Lessons learned while dating (1)

So one of my many New Years’ Resolutions was to get back onto the dating scene. See what is out there. For some people that is probably something that is a given, and not something to make a resolution about. But for me, dating is not part of my life. I have to push myself to do it. Without going into too much detail, lets just say I have been single for over three years and have a deep-seated fear of intimacy.

I thought I would record this journey and the lessons that I have learned so far. Maybe it will help some of you, or maybe it will provide a good laugh at my failures.

So as part of this, I started swiping (again) on Tinder (have such a love-hate relationship with it) and came across a few people who might potentially be interesting. A date was organised. This led to another date. And to another. And now to radio silence.

I am sure most of us would be familiar with this situation.

But to prevent myself from spiraling, questioning what went wrong, I analysed the situation and came up with some thoughts.

With this particular person, I was not sure how I felt. I enjoyed hanging out with him but I was not sure where I wanted it to go. Quick background: he had been texting or ringing me every day for a week or so. Then one day he was not quick at replying to my messages. The next day he did not text. I texted him reasoning its the 21st century. I can make the effort. However, the more distant he got, the more my fight instinct was sparked. This is not a good reason to chase someone. I was chasing him as I felt that I had lost the power in the relationship.

So what do you do? Well that I do not have the answer to. But what I do have is some reflections from the situation.

Firstly, you should only invest in as much time as the other person is investing as that is the basis to a good relationship. Do not base your investment in a guy based on how much you like him, base it in how much he invests in you.

Secondly, you should not be offended. This person barely knows you. He has spend a couple of hours with you. That is not nearly enough time to get to know all your quirks and the depth of your personality. Therefore, do not feel personally offended if the person does not text you. He only knows the surface version of you.

Thirdly, carry on being a busy person. Since I have been single for so long, I am a very busy person. I tend to leave my house at eight in the morning for work and only get back home most nights past eleven. This is because I go to the gym, meet friends for drinks or dinner, go to events, have classes on etc. I am busy. Being a busy person will prevent you from obsessing over someone wondering what they are doing, but will also help you have a healthier future relationship. Your life should not stop for someone else. You should of course make space for them. But I firmly believe that a partner is there to compliment your life, not to complete it.

Fourthly, don’t be bitter. Understand that to find someone to be in a relationship with and to commit wholeheartedly needs to highly compliment you and fulfill your needs. Perhaps that person is not you. And that is okay. You cannot be perfect for everyone. And if you feel you are, then you are most likely catering to the other persons’ needs in place of your own.

 

 

 

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Real talk 1: You have already found your passions

Growing up as a millennial, I am constantly questioned with this idea of finding my passions. What are your passions? Pursue your passions. Go after them etc. But then we are faced with the questions, well what are my passions? This question has been plaguing me for the last six or so months. What are my passions?

 

Well it turns out, I already know my passions. And so do you? What do you do all day as you are sitting around. We are all awake for 14 to 20 hours a day. WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING IN THAT TIME? Well whatever it is, that is your passion. The things you do to fill up that time. That is where your passion lies. For me, its constantly reading about psychology and health and mindset. That is why I set up this blog, to have a place to write about popular psychology and ‘life hacks’.

 

So I know my passion. Now can I make a living out of said passion. That is where my priorities come in. Do I really want to start my studies again and pursue something different? That is where the issue lies. I know my passion and so do you, you just need to decide is it worth pursuing it?

 

Stop netflixing your life away

Netflix. Such a great invention. The ability to access millions of movies and series at the press of a button. Even better now that you don’t have to change for a new episode, it just continuously runs.

I recently made the brave move to delete my Netflix. Why you ask? Well, Netflix is a distraction. It distracts us from our goals, from our vision, from what we want to achieve in life. This may sounds extreme, but think about it. See the below infographic as provided by the Business Insider:

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Here we can see how long it takes to watch an entire series. I have spent hours upon hours watching series after series and I kid you not, some series three times (Gossip Girl in case you were wondering). With this knowledge I decided to do a little calculation. Using this website ‘The Binge Clock’,  I could calculate how many hours I have spent watching Gossip Girl. Well, the truth is, I have spent over two weeks of my life watching Gossip Girl. TWO WEEKS. Lets put that in perspective:

15 days 3 hours = 363 hours

363 hours could have been better spent:

-> Going to the gym every day for a year (and would still have an extra 7 hours);

-> Sleeping more (I am constantly giving out about how little I sleep and how tired I am);

-> Taking up a new hobby such as learning to play the flute, or learning a new language;

-> spending more time with friends or family by giving them a call;

-> working on your side hustle.

