The Scoop: Intentional dating is the new way to date. But what is it, actually? Holistic dating coaches Orna and Matthew Walters talked to us about the dating approach and why more singles are choosing to find love on purpose.

Most people dream about the kind of love that just comes. You’re in class, you’re at work, you’re going about your day, and suddenly, perfectly, easily, you’ve met your soulmate. 

Ask anyone who’s met their person, and they’ll tell you that’s not how it goes. Even if you do meet your special someone in a rom-comesque way, the reality of being in a real relationship is never simple. 

Dating isn’t either.

Orna and Matthew Walters are holistic dating coaches and the founders of Creating Love on Purpose®. Love on Purpose is a coaching program for people who are ready to overcome their past relationship struggles and become the person and partner they’ve dreamed of meeting.

Orna and Matthew teach singles how to date on purpose. Many people wait for love to happen by accident, but Orna and Matthew teach their clients that when you want something– you have to do some work to get it.

“Love on purpose means you’re not just looking for your next girlfriend or boyfriend,” Orna said. “For us, it means you’re looking for a partner to share your life with. People sometimes say that it sounds like a lot of work. If you think dating is a lot of work– wait until you’re in a serious relationship.”

Finding Love on Purpose

People enter dating with a certain set of standards and expectations. Intentional dating encourages singles to acknowledge and embrace these standards and expectations and create a dating plan based on them.

If you’re looking for a serious partner, you can’t date like a person looking for a casual fling. Intentional dating centers on a single’s goals for dating along each step of the journey. 

Intentional dating aims to keep the game-playing out of romance. “We teach our clients the skill sets they need for lasting love,” Orna said. “Dating is a way to practice skills, so you’re not just moving through life waiting to win a lottery ticket.”

dating on purpose
Every date, even the not-so-great ones, can teach you something about yourself.

People who have been single for a long time or have habits of toxic relationships may feel powerless in their search for love. Orna said by taking the reins and dating with intention, singles can overcome this feeling of powerlessness.

“When people leave their love lives up to complete chance– that love on accident– they’re often in a position where they’re abdicating their own power,” Orna said. “They’re riding this hope-to-disappointment cycle and get burned out.”

Intentional dating encourages singles to appreciate the journey of dating, even when bad dates happen (and they do).

“No date is ever a waste when you’re dating on purpose,” Orna said. “When you’re choosing to love yourself first and foremost and learning how to have compassion for yourself, any exercise in that isn’t a waste.”

Attraction and chemistry are complicated. Intentional dating can help daters navigate the complexities of attraction and cultivate love as a choice rather than a fateful connection.

Online Dating as a Tool for Self-Growth

There is no one correct approach for online dating; you can forge a path that feels comfortable for you. A few guidelines will help make the experience better, especially if you’re searching for an intentional online dating experience. 

Matthew said singles should make sure their profiles show off their personalities. “Some people will take a couple of selfies, find a few photos off their phone, and just throw a profile together,” he told us. “And then they don’t want to think about it again.”

Profiles are an online dater’s first opportunity to show off who they are and what kind of connection they’re looking for. Beyond the photos you choose and the details you include in your bio, the presentation of the profile itself is a statement.

online dating intentionally
Regularly update your profile, and make sure it shows off your personality.

Thoughtfully created profiles show other users that you’re committed to dating and taking the process seriously. 

“You want to be constantly tweaking your profile to get the results you want,” Matthew said. “And make sure it stays up to date. You want to make sure you’re always presenting yourself in the best way possible.”

Orna and Matthew shared the story of a client whose profile didn’t adequately capture her personality. “When we met with this client, she showed up in a flowery dress and a leather jacket, several necklaces, and big earrings,” Orna said.

“And then she showed us her profile, and it felt like a brochure,” she continued. “It wasn’t a bad photo, but it didn’t show any of her personality. She lost all the things that made her unique. It felt like LinkedIn.”

Orna said singles shouldn’t strip down their personality to present it on their profile. Instead, it’s about showing what is important to them, who they are, and what kind of person they seek.

“The more specific you are, the more you can send that message out to somebody,” Orna said. “The idea is the right profile will attract the right kind of people.”

Some advice encourages singles to cast a wide net with dating. While keeping an open mind is very important, your online dating profile isn’t going to appeal to every other user. And that’s good!

“The whole idea of a great dating profile is that it should excite someone who could be a good fit for you and not excite someone who’s not,” Orna explained. Remember– your dating profile is a digital first impression, so make sure to give it the attention it requires.

Connection Happens. Partnership Is a Choice

Orna and Matthew said mindset is one of the most important factors in ensuring a pleasant online dating experience. Online dating apps and sites shouldn’t be viewed as a simple avenue to finding The One.

Instead, Orna and Matthew said online dating is a useful dating tool. “You’re never going to be online looking for your soulmate in a profile,” Orna said. “No profile is ever going to stand out and tell you that they’re your person. It just doesn’t happen like that.”

Online dating includes algorithms, matching systems, and swiping mechanisms that users have no control over. Orna said singles should remember some functions of online dating are out of their control, and not every match, chat, or date will be a win.

creating love on purpose
Orna and Matthew teach their clients to take control of their love lives.

“It’s the thing about matching algorithms,” Orna said. “They’ll match you based on the things you have in common. And that may be important, but I think attraction and chemistry are found in differences, and algorithms don’t account for that.”

One of intentional dating’s core features is giving connection time to develop. Great first dates are exhilarating, but some people need at least one or two dates to warm up and be themselves. 

Sometimes, it takes two or three dates for two people to get a good sense of each other’s company, personality, and lifestyle. Attraction and chemistry can happen right away or develop, but ultimately, being together is a choice.

Intentional daters keep the goal of a committed partnership in mind while being open-minded to all the different ways they can find it. 

“When you connect with someone and make a conscious choice to say, ‘I’m going to love you, and we’re going to figure it out together,’ then you’re better together than apart,” Orna said. “You’re not waiting for love to be fated or destined in some way.”