You’ve no doubt experienced the dark side of dating. Nasty messages. Getting stood up. Ghosting. It can make you wonder what happened to the light.
But the light side of dating is easy to find: you have it within yourself. You have the power to bring respect and common decency to the dating scene by acting with compassion.
You don’t act with compassion because people deserve it. Often they don’t. You act with compassion because YOU deserve it. Because you want to be a good person. To find inner peace.
By practicing compassion, you will be proud of your behavior, your confidence will grow, and you will build character. You’ll have integrity – a rare quality in today’s dating scene. And having integrity and character is the best way to attract a person with those same exact traits.
How to Practice Compassion:
1. Be present. Give your date, and yourself, the gift of being mindful during your encounter. Put away your phone, and keep your focus on the moment.
2. Keep an open mind. Our past experiences with the opposite gender tag along on every date, and they are often negative. Leave your assumptions at the door and judge your date for who they are, not for who you think they are.
3. Be empathetic. When someone acts like a dick, tell yourself that maybe his/her cat just died, his/her mother’s in the ICU, or he/she was just diagnosed with cancer. In reality, he/she is probably just a dick. But reacting with empathy, not indignation, allows you to rise above the situation.
4. Don’t be mean. Not a match? Resist the urge to rip your date apart post-mortem with your friends. Find a better way to bond instead of laughing at someone’s ugly clothes, physical flaws, or annoying quirks. Being a mean girl isn’t good for the soul.
5. Don’t stand people up. Don’t you just hate it when that happens? Not only are your hopes dashed, but you’ve wasted time, energy, and money to be there. If you can’t show, let your date know as early as possible.
6. Don’t ghost on someone you have dated. It takes ten seconds to text: I appreciate your time, but it’s not a match for me. Thanks and good luck. Exception: if your date was abusive, psychotic, or gave out stalker vibes, ghosting is preferable.
7. Don’t take things personally. More often than not, two people just don’t click. It’s easy to start second-guessing yourself when your date doesn’t to see you again. Did I talk too much? Look fat? Act awkward? Skip the over-analyzation, and move on.
8. Have compassion for yourself. You can only “love your neighbor as yourself” if you love yourself first. Don’t be so hard on yourself for choosing the wrong guy/girl (again), saying something stupid (we all do), or spilling your spaghetti on your shirt (it’s endearing). Practice self-compassion by nourishing yourself with a loving internal dialogue.