I remember joining my first dating site.
It had been a while since I'd been in a relationship, and with Internet dating all the rage, “Why not”? I thought.
Besides, I was busy with work and it seemed like an efficient way to skip past the chance bar and party encounters and quickly funnel my way to some dates with real potential.
It didn't go to plan at first.
After days of pouring over matches, I found myself thinking, “Is it me or is there no one out there like me?”
Don't get me wrong, I wasn't looking for a carbon copy of myself, but no one seemed to have the same outlook on life, and very few of the same interests – at least no one within a 25 mile radius!
To be honest, at the time it left me feeling more hopeless than hopeful.
But, in the end, I met someone. Hurrah!
We had a fruitful relationship and, when that ended, I met someone else afterwards on the same site. That was a great summer 🙂
You just have to hang in there; these things take time.
Eleven years later and I'm happily married, but I still see many of my single friends struggling with that same dating dilemma.
Dating sites, despite their marketing ploys are essentially a catchall for singles. They are built on the precept that if you put a bunch of single people together they will naturally fall in love/hook up, just because they are single.
It's a numbers game. And that does work, if the numbers are high enough – and the algorithm used is efficient at matching your preferences.
So, where am I going with this…
Well, just recently, while out with a single friend, she mentioned her recent foray into the world of “mindful dating” – on a site called MeetMindful.
Knowing that I'm into this “mindfulness stuff”, she gave me a tour on her phone.
I was impressed, and jealous, I might add. I wish this platform had been around when I was dating!
But! Hold your horses there. Long story short, it didn't work out.
And in this review, I'll explain why…
MeetMindful & The Mindful Dating Concept
MeetMindful is a dating site aimed at those who live life on a mindful pathway.
It is targeted at those with an “awakened mind” that's open to learning and self-development: those who want to live life positively and explore opportunity and potential; those who are compassionate and kind; health conscious, etc.
It's a place for creative types, spiritual types, mindfulness types, worldly types, travel types…
It's meant for those who “live alternatively” in various ways: those who practice meditation, spirituality, eat healthily, enjoy fitness, nature and green living, volunteering, self-development… you get the picture.
It sounds perfect!
So why didn't it work out for my friend?
Well, quite simply because there wasn't enough choice. Globally there seems like a lot of people, but locally she really struggled.
Furthermore, the dates she was interested in mostly didn't respond – which made her question whether those profiles were computer generated. That's speculation, of course.
She's on Match.com now, and has finally met someone – so her profile will no doubt be coming down!
I'm so pleased for her.
So why did it work out on Match but not MeetMindful?
Well, the idea of attracting all the “mindful” singles in one place is a wonderful one, but the reality is that people go where the numbers are, because dating is a numbers game, right?
Moreover, simply being a meditator, a vegan, a yoga enthusiast, or all three, doesn't mean you aren't into other things like a glass of wine of an evening, or the odd sofa-day with a good Netflix series and box of delightfully unhealthy chocolates.
We're all pretty unique, in our own way.
The bigger dating sites have such huge membership databases that you are much more likely to find that vegan-yoga goer and occasional drinker you're looking for.
Of course, for a niche site like Meet Mindful to take off, it needs to attract members over time. This means huge marketing costs, which means they need income from memberships to pay for it. It's a catch 22 and why it is so hard to establish a new dating site like this.
If you are prepared to wait around until it grows and more members come on board, it might pay off. But love waits for no man, or woman!
Sure, the MM matches are guaranteed to be targeted toward your way of life, but in my opinion, in this situation it is better to have a small piece of a big pie than a big piece of a small pie.
Match has a whopping 13.5 million members.
What to Expect on MeetMindful
The concept is wonderful but the feedback hasn't all been flattering. Since writing about this new dating concept I have received a few complaints from readers. Here's just a couple of them:
This website is a scam! If you provide credit card info and then want to stop your membership, you MUST cancel your credit card or they will continue to charge even after you have terminated your membership.
I joined and cancelled my subscription all in the same month. Since then I have been charged every month even though I am no longer on meetmindful or receive any action. My profile no longer exist or is hidden. This month Meetmindful took the fees out twice. I'm furious over this, and would not recommend this dating site. The only thing I know to do is change my credit card number which will be a huge hassle.
