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What Is A Serial Dater And Why Can’t They Stand Loneliness?

What Is A Serial Dater And Why Can’t They Stand Loneliness?

A relationship between compatible people can undoubtedly be a source of great and lasting happiness for both partners. Usually a lonely place in which friends and even lovers are consistently lost and replaced, life is made better by a stable, healthy relationship.

However, that rarely happens.

Even marriages, supposedly stable relationships by definition, are being wrecked by high levels of divorce.[1] According to the CDC, if 6.9 people out of 1000 got married in the 2000-2014 period, 3.2 filed for divorce. Almost half of the people who vowed eternal love and support for one another could not bring themselves to stay together.

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The modern dating environment has encouraged more serial daters.

As a result, speed and online dating have reached record levels of popularity, with online and mobile sites and applications making meeting people easier than ever. With such a great “offer” and a corresponding “demand”, the modern dating environment has spawned its ultimate user and beneficiary – the serial dater.

The serial dater is a very recent breed. Natural expert of the dating sites and applications such as Tinder or PlentyofFish, the speed dater will come home from a date and login into their account without a second thought. This is not because he is looking for true love, but because of deeper psychological motivations.

In actuality, speed daters are not superficial or even morally loose individuals. They make a conscious bid on bachelor life and all its benefits while keeping a foot in the door of romantic engagement. It is their way of trying to keep best of both worlds. If successful for them, this way of living leaves a trail of heartbroken and disappointed lovers behind ever serial dater.

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“The greatest downfall of a serial dater is his or her ongoing anxiety about commitment. Quite often, serial daters are jaded and don’t have confidence in everlasting love, so they fill their time with momentary men or women who will fill the void of a long-term relationship”.

Humanity’s understanding of love, supposedly a pure and natural feeling, has changed throughout time. However, it is the modern world and its pervasive high-speed nature that has penetrated even the innermost corners of ourselves, changing our romantic expectations and wants. Serial daters may think they have cracked the code and beat the system, but that only leaves the rest of us struggling to make do and hoping to not get hurt too badly.

There are actually two types of serial daters.

The first type of serial dater is the Pragmatic.

He or she knows that the excitement of a new relationship makes you feel empowered and on top of the world.[2] As a result, they are constantly looking for that feeling in every new and short-lived relationship while maintaining their overall preference for single life. The Pragmatic has all but given up true love, being satisfied by these extreme but fleeting moments of joy.

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The second type of serial dater is the Semi-Romantic.

People who fit in this category truly believe in the existence of true love and soul mates and do not see anything wrong with engaging in the dating game. Instead, they view the modern dating market as an opportunity to “play the numbers”. The more people they meet and date, the better changes they have of meeting The One.

A serial dater avoids any serious connections at all costs.

The serial dater is a social being by excellence. The center of the group or party, he or she will make an immediate impression on the opposite gender. As a result, the serial dater will always have at all times at least one person with whom to flirt.

If you are that person, a tell-tale sign is the fact that you are not included in his or her life. You may see each other for a few hours every couple of days, time in which you will feel as the center of the world, but the fact is that you aren’t allowed deeper access into their lives.

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Serial daters strictly avoid getting to know you or you getting to know them. This way they can stay emotionally disconnected from their timely partners and can quickly switch from one lover to another. Serious talks about your relationship are also something to avoid at all costs for speed daters. Instead, once out of the “honeymoon” phase of the relationship, they value social approval, sex or material gains more than feelings.

If you realize that you’re dating a serial dater, please walk away from them.

Once you realize that you have picked out a serial dater out of the perpetually overcrowded dating market, the most obvious action would be to gradually distance yourself from him or her.

Serial daters can go to great lengths just for a new romantic conquest but once the battle is fought and castle conquered, their interest quickly fades away. However, strong relationships are defined by constant strains from both partners toward making it work. If your partner shows no sign of such a behavior, he or she might not be the one.

If you meet and recognize a speed dater, resist the impulse to engage with him or her. Nod and laugh but move on. Just as life is too short for serial daters to commit to a potentially disappointing sincere relationship, it can also be too short for others to share in their seemingly fickle romantic life.

