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Should We All Aspire To Be Serial Daters?

Should We All Aspire To Be Serial Daters?

The traditional dating scene has changed a lot over the last decade. Gone are the days when most people would meet someone at school, university or a friend’s party, fall in love and start their journey together.

For today’s single’s, finding true love seems a lot further from reach and with all the dating apps available like Tinder and Bumble, it makes meeting people on a more casual basis much easier and accepted.

So what does this mean for the love life of a modern 21st century working millennial? The answer for many is serial dating; the ease of choosing many people with a simple swipe means you can go on multiple dates with multiple people if you choose to.

But what’s it really like being a serial dater? We’ve got the answers for you…

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Lifehack: Why are you a serial dater?

“A huge reason why I was serial dating, or jumping from relationship to relationship, was because I was trying to find someone who could finally make me feel okay in my own skin. I wanted a human to cure the constant ache in my chest. No matter how much I thought the next person was going to fix me, they never did. Even when I found someone who loved me to pieces, they couldn’t take away that ache. I learned that I was expecting way too much from a person. Instead, I found my way to a few spiritual practices that could actually help the ache.”

“I genuinely do it for fun and meeting different people. Yes, there may be a slight fear of commitment but I also believe in good timing when the right person comes along. I figure I may as well have fun along the way.”

“There is no moment that we appreciate more than the present one. Right now is the best time to be happy, to be doing what you want to do than waiting for something to happen the next day, or the day after that to give us joy and satisfaction. We don’t start dating with the goal of making it work throughout our lives, which takes the pressure off and lets us be more spontaneous and fun and occasionally, even a bit reckless.”

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Lifehack: What have you learnt from being a serial dater?

“We all have tapes playing in our heads, most of them from childhood. My tapes were mean and incredibly sneaky. They whispered to me that I was unlovable, unworthy, and incapable of having healthy relationships. Of course these beliefs destroyed any chance at a nice relationship. I had to learn to recognise and challenge them over the years if I wanted to have any semblance of a healthy relationship.”

Lifehack: What are the worst experiences you’ve had?

“I was once on a date at a fancy restaurant with a terribly interesting guy, when the waitress came to our table and begrudgingly passed him a piece of paper. The hand-written note was from a much younger, blonder girl a few tables down, and it said: “Ditch her and meet me for a drink.” He was a gentleman and discarded the note, but let’s just say my confidence had been rattled. I told you it’s brutal out there.”

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Lifehack: What are the downsides to being a serial dater?

“Because I was so amped by chemistry with someone, I didn’t slow down enough to check and see if we were actually compatible. I would formulate a story in my mind about who the person was. I wanted the delusion I created to be the world we lived in, but creating fantasies bit me in the butt. I inevitably grew disappointed in partners when they didn’t meet my crazy expectations and I left.”

Lifehack: People assume serial daters are non-committal and avoiding love. Is this really true?

“No matter how unbelievable this sounds after everything you’ve just read, please know that serial daters believe in love too. We’ve just got a broader definition for it and for us, realism is just as important as faith in love. In fact, its because we believe in love that we want to let go of our partners before we make a mistake or lie to ourselves and end up just messing their lives in the process of trying to be who we are not. Love exists for us too, we just take longer than other people to commit for the sake of that love.”

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What is your motive?

It seems serial dating has it’s pros and cons. While it’s fun to get onto Tinder or Bumble and meet potential romantic interests, going on endless dates can be a underlying cause of fear or loneliness. If you’re single, make sure you check the energy behind your dating life and either enjoy going on many dates or have a rest and re-evaluate your motives.

Featured photo credit: Creative Commons via pixabay.com

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Anna Chui

Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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