Depending on when you’re asked that question, your answer might change dramatically. That’s because dating is a mix of wildly different experiences.
Sometimes it’s fun, like a first kiss. Sometimes it’s intense, like the first real fight. Sometimes it’s lighthearted and carefree. And sometimes it’s nerve racking and exhausting.
Dating is all of those things and more because dating is an EMOTIONAL experience.
Which is good! One of the things that makes romance so fulfilling is the impact it has on our emotions. But there’s a downside.
When emotions run high, it’s much harder to make smart choices. Just think about the last time you were really angry. Were you at the top of your game, 100% rational?
Nope, probably not. That’s okay. Me, neither.
Any emotion, from anger to exhilaration, can muddy the waters. When that happens, a lot of people, both men and women, find themselves making poor decisions.
But there’s a way to surf the emotional wave AND make good choices. It’s a simple mind hack that’s been proven to have several positive effects on decision making.[i]
All you have to do is create what’s known as “psychological distance.” Psychological distance means creating distance from yourself within your mind.
There are a couple of easy ways to do that. You can imagine yourself as a completely different person. For example, instead of an American professional woman, you could imagine that you’re a sheep herder in another part of the world.
Another way is to imagine yourself far off in the future. Like, decades from now.
Either technique will give you some mental breathing room and allow you to see your present life and relationship very differently. As a result, you’ll have a clearer picture of your options.
Below are three times you can use this simple-yet-powerful strategy.