Making real connections in the modern age can be challenging, and dating apps have contributed to this distant, impersonal dating system. Yet, intentional dating is a style that combats that miscommunication and unfulfilment. Learn more about how to date with intention and why you should start in the first place.
What's Intentional Dating All About?
Before you even get into the practice, it can be helpful to understand just what dating with intention means. There's a common misconception that intentional dating is a style centered on dating to find a long-term partner. While some people do date in this way with a entering into a committed relationship or finding a life partner in mind, it's not actually that limiting.
When you intentionally date, all you do is seek out partners who fulfill the romantic or sexual roles you currently want. It's about being mindful and slowing down, being aware of and looking for the connections that you really want and need.
Granted, this takes you being fully honest with yourself and with others about what those wants and needs are, which can be hard to do. But, the beauty in it is that you'll find someone who clicks with you from the get-go, so you don't have to swipe for three months and go on countless dates just to end up no better than you started off with.
5 Things to Be When Intentionally Dating
Although it sounds daunting, intentional dating can be easier than regular dating. With a goal in mind, there's no wrong or right approaches - there's only the person or people who answer your calling correctly. If you're jumping into this for the first time, use this framework to help guide you.
My thoughts on why the divorce rate is so high…— D'IONNA CONAWAY (@ShellBeRaw) February 7, 2023
Most people conceal the real, and we have to do a better job at intentionally dating to reveal!
Be Direct About What You're Looking For
When you're setting out into the dating world with the specific intention of finding a particular partner, you need to go into your interactions with your goals in mind. You'll be communicating with anyone you're on a date with or talking to about what you're looking for.
Be direct and don't beat around the bush. If they're not in a place where they're comfortable answering your questions, then you've dodged a bullet.
Be Unapologetically You
When you're getting to know someone, it's so easy to morph yourself into matching whatever vibes they're giving off or what you think they'd be attracted to. This well-meaning deception goes against everything that intentional dating stands for. Come into every conversation 100 percent yourself and let others determine if that's something they're interested in.
You're not trying to scare them away with your quirks or opinions; you're trying to offer up a part of yourself that's normally reserved for later on down the road to see if there's compatibility from the jump.
Be Willing to Walk Away
Sometimes, people can think they want something until they try it out and realize it's not actually for them. Just because you've done the work to hone in on what you want out of your next relationship doesn't mean that your potential partners have as well. So, they might tell you they're okay with a short fling, but realize they've caught deeper feelings and don't like the clock that's ticking down.
This comes to another important rule when intentionally dating. Be willing to walk away from an entanglement if it's no longer fulfilling the needs or wants you expressed in the beginning. In a way, you're holding yourself accountable for manifesting the things you actually want instead of settling.
Be Ready to Change Your Mind
Intentionally dating can unlock parts of ourselves that we didn't realize were lying in wait. For example, you might have started this practice with the idea of finding a lifelong partner. Yet, along the way, you discover that you don't really enjoy taking the extra time to build those kinds of lasting partnerships, but you do love making connections.
Simply put, you can change your mind at any time about what your intentions are. So long as you don't mislead anyone in a relationship about what they are, and voice it if they do change, you're not doing anything wrong.
Be Open to Dating Outside Your Comfort Zone
If you haven't found the person or situation you're looking for but have been searching for it for a while, chances are you're too limited in your scope. Intentionally dating can only work if you talk to anyone and everyone to see what they have to offer and if they'll click with you. Perhaps the reason you haven't found the thing yet is because you think you know who that person looks like but it's not actually the right profile at all.
Why Should You Start Intentionally Dating?
You might be asking yourself, "what do I gain from all this hard work?" and we hear that. After all, introspection is an incredibly tiring practice. But, the benefits far outweigh the challenges when it comes to intentionally dating.
You Experience Less Heartbreak
Miscommunication is one of the biggest reasons for heartbreak, and when you intentionally date, you're throwing that option out the window. By putting everything upfront, and coaxing your partner to do the same, there won't be any unequal entanglements where you or the other person come away with a broken heart.
You'll Date Around Less
Reclaim some of your precious me-time by cutting down on the hours you have to spend on the dating apps or mingling in-person. If you're eagle-eyed about what you're looking for, you can separate the wheat from the chaff in half the time that you can when you're just throwing your personality at a dating wall and seeing what sticks.
Manifest What Matters Most to You by Intentionally Dating
Setting intentions in your life can be incredibly empowering. Taking charge of your dating life and seeking out something to fulfill your actual needs and not those you're being told by society you should want, or the ones other people are throwing in your lap. By intentionally dating the right way, you'll find what matters most to you in a relationship.