The Subtle Art of Dating Yourself: My date is typing these words right now. My date is me. It all started when I was 18 and moved away from home for the very first time. In a city full of strangers and an impending case of cabin fever, I left my little basement suite to meet myself, exactly where I was at: I drove around for hours that day.
Unsure of where I was going and unsure of who I would find when I got there. When I finally arrived — at a strip mall that housed a pizza joint, of all places — I sat myself down at a table for one, ordered a pizza big enough for two and resisted the urge to look at my phone for three whole hours.
Not only had I convinced myself that every time my waitress went back to the kitchen she was probably making fun of me for being alone, but I was completely at a loss for how to handle myself.
Like, what should I do with my hands do people actually twiddle their thumbs? It was wholly uncomfortable. In the history of bad first dates, my first date with myself had not gone well. Always one for second chances and at a loss for what else to do with myself , I tried it again. I took myself out to an art gallery. I went for a walk along the breakwater.
I spent an afternoon at the movies — popcorn and all! I did make beautiful, lifelong friends in my new city. But by that time, I was also in a healthy, stable, committed relationship with myself and reaping all the benefits. The whole idea can be totally intimidating at first. Dating yourself strengthens your sense of independence. Dating yourself pushes you outside of your comfort zone and we all know what happens there. Dating yourself build confidence. Dating yourself results in increased self-awareness in other words, you learn a lot about yourself.
How To Date Yourself: So do yourself a favor, RN. Pick a date and put it on the calendar. Write it in permanent ink. Set a reminder on your phone. Leave a sticky note on your fridge. Go Prepared Speaking of preparation… If this is your first time, it might feel a little awkward. Rewind to the image of year-old me twiddling my thumbs while waiting for pizza in a strip mall, all the while avoiding side-eyed glances from other patrons whom I was sure were judging me for my singledom.
Even though I survived my first solo date unscathed, I wish I had gone into it more prepared. If this is a new practice for you, I highly suggest you arm yourself with innocent but sometimes necessary distractions. That way, when you start to feel weird or you're not sure where to look or what to do with your hands, take a deep breath.
Reach into your bag. Pull out your distraction of choice and let out a sigh of relief. You got this, girl. Go to a matinee, visit an art gallery or museum, take a long walk in the park. Whatever you do, resist the urge to pull out your cell phone. If you're willing to give your friends your focus why not do the same for yourself? You deserve your full attention.
Well, it applies here. Show up for yourself, babe. While I'm not suggesting you wear your prom dress from circa , I am suggesting you treat this as seriously as you would any other date. While it can be tempting to throw your hair in a high pony, slip into some yoga pants and your favorite sweater — because it's not like your date will mind, right?
Take a deep breath. Sit back and enjoy yourself. Try to pay attention to what you're feeling. And remember, it's okay to smile. The point is to get to know yourself better. The point is to feel at home and at peace in your own company. The point is self-care, self-growth, and ultimately self-love. You survived your solo date. I find journaling helps… Here are a few prompts to consider: How did you feel during your solo date? Did you have any great epiphanies?
How did you find your own company? Have you learned anything about yourself? When were you the most uncomfortable? What can you take away from that? When were you the most comfortable? What would you do differently next time?
Get your next solo date on the calendar, ASAP. Make it a habit, and I promise you, in time it will get easier. More than that, you may find yourself craving solitude, peaceful moments with yourself, and the luxury of alone time. This is a beautiful thing. Pic via Instagram Confessions Of a Serial Dater You know, the scariest part of leaving my little basement suite that very first day 10 years ago wasn't the fact that I didn't know my way around a new city, or the fact that I didn't have any friends, or even the fact that I was alone.
The scariest part was not knowing who I'd find when I finally got to where I was going. What version of myself would I be in that little pizza joint in the strip mall? For so long I had built an identity based on my relationships with other people.
I was a daughter. A big and little sister. I was a friend. I was the girl you might not have known that well in high school, but who would always smile at you in passing.
But who was I, really? Who was I a million miles away from all the things and people and places I had used to build my identity? Who was I in a place where I could literally be anyone? Let me be clear: It's not that I was trying to change or recreate myself.
I was simply discovering myself. Though, there definitely will be those things. Like any long-term relationship, there will be challenges.
You may fall in and out of love with yourself. You may have to fight for your love, adjust your priorities, and learn to accept your shortcomings. You may discover things you never knew about yourself this is a gift, treat it as such, no matter the information. You may let yourself down. You may have to build yourself back up. But hear me when I say this: The most important relationship you have is the one with yourself. The sooner you start honoring it, the better.