What Is The Soul-Mining Dating Trend And Why Is It So Damaging?

At first glance, the term “soul-mining” might sound cool, like dating a partner who’s digging deeply into your soul to understand who you are. Not so fast. This sneaky dating trend is actually when someone tries to rush into a relationship with you so that it feels like an emotional one-night stand. Here are signs it’s happening to you and how to protect yourself.

  1. He asks you 126 questions on tinder. The guy shows he’s interested in you in a big way, right from the start – and perhaps before your real-life date. He doesn’t just ask you about your job and interests, he wants to know about your childhood and your dreams and everything. EVERYTHING. It’s flattering, but it might also make you want to slow him down a bit.
  2. He acts like your boyfriend on the first date. He reaches over to take your hand or he sits right next to you and cuddles you. Yeah, it’s romantic, but also a bit much. I mean, it’s the first date and if he’s acting like he wants to be your boyfriend right away, you have to wonder if his heart’s really into it.
  3. He gets deep. He’s not just interested in what you have to say about your life, he’s also quick to share intimate details about himself right away. It’s like he’s working really hard to get that emotional closeness going. This is good at a certain point, but there are limits.
  4. You can’t help but feel weird. Yeah, he’s hot and sweet and wonderful, but you don’t even know the guy! You can’t help but feel that all this is going a little too quickly for its own good, and you’re right.
  5. He makes it hard to walk away. A soul-miner isn’t someone creepy who tells you how desperate he is to find someone. No, he’s much more charming and sophisticated than that. He might make you feel it’s so refreshing to finally meet someone who’s interested, and this can have the effect of making you think that perhaps he is for real. So instead of walking away, you stick around… and get burned.
  6. He seems too perfect. He’s not just great on paper, he seems like a dream come true. As you know, be wary of anything that seems too perfect because there’s usually a huge fatal flaw about to jump in your face!
  7. Your date feels like a movie. You’ve just met each other, yet the date could be something straight out of a long-term relationship. It’s romantic, special, and makes you think it’s a fairy tale or rom-com. Although that can feel wonderful and doesn’t have to mean you’re being soul-mined, if you’ve just met the guy, that changes things. Suddenly, all the fun looks like red flags instead of romance.
  8. You left the first date with a spring in your step… and then tripped over yourself and needed six stitches. Yup, things seemed so great after that first date and you walked away feeling like the guy had genuine interest in you. Only, things were about to take a bad turn.
  9. He doesn’t call you. He says he’ll call you to make plans for a second date and you never hear from him again. Wait, what? Because he gave you such solid signs that he was interested in you, this can really throw you for a loop. You’re left with tons of questions and no closure at all.
  10. Things always end badly. Usually soul-mining ends with ghosting or a slow fade. It’s really a whirlwind interest, if not romance, that doesn’t have longevity. There are rarely happy endings.
  11. There is such a thing as too much too soon. Although it can be romantic to click with someone and have instant chemistry, as well as be swept off your feet, there is something to be said for the slow burn. If you pace yourselves at the start of a relationship, you can get to know each other much better and in a more realistic way. Besides, what’s the rush?
  12. He’s got an agenda. What’s his deal, anyway? If a guy feels the need to rush and soul-mine you, chances are he’s got a hidden agenda. He’s trying to be liked by you and this is making him say things he doesn’t really mean, like that he thinks you’re his soulmate. Whoa, buddy. A hidden agenda can also be that the guy’s trying to manipulate you.
  13. He could be looking for a quick hookup. That’s the first thing that probably comes to your mind when a guy comes on so strongly after you’ve just met. But maybe he’s not even looking for that right now. He might just want to have an amazing time. He might think he wants to meet someone special, but then he freaks out because he’s got man-child issues. Or maybe he’s just the type of guy who’s living in the moment. By soul-mining you, he comes across as genuinely interested in something real, when really, he’s just interested in having some fun, whether that involves great conversation, sex, or just the high of chemistry.
  14. Slow down. To prevent being a victim of the soul-miner, take your time when getting to know him. If he’s just seen you for dinner and he wants to see you again mere hours later, take a raincheck and see how he reacts. A guy who’s seriously interested in you will want to see you but he’ll know that he has to pace himself. If he’s soul-mining you, he probably isn’t going to stick around when you stop becoming super-available.


Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.