What Is ‘Conscious Dating’ & Why Should You Do It?

Conscious dating is a relationship goal based on having greater purpose in your relationships, and it’s a total game-changer. Here are 11 ways to become a more conscious dater right now and why you should strive for it.

  1. Pay attention on dates. Put your phone away when you go on a date. Really listen to what your date has to say, instead of thinking about the cool stories you’ll tell them as soon as they finish what they’re talking about.
  2. Don’t be afraid to get real about what you want. It’s scary to tell your partner what you want from a relationship, but bite the bullet and do so as soon as you can. This will save you and your partner a lot of time if you discover that you’re on totally different pages.
  3. Stop thinking about date number two. It’s tempting to start wondering if you’ll get to see the person again when you’re still on your first date, but slow things down and really enjoy yourself. It’s not about where you end up, but the journey. That’s the most exciting thing and it prevents you from rushing ahead into the future and putting unnecessary pressure on yourself.
  4. Don’t go with the flow. While you obviously don’t want to come on too strong when you’ve just met someone, don’t go with the flow with someone who’s confused and doesn’t know what they want. That’ll only lead you to a dead-end. Conscious dating should be about defining things and having a purpose.
  5. Pick a place with good intention. When you choose a date location, really think about more than whether they serve the best sushi there. Think about what you want from the date. If you’re keen on having great conversation, for example, choose a spot where you’ll have lots of time to talk without getting interrupted by the noise that surrounds you.
  6. Don’t let your friends text on your behalf. It can be tempting to let your BFF handle your Tinder and texting because she’s so witty and cool, but you should be behind the wheel on this one. You’re the one who has to decide if you like your Tinder match or not, no disrespect to your BFF.
  7. Don’t get trapped in phases like “just talking.” The “just talking” phase can be a time in which you suss out the person you’ve just met, but it can also be a way for the person you’re dating to keep things super-casual. This isn’t cool, which is why you don’t want to remain stuck in this phase. Conscious dating is all about growth, so don’t stunt it.
  8. Own your drama. It’s really easy for you to unpack all your drama when you settle into a new LTR. You should be able to be comfortable with your partner, but it’s unfair to expect them to deal with all your issues and problems. Same goes for them. They should be grown enough to deal with their own lives. You can’t focus on growing your relationship if you’re both weighing each other down.
  9. Keep an eye on yourself. If you lose track of yourself, you might start giving up who you are and what makes you unique. For example, if you start letting some of your small needs slide, it’s only a matter of time before you’ll be completely neglecting the big things that are important to you. By noticing the effect your relationship is having on you from day one and making your life a priority, you’re more likely to end up in a happier, healthier relationship.
  10. Make communication count. The next time you speak to your partner, take note of how the conversation goes. Conscious dating is about focusing on what you’re saying and making it positive, such as by uplifting your partner instead of bringing them down. It’s not just about rambling to each other about funny memes you saw on the internet or what happened during your day. It’s about creating greater emotional intimacy.
  11. You pull the plug when you need to. Conscious dating isn’t just about dating—it’s also about knowing when not to date someone. When you keep your values and standards in mind as a conscious dater, you can get out of a relationship that’s a deal-breaker for you instead of wasting your precious time on it. Don’t just value commitment, value your contribution to it so you can find someone who deserves you.
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.