How Journaling Can Improve Your Dating Life

Journaling is an underrated tool for improving your dating life. We discuss why.


If you’ve journaled before, you probably know what a life-changing experience it can be. Journaling is a powerful tool for self-reflection and personal growth in all areas— not just dating. It can help you to clarify your thoughts and feelings, identify your goals, and make positive changes in your life. It can help you process difficult emotions, inspire creativity, and feel more grounded. Many people use journaling to improve their mental health and provide a routine of mindfulness and clarity, among many other benefits. At Strategy Journaling Co., we believe that journaling can help you with some of life’s biggest challenges. In this article, we’ll discuss how you can use journaling to improve your dating life and why you might want to keep a dating journal.

Why You Should Keep a Dating Journal

Dating is one of the most important things you’re going to do in your life. Who you choose as a long-term partner will be one of your most impactful life choices—and yet so many of us treat dating so casually. We spend so much time swiping, getting ready for dates, and going on bad date after bad date—but we often don’t take the time to step back and look at the big picture. Are the people we’re dating right for us? How are we finding these people, and is that really working for us? What do we even truly want in a partner, and how do we find people with those qualities? Instead we’re throwing darts in the dark—hoping that this next person we randomly swiped on just happens to be who we’re looking for.

We propose adding a bit of mindfulness and reflection to the journey—by keeping a dating journal.

It doesn’t have to be anything too complicated—no need to transcribe and analyze every word of every date—jotting down a few impressions and taking some time to think through the bigger, existential questions is enough. Your dating life will thank you for it, and so will your future self.

Why Keep a Journal, When I Listen to So Much Dating Advice?

person sitting on wooden chair

Advice is useless without application, we all know this. We can listen to thousands of hours of dating advice, without actually having it affect our actions—because we’re not taking the time to deeply think through how we can incorporate changes. Journaling gives you the time and space to think about how you’ll make changes to your life.

Furthermore, we’re somewhat skeptical of dating advice in general. Of course there is wonderful advice out there—and there is also nonsense you should never listen to. There’s advice that’s perfect for your best friend, but is absolutely not what you need. When it comes to making changes to your dating life, you are the only person with full context on your situation. We strongly believe that you are the best person to give yourself advice—and journaling will guide you through that process. When you spend the time to think through and reflect on your needs, desires, and behaviors, the insights you arrive at will be more applicable to your life than what any dating expert can tell you. Our belief is that taking the time to review and reflect before and after dates will help you date more mindfully, find who you’re looking for and have a better time dating. We created our dating journal to help you do just this.

What Exactly Can a Dating Journal Help With?

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Journaling can help us process the tough emotions that come up when dating. If you’re currently dating, you know how emotionally fraught it the experience can be. Modern dating, especially online dating, can be overwhelming and exhausting. Furthermore, we often go into dating without really knowing what we want from it; hoping for the best without a clear idea of what we’re looking for, or how to find it. Or, if dating is not going as well as we’d hoped, it’s hard to get a clear sense of what is wrong—is it us? Is it bad luck? Are there no good men/women/cyborgs left out there? We can ask friends, family, and the internet for advice as to what we’re doing wrong—but that only goes so far, because they do not have the emotional context or investment that we have about our own lives. Instead, we believe that being honest with yourself via journaling can help your dating life in ways that traditional dating advice cannot. Here are some of the areas you can focus on while journaling about your dating life:

