There’s so much pain wrapped up in dating.
The pain of past love… the pain of not being chosen… the pain of never feeling good enough.
If the reason you date is to find someone who’ll love you forever, then of course you’re going to feel let down and disappointed. You’ve got to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince.
But mindful dating coach Marie Thouin, Ph.D., doesn’t think it has to be that way.
Dr. Marie doesn’t focus on “getting the guy.”
She focuses on helping her clients feel incredibly HAPPY.
She helps them find out what they really, REALLY want from their love lives…
And then create a life in alignment with their truth.
In this week’s YBTV interview, Dr. Marie offers a new paradigm for dating: mindful dating.
You’ll learn how you can attract better-quality partners… how to date from a space of generosity… the 2 tools you need in your self-care toolkit… and why NOTHING you do in love is a failure.
What You’ll Learn
For a love coach, Dr. Marie didn’t always find love easy.
Growing up, she struggled with feelings of social anxiety, awkwardness, and feeling rejected.
Those experiences set her on a lifelong inquiry into questions like:
How do I love? How do I connect? How do I form relationships with people that are satisfying and beautiful and actually genuine?”
She began by building a great relationship with herself.
But that wasn’t enough. She wanted great relationships with others, too.
“Okay,” she told herself. “I’ve had bad experiences, but I don’t want that to be the script for the rest of my life.”
She wanted to be discerning in the people she allowed into her life, but to do it from “a place of generosity, rather than a place of victimization.”
It was a flip that would change everything.
Date from a Place of Generosity
The most significant flip that we can all make in order to have a great romantic life, a great social life, a great life… is to put ourselves in the role of the giver and really honor what we have to give.”
All too often, dating feels like waiting and hoping to be chosen.
For Dr. Marie, it’s about choosing who you want in your life and honoring what you have to give.
This isn’t about giving in the hopes that someone will like you.
It’s about giving what you already have inside in abundance.
To do that, you need to give to yourself first and make sure you’re taken care of.
It’s “really important to give from a full plate, because if you give, give, give, and your plate is empty, and you’re doing it with the expectation that people will like you, then you’re going to be disappointed.”
But What If You Get Taken Advantage Of?
But maybe you’ve given your all to a relationship before, only to get burned.
How do you know that THIS time it won’t happen?
“That’s the thing with relationships; there’s never a guarantee,” Dr. Marie says. “There’s so much that we can’t control.”
But what you can control is YOU.
You can make sure you have tools in your toolkit to help you feel “so resilient and so solid inside of yourself” that you can handle it if things don’t work out as you wanted.
You can also make more discerning choices.
Pick partners who are able to give back. Avoid jumping “10 steps ahead, giving everything, while the other person is not reciprocating.”
You want to be with someone who’s equally invested in the relationship.
The 2 Tools You Need in Your Self-Care Toolkit
Developing inner strength and resilience requires taking good care of yourself.
Dr. Marie recommends developing self-care and self-love practices.
“Be your own best friend and best ally,” she says. Take good care of your body. Don’t wait for someone else to do nice things for you; do nice things for yourself.
That doesn’t mean you should become completely self-sufficient and not need anyone.
“Of course, we always need each other. We need other people; we’re built for connection,” she says.
But when you have your basic needs covered, you’re able to go out in the world with a full plate, ready to share.
Next, “find ways that your nervous system can feel supported.”
Often, rejection can feel like a threat to our survival. We evolved as social creatures. Social rejection can throw us into a fight-or-flight response.
What other ways can you regulate yourself, “so that you’re not all of a sudden putting all of your hopes on this one person that you just met on the internet?”
The Principles of Mindful Dating
Instead of, ‘I want to get the guy,’ if you make your goal, ‘No, I want to have more intimacy within myself. I want to understand myself at a deeper level, and love and have compassion for myself…’ then there’s no failure.”
Traditional dating focuses on an end goal: getting the guy.
Mindful dating is different.
It’s about learning about yourself through your relationships with others.
“It’s about self-discovery and self-understanding,” Dr. Marie explains.
Unlike traditional dating, where every rejection feels like a failure, mindful dating considers ALL experiences a success if they lead you to greater clarity and understanding of yourself and what you want.
“It is, in a way, paradoxical,” Dr. Marie says.
“You’re taking away your focus on the outcome and you’re focusing on yourself, but that allows you to also attract better-quality people, because you’re not just trying to manipulate people into liking you. You’re actually emanating more of who you really are, a heart-and-soul vibration,” which magnetizes people to you.
Can You Date Online Mindfully?
But what about online dating?
Don’t dating apps reduce attraction to the most superficial level possible?
Dating apps are just a tool. It’s how you use them that matters.
Used appropriately, dating apps “allow us so much more access to people who have similar values as we do, rather than being constrained by geography.”
You want to be “really clear about what you’re there for. What do you want? What are your values? What are you wanting to learn and experience from your next relationship?”
Then, she says, you need to be “bold enough to put that out there” by writing words and choosing pictures that represent what you want to create.
Mindful Dating Coaching
Dr. Marie leads her clients through a process of clarifying and aligning with their vision for themselves.
She asks questions like:
What is it that you actually want to create in your love life right now? Where are your beliefs about that coming from? Are they beliefs that you want to keep? Are they beliefs that you want to release? What is really going to serve you in that next iteration of your love life?”
Then she helps clients identify the obstacles, blocks, and bottlenecks that might prevent them from reaching those goals.
“Those obstacles become the path,” she explains, as they work to find ways to circumvent those blocks and move past them.
Then it’s about “applying the strategy with consistency” and managing the emotions and situations that come up.
For Dr. Marie, success isn’t about the percentage of clients who get into a relationship.
For her, success for her clients is happiness.
Happiness can come in many forms. It can come in finding new love, or it can come in releasing a relationship that was no longer working for you.
If you’d like to dip your toe into mindful dating, Dr. Marie is offering a free gift!
A free 30-minute exploratory session for anyone who wants to talk to her about their own specific situation and see if they might be a good fit for coaching.
Marie Thouin, PhD
Dr. Marie is the Founder of Love InSight, a mindful dating coaching practice where she helps people of all ages, genders, and sexual orientations navigate the path to intimate love in a growth mindset. Her interests focus on the intersection of personal transformation and intimate relationships. Find out how you can work with Dr. Marie.