But why do we watch it? I think one of the main enjoyments I derive from watching Netflix or any other sort of television series provider is the ability to live vicariously through the lives of others. Take Gossip Girl for example, I get to get a glimpse into the elite world of Manhattan socialites that I would never otherwise be allowed into. And this luxury makes me forget for a second (or for forty minutes) all my problems and brings me into this world of luxury where I almost believe, I am part of that world. Furthermore it is a distraction, a distraction from my current worries and problems, a way to ignore my issues and pretend everything is fine. Netflixing our weekends away is a modern-day phenomenon which is leading people to numb their lives by distracting themselves from their problems and not leading the life they could live.

 

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Now this article is not meant to make any one cold-turkey themselves from Netflix, but just to highlight the amount of time that is wasted on Netflix which could be used far more productively. There is a lot of good to be said for watching series as it is a great way to shut off for a while, but the bring home message of this article is to simply be aware of the tiem you are spending Netflixing especially if you are complaining about not having enoug time to do things.

Discovering yourself: Who am I

More often then not, we let other people define ourselves. Before we are able to form our own idea of who we are, we are told. This is why it it is so important to define yourself in order to achieve the life you want.

Today’s exercise to help you discover your true authentic self is to fill in the blank: I am _______

Write down, without consciously thinking, what you are. Are you a lawyer, a mom, a student, a friend, tired of life, bored, interested, ambitious etc. Look at these words and decide, do these words/labels correspond to the life you want to live, to the goals you wish to achieve?

 

The treadmill of life

I feel like I am stuck. Stuck on this treadmill of life. The alarm goes off. I get up. I get dressed into my black work clothes. I eat my breakfast. I walk to work. I am in work from 9-6. I leave work. I go home. Plans to meet up with friends forgotten. Plans to go to the gym long forgotten. Far too tired. I make dinner. I watch some Netflix. I wash my face and teeth. I get into bed. I check my Facebook for the tenth time that hour. I look at other people’s lives envious of them. I turn off the light. I go to sleep. The alarm goes off and it starts again. Every day.

I cannot live this life for the next forty years.

 

 

Anger: the secondary emotion

Being angry is a natural human experience to have and can sometimes be of benefit by showing you your own limits and boundaries in life. However, being perpetually angry or constantly feeling like you are quelling you anger is not the way to live a happy and fulfilled life.

Anger is known as a secondary emotion. That means it is a cover up emotion as it is a reaction to one of the primary emotions such as frustration. However because it is such a quick reaction to feel anger, most people do not even realise that they are actually experiencing another underlying emotion such as frustration, humiliation or fear.

 

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This knowledge will help you to deal with your anger. Next time you feel yourself getting angry, ask yourself why are you angry. What is causing this anger. Are you frustrated by your computer not working, are you fearful that your boss is going to view you as incompetent and fire you, are you feeling a loss of control in the workplace or are you feeling humiliated by the words being said to you. By identifying this underlying emotion, you will be able to better tackle the issue at hand.

In short, anger is a secondary emotion which means it is triggered by another feeling you are having. It is a healthy emotion but the actions associated with it, can cause issues in your life. 

Action step: next time you are feeling angry, before launching into a tirade of abuse or stifling that anger, take a second and identify exactly what emotion you are feeling be it fear, frustration, guilt, humiliation etc. Once identified, your anger will dissipate and you can focus easier on resolving the issue. 

Overwhelming

This prompt came up in my feed and it got me thinking about being overwhelmed and why those in their twenties are so overwhelmed.

Feeling overwhelmed is a natural human emotion. I think especially in our younger years, we have less experience, less of an idea of what we want to do in life, but on the other hand all these options of what we could do in life.

Your twenties are overwhelming. Most of the major life-decisions are made before someone hits thirty. By the age of thirty, most people have moved out of home, are in a serious relationship with or even living with their (future) partner, are settled in a career path etc. That can be all very overwhelming. If you fuck up your twenties, you are going to forever be playing catch-up. What job to pick and what person to date? Your answer to these questions will set in motion your life for forty plus decades. And that my friends is the truth. Choose carefully, because your twenties define your life. 

No pressure.

via Daily Prompt: Overwhelming