Your dating diary is a place to share your thoughts – intimate or otherwise – on your personal dating journey. At Cupid.co.uk we give everybody the chance to make their diary entries public so that others can see it. But dating diaries could also be private, personal and even offline.
Why keep a journal?
Dating is a complex, messy business. There are ups and downs, we know. Most relationships don’t work out. Great hopes are often dashed, but sometimes, unexpected joys and smiles can be found too. That’s love!
Writing a dating diary is a brilliant way to understand your own feelings and frustrations, successes and failures as you head towards finding romance. If you’re single, your diary can take the place of a shoulder-to-cry-on partner. Rather than screaming into your pillow, make a note in your journal – even if it just says “Aarrrgh!”.
What’s more, referring back to prior successes and failures can help you to identify patterns in your own behaviour that may be keeping you back from building really strong relationships. For example, a friend of mine had a habit of of not returning guys’ messages, even if she fancied them, because she was too nervous. Instead she hoped they would chase her. Sometimes they did, sometimes they didn’t. Eventually, she realised this persistent habit was probably making her miss out on some great guys.
The other great reason for keeping that journal is when the big relationship does come along, you’ll have a way of looking back at how it developed. Maybe you could even share it with your partner. You’ll have a permanent record of how your relationship started and blossomed. What could be more romantic?
So what should you write in your diary?
Have you ever kept a diary before? Maybe you kept one when you were a child or a schoolkid. Think back to what you wrote. Generally, there are two types of comments: events and feelings. Event entries are the everyday record of what happened. Feeling entries are how those events impacted you and made you feel – whether happy or sad or just plain mad. There are no rules on which type of diary entry you should write and you need to discover your style.
The main way to ensure you keep at it, is to write little and often. Don’t turn a single date into an essay. A diary should be an aide-memoir not a photographic record. Instead, focus on the important facts that you’ll need when referring back to your entries, and use the diary to explore your feelings and reactions to the events instead.
1. Write yourself down
The key to avoiding getting into sticky situations in dating is to know your own red flags. Write these on the first page of your diary and don’t be tempted to bend your own rules. Stick to the rules and you’ll avoid so much heartache!
On the other hand, you might as well as enter your absolute must-have as well. If you want kids some day, you had better be honest with yourself, and with any potential dates. So write your must-haves alongside your must-not-haves and save yourself a ton of time and wasted dates.
2. Honesty always
There’s no point in lying to your own self! Honesty can be difficult and painful but it’s always the best policy in journaling. How will you ever learn about yourself if you cannot be honest?
3. Note each encounter
Each time an encounter happens that made you feel a certain way – whether hopeful, happy, sad, big crushes, small crushes, these are great things to note in your journal. Eventually you’ll develop your own language for describing the good, bad and ugly of your dating universe!
4. Use humour
Dating’s a serious game but using humour, even in your own private diaries, is an incredible way to tease out your own feelings and process them in a way that doesn’t hurt you.
5. Always positive
A diary is a way to process all kinds of feelings, but ultimately the purpose is to keep you moving forward with confidence and swagger. So keep entries positive – no dwelling on dating disasters please!
Should you share your diary online?
There are some people who over-share. And others who, to be honest, under-share. Definitely do not publish anything that compromises your own safety. And that includes emotional safety just as much as personal safety. Don’t publish something that could be used against you.
Of course if you’re making your diary entries public, you ought not to reveal any personally-identifiable information that can be used to identify you in the real world. Keep it generic. You needn’t use your real name and it’s best not to name and shame.