No matter how long or short your encounter is with another person, each interaction brings potential lessons to be learned. While many of us wade through a sea of people on dating apps and in person, we often find ourselves going after a certain type of individual without deeply questioning why we like a specific look or set of characteristics. Failing to understand our preferences can lead us to go after certain types of people who may not be the best for us. Instead, if we take the time to analyze what went right and wrong, we can learn from each encounter and optimize our dating life. If you date with a purpose, you will not only allow yourself to enjoy the dating world, but you will also learn more about yourself along the way.
Unfortunately, many of us spend a large portion of our dating life searching aimlessly for the right person without rhyme or reason when we could have been looking with more intent.By looking at our previous encounters and assessing what we liked and did not like, we can begin to better predict future interactions. This will not only help ensure we pick the right caliber of person, but it will also enable us to pass on individuals who do not have the characteristics we desire. As such we will be more willing to invest our time and feel as though we are not wasting it.
Another reason to look back at each encounter is that it allows us the opportunity to get an unbiased opinion about our past experiences. When we have an encounter or a relationship, it is often near impossible for us to look at a situation objectively, especially if we are invested in the other person. What we may have once thought was cute may have been a possessive or jealous trait that we were unaware of. As such, by assessing past experiences, we are often able to see red flags that we may have missed at the time. While these flags are sometimes very apparent, other times we can uncover things we did not see in the moment but make sense in hindsight, which demonstrates the beginning of the end.
Finally, when we are open to the idea of self-reflection, we are often surprised by how far we have come and how much we have grown. Although many encounters bring positive experiences into the mix, others can impact our perceptions of the opposite sex or change our behavior more permanently. While we would like to think that we go for people that bring the best out of us, we sometimes mistakenly find ourselves in situations or encounters that are not in line with who we truly are, and as such, our values become challenged. In those instances, we must hope that we have the strength of character or a solid support system to help remind us of who we are and bring us back to our equilibrium. Dating, much like life, has its highs and lows, but when we learn from our past and our mistakes, we grow as people and become better equipped to handle the future. Likewise, we are better able to leave the past behind us, move on, and build something stronger in its foundation and more suited to our “best self.”