  • Figuring out what is going wrong. Sometimes, we get stuck in dating patterns that we can’t seem to break out of. Why do I keep going on first dates that go nowhere? Why do I keep going on dates that I find absolutely boring?The first step to moving past these dating blocks is to notice them. This might be something you do with friends or a therapist, but journaling can help you be truly honest with yourself if you’re not ready to be honest with someone else.
  • Figuring out what is going right. Just as important as the above, when something goes well, you want to notice it. Maybe you gave somebody a chance that you didn’t think would be a good fit for you, and they were wonderful. Maybe you were able to notice red flags that a younger version of you would have ignored. Noticing and celebrate these wins in your journal can help you continue to have them.
  • Increasing self-awareness, and understanding your needs and desires. Journaling can help you become more self-aware by giving you a space to reflect on your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. You’ll be able to better identify your own needs and desires and express them while dating. What are you looking for in a partner? What are your deal-breakers? Journaling can help you to get clear on your needs and desires so that you can be more intentional about your dating life.
  • Setting goals and staying focused. Journaling can help you set goals for your dating life. What are you looking for in a partner? What kind of relationship do you want? By working through these questions, you can stay focused on finding the right person (or people) for you.
  • Improving communication. Journaling can help you improve your communication skills. When you write about your thoughts and feelings, you are forced to slow down and process them in a more deliberate way. This can help you become a more effective communicator, both in and out of the dating world. You’ll be able to more effectively express what you want, both to your dates and to yourself.
  • Overcoming negative thought patterns. Do you have any negative beliefs about yourself or dating that are holding you back? Do you have dating baggage that you’d like to shed? Journaling can help you to identify and challenge these beliefs so that you can start to date with more confidence and positivity.
  • Processing your emotions. Dating can be a rollercoaster of emotions. Journaling can be a safe space for you to express your feelings, both positive and negative. For example, rejection can be incredibly painful, and though it is a common part of dating, that doesn’t make it any easier to go through. Journaling about tough experiences can help you to process your emotions in a healthy way and move on.
  • Identifying red flags. Journaling can help you identify red flags in potential partners. It can help you track your feelings so that you can make informed decisions about who to date.
  • Celebrating the journey. Journaling can ultimately help you look back on your time dating as a positive experience. You’ll have space to celebrate the small wins and look back on fun (or funny) moments. When you have a successful date or meet someone you really like, take a moment to journal about it. It will help you to appreciate the good things in your dating life, rather than focusing on the bad, and stay excited to keep trying when things get tough.

And there’s one last reason you should consider keeping a dating journal…

Keeping a Dating Journal as a Memento

photo of person holding cup

We’re romantics at heart. We think there’s something lovely about having a record of the journey you went through to find your partner, to look back on when years pass. Consider this the modern-day version of the letters your grandmother wrote to your grandfather. A dating journal will be something to look back on when you’re done with this phase of your life.

How to Get Started with Keeping a Dating Journal

Image of a dating journal in red

Convinced? Great! Here are some tips on starting a dating journal:

  • Find a journaling method that works for you. There are many different types of journaling you can try. You can write in a traditional journal, use a free journaling app, or even create a video journal. You can use any notebook you have, or get a journal specifically for dating. You can check out The Date Book for a guided journal specifically about dating. Experiment with different methods until you find one that you enjoy and that helps you to express yourself freely.
  • Set aside some time each after your dates to journal. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes, make journaling a regular part of your routine. This will help you to make it a habit and to get the most out of the process.
  • Be honest with yourself. Journaling is a great way to get to know yourself better. Don’t be afraid to be honest with yourself about your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. This is your journal, so there’s no one else to judge you.
  • Be open to growth. Journaling can be a powerful tool for personal growth. Be open to learning and changing as you journal. The more you journal, the more you’ll learn about yourself and the more you’ll be able to improve your dating life.
  • Check out our blog about journaling for more tips on starting a journaling practice or our social media for more inspiration and prompts.

Our Dating Journal

You can definitely keep a dating journal on your own and do as you’d like—but if you’re looking for a little more structure, our dating journal is a great option. We wrote The Date Book to be help you with all of the things we’ve listed in this article—reflection, mindfulness, and to be a memento for your dating life. It’s a guided journal that will lead you through the process of discovering what you really want from dating, figuring out how to find it, and staying mindful during and after your dates. It will help you process the difficult emotions that come with dating and help make dating a joyful experience. If you’re looking for love, we think it’s a great option—please check it out!

couple on top of rocks


We hope that we’ve convinced you to try journaling to help your dating life. We promise that you’ll see benefits, and hopefully enjoy the process of keeping a dating journal. Thanks for reading, and as always, happy dating.

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