Dating Advice for Mindful Men

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My partner Tim and I talk a lot about what’s eating up our CPU, meaning, to what are we most paying attention; what’s taking up our mental and emotional space? Is it drama - turmoil with friends, or at work? Or is it positive and uplifting - excitement we feel about a new project or an adventure we’re planning on taking Oftentimes, dating and relationships can eat up our CPU, as both require time and emotional investment. Many men have big dreams, such as starting their own company, or to live in a beautiful home, but they’re too tied up with romantic drama or are too busy swiping on Tinder to make them come true. If you’re spending your time and valuable CPU on dating, then here are five tips to dating mindfully so that you can create a life and relationship you love.

1.Have a mindfulness practice.

Mindfulness simply means being aware of your state of being, meaning, recognizing your emotions, beliefs, and fears, and identifying how they are affecting your life and relationships.

Most people go unconscious to their emotions and are unaware of their inner-world. Here’s an example: Ted feels unfulfilled at work, but he’s not willing to pursue his real dream of working for himself because he picking up limiting beliefs about playing it safe from his working-class parents. He gets home from work and feels mildly disgruntled. It’s not an overt negative emotion, but rather, the sort that lurks just beneath the surface. His girlfriend asks him an innocent question over dinner, but because he’s a little off, he takes it the wrong way and responds by being passive aggressive. She dismisses it, though his energy causes distance between them, and she decides she wants to go watch television alone, rather than cuddle or be intimate later on that night. 

If Ted sat in silence and meditated that morning, or had a routine where he did an internal check, looking inward to see where he’s holding back, limiting himself, or not living his life from a place of confidence, he would have recognized that he’s not following his dreams, and doing so is creating a feeling of discontentment in his life. He could have shared that information with Laura, and in communicating his personal truth, she would have felt closer to him (when men open up and are vulnerable, women feel grateful for their honesty and forthrightness). She would have had to the chance to offer him support and love, but instead, his unconsciousness affected his romantic life, and it will continue to do so until he becomes truly willing to survey his internal world and learn how to live from a place of boldness and confidence.

2.Say the truth even when it’s hard.

It’s a lie that you need to protect a woman from the truth. If you’re dating multiple people, but you withhold that information, if you’re questioning a relationship, but you withhold that information, or if you act like everything’s okay when it’s not, that will create distance between you and your partner or date. You think that if you don’t mention that you’re dating multiple people, your partner won’t know, and so ignorance is bliss, but this is not true. Withholding information is just another game-playing tactic. It’s not what emotionally mature or mindful men do. Mindful men show up with integrity and state their truth, regardless of how their partner responds. They know that being honest is part of being vulnerable, and they’re willing to let their partner feel sad momentarily because they know it will serve their relationship, should they choose to have one. Boys play games and refuse to be honest. Men communicate their feels and show up for their partners. Part of being an emotionally mature man is being honest when it’s hard. Suck it up and be honest.

3.Have integrity.

It’s easy to take a shortcut, be lazy, or get away with something when someone’s not looking. It’s easy to smile in someone’s face but gossip behind their backs. Is that the sort of man you want to be? When you’re not genuine, or when do things that demonstrate a lack of integrity, even if no one finds you, you know. Your perception of yourself suffers, and when you start to think poorly of yourself (often unconsciously), you self-sabotage by over-eating, over-drinking, over-spending, or procrastinating, because you have a lack of self-worth. Decide to show up for your life with integrity. Ask yourself: Is this the right thing to do? Show up for dates as the best version of yourself. Go out of your way to extend love, and be generous and open. Always take the high road, even when there’s an easier option. 

A mindful man does what’s right, not what’s easy. 

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4.Shift from what can I get? to what can I give?

Dating can often feel like a business acquisition, particularly with dating apps making it convenient to narrow down the pool of potential partners by height, weight, and other specifics that don’t really make for long-lasting love. It’s easy to fall into the pattern of approaching dating from the mindset of looking for the other person to be perfect-physically, mentally, and emotionally, but not being concerned about what you’re bringing to the relationship. Entering into a relationship with someone is about having the opportunity to open your heart and learning how to trust someone fully. 

5.Learn what true intimacy is.

Many women find it difficult to separate their emotions from physical intimacy, so what they means is that they want to fully trust someone and feel safe before they can feel free and comfortable to open up sexually. True intimacy is about being yourself with another person - completely - physically, mentally, and emotionally. It is being brave enough to let someone in so that they can see all of you, even the parts you don’t want them to see. It is about embracing them you least want to do it - when they are negative, or acting out. It’s about being radically honest and acting from your heart instead of your head. It’s about connecting with another person in a way that is so deep it transforms you and elicits the best from you. When you commit to showing up in a relationship (or on a date) honestly and with integrity, your partner will have an easier time opening up to you. If you are playing games or only interested in expedient physical transactions, those experiences will be fleeting and only lead to a feeling of emptiness. Relationship is an opportunity for connection, so connect. Anyone can have sex. It takes a real man to be intimate.

As you choose to show up for your romantic life mindfully, your dates and relationships will shift. You will attract partners who are kinder and more loving, and you will connect with women in a deeper way. Allow your relationships to elicit the best from you by showing up as your best self. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.