Shelley J Whitehead

What is ‘conscious dating’?

17 October, 2022

Have you heard the term ‘conscious dating’ before? It sounds good, doesn’t it? In my experience as a specialist relationship coach it is the only way to ENSURE that you come out of the dating process with the right person for you. Selecting your partner is such an important thing, so why leave it to chance? 

I’m going to explain the term ‘conscious dating’ by sharing with you a few of the tools I teach my clients to help them navigate through the dating process and come out at the end of it with a partner that is right for them, so you have some practical guidelines you can immediately put into place if you are dating.

Know what you want in a partner

It might sound like an obvious thing, but this is actually not as simple as it sounds. Before embarking on the dating process, you want to make sure you have a clear set of directions to follow in determining whether the person you are dating ticks the boxes of your top requirements. This all begins by determining what YOUR most important values are.  A partner must share your highest values.

Date with awareness

Dating with awareness means keeping the bigger picture in mind. You are aware of yourself, others, the past, future and the present.  You are aware of your vision and constantly examine your options to make the best choices in alignment with that vision, all the while being mindful of the long-term consequences

Dating without attachment

When clients first start dating, I advise them to try to set up a few dates, rather than just honing in on one specific person. By dating a number of people, you have a greater chance of identifying the one most likely to meet your requirements, which increases your chances of finding love again.  Although it is possible to meet your ideal partner on your very first adventure into the world of dating, it doesn’t happen that often.

Qualify dates for compatibility

In order to determine whether someone is right for you, you need to do quite a bit of ground work.  You need to get to know them well.  You need to understand what their long term and short term goals are, whether they want children, what their vision of a relationships is, whether they are ready for this type of commitment… and so on. 

We make some of the biggest mistakes of our lives when we make decisions based on partial or false information.  Relationships need to be tested for compatibility.  I know we have all heard of stories where couples have met, fallen in love immediately and 25 years later it’s still the same, but that’s very rare.  

Statistics tell us that more than 55% of marriages end in divorce and a lot of the time that’s because people have entered into a marriage without fully knowing whether or not they are compatible with their partner. Believe me when I tell you that it is VERY UNLIKELY that you would be able to determine this within one week! Qualifying a relationship takes time.

Define your intimacy boundaries

In relationship terms, when is the right moment for you to commit to physical and sexual intimacy? So often people don’t make a conscious decision about this in advance when they’re dating. 

This is where the expression “Love Is Blind” is often used. When you enter into that wonderful world of intimacy, before you know it a whole cocktail of hormones can take over your mind and body. These hormones affect you and your decision-making ability in the early stages of falling in love. 

So my recommendation is that you only move to the stage of full physical intimacy, once you have decided that you are in the relationship that you are really happy with. For most, this will be a committed and monogamous relationship, but relationships can take all shapes and sizes. The key here is knowing and consciously deciding what it is you are moving into. And physical intimacy is a form of commitment in terms of the way in which it affects your future decision-making.

These five tips are just some thought-starters. If you’d like to see more relationship tools and tips, together with lots of helpful dating advice, you might want to take a look at my YouTube channel where I have several playlists to support you and help you on your journey to happy and thriving relationships.

Shelley J Whitehead
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