Being Mindful Can help Make Dating Better
As someone who was brought up watching 90s chick-flicks, there was regularly a spotlight focus on when people should decide to stop dating. Often after the age of 30, if you were single, there was no hope in finding someone to form a relationship and that you were just expected to stop dating and adopt the spinster title. Now I’ve surpassed 30, I have learned that there is no age limit to dating, and if anything, actual dating has only just begun for me. Before, whilst I thought I was dating, I was just filling the time and finding something or someone to entertain me for the moment with no real look at future possibilities.
Whilst older dating has been more fulfilling than when I was younger, sometimes the issue with dating we have is not about our age or potential partner age, but the reason behind the date. Often many of us are focused on what we have in the past expected from dating, rather than dating in the present with looking to the future.
Can this next date live up to the frills I’ve experienced in the past? Will it be better than the last? Can they outdo the person I dated before?
When really, we should be thinking about what is going on the date at the time, rather than compare it to past dates. Being in the present and responding to the person whose there hopefully enjoying the date with you can also help you learn about how your relationship can progress in the future.
Not only should we learn more to be in the present and pay attention to the individual we’re on a date with, but we often forget to check on ourselves. Taking moments to think about how your body and mind is responding to the situation can help you make mindful decisions and keep the conversation authentic rather than just using a standard set of questions during the conversation. Being mindful and in the present during a date can also help you get through moments where intrusive memories from past dates pop-up from past relationships, helping you stop comparing old relationships with potential new ones.
Most of the time when we are dating regardless of our age, generally the ones that end up being the most successful dates and relationships are the ones that go against our old expectations and tick boxes.
The same goes for our sexual desire and attraction. When we are younger, we may worry that we lose our ability to be attracted to another, but this isn’t true. Research shows that partners aged 45 and older found that people became more attracted to those they were dating as they aged. There are also some resources that suggest those who worry that their sexual attraction and ability can be affected purely by just worrying about age and those less worried about aging can have a better sex and dating life. It’ll be interesting to see how the fear of aging can be countered in the future, particularly how being mindful in the present may increase sexual and relationship enjoyment as suggested by Lori A Brotto, PhD.