5 Tips for Self-Care in Dating
By Wananan Phualek
Here are 5 things I recommend doing to making dating a more joyful experience:
Remember to breathe
Breathing smoothly helps calm our nervous system and soothe our minds. It will enable you to be present and able to connect from a more grounded place. Attend to and appreciate small positive moments. They can inspire and make you feel more alive, and you can feel them on a date regardless of how “well” it seems to be going.
Drop from your head to your heart
Find your breath and tune in to your body. Imagine dropping your mind from your head to your heart. Living too much in your head prevents you from being present as well as unable to see and hear accurately. Practice letting go of analysis and judgement, and let yourself feel what’s real in the moment.
Talk and listen equally
Breathe while you listen, and you will feel at ease. When you feel like you’re talking too fast take this opportunity to pause and slow down. The more ease you feel in the conversation the more relaxed the other person will be too. We don’t have a choice between being perfect and being imperfect. The only choice we have is between being present or not present.
Disclaim the discomfort
Acknowledging and owning discomfort can reduce anxiety and make you feel more at ease. It’s good to be honest. Once you name it you will be more free from it. For example, “I feel kind of embarrassed to say this, but I’m feeling a bit nervous. If I seem awkward or worried, it doesn’t mean I am bored or distracted. I am just trying to be more present.”
Keep in mind, you’re not 100% responsible for the outcome
Relationships are built by two people. You can’t make a date go well. The best you can do is show up as yourself, make an effort to listen to the other person, and see if the two of you want to build a relationship (of any kind) together. Think about each date as a practice of showing up, and trust that just showing up is enough.