With my husband Jason out of town this weekend, I took the opportunity to date myself, a worthwhile practice for singles and coupled-ups alike. Dating yourself helps to fortify your love affair with yourself, ensuring that your personal love meter doesn’t falter which allows you to then graciously let love into your life and love others with ease.
So what does it mean to date yourself? And if you are already single how can you stand being with yourself anymore?!?!?! In its simplest form, dating yourself is “me time”. It is about consciously being with yourself. Think of when you are on a date with a guy. Whether it is a new guy or a boyfriend or even a husband, think about how present you are. Think about bow involved and how invested you are – from the time you are getting ready for the date to the time that it ends. Now think about the time you hang with yourself. Really think about it. How different is your state of being? How different is your investment? Be honest in this exercise. How often are you just watching Bachelorette marathons or cramming in an overdue mani/pedi? When you are alone, how does it feel to be alone? Are you comfortable in that place? Lonely? Anxious? Peaceful? Are you often trying to avoid being by yourself by filling your time with people or a schedule? You need to feel as invested in you during your “me time” as you do during "we time".
Ok, so when you date yourself, your full attention is solely on gorgeous YOU. You are taking a time-out to enjoy yourself. To get reconnected to you. To refuel your love meter by tending to your needs which often go unattended if you’re not paying attention.
What’s important when dating yourself is that you are fully present in your experiences, focusing inwardly on you, allowing whatever comes up internally to just come up... and then ride with those things. This is one of the chief reasons people avoid spending conscious time alone - out of fear of what may come up. But these are the greatest unearthings so do not fear them, but rather welcome them and know that whatever is there has been presented as an opportunity for you to grow from.
Some self-daters are planners; I for one am not. I prefer to see where the day or the weekend takes me and then follow it. This weekend, for example I discovered new foods I like at markets I never took the time to explore, wines I adore at wineries I never visited and coffee shops cozier than Christmas that were so small I didn’t see them until I was meandering on foot. I finished a book I started ages ago and started one I’ve been wanting to for some time. I saw a double feature at an old theater that is great but gives you a crick in your neck so I got a massage afterwards. I took a 25-mile bike ride. I tried on every hat in a vintage store I love and I took a nap on the beach. But that’s my style; you will need to find your own self-dating rhythm and as far as what you do, know that there isn’t a right or wrong so long as you remain present and find comfort being with you. If that part doesn't come naturally at first, it will, with practice. Stick with it - after all, if you can't date yourself comfortably, how can anyone else?
A few date yourself ideas:
· Explore the outdoors: bike ride, hike, walk on the beach
· Spa day: facial, massage, mani/pedi (and go for the little extras)
· Entertainment: movies, concerts (big, small, in the park), comedy
· Classes: art, jewelry, cooking, yoga, music, dance, wine tasting
· Dining: try new restaurants, picnic, cook a new recipe you saw on Top Chef
These are just a few starter ideas – be creative – indulge yourself! Think of dating yourself as a true GIFT you give yourself. This is not about being curing lonely blues, this is about self-care. This is about self-love. This is about nurturing yourself in a way that no man, no parent, no friend can. It is one of the healthiest habits you can develop and one that will enrich all of your relationships making you a better partner, friend, relative. This is a behavior you should develop and keep for life... for love.
So here’s to dating and relating to yourself… enjoy!
Live and love largely,