Slow Dating: Because Love Isn’t a Sport

If you’re getting carpal tunnel from all the swiping, consider slow dating and aim for quality over quantity.

“In the age of digital dating it is easy to get lost in the web of opportunity. People from across the globe can find other like-minded singles with a click of a mouse,” says Kelleher’s director of matchmaking, Kimberly Colgate. “The problem is this creates a ‘grass is greener’ mentality. And singles are overly selective because there are so many opportunities. It creates a vicious cycle of never going deep or getting to really know a potential match. Technology has changed dating, but the basic boy meets girl philosophy that our grandparents followed is still relevant and in our nature.”

Last week we talked about developing data-free dating habits, which is part of the idea of slow dating. But what are the potential benefits of pumping the brakes on your current dating strategy?

“Our style of matchmaking at Kelleher International follows the slow dating principles,” says CEO Amber Kelleher-Andrews. ”When you’re looking for a quality connection, the less is more approach will serve you best. By limiting the number of potential matches you’re simultaneously considering, there’s an opportunity to explore each connection thoughtfully. Let things evolve naturally.”

Too many options cause choice paralysis. And if you’re a frustrated single, you know this to be true. The constant swiping gamifies match selection making dating a reactionary sport.

Don’t let your love life be a sport.

Slow dating gives you a chance to savor the experience of being independent while thoughtfully exploring connections until you find the one that’s a fantastic fit for you.

Slow dating is thoughtful but not prudish. 

Sure we’re all grown-ups, and your body is your business. But rushing to the sex bit before learning about someone’s values when you’re looking for a long-term partner might blow up in your face. Sex and intimacy are critical components to a healthy relationship, but so is having unified values to stabilize the foundation of your partnership.

Take a breath between dates and absorb the experience. 

It makes sense to reflect on each of your interactions. Acknowledge how you felt when you were with the potential match. Did you feel natural and safe and seen? Were you stimulated or did you feel like you were doing most of the “heavy lifting”? Did you learn something new about them or find something in common? Recall their body language and yours. Were there any political jokes or moments that strained the conversation? Remember their smile and how they looked at you. Note how your body feels in this moment of recalling them.

When you limit the number of people you’re dating, it’s much easier to commit to this process. And you’ll notice that the fewer people you date, the higher quality they become. Mindfully choosing who you spend time with helps you dial in the sort of person you want to fill the permanent position as your bae.

Identify your needs and wants.

Kimberly explains, “I encourage clients to take a step back and look at the end goal. Prioritize what you need in a partner for the long haul. When you identify needs vs. wants, you may see dating differently. Remember, no one will be perfect. You may have a list of 100 things you desire in a partner, but get realistic about what are the top five major things you need. Also examine qualities and attributes that may change over time, and factor that in when you are prioritizing your list.”

We understand it’s not always easy to let things slowly unfold – especially when you like the person and are feeling a lot of chemistry. 

But if you savor the waiting, those delicious feelings last longer.

Deliberately sharing yourself and your time with another will lead to the right kind of relationship developing between you. Maybe it ends up being a deep friendship or business collaboration. Or what if it turns out to be the love of your life? 

One client recalled her experience, “One of the things that I loved about falling in love with my sweetie was how he so slowly and consciously let me know him. It was like being on the Suez Canal and dropping down every few miles through a new series of lochs. It felt exciting — which is the next gate!? — and very self-caring of him.”

Consciously letting things unfold has emotional benefits. 

Fear and expectancy can mask who you truly are when you find yourself experiencing uncertainty. And it often leads to worrying and obsessing over how someone feels about you. And the more you worry, the more you lose your sparkle. 

By allowing the relationships in your life to unfold as they do, frees you to be your authentic self. And your authentic self is the one who should be going out on dates.

Do you need some slow dating tips for reeling yourself back in when you want to rush things?  

Pretend it’s the early 90’s and smartphones and social media don’t exist. 🙂 Talk on the phone. Go out on interesting dates. Send flirty snail mail. Or deliver a bouquet. 

You deserve a break from the social stalking and re-con that’s feeding you too much information too fast anyway. Consider limiting the texting if you tend to create stories around the speed at which someone communicates with you. Know your triggers and take care of your future self.

The goal is to give your heart and mind some space to avoid rushing into a relationship.

We continue to learn from science that slow is good – meditation, stretching, yoga, slow food. For busy professionals, letting yourself off the hook for not completing your weekly dating quota can make finding love a less expensive and more enjoyable experience. Don’t go through the motions of dating if you don’t have the energy to show up and be present. Fewer more quality dates will change your perspective on the dating experience.

Are you ready to savor the experience of slow dating? If you want a matchmaker to guide you through the experience, Kelleher International has been helping clients find love for over thirty years. 

Jill Kelleher, founder of Kelleher International, says, “We are an experienced team of matchmakers who love love! We want you to find the person you’re seeking. Our team works hard for all of our clients. And we know how to balance kindness, compassion, and tough love when necessary to help you meet your match.”

Kelleher International wishes you a lovely stroll on your way to love. Savor every step. Call us when you’re ready.