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Why the future of dating might not involve swiping

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Photo: Unsplash/Clarisse Meyer

For those looking for love in the time of Tinder, the search for a soulmate’s gotten somewhat lost in all that swiping right. But it seems that, as mindfulness goes mainstream, its principles are starting to influence the way people approach dating—both on and offline.

Case in point: When buzzy meditation studio MNDFL opened in New York City, its co-founder Lodro Rinzler says he started noticing something surprising happening amongst its members—thanks in part to the space being a cell phone-free zone.

“People were really starting to notice what was right under their noses—the other human beings who were sharing the same interest,” he says. “They would see someone cute across the community space and they would say, ‘Have you been here before?’ They would get to chatting—we were at the front desk, six feet away, noticing all these little connections being made.”

Soon, the meditation guru found himself with a new role: matchmaker. Okay well, sort of—he started organizing singles mixers at the studio as a means of helping clients find meaningful moments somewhere besides their cushions.

“As people become more mindful in all areas of their lives, there’s no way to leave out the element of dating and love.”

And Rinzler’s not the only one observing this healthy dating trend. “As people become more mindful in all areas of their lives, there’s no way to leave out the element of dating and love,” says relationship coach Alexandra Roxo. “As you get more conscious, as you do more self-work, everything in your life starts to shift to adjust.”

And even if you’re not physically in the same place, it’s now becoming easier to consciously couple remotely. That’s thanks to the rise of dating apps like MeetMindful, which asks users to share things like their philosophies on life, how committed they are to mindfulness, and what imperfections they’re working on as a way to encourage vulnerability and create trust. (A similar app, Sapio, suggests users upload personal stories in order to help members forge connections on an intellectual and spiritual level.)

“Part of the nature of our community is that it invites in people who share values,” says Amy Baglan, founder of MeetMindful. “Having that transparency off the bat creates a much more honest and authentic space for people to communicate, [talk openly about] what they’re looking for, and determine their compatibility.” None of which involves worrying about which way to swipe.

If you’re not ready to delete your Tinder account quite yet, here’s why you should at least let your friends select your profile pic. Plus, seven tips for to avoid online dating burnout.