Journaling allows you to explore your thoughts, emotions and desires, providing invaluable insights into your dating preferences and what you're truly seeking in a partner.
Journaling also helps you track your dating experiences and patterns over time, empowering you to make more informed choices. It encourages mindfulness, helping you stay present and attentive during dates, ultimately leading to more genuine and fulfilling connections.
With journaling as your trusted companion, you'll be well on your way to not just dating, but dating with purpose and success.
What is journaling and how do we do it?
Journaling is the act of writing down thoughts and feelings. To what end and to what result you would like will entirely depend on you. Some journal to help them understand what they think and feel more clearly, and others might journal just to stop the thoughts from bouncing around in their head endlessly.
How can journaling improve your dating life and relationship?
Dating and journaling can go hand in hand.
Being in a relationship or going on a dating journey can be a significant part of your life and will demand a lot of emotional energy from you. Because of this, journaling can help you get to grips with everything you experience during dating, help you process what comes up for you, and work on how to be a better partner.
Not only that, but journaling helps strengthen your relationship with yourself and gives you insight into your emotional well-being. You can improve your self-confidence, self-awareness, self-discovery, and self-esteem and encourage self-love – all of which require daily nourishment to become the best version of yourself.
Going into a relationship as the best version of you so far, and continuing to put the work in to make sure it stays that way, is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself and your partner.
You are much less likely to settle for anything less than you deserve, put up with unwelcome behaviours, or allow someone to make you feel ‘less than’. You are also likely to be a better partner because of this.
Journal writing, day to day, can give you a clear pattern over time of the things that mean the most to you and what makes you happy, which can be really useful for your love life and who you choose to date.
Dating journal prompts
There is no wrong way to journal, but some ideas can help you make the most of your thoughts, feelings, and experiences to help you move forward.
Dating journal prompts are questions or prompts designed to help you reflect on your dating experiences, emotions, and personal growth. Plenty are available whether you’re a journalling beginner or simply suffering from writer’s block.
Some useful examples include:
- What does love mean to you?
- What would you like from a relationship?
- What is your love language and why?
- What makes you feel unloved?
- What scares you about being in a relationship?
- What are your relationship goals?
- What values and morals are important to you?
- What will you not compromise on and why?
For more specific questions on your current dating life, you could look at:
- What can you do today to improve your relationship?
- What needs are being met, and which ones aren’t?
- What don’t you like about this current relationship?
- What are you grateful for in this relationship?
- How does this person make me feel good about myself?
If you are looking at moving through a breakup, or perhaps a date didn’t work out, would you try:
- What made me uncomfortable about this date?
- What didn’t work between you and your partner?
- What do you not want from this relationship to reoccur?
- What would you do differently next time?
The benefits of journaling
Dating can be overwhelming with its range of intense emotions. Whether it is the nervous butterflies we feel when we like someone new, the pain that comes with a breakup, or all of the nuanced emotions in between, these can all really take a toll on the psyche.
Keeping all these feelings inside is not sustainable if you want to keep the peace, so a journal entry might be your next best option.
The main reason people use a personal journal is to help get some clarity on their situation or the feelings and thoughts they are experiencing.
Journaling can also help with:
- Managing stress.
- Coping with depression and other mental health illnesses.
- Encouraging reflection.
- Recovering from trauma.
- Dealing with anxiety.
Different types of journaling
When it comes to dating, you have many journaling options to gain clarity and make better choices. You don’t even have to try something that already exists; you can create your own methods when you start journaling.
If you are just starting, look at these styles to see what might suit you best and then go from there.
Daily journaling is simple: write about your day and how you felt. Doing this consistently can show patterns you might have missed in your dating life.
For instance, if you're stuck dating the wrong people or repeating relationship mistakes, start a dating journal. Jot down your experiences, thoughts, and feelings after each date.
