Having a fun social life is important to your well-being. But so is loving yourself.
But how can you love yourself if you’re never alone? As vulnerable as you may feel, going into public alone can produce some significant benefits.
Learning how and why you should date yourself may initially sound silly. But when you look below the surface, you'll realize that dating yourself is what has been missing from your life.
What does "dating yourself" mean?
Dating yourself means that you take yourself on dates.
Like actual dates.
It means you realize that you're a fully independent person with hobbies and interests you cherish. It means that you prioritize your own pleasure and well-being above all else. It also shows that you're confident and capable of making yourself happy. You don't rely on anyone else.
Dating yourself is about a few simple things:
- Prioritizing yourself by creating a specified solo-date time.
- Committing to yourself by taking yourself out to do the things you enjoy.
- Embracing your identity by doing the things that make you feel happy and fulfilled.
- Celebrating yourself by indulging in little moments that create a sense of well-being.
You're showing yourself that you are valued by choosing to do things alone. And you're proving that you're important enough to get time in your calendar.
Why should I date myself?
Dating yourself can be a critical component in your "authentic identity" recipe.
After all, how will you know what part of self-development deserves a place in your bigger plan? If others constantly surround you, how do you know what you like as an individual? How will you pursue your passions when no one you know shares them?
Taking yourself on dates shows that you not only trust yourself but that you're taking your well-being seriously. Commit to dates and stop flaking on yourself. Doing this means you continue to build that sense of personal trust.
After all, you wouldn't prioritize a friend that always ditches you when you're supposed to be out. So why would you do that to yourself?
Commit to your personal growth and happiness by adding a solo date to your calendar.
How to date yourself
Dating yourself can be a bit complex since you don't have anyone to bounce ideas off of. So, where do you start?
How do you know what to do?
Where to go?
What to bring?
Don't get overwhelmed. We've got you covered.
Step 1: Choose a date
Choose a date in your calendar when you'll commit to your solo date. Put in your schedule and stick to it.
If someone asks what you're doing and invites themselves along, politely tell them that you want "you" time.
By doing this, you'll build more inner trust in yourself. Also, you'll demonstrate that you're a priority worthy of spending time with.
Step 2: In or out?
All you have to choose is, am I going out or staying in?
Going out into public alone can be an intensely nerve-wracking idea.
You don't have to go out in public to take yourself on a date. However, it is something to aspire to in the future.
Solo dates can happen in the comfort of your home or even your car.
But if you want to go out into the world, good for you! It can be an incredibly fulfilling experience to be out by yourself, doing only exactly what you want.
So which one will you choose?
Step 3: Plan your solo-date
If you're planning on staying in, what will you do? Ask yourself a few questions so you can make the most of your solo staycation:
- Do I need to ask anyone else to leave the house ahead of time? It isn't much of a solo date if you're with someone else. Get a babysitter, get your roommates out, do what you've got to do to get some alone time!
- Are there any cleaning tasks I need to do to make the most of my time? Being in a messy space can often lead to anxiety. If you've got to clean ahead of time, take care of it! Ask for help if you can.
- What can I do to make this time feel special? Are you going to dress up for yourself? Do you need any ingredients for a recipe? Are you going to light some candles? Ask yourself what makes you feel special and grab those things ahead of time.
There are countless ways you can have a solo date at home. Just focus on the idea of spoiling yourself. Perhaps you'll order in, or you'll make an elaborate meal. You could watch a documentary on Netflix or read a book. What are you waiting for? Write a few things down!
If you're going out into the world for your solo date, you can have a little more fun with the plan!
When making your solo-date preparations, ask yourself a few things:
- What do I need to do or bring with me, so I feel safe being alone? A self-defense item, a book, and a phone charger should all be on your packing list. Whatever you bring is okay, so long as you don't mind carrying it.
- What will I do? Make a general plan with some flexibility. If you have a rigid structure, you'll be overwhelmed hopping from place to place. Choose a few general ideas or places you'd like to go, and be generous with your time budget.
- What boundaries do I need to set? You have to put down your phone to get that sense of inner calm. Consider putting your phone on "Do Not Disturb" mode or telling everyone you're busy that day. That way, you're less likely to be interrupted. Also, put boundaries around what "productive" tasks may get in your way. Put down your to-do list and make this time about you!
Do whatever you've got to do to make this time special for yourself.
You're not being selfish.
You're prioritizing yourself and trying to make the best of your time alone. It isn't something many people have a lot of, after all.
Step 4: Go on your solo-date
Get out there (or in there) and do the thing!
Your solo date is a celebration of your relationship with you. So splurge a little to make it memorable and unique. The more you invest in yourself and your sense of personal intimacy, the better off you'll be in the end.
Make sure that if you're going out, you have some precautions in place to ensure your safety.
Step 5: Reflect
To get the most out of this solo date, brag a bit! Tell anyone who will listen about your fantastic time alone. Or, write about it in a journal. When you reflect on what went well and what you'd like to do in the future, you're committing to your relationship with yourself. You'll learn more from your past solo dates about what you genuinely enjoy doing and which things you'd rather avoid.
At the end of the day, we only have ourselves. Our personal development and self-care often get pushed aside, and we lose sight of who we are.
Don't let your relationships with others define who you are and who you're becoming. That's for you to do.
You can have fun with yourself. And while you're out, you can connect with people. But remember, you're your own priority and deserve to be treated that way.