Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.
What a great thought.
It has been imparted on us by none other than wise old Oogway in "Kung Fu Panda." He’s basically one of the greatest mentors from any DreamWorks' film.
So he’s gotta know his sh*t, right?
What happens when we apply this idea to our dating lives?
Our hang-ups about the past and our worries about the future tend to get in the way of the great gift of our dating present.
Why is it so damn hard to stay in the present when it comes to dating?
We love to sit and dwell upon our dating pasts.
We choose to reread our personal history novels over and over again, even though we know the stories by heart.
We are their primary authors, and we are far too familiar with its lead characters and plot lines.
It’s hard for many of us to let go of the past, so we spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about it.
We continue to replay the same memories and scenes in our minds, whether our go-tos are hurtful memories guarding our hearts for the future, or happy memories of snuggling with people we can't forget about.
The past has a way of sticking with us.
Another wise saying can help us out here:
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
Sitting and dwelling on your dating past can seem pretty unproductive, and it can lead you to hang on to an ex or toxic relationship.
But it's totally fine if you're still learning from it, in the hopes of not repeating the same mistakes again.
Remember the lessons of your past, but don't get stuck there.
Don't let your past prevent you from enjoying your present.
Our lives are overcomplicated and overstimulated.
We are the generation that plays on our favorite iPhone apps, while watching a movie and talking on the phone to our friends.
We can barely make it through a meal without checking our phones or becoming distracted.
Are we ever really in the “present?” If so, what are we making of it?
What does the “dating present” even look like? Spending dinner dates texting, or wasting 20 minutes filtering the photo of our meals?
Our dating present really is no presence at all. It's a cluttered mess.
We are too busy focusing on looking like we don't give a f*ck, making up for the mistakes of the past and worrying about what the future holds.
We don’t ever take a moment to sit back and enjoy it.
People who are single are dying to be in relationships, and people in relationships are constantly questioning the future.
Whatever “present” state we are in just never seems to be enough for us.
The grass seems to always be greener on the other side, and we just don't know what to do.
Something paralyzes us from enjoying the present, and it's usually our sadness and bitterness about our past or our anxieties about the future.
If we could all have our own private psychic tell us exactly what our dating futures hold, at least 95 percent of us would sign right up and make said psychic our new BFF.
We are constantly wondering and worrying about what the future holds.
The first time we go out on a date with a great new dating prospect, one of our first thoughts is, “Am I ready to settle down?”
Of course, we can't forget the classic, “What if someone better comes along?”
When we're in relationships, we're constantly worried about what changes the future could have in store for us.
Whether we're hoping for positive changes or worrying about negative ones, we can't help but think about them all the time.
This is especially true for those of us who have been hurt before. We worry the future could potentially hold another broken heart.
The future is indeed a mystery, and that makes it so intriguing to us.
At times, it seems like anything is possible. But at other times, it seems like we're facing bleak options (if any at all).
Your perception of the future influences your perception of the present.
If you think your future is bright, you will automatically have a more positive outlook on your dating present.
Whether you're single AF or in the best relationship you’ve ever been in, positivity will either make or break your outlook.
So, why is it so hard for us to kick back, relax and be at peace with our past, present and future?
Can we all just take a moment and believe we are exactly where we need to be?
Every piece of our past happened for a reason, and our futures hold great things.
If we can get ourselves to believe that, can we finally just “be” and enjoy our dating present?