Telling your coworkers that your Friday night plans are to go on a date with yourself might earn you a few strange looks and stilted head-nods, but dating yourself actually presents a wonderful opportunity for you to grow and recharge in a way that regular dating often doesn't. If this is the first time you're hearing about the idea of dating yourself, don't let the concept scare you away; dating yourself can be super fun so long as you know how to treat yourself right.
What Does Dating Yourself Entail?
Dating yourself sounds like it would be a complicated social process that involves a lot of steps and reflection, but really it's treating yourself like a romantic partner and planning dates for you to enjoy. In the same way that you'd think about things that a partner enjoys doing and set a date and time for the two of you to do those activities, so, too, do you do the same things for yourself.
Benefits of Dating Yourself
For some people, the idea of dating yourself feels a bit gimmicky; however, there are some concrete reasons for why you'd want to romance yourself. Take a look at the ways that dating yourself can help you grow as an individual and enrich your future romantic relationships as well:
- Inspires introspection and growth - Dr. Angela Grice, a speech pathologist, explains that "cultivating [a] sense of being alone and making the choice to be alone can help you to develop who you are, your sense of self, and what your true interests are."
- Makes you a better partner - Dating yourself, and learning more about your interests, goals, and habits, can help you become a better partner to anyone you might enter into a relationship with in the future.
- Gives you rest - Even the most extroverted person knows that the world can be an exhausting place, and preparing dates for yourself can inadvertently create an environment where you can enjoy yourself and get the break from the world that you deserve.
Tips for Beginning to Date Yourself
Dating yourself is only as daunting as you make it--which can be quite difficult since you're often your own worst critic. Here are a few suggestions to guide you on your first foray into the solo dating world:
- Be committed - It's all too easy to flake on plans that only you're meant to attend, but if you get into a habit of making excuses for not following through with an intention you've set, then how can you expect yourself to do it in the future with any possible partners that you might have?
- Take your taste into account - Since you know yourself best, you have all the tools to ensure that you have a great time on your solo date; so, make sure that you plan activities that you know you're going to enjoy.
- Pamper yourself - When you look your best, you feel your best, and the same can be said when you look your best for yourself. Of course, pampering yourself looks different for every person, but whether you're putting on your favorite shade of lipstick, your beloved hoodie, or those sunglasses that make you feel cool, you're sure to put yourself in the right mindset to have a blast.
- Step out of the box - It's time to break out of your comfort zone and try something you've never done before; not only will this give you the confidence that you can do anything you set your mind to, but it'll give you a taste for the confident feeling of being able to take on the unknowns of the world on your own.
- Take it seriously - Above all else, you need to make sure that you take your solo dating seriously; if you treat it like a joke, the only person's time that you're wasting is your own.
Solo Date Ideas
Once you've committed to the idea of trying to romance yourself comes the time to actually plan your solo date. As with planning any dates, you might feel overwhelmed at the possibilities and indecisive about which option you're going to enjoy the most. Never fear, because the sky's the limit. Try some fun and unique solo date ideas to help you feel inspired to envision your own.
Visit a Café You've Never Been to Before
Take yourself on a taste-bud tingling adventure, and test out a café you've never visited before. This date works for brunch and lunch plans as you can enjoy the delights of the breakfast menu mixed with a sprinkling of the heavier mid-day meals. You might just discover your next home away from home.
Go Thrifting and Try on Everything
Half of the fun of thrift shopping is picking outrageous items and discovering that some of them totally work with your style in a way that you'd never have predicted. Without anyone there to make you feel uncomfortable when you let loose, you can enjoy the best pickings that your local thrift stores have to offer.
Try Following a Bob Ross Tutorial
For many millennials, Bob Ross was not only the king of the easel, but also the man who lulled them to sleep at night. Now that you're all grown up, why not try out your favorite episode's tutorial and see what you make of his instructions. At the very least, you'll get to express yourself and tap into the creative side of your brain that society doesn't nourish in the way it should.
Make a Charcuterie Board and Go Indoor Camping
Mix it up by combining elements of luxury cuisine with down-and-dirty escapades; convert your living room into an indoor campground and prepare yourself the most delicious spread that you create. Enjoying a glass of wine, a slice of expensive cheese, and the comforts of your heated blanket in your indoor tent will make you romanticize the little things in your life.
Listen to an Entire Album From Start to Finish
Despite the album format being the predominate way musicians and recording companies release new music, most people don't listen to entire albums anymore. With the click of a button, people are able to select the tracks that they want to hear without having to wade through the ones they think they're not going to enjoy as much. Take your solo date as an opportunity to test out an album you're interested in and listen to the complete work (in order to the set list) from start to finish.
Treat Yourself to a Little Romance
Living in your body 24/7 means that you're single handedly the most invested person in your happiness on the planet. So, take the time to romance yourself for a bit and better learn about your habits, quirks, interests, and areas where you can improve just as you would do for any romantic partner. Dating yourself doesn't have to be a chore; rather, it can be the best gift you can ever give to yourself.