To their credit, I contacted the company on behalf of the reader above, and MM said they had responded to the customer to sort out the misunderstanding.
And for balance, I received positive feedback too, as follows:
Meet Mindful has made some really wonderful changes for those who aren't Premium members. I am genuinely impressed, and wanted to share my experience with the update!
Every day a welcome screen opens with a note that says something along the lines of, “Welcome back, take a moment to get present”. Then you are taken to a page with 10 potential matches, who you can't yet see. You are given the opportunity to carefully read the first in queue, (it initially prompts you to take your time in viewing the individual as a whole) and decide if you like their profile or not. You can chose to Pass on all ten, but you can only Like three (3).If you Like a profile, you can only message them if they like you back. If someone who is a Premium member likes your profile and you haven't connected with theirs yet, I believe they can message you. Considering non-Premium members weren't allowed to message or read messages sent before, I really appreciate the changes that were made… I'm in the middle of a great conversation with someone who seems very genuine and kind
Searching for a Date
Having registered a profile to check out the platform myself, I was impressed with how easy it is to use. You're able to easily include and exclude the lifestyle choices you want your matches to have. You'll see what I mean in the screenshots below.
I also liked the fact that I could skip what I didn't want to fill out immediately and get onto viewing profiles. Let's face it: the determining factor as to whether you stick around or not is whether you see potential dates in other members.
The thing is, you can also do all this on Match, apart from the My Mantra and Mindfulness Commitment parts. But then you can just write that stuff in your profile on any dating site, anyway. So while it is very tailored and seems very unique, maybe it's not really that different.
Here's an overview of the sign-up process:
Okay, so this is a hypothetical exercise, but I did find a match.
Not many, though, and only one I would consider messaging.
One thing I found pretty odd was that most of the matches hadn't bothered to write hardly anything in their profile. Looks-wise, I only vibed with a few. I'm sure they wouldn't vibe with me either!
Below is the profile of my favorite match. I have blurred her face and name out to protect her identity.
What attracted me to this particular person?
- Great quote used at the top of her profile
- Has a thirst for wisdom
- Likes music and exercise
- Likes travel and exploring outside of her comfort zone
- She wrote about kindness, love and positivity in her profile
- She has a wonderful smile!
I love the concept and this was a great match for me, but I'd need more of a pool of fish; because if it didn't work out I'd struggle to find another in my locality.
Finding Friends Not Dates
One great aspect of the site is that while the main marketing is aimed at single people, the MeetMindful concept is about bringing together people who have similar mindful living interests.
This means friendships and not just dates.
You can state that you are married or in a relationship, and explain explicitly that you are looking for friendships. That is unique to this platform.
I've actually been thinking about this myself. I now live in an area where I have none of my old friends around. It's a lovely place to live for my daughter but my social life has taken a tumble.
The good news is that it's free to join and register a profile. It's also fairly priced at the premium level.
A free MeetMindful account enables you to complete a detailed profile with up to 6 photos and a questionnaire, and allows you to view 10 daily matches.
You can like up to 3 of your daily matches, and if they like you back, you can message them for free and start the connection!
Here are the 4 key benefits of premium membership:
- Message and like unlimited matches
- Advanced filtering to find better matches
- See your admirers (those who like your profile)
- Faster customer support
How to Get Started
You can register with your email address and a password, or use the connect with Facebook feature which doesn't require an email address.
The platform doesn't post to your Facebook wall or look at your pictures; it's just an easy way to get started without having to remember another password. Regardless, I used my email address, as I always do.
The next step is to begin creating your profile. Help boxes will assist you along the way, with tips on what type of photo to upload, etc.
That's all there is to it. It's simple.
I must admit, I had a lot of fun browsing around, but just wish there were more matches to make it more viable.
Mindful dating is a great concept, but the reality is that there are far more people into mindfulness, meditation, yoga, plant-based eating, etc., on the big sites like Match and eHarmony.
Maybe try more than one site. Spread your bets, so to speak.
I wish you all the best in your quest for a partner who ticks your mindful boxes – and I hope you found my review useful.