Co-authored by mindfulness instructor Berna Lee (https://www.facebook.com/startminimedi/)
“It’s complicated.” Like an alarming relationship status, it also reflects some of the modern days dilemma in looking for love. It is a big challenge in today’s Hong Kong with many single professionals trying to find the right one. Relationships and marriage become a major life goal or a mission before we sit down for that 30 mins coffee date. The journey can be stressful with more dating sites options in meeting someone on-the-go, some might feel more and more lonely, overwhelmed and even exhausting on contrary to more fishes in the sea. It is easy to lose ourselves in the process and become a “mindless Tinder Swiper” and miss the possible right-swipe. Here we are offering some tips for you to navigate through the modern age of love. Proposing two strategies of a mindful dating and a mindfully “mindless” date. Enjoy!
Mindfulness has been quite the buzz word lately, it means to improve the wellbeing of relationships at work to personal life, with food to exercise. So, what exactly is mindfulness? Mindfulness is the ability to pay attention to the experience in the present moment, it is one of the qualities trained in Meditation. Meditation is a journey going inside of the heart and focus in the present moment with kindness, while also being aware of our inner and outer environment without judgement.
Applying meditation off cushion in matters of the love is what we refer to as “mindful dating”. To date mindfully is to pay attention to our true needs — getting to know ourselves and take action in getting to the “soul” of potential soul-mates. It is direct, practical and more efficient to be fully present in the process from scanning, chatting to dating. There are two types of “mindless” in dating, one is a no-no while the other can be freeing. First one, the “careless mindless”, from browsing Facebook/IG posts blankly to shopping mindlessly online, we tend to fill every second multitasking physically and mentally, thinking about the next thing while doing one, overloading and cluttering up body and mind. Very much the same, mindlessly dating accumulate a bunch of “wrong” guys taking up quality time and inbox space. With our mind and schedule being full, it is impossible to have space for new things to spark, slimming down the rate of success. The second type of Mindless “however can be freeing, it is the “carefree mindless”, that being said it is not really “mindless” but mindfully carefree with the idea of getting a potential date or romantically be called “dating by serendipity”. From casual chatting in the bar to seriously using dating apps, setting up an original or lazy profile to going out for physical dates. How can we apply mindfulness in increasing our chances to attract the right one or even stumble into love?
For those desperate in finding love, paying a dating consultancy service and being very careful of who you date, and how you date is of course a great option, others who are more app-driven, the online dating apps might seem efficient with a personal touch and instant access, while both ways can be used mindfully, the same situation will have totally different result with careless mindlessness i.e. relying on someone to make a personal decision or getting hooked by game-ified swipe function, or messaging anyone in sight mindlessly will be sure a setup of wasting energy.
The EXCEL-method of mindful/mindless dating
My other friend who treats her CoffeeMeetBagel (CMB) dates like managing a work schedule and have a project management tool to track her dates, which can be up to 10 a week. It is perhaps a very stressful and “mindful” method of dating but it can kill the time and space you need for the relationship to sink in. In one way, she is very mindful and meticulous in her dating life, however, given the time constraint and managing multiple people, it can also mean that she might not be totally aware of her own inner and outer environment — her heart and the real situation of ever changing feelings, thoughts and emotions of human beings. Such sentiments cannot be managed with a chart with no flexibility or space around something so fun and wonderous, it would be a chore. Having time to yourself, and just reflect about each date is also beneficial in building long-term relationships.
Here’s another story from a friend who will starts off her Bumble message like this,
“Have you wondered why you are alive?
Have you wondered by whose will you are here?
Have you wondered if in a parallel universe there’s another you living an opposite life?
Well, my friend, my religion won’t answer any of these questions. But I do have a religion based on UFOs that I really like and practise daily. Do you know what is it? “
It might seems a strange opening line in a dating app with such an open ending — but her way of using this as an opening can either be read as too mindlessly deep for a “fun-based” app, but in another way it means she has deliberately choose not to capture a more accurate picture of whom she really is and what she is looking. This unconventional strategy might solicit unexpected results. The success in dating will also be depending on the intention in whether you are looking for love or playing the game of love. Are you hooked onto the app itself or are you interested in finding someone to complete you? Intentions will direct us to the right result no matter it is good or bad.
In our next article we will give some tips on how mindful versus mindless dating may work.