Mindful Dating Tips

Originally posted at Yahoo Health

Meditation coach Andy Glickman used his mindfulness know-how to help him with his dating life. (Photo courtesy of Andy Glickman)

Last year, Andy Glickman decided he’d had enough. The now-24-year-old realized that his love life essentially consisted of a string of people just looking for superficial or physical relations, with no interest in connecting on an emotional level. He was meeting people online and through apps, and would frequently receive unsolicited nude pictures from people more than twice his age. And he was tired of it.

So Glickman, who also happens to be a sought-after yoga instructor and meditation coach in Philadelphia, decided to apply his expertise in meditation to his love life.

How? Meditation is all about being centered and remaining in the present moment. Glickman took that emphasis on present awareness and turned it inward to gain new perspective. “Meditation helped me take control of my life from the inside out,” he tells Yahoo Health. “I became more aware of my ‘vibe’  and what I was giving off in real life at bars, in restaurants etc. I quickly realized that if I wanted to be successful at connecting with others, I had to radiate only my best vibes. This meant confronting and clearing out my own insecurities.”

By the end of 2015, Glickman had deleted all of the dating apps on his phone and made it his resolution to meet people in real life instead of online. “Meditation taught me that I was ready to meet someone in real life rather than defaulting to the social norm of meeting someone online,” he explains. “I had to soften to the idea that it was still a possibility to approach/be approached face-to-face without any sexual connotation.”

Glickman deleted all the dating apps from his phone and made a point to meet people IRL. (Photo courtesy of Glickman)

And then he made a point to change the way he met new people. “I started handing out my phone number more and did things like maintaining stronger eye contact,” he says. “Meditation spurred me to be more bold organically without realizing it. As I began to focus on myself, not only did I begin to notice the people around [me], it was as if people began to notice me.”

Now, he says he is more confident going on dates and in his ability to ask others out.  Over the last four months, he’s gone on 10 dates, some with the same people, and has been approached by about eight different people — all of this without the help of the Internet.

Here, Glickman shares his six tips to incorporate meditative practices into your daily life if your goal is to step up your dating game. They’re geared toward making you more confident approaching someone, but also figuring out the type of person you wish to attract.

1. Try a simple mirror exercise.

This easy morning ritual is a way to set the tone for the day and remember that love from others starts with self-love. “Look at yourself in the mirror and repeat ‘I love and accept myself exactly as I am,’” he says. Use this as your morning mantra. “Many humans struggle with self-worth issues among other insecurities. We are strongly influenced by the words we say to others and ourselves,” he adds. “By speaking positively and lovingly to yourself on a regular basis, those feelings become real and you begin to heal your relationship with yourself.” After all, he says, “a healthy relationship with yourself is the most important part about connecting with others.”

2. Make a list of qualities you’re looking for in a partner.

Tall? Dark? Handsome? Many of us have a mental checklist of exactly what we look for in a mate. Glickman suggests taking it one step further and writing down the deeper qualities you’re looking for. Does your ideal partner have a strong work ethic? Does he or she have a love of the outdoors? “By writing things down, you begin to turn your ‘wants’ into your intentions,” he says. “Once you have your list down, you should also work toward becoming those qualities yourself, because qualities we see and look for in others are the qualities we look for and wish for in ourselves.”

3. Set an intention before you go out.

Since you’ve already started the practice of setting your intentions in your dating life by writing down your list of desired qualities in a partner, Glickman apply that concept to when you go out. “Before heading out for the night to a party or bar or event, set the intention to talk to someone new or to ask for a phone number from someone you’ve had your eye on,” he suggests. “Energy follows intention, and you will be more likely to follow through if you think about it consciously first.“

4. Speak affirmatively.

After you set your intention, it’s important to say it out loud. The law of attraction teaches us that what we put out, we get back — and meditation helps us be mindful of what we are putting out. An intention is something you’d like to follow through with, while a declaration or decree is like making a demand that you won’t settle for anything less. So, it’s important to speak positively to and about yourself, if you want to strengthen your power of attraction. “Choose your preferred method of meeting someone,” says Glickman. “State a declarative statement such as, ‘I will meet my desired partner at a coffee shop.’ It is like a command or a declaration stating what you truly want. Remember, energy follows intention. Speak affirmatively to help you set the course of action in which you can take to achieving your goals or in this case getting the type of partner you want.”

5. Bring a book to the bar during happy hour.

When you’re alone at the bar, you may feel the need to look “busy” by taking out your phone. (Think: adult security blanket!) But Glickman recommends a different approach. “Bring a book to the bar, turn your phone on silent, and keep it in your pocket,” he advises. “Meditation teaches you to be comfortable sitting by yourself and you can do that anywhere. If you’re comfortable with yourself, then others will feel comfortable around you.” Bonus: A book makes you more approachable and is a great conversation starter.