Reference

[1] National Centre for Health Statistics: National Marriage and Divorce Rate Trends
[2] Lifehack: 10 Ways To Keep Your Relationship Exciting And Fresh

More by this author

Saminu Abass

Content Writer and Blogger

Don’t Let Social Media Control Your Body and Mind. It’s Killing Your Productivity. To Live a Much More Fulfilling Life, Aim at Self Actualization What Is A Serial Dater And Why Can’t They Stand Loneliness? Will Your Own Business Be a Huge Success? These 8 Predictors Can Tell the Answer Don’t Be Fooled by Social Media. Most People Feel Lonely Too.

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Last Updated on October 30, 2019

How the Stages of Change Model Helps You Change Your Habits

How the Stages of Change Model Helps You Change Your Habits

Change is tough, there’s no doubt about it. Old habits are hard to shift, and adopting a new lifestyle can feel like an uphill battle!

In this article, you will learn about a simple yet powerful model:

Stages of change model, that explains the science behind personal transformation.

You’ll discover how and why some changes stick whereas others don’t last, and how long it takes to build new habits.

What is the Stages of Change Model?

Developed by researchers J.O. Prochaska and Carlo C. DiClemente over 30 years ago[1] and outlined in their book Changing For Good, the Stages of Change Model, also known as the Transtheoretical Model, was formed as a result of the authors’ research with smokers.

Prochaska and DiClemente were originally interested in the question of why some smokers were able to quit on their own, whereas others required professional help. Their key conclusion was that smokers (or anyone else with a bad habit) quits only when they are ready to do so.

Here’s an illustration done by cartoonist and illustrator Simon Kneebone about the different stages a smoker experiences when they try to quit smoking:

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    The Stages of Change Model looks at how these conscious decisions are made. It emphasizes that change isn’t easy. People can spend a long time stuck in a stage, and some may never reach their goals.[2]

    The model has been applied in the treatment of smoking, alcoholism, and drugs. It is also a useful way of thinking about any bad habit. Social workers, therapists, and psychologists draw on the model to understand their patients’ behaviors, and to explain the change process to the patients themselves.

    The key advantages to the model is that it is simple to understand, is backed by extensive research, and can be applied in many situations.

    The Stages of Change Model is a well-established psychological model that outlines six stages of personal change:

    1. Precontemplation
    2. Contemplation
    3. Determination
    4. Action
    5. Maintenance
    6. Termination

    How are these stages relevant to changing habits?

    To help you visualize the stages of change and how each progresses to the next one, please take a look at this wheel:[3]

      Let’s look at the six stages of change,[4] together with an example that will show you how the model works in practice:

      Stage 1: Precontemplation

      At this stage, an individual does not plan to make any positive changes in the next six months. This may because they are in denial about their problem, feel too overwhelmed to deal with it, or are too discouraged after multiple failed attempts to change.

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      For example, someone may be aware that they need to start exercising, but cannot find the motivation to do so. They might keep thinking about the last time they tried (and failed) to work out regularly. Only when they start to realize the advantages of making a change will they progress to the next stage.

      Stage 2: Contemplation

      At this stage, the individual starts to consider the advantages of changing. They start to acknowledge that altering their habits would probably benefit them, but they spend a lot of time thinking about the downside of doing so. This stage can last for a long time – possibly a year or more.

      You can think of this as the procrastinating stage. For example, an individual begins to seriously consider the benefits of regular exercise, but feels resistant when they think about the time and effort involved. When the person starts putting together a concrete plan for change, they move to the next stage.

      The key to moving from this stage to the next is the transformation of an abstract idea to a belief (e.g. from “Exercise is a good, sensible thing to do” to “I personally value exercise and need to do it.)[5]

      Stage 3: Preparation

      At this point, the person starts to put a plan in place. This stage is brief, lasting a few weeks. For example, they may book a session with a personal trainer and enrol on a nutrition course.

      Someone who drinks to excess may make an appointment with a drug and alcohol counsellor; someone with a tendency to overwork themselves might start planning ways to devise a more realistic schedule.

      Stage 4: Action

      When they have decided on a plan, the individual must then put it into action. This stage typically lasts for several months. In our example, the person would begin attending the gym regularly and overhauling their diet.

