When you first start getting serious with someone, there is a great chance that you are on cloud 9. You are looking at them through rose colored glasses for at least the first year. While there is nothing wrong with feeling euphoric just remember that sometimes being in the clouds can also cloud your judgment. Mindful dating is basically the art of carefully paying attention to your needs as well as your partner’s needs, trying to be present in the moment, and trying to process the dating ebbs and flows in a healthy way. I mean, most of us have experienced joy and pain in relationships and if we can have less of the latter by being more aware, why not?
Step #1 Setting Boundaries
If you haven’t already, make a list when you have some quiet time of your relationship deal breakers. What are things, especially in the beginning, that you will not tolerate. Then, make a list of the way you want to feel in a relationship and some things that you feel a person can do to make you feel that way. You can either give him the list (draw a smiley face to lighten it up) and be brutally upfront about it or just keep it on your dresser or fridge as a reminder for yourself so that you can stay on task during your cloud phase.
Step #2 Talk. Talk. Talk
Communication is super healthy in any kind of relationship. If you lead super busy lives and can’t talk that often or if one of you isn’t huge on communication, then try it in a different form. You could try “Love Notes.” Once a week on Sunday evening, you both should send a love note via email or text that always opens with something positive. Then, after your positive remark you can write about more nice things or even address something that made you upset. What this does is cracks open the door for healthy expression. And, especially if your love note was about something you were upset about, then make sure you follow up and have the rest of the conversation in person.
Step #3 Out-of-The-Box Dates
Do things in the beginning that are outside the box. You don’t want to repeat all of the “regular” things you did in your last relationship because that one is over. It’s time to try something different. If you are trying to think of date ideas and you both have a sweet tooth, why not visit an old fashion candy store. Or, if you plan on having a movie night in the house, why not add pizza, wine, and a couples board game like Do Tell. It’s a relationship board game with fun mind-blowing questions that encourages a connection. Or, if you like to travel and have a little extra money for a weekend trip, why not just show up at the airport and book the cheapest flight going anywhere. Spontaneity is fun, but it also allows you to learn about each other and share new experiences together.