”I don’t have time to date.”
… No. You do have time to date. Everyone has time to date. Entrepreneurs, politicians, doctors, lawyers and marathon runners – all have the time to date.
What you don’t have time for is to date like a Duracell bunny, having fifteen active threads on your phone poking for your attention every five minutes. You don’t have time to meet with five different matches at the same time and you definitely don’t have time to build a deeper romantic connection with several people simultaneously. Whilst also taking care of your friendships, your body, your mind and your work… and dog… your Instagram feed… I could go on.
As all decadent, fun and slightly unhealthy things, the last few years’ dating frenzy is coming to an end. We had a good ride with the Smorgasbord of options, selling our personal brand with all our different endearingly quirky facets. But the exciting feeling of plenty of fish is actually more dizzying. And the grass is not greener over there, it’s greenest where we stand giving it water.
And that’s why we know that dating needs to be slow. Deep breath in. Long exhale. Say it with us: Slow. Dating.
It’s your soul’s desire. To slow things down.
As Matchmakers we hear that “I meet so many people, I have been on at least 50 dates in the last year and I still haven’t found the one!”
Well, that is most likely the problem right there.
Take it slow.
It’s a bit uncomfortable at the beginning. “What if there is empty space? What if I get bored? It’s a numbers game. It would be more efficient if I lined them up”. Yes, it may seem counter intuitive, but it works.
Serious connection is slow, it’s deep, it’s vast, it’s letting go of everything else and being completely present in another.
And seeing as you are here and have read this far, you are ready.
Here are our matchmakers’ tips on how to slow date (it’s a long list because slow and long go well together):
- Slow down the online stuff. For some we recommend a total digital detox, but for others it’s about being more mindful of which sites you use, how you use them and for how much time.
- Connect with yourself. Think about your energy, other people around you feel it, you have many different levels of energy but somewhere in the middle is the core of who you are. Do what you need to do to connect with that.
- If you find yourself rushing. If you are feeling short of time. Stop and breathe.
- Before meeting someone, make sure you have some space for you. So for instance, don’t run from your last meeting of the day to your first date. Breathe in between and be present with you first.
- Connect with real people – treat all people online and offline as real people. With every person you meet, whether there is a spark or not, make it an encounter worth having – what can you give this person?
- Spend quality time with people in your life that you love.
- Make use of your community: ask for help (yes, you read us right!). Go to a few friends who could be good matchmakers and ask if there is anyone in their network whom they can introduce you to – maybe it’s a match, maybe you gain another friend.
- Let connection take a little time. Rather than expecting everything all at once, leave something for tomorrow. If you meet someone once and you are having a great time but feel lack of chemistry – meet them again. Sometimes it’s a slow burner.
- See and be seen. So you are connected with yourself open to share, but remember to also give your partner space to be seen. They may not have read this blog, so lead them into a safe space where they feel comfortable enough to open up.
- Don’t be afraid of silence, use it as an opportunity to connect – make eye contact, smile and breathe.
- Notice how you feel when you are talking to the person in front of you, do you feel calm? Excited? Stressed? Nothing? Notice and make a little mental note.
As with any detox, in the beginning it can leave us feeling lonely, empty, craving our fix and feeling a lack of purpose. But in the end you feel much better, healthier, closer to you, closer to your purpose and closer to love.
Head of Private Matchmaking