      Stage 4 is the stage at which the person’s desire for change becomes noticeable to family and friends. However, in truth, the change process began a long time ago. If someone you know seems to have suddenly changed their habits, it’s probably not so sudden after all! They will have progressed through Stages 1-3 first – you probably just didn’t know about it.

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      Stage 5: Maintenance

      After a few months in the Action stage, the individual will start to think about how they can maintain their changes, and make lifestyle adjustments accordingly. For instance, someone who has adopted the habit of regular workouts and a better diet will be vigilant against old triggers (such as eating junk food during a stressful time at work) and make a conscious decision to protect their new habits.

      Unless someone actively engages with Stage 5, their new habits are liable to come unstuck. Someone who has stuck to their new habits for many months – perhaps a year or longer – may enter Stage 6.

      Maintenance can be challenging because it entails coming up with a new set of habits to lock change in place. For instance, someone who is maintaining their new gym-going habit may have to start improving their budgeting skills in order to continue to afford their gym membership.

      Stage 6: Termination

      Not many people reach this stage, which is characterized by a complete commitment to the new habit and a certainty that they will never go back to their old ways. For example, someone may find it hard to imagine giving up their gym routine, and feel ill at the thought of eating junk food on a regular basis.

      However, for the majority of people, it’s normal to stay in the Maintenance period indefinitely. This is because it takes a long time for a new habit to become so automatic and natural that it sticks forever, with little effort. To use another example, an ex-smoker will often find it hard to resist the temptation to have “just one” cigarette even a year or so after quitting. It can take years for them to truly reach the Termination stage, at which point they are no more likely to smoke than a lifelong non-smoker.

      How long does each stage take?

      You should be aware that some people remain in the same stage for months or even years at a time. Understanding this model will help you be more patient with yourself when making a change. If you try to force yourself to jump from Contemplation to Maintenance, you’ll just end up frustrated. On the other hand, if you take a moment to assess where you are in the change process, you can adapt your approach.

      So if you need to make changes quickly and you are finding it hard to progress to the next stage, it’s probably time to get some professional help or adopt a new approach to forming habits.

      The limitations of this model

      The model is best applied when you decide in advance precisely what you want to achieve, and know exactly how you will measure it (e.g. number of times per week you go to the gym, or number of cigarettes smoked per day). Although the model has proven useful for many people, it does have limitations.

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      Require the ability to set a realistic goal

      For a start, there are no surefire ways of assessing whereabouts in the process you are – you just have to be honest with yourself and use your own judgement. Second, it assumes that you are physically capable of making a change, whereas in fact you might either need to adjust your goals or seek professional help.

      If your goal isn’t realistic, it doesn’t matter whether you follow the stages – you still won’t get results. You need to decide for yourself whether your aims are reasonable.[6]

      Difficult to judge your progress

      The model also assumes that you are able to objectively measure your own successes and failures, which may not always be the case.[7] For instance, let’s suppose that you are trying to get into the habit of counting calories as part of your weight-loss efforts. However, even though you may think that you are recording your intake properly, you might be over or under-estimating.

      Research shows that most people think they are getting enough exercise and eating well, but in actual fact aren’t as healthy as they believe. The model doesn’t take this possibility into account, meaning that you could believe yourself to be in the Action stage yet aren’t seeing results. Therefore, if you are serious about making changes, it may be best to get some expert advice so that you can be sure the changes you are making really will make a positive difference.

      Conclusion

      The Stages Of Change Model can be a wonderful way to understand change in both yourself and others.

      While there’re some limitations in it, the Stages of Change Model helps to visualize how you go through changes so you know what to expect when you’re trying to change a habit or make some great changes in life.

      Start by identifying one of your bad habits. Where are you in the process? What could you do next to move forwards?

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Psych Central: Stages Of Change
      [2] Boston University School Of Public Health: The Transtheoretical Model (Stages Of Change)
      [3] Empowering Change: Stages of Change
      [4] Boston University School Of Public Health: The Transtheoretical Model (Stages Of Change)
      [5] Psychology Today: 5 Steps To Changing Any Behavior
      [6] The Transtheoretical Model: Limitations Of The Transtheoretical Model
      [7] Health Education Research: Transtheoretical Model & Stages Of Change: A Critique

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