it sound exhausting? But hang on! Before you give up on dating, there could be an alternative – dating consciously.



What is Dating Consciously?

To date consciously is to approach the process with awareness and preparation. It’s switching off, literally and figuratively, those reels of Hollywood and Korean love stories and committing yourself to attracting the person who’s going to meet you mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. This could mean a whole new ballgame. But if you want a different result, you’d have to do things differently. Here are 5 keys to dating consciously.



Focus on the qualities of a relationship

Whether you’re looking for a partner on online dating platforms or via a dating practitioner such as Table For Two, you’d go through a list of qualities of your ideal partner – physical attributes, personality traits, hobbies, common interests, likes and dislikes….However, it’s just as, if not more, important to focus on the qualities of your desired relationship. For example sharing of love and affection, mutual adoration and respect, open and honest communication, interdependency, laughter and so on. Brainstorm as many qualities as you can think of and make a list of your own top 10 qualities.
When you focus on the qualities of your relationship, you’ll pay more attention to the person’s speech, perspectives and attitudes and in his response to the world around him rather than the physical attributes to determine if he could offer you what you need in a relationship.
In other words, does this person share similar core values as you? Attraction, chemistry and having similar hobbies and interests are great to start a relationship but, sadly, they fade and hobbies and interests could ebb as we get older. When we try to date consciously, it is important to have compatible core values that will equip you with the strength and trust to navigate challenges together, and provide support for each other in your individual’s pursuit of personal growth, new hobbies and/or interests. Therefore, the complete question to ask when you want to date consciously is,
“Is this the one…with whom I feel is the person I can work things out?”



Learn from breakups

Two things generally happen when we break up – we play the blame game and vilify our ex or we look through rose tinted glasses, remembering only the good times (forgetting the reason for the breakup), and, heaven forbids, get back together without clarity or awareness only to break up again. Blaming the other disempowers us as in reality, we’re saying we’ve allowed this person to do this to us. We are the victim. We are helpless. On the other hand, reminiscing and romanticising often lead to asking, “Why? Am I not good enough?”, “I should’ve, would’ve, could’ve…” Either way, it’s not healthy.
As much as it hurts, a break up is an opportunity for self reflection and to examine our part in it. He/She could have unwittingly created a space for our biggest growth potential. If we allow the pain to show us where we need the most healing, to peel off another layer to reveal our authentic self, we’ll be able to move into our next relationship with elevated awareness.
 “Our pain can be our greatest teacher. It leads us to places where we’d never go on our own” ~ Debbie Ford
This is once again an important point to note, when you are trying to date consciously and want to be happier.



Do the inner work

We want to present the best version of ourselves and enter a relationship from a place of wholeness as much as possible. To think that someone is going to complete us and make us happy is unrealistic and irresponsible. Sorry (not), Jerry McGuire!
There are several ways to do this when we want to try to date consciously: educate yourself through self-help books, incorporate self-care practices into your daily life, surround yourself with supportive friends, get coaching. A coach can help you to identify your blind spots and patterns that have been standing between you and your desired relationship.
We can’t deny that who we are today has been shaped by the influences of our parents’ and caregivers, environment and experiences. While some may have been positive, some may have negatively impacted us in unconscious ways and inadvertently show up in our relationships. We can’t change the past but it’d be irresponsible to let it be the justification of our unhappiness, lack of success or unfulfilment. Engaging the help of a coach to delve into the unconscious mind, identify limiting beliefs and programming that are not serving you, to reframe and empower you will guide you to date consciously and back onto the path of your joy and happiness.



Use the power of visualisation

Your brain doesn’t know whether you’re actually engaged in an activity or if it’s inside your head. It only responds to the feelings (or energy) you are experiencing. Visualisation is a powerful tool used by top athletes in their preparation for a race or a match. They train their minds as well as their bodies to have the winning edge. When you visualise a desired outcome, you’re conditioning your brain to see, hear and feel the success in your mind.
Imagine what it’d be like to be in a great relationship? What are the feelings? How does your body feel? Create the scene of being in a wonderful relationship and feel the feelings as if you’re already in one. Imagine the scene in as much details as possible. What are you wearing? Who are you with? Is there music playing? What colour is the room? Or are you in nature? This quick visualisation can be a daily practice as you’re getting ready for work or just before you go to bed. Let go of the HOW. Allow yourself to be open to the possibilities and potential when you tap into your subconscious mind and connect with the power of visualisation.



Look in the right places

If you wanted to buy milk, you wouldn’t go to a hardware store, would you? Likewise when it comes to meeting people. Look logically at the types of places where you are most likely to meet someone suitable. Know your wants and needs and direct your attention there. One of the 7 Principles of Huna Philosophy is Makia – Energy flows where attention goes. Whatever holds your interest will also tend to attract your emotional and physical energy. Successful people direct and hold their attention on what they want by conscious choice. They don’t sit around and wait for something to catch their attention. They go out and catch something with their attention.
Recruiting the assistance of a professional dating practitioner could help you cast the net wider to meet potentially suitable dates. The dating practitioner would have done some ground work for you but, ultimately, you’d have to do the REAL work – by going on the date with awareness, preparation and an open mind. Develop the ability to recognise when you’ve discovered someone worth learning more about but also don’t be afraid to walk away from a situation where you don’t feel safe.



Do it consciously different this time

Meeting new people and dating can be fun and generally safe. However, there are things you should never do and people you should say NEVER to. It’s, therefore, important to establish your safety boundaries and be discerning. The dating and relationship world is like a university offering subjects in communication, self-worth, self-love, values, attachment styles, love language. The list is endless. Our intimate relationships are always reflections of who we are and where we have room to grow. When we find ourselves going on date after date that never goes beyond the first or looping in similar cycles of relationship beginnings and endings, we need to stop and examine ourselves. Only when we’ve learnt to love and accept ourselves completely, cleared negative emotions, beliefs and programming, then will we stop viewing our partners from the lens of these negativities to see them for who they truly are.
Isn’t it time to start dating consciously? It starts now with loving yourself.


All images from Unsplash unless otherwise stated.

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