With 1.6 Billion Swipes a Day, Can we Learn to Love?
By Dr. Monica Murphy
The average number of daily swipes on Tinder is a massive 1.6 billion. Despite the app’s popularity, it’s no secret that many people remain unfulfilled and lonely in their quest to find, and keep LOVE. I have often wondered if it’s possible to teach people how to love, in the spirit of training and particularly in some of our workshops such as Emotional Intelligence and Being your Best Self. Recently, I read a book titled ‘The Rules of Love’ which is a wonderful, practical guide to the subject written by Richard Templar. I have summarised here his core points:
Be Your Best Self – Loving someone else starts with being the best you can be. This means taking responsibility for yourself, not being lazy, taking care of your physical, mental and emotional health. Finding and keeping love requires you to make a consistent effort with yourself. You don’t have to be perfect by any means, but you do have to make the best of the attributes you have. Work on your confidence and social skills so that you don’t need drink or some other substance to connect with people online or off-line.
Get over it – Many people find it difficult to move on after a failed relationship (and this may not be a romantic one – it could be a poor relationship with a parent or sibling in which hurt, negativity and resentment is nurtured) and so they have the weight of this hurt dragging them down. Forgive and forget - accept the things you cannot change, wish the other person happiness and then get busy moving on with your own life. Address any deep-rooted trauma with professional counselling if you feel you cannot move on.
You will know them when you meet them. I’m not ashamed to say that between two-week teenage romances and more serious relationships, I had amassed at least 10 ‘relationships’ before meeting my husband. We met in November when I was 24 and we bought a house together the following March. Many of my friends and family were shocked at the speed at which we moved. In a way, one of the things most attractive about him was the fact that he did not have many of the attributes that previous boyfriends had – so in other words, I knew exactly what I didn’t want!!
Be realistic with your list! We all had/have a list. The perfect person who we imagine we would settle down with. The good thing about having had previous relationships (some of whom had ticked all the things on my list) was to learn that my list was stupid. If X has all the requirements on your list, why aren’t you happy? Probably because true love is more about how the other person makes you feel – whether they make you laugh, are considerate, generous etc. than the things that usually make the list (physical features, choice of shoes, earning capacity, material items)
Don’t Keep Making the Same Mistakes – Learn to identify the signs that you are going in the wrong direction (again!) - if something doesn’t feel right – the language the person uses, the way they treat service staff in a restaurant, the length of time it takes them to buy a round, how they treat their parents/friends) then stay away. You should know yourself well enough to know what you don’t want and as soon as you spot it, walk away. People don’t usually change no matter how much they say they will.
Go to social events and speak to people - this seems ridiculously simple but many people struggle with speaking to new people face to face. Related to point 1, it can be easy to take the lazy approach and spend the evening looking for love from the comfort of your couch using your mobile device that actually going out to social events and speaking to real, live people. Take a real interest in people and practice your (sober) conversational skills regularly. You never know where it might lead…
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