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What is intuitive dating

The most common complaint about dating these days is that it’s exhausting. Nowadays, online dating means spending countless hours sifting through seemingly limitless profiles, writing messages to strangers, waiting for replies (which often don’t come), and then getting up the courage to go and meet some of these prospects in person. Then, when it doesn’t work out, starting that whole process again. Unfortunately, although online dating has provided us with more options, it seems we’re no more likely to find what we’re looking for. Intuitive dating is a new concept in self-care, which aims to eliminate the burnout that often occurs when dating and increases your chances of finding what you’re truly looking for. Here’s how to make it work for you.

Whether you’re looking for ‘the one’, or simply hoping to get out and about and meet new people (or anything in between), it’s important to know what you’re looking for and be clear about it. Being easy breezy and ‘open to anything’ might increase your chances of meeting people, but it certainly won’t boost your prospects of getting what it is you really want. So, before you set up your online dating profiles, be sure to know what you want. Then, when you’re talking with your matches before meeting, let them know these intentions. For your sake as well as theirs, being clear about your intentions will help you to sort through those who aren’t after the same things you are. You might meet fewer people this way, but your matches will be much more suitable, and eliminates the ‘tyre kickers’.

We recently published an article about Online Dating: The Psychology of Dating in a Digital World, in which we spoke about how addictive online dating can be. Dating apps are designed to keep you coming back for more, in the same way that gambling apps are. Not only does this mean spending countless hours swiping and scrolling, but it can also mean a negative impact on your own self-worth. To avoid the negative side effects of online dating, set yourself limits for how much time you spend on the apps and how many different people you’ll devote time to chatting with. When it comes to meeting people in person, you should set yourself some limits around this too. The limits you use are entirely up to you, but be sure you’re not spreading yourself too thin, trying to meet too many people and spending all of your energy on dating. After all, there is more to life than dating! Which brings us to our next point.

Online dating apps aren’t the only culprit when it comes to negative impacts of dating on your life. If you’re looking to meet someone special, it can be all too tempting to be ‘on the lookout’ any time you leave the house. Before you know it, you’re out with friends for dinner or some drinks and spending the entire time scouting the room for potential matches. This can make it difficult to enjoy your time with your friends, which can have ongoing effects on your self-worth. One of the most important aspects of intuitive dating is to be intentional with your time. That means, when you’re out to enjoy time with your friends, focus on them and try to embrace the moment. Nurturing your friendships will help you to maintain perspective and will also help you to enjoy your dating life more fully.

We’ve all been through times where we think the grass is greener on the other side. We’d be so much happier if we just had a partner, a new job, a bigger car, a new house. The list goes on. The fact is, happiness simply doesn’t work that way. Intuitive dating means being intentional with yourself, as much as with your dating life. This means taking a look at yourself and working on the things that need work. Whether that’s seeing a counsellor to work through that thing you’ve been struggling with for a while, taking up meditation to work on your stress levels, or finally seeing that personal trainer to focus on your health – dating intentionally is a great opportunity to work on yourself. The better you’re feeling about yourself, the better prepared you are to be intentional about what you want, and the more likely you are to attract the right kind of people.

‘But what if?’ is one of the most dangerous habits of dating, and the enemy of intuitive dating. Whilst it’s important to be open to possibilities, when it comes to dating, the ‘what ifs’ can lead us to accept less than we want and deserve. Say he doesn’t text you back for a week after your date. But ‘what if he’s just busy?’ Maybe she isn’t looking for something serious, but ‘what if’ things change after she’s met you? These ‘what ifs’ are an example of you selling yourself short. Intuitive dating means being clear about what you want, not accepting less than you deserve, and trusting your gut when it tells you that someone isn’t right for you.  

Finally, the most important aspect of intuitive dating is to remember this: You are not defined by your relationship status or the number of dates you have. Whether you’re looking for something serious, or you’re just interested in casual relationships, your worth is not determined by your dating life! Self-worth is by far the most crucial aspect of intuitive dating. By knowing your worth and being clear and determined about what you want (and what you don’t want), you can steer clear of those who aren’t on the same page and focus on dating only those who are. 

Michelle van Namen
Author: Michelle van Namen