In this day & age, when we always seem to be in a mad rush to achieve more, to complete more tasks, it’s pretty obvious that this way of living takes its toll on our relationships & marriage as well. Psychologists & spiritual leaders’ world over are emphasising on the need for a more ‘mindful’ way of life. Being mindful implies focusing on the present; being in the ‘here & now’.
A mindful way of living requires one to appreciate the minor nuances of life, acknowledge the tiny threads of joy in a seemingly mundane routine, and be satisfied with the ‘good enough’. Interestingly enough, as human beings we are born with the innate ability to live mindfully; but, the everyday hassle makes this essential aspect of our being, dormant.
The concept of mindfulness can also be applied to dating and our romantic lives. Mindful dating implies dating in a conscious manner or as some would like to say, in an old-school way. It refers to being aware of your qualities as a partner, & being aware about what you are bringing with yourself to the relationship; your strengths & weaknesses.
It also implies acknowledging your partner’s traits, qualities and how the two of you complement each other. Mindful dating will also involve being conscious of your and your partner’s needs in a relationship and taking small steps to ensure that both of you feel equal about the different aspects of it. It would also include being ok with your and your partner’s shortcomings and facing rejection with grace.
Below are just some of the many ways, in which you can practice ‘Mindful Dating’:
- Listen: Often in relationships, we end being the taker and don’t take on the role of the giver. Partners in such relationships often feel unheard. Also, in today’s age we all want to just talk and offer solutions, without sparing the time to listen. One aspect of mindful dating, would be to offer that listening ear with patience to your partner. Being mindful of what your partner is saying, will make them feel appreciated and valued, thereby, adding more meaning to your relationship.
- Be Aware: Take time to learn not just about your partner but also yourself. If you understand yourself well, only then can you spare the time and develop an interest in knowing about others. Often at couple parties, a certain game called ‘How Well Do You Know Partner’, is played, wherein couples are asked different questions about their partners. It’s surprising to come across couples who have spent years or even a decade together and don’t know much about each other’s basic likes, interests, etc. You need to also go beyond the basics and be aware of how your internal thought processes work and how they may be playing a key role in your relationship.
- Reflect: As essential aspect of mindful living is reflection. In terms of dating, it’s important to take a moment and reflect on your date, or an interaction with your partner. Questions like, what did I like or dislike about this person? Can something be changed about the interaction? etc., need to be answered.
- Communicate: An essential aspect of human life, which we as humans have forgotten about, communication is key to a healthy relationship. Taking note of your partner’s feelings and asking them about how they were feeling, or if your partner is having a bad day, asking them if there is anything you can do to make them feel better; are questions that will facilitate a better understanding and is the perfect way to practice mindfulness in your relationship.
- Practice Mindfulness: Finally, you can try to be more mindful of things on a daily basis and make mindfulness a part of your life. If you are living mindfully in a general way, you will find yourself practising the same in your relationships as well. Apart from the points highlighted above, some other ways of practising mindfulness will be doing mindfulness activities, like meditation, yoga, etc. You can also choose to do this with your partner.
Whether or not, you are currently in a relationship, it would help to include mindfulness in your daily life. Being mindful on your own will imperatively help you to be more mindful in your dating life.