Why Women Should Keep a Relationship Journal
I have kept a journal since I was in 3rd grade. I used to have a physical notebook, but converted it to electronic format in 2012 so I could write on the go. I haven’t written in my journal for months. I usually only do so when something is weighing me down or so exciting that I must get it out. I hardly ever go back and read my journal entries, but the other day, my life coach told me I needed to start jotting down my business ideas. I decided to write in my journal and stumbled across a post from seven months ago.
I had started a new job and was miserable. Not because the job was toxic or bad, but because I had the opportunity to work a remote position and chose the job with more money, but with a longer commute. I beat myself up about it for months. I was also concerned about my personal endeavors and was trying to make up my mind about going back to school. My tone was not happy and I wasn’t sure where my life was going.
Fast forward and I got over my job situation and learned it was the best decision after all. My personal life improved for the better and I no longer talked about school, I enrolled! The reason why I didn’t take that remote position is because I would not have had a work-life balance and would have had to be available 24/7 for calls and travel. Well, if I had that type of job, I wouldn’t have been able to go to night school for my Esthetician program! My journal was living proof that things can turn around.
The reality is, if I had not read my journal, I would not have known how far I have come and the successes I conquered. Sometimes life can seem mundane and stagnant and we forget to sit back and recall our achievements. We forget circumstances in our life and don’t realize we are always moving forward and progressing. And for some people, they may be in the same place and it’s a wake-up call to get moving.
After I read that entry, I was way too curious of my thoughts years prior and began reading about how I fell in love with my husband five years ago.
I was raw and my emotions were real. I talked about what I liked, disliked and the yellow flags I noticed on the field when writing about my then boyfriend. What was astonishing is that two months into the relationship, I was calling him my husband. I am a firm believer that it does not take that long to know when someone is right for you. And the saying is true, when you know, you know and will know without a shadow of a doubt! I knew we were going to get married and time showed that as we are now married. Not only did I write about my feelings, I wrote about how he treated me. He totally courted me, was patient with me and absolutely adored me. It was the first time I have ever said that about anyone and it made me love him that much more when I read about him again. Of course, I had written about my toxic and failed relationships too so I could definitely see the contrast and the growth in my dating decisions.
I say this to say, ladies, if you are constantly finding yourself with the wrong type of men, you must look at the common denominator – yourself. Keeping an honest journal of your relationships will teach you your boundaries, needs, wants and desires. It will show you what you compromised on, settled for and decided to deal with. You’ll be able to go back and read about how it started, where it was headed and how it is currently doing. It is so important to know if you are in a healthy relationship.
If you find that your journal is full of negativity and red flags, it’s probably a good idea to move on. If the bad outweighs the good and you have not progressed, you need to move on. If you are constantly bending over backwards and are not being met in the middle, it’s time to move on. If you are sacrificing your morals and values, it is time to move on. If things start to go downhill, you will find exactly when that happened in your journal. However, if it’s going well, you can feel confident about moving forward. If you wanted things to change, it can help you monitor what has and has not changed and help you determine your next steps.
Even for women in great relationships, keeping a journal is still a good idea. It helps you screen the temperature of your relationship and witness how far you have come. Sometimes we nag our partners about doing something, but fail to tell them we appreciate them when they do it. Having a journal will help recount those times and keep things in perspective.
Keeping a journal is very healthy, but just like a scale, you don’t need to weigh yourself every day. Give yourself some time to evolve and in those moments of self-doubt, read your journal for it never lies if you are honest with yourself.