As you keep journaling, you might begin to notice a pattern emerging. Perhaps you consistently fall for partners who are emotionally unavailable or who share certain negative traits. Recognising this pattern can be eye-opening. It empowers you to take control of your dating life by understanding your true desires in a relationship. It also reveals how your daily life and emotions connect.
Vision boards have become extremely popular, allowing you to visualise with images and stickers how you want a certain aspect of your life to look. This option can be useful if you struggle with expressing yourself through words or are better at having a ‘picture’ of something rather than describing what you would like.
Visual journaling or art journaling is a great way to express your emotions and thoughts through doodling, scribbling and drawing. It can help you understand and document your dating experiences or explore your connection with someone special.
Stream of consciousness/brain dumping
If you ever find yourself lying awake at 1 a.m., tangled in a web of thoughts about your dating experiences, from the recent ones to childhood memories, you're not alone. Our minds often buzz with a jumble of ideas, making it difficult to make sense of our feelings and thoughts, especially when they seem unrelated.
Writing out a stream of consciousness, also known as ‘brain dumping’, can work well to get all of your thoughts and feelings out on paper, no matter how mixed up they are. Imagine it as a mental spring cleaning for your thoughts and emotions.
An example could be if you get mithered by an argument or a situation with your date. Instead of replaying it over and over again in your head, getting it out can help you look at everything more clearly – or leave it for your future self to tackle if your present self can’t face it right now!
Top tip: A notes app on your phone or tablet can work well if you are on the go!
Gratitude journaling isn't just about acknowledging life's blessings; it's also about recognising and valuing the unique aspects of your relationship. Maybe you can’t deal with their snoring, but you overlook it for the cup of tea they bring you every morning.
It takes effort to appreciate your partner amidst the overwhelming pressures of the world and societal expectations on relationships.
Whether you prefer to write about the things you are grateful for in great detail or just want to quickly bullet point them so you don’t forget, keeping these in mind can help you have a positive mindset towards your relationship and everyday life.
For those who are less fussed about descriptive stories and would rather get straight to the point, bullet journaling might be the best style for you.
Consider using prompts like noting the highlights of your day, areas for self-improvement, or moments that brought you joy within your dating life. You can then use these entries to see how far you have come, which can be particularly useful if you're working towards specific dating goals.
Top tips for journaling
The most important thing about journaling is to make it a daily habit. Don't strive for perfection; focus on self-care and self-improvement benefits instead.
These techniques can help you make the most of your journaling time.
- Find your journalling technique: You might prefer to mix and match techniques based on your journalling subject. For example, what you are grateful for in the day could be in a bullet point list of things, but relationship issues and reflections might require a stream of consciousness or a daily descriptive passage.
- Write for your eyes only: While it can be a little disconcerting to imagine someone finding your journal, you might not be honest with yourself if you constantly think about how it will read to someone else. If privacy is a concern, use a password-protected digital journal.
- Create a routine: Creating positive habits is key. Stick to a routine, even if it's small. Reflect on your progress over time to identify patterns and areas for improvement.
- Don’t hold back: Journal about anything that comes to mind, as both expected and unexpected thoughts can be valuable. We have thousands upon thousands of thoughts a day, so get them all down!
- Write at a time that works for you: There is no specific time to journal; you can pick up a blank page and a pen at any time of day. Morning pages help set intentions, and evening pages reflect on your day and identify areas for improvement. Consistency is key, and it's okay to journal multiple times a day.
Journaling while dating – should you do it?
In its various forms, journaling offers a valuable toolkit for anyone navigating the twists and turns of romance. From daily reflections to visual expressions and pattern tracking, journaling provides clarity, helps identify trends, and enables you to communicate feelings that words alone might struggle to convey.
So, if you're wondering whether journaling is worth it in the pursuit of love, the answer is a resounding "yes."
Give it a try, and you may just find that it enhances your dating experiences and leads you closer to that meaningful connection you've been seeking. So, pick up that pen!