Sometimes, when online dating we can caught up in the mundane and forget to take dating seriously.

One time I received a beautiful message on an online dating platform:

“Hi Vanessa, I hope this isn’t too forward, but I was immediately enchanted by your profile. Apart from your beauty, we have similar goals, values and life approaches, and I feel so lucky that we matched.”

One small problem. My name is not Vanessa.

I honestly can’t blame him for recycling a message for multiple matches; we have all been victims of swipe-fatigue at one point. One of the pitfalls that comes with the near infinite possibilities of online dating is that you become numb to the excitement that should come with dating new people.

With bright pop-ups, fun sound effects, and timed incentives, online dating can feel almost like a video game. Swiping can become second nature, messaging can become automatic, and dating can become… well, boring.

There are ways to break out of this monotony, change the cycle, and regain the excitement and romance.

Mindful dating involves being purposeful, present, and emotionally aware.

These are less “quick tips” and more so a holistic approach to dating in an online world, one that should be practiced over time.

  1. Set Intentions

Be honest with yourself about what it is that you are looking for. It will be hard to find a long term partner if you approach every match expecting nothing more than a fun night out. Take a moment to reflect on what you are looking to get out of these dating experiences, and make sure your actions serve your goals. Never go on a date just for the sake of it.

  1. Be Present

When you are having a conversation with someone, whether online or in person, they should be the focus of your attention. Yes, you have other matches, but while you are directly communicating with someone, make sure that you aren’t distracted, and are fully engaged in what is being said- on both sides.

  1. Practice Self-Awareness

Pay attention to your own feelings and emotions, and be careful not to pursue a relationship just because you can. Make sure you are checking in with yourself regularly and in tune with your own feelings.

  1. Be Open, Curious, and Kind

A lot of people approach dating already on the defense– with their guards up and their cards close to the chest. While there are definitely some people online (and in real life) with bad intentions, the only way to find true emotional connection is to be open to it. Treat everyone with dignity and kindness, even those that you aren’t romantically interested in. Remember that behind every single profile is a person who is looking for human connection, just like you.

Mindful dating is a daily practice, one that takes time, effort, and consistency to maintain. If your matches are blurring together or answering messages seems more like a chore, it’s definitely time to adjust your mindset.

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