It’s a concrete documentation of your emotional state, of your behavior, your immediate thoughts and reactions.In a lot of ways, it’s a method of having a long-form conversation with yourself.

One of the hardest parts of dating is that, more often than not, you’re doing it in a vacuum.

It’s not exactly as though you can hand out comment cards to your dates and ex-girlfriends and get some constructive criticism. Second, many times it’s not going to be actionable advice anyway.

And third, let’s be honest: they just left you for a reason. Unless you’ve got someone who’s actually watching every move you make, you’re going to have to do your own relationship troubleshooting.

So from constant strings of rejection, to flakes to bad break-ups, here’s how you learn to fix your dating mistakes. Part of the reason why dating issues are often so hard to solve is because you’re too close to the source.

One of the first things you should be doing if you’re having a lot of dating problems is to start keeping records. It’s a forest for the trees issue; you’re so up close and personal that you can’t see what’s going on.

You’re frustrated, you’re horny, you want to make that next date work…

you’re not really in any position to be at all objective or to take the larger view.

If you want to start pinpointing issues, you need to have the raw, dispassionate data and you’re not going to have that just from your day to day observations. The benefit of keeping a journal is that it is a record of events that’s going to be more reliable than just trusting your memory to keep everything straight.

If you have a journal of some form, then make sure that any entries that involve your dating problems are tagged appropriately so you can find and group them quickly and efficiently.