Dating yourself isn’t a new concept – I know that. Dating yourself is, however, still hard to pull off if you’re a little nervous, lonely or short on time to get truly involved with romancing yourself.
I’m a firm believer that we all need quality alone time. Even if you’re struggling with loneliness, mental health problems or downright boredom, finding time to be with yourself and learn more about what makes you tick and what you love doing is essential. It’s essential to self-development, to communicate with others (because how can other people aid you when you don’t know how to aid yourself) and also essential to just living a nice life.
We can’t always be in a position where others are around to spend time with us. Even if you’re surrounded by supportive, loyal and loving relationships, people always have their own shiz to get on with – and so do we, actually.
When thinking about why time alone is so important, I often think of something my Dad says fairly often – “Reading too much means your head is clogged up with other people’s ideas”. When I first heard this it sounded like my Dad was bashing reading (which he probably was a little bit), but thinking about it, the same concept is true for spending time with people…
If we spend all our time with people, absorbing their thoughts and ideas, we have little room left to hear our own.
Dating ourselves and carving out that quality time means that we’re getting to know ourselves better. Having a chance to listen to our own thoughts, ideas, hopes and dreams connect us more deeply with ourselves – which is an invaluable skill in a time where everyone is so loud about not knowing the answers.
Of course, dating ourselves is also handy because it gives us something to do when the rest of the world is busy. Spending two hours doing something you love is always more fun than waiting for the rest of the world to be free so we can start our conversations back up – don’t you think?
Instead of just letting you know why I think dating ourselves is so vital to our wellbeing and an integral aspect to self-care, I’ve brainstormed a few actual date ideas to get stuck into. So you’ll have no excuses really.
Check out 7 of my favourite date ideas below.
1 Hour Bubble Bath
Supplies: Liquid bubble bath, a lush bath bomb, fancy scrubs, a cheap peel-off face mask, candles and as-much good-smelling stuff as you can fit onto the side of your bath.
Rules: Ditch the phone. Download podcasts, music or a movie to watch offline and then switch to aeroplane mode.
Why: Being naked around yourself doesn’t feel like anything special, does it? But if you were really dating yourself, then stripping off and getting into a bubbly tub suddenly feels a lot more of an event (and maybe a milestone). Indulging in some of your pamper products and physically treating yourself to feeling as buffed and soft as possible will not only give you a great night’s sleep – it’ll give you a chance to get acquainted with your body again.
A Quiet Walk
Supplies: Comfy shoes, a warm jacket if it’s chilly.
Rules: No headphones or earphones. Enjoy the peace and quiet. Listen to your inner monologue.
Why: It’s exercise, it’s peaceful, it gives your mind a break and your scrolling finger a rest. Walking is magical basically. When your mind is calm you finally get a chance to hear your own thoughts which ultimately helps us get to know ourselves better. Listen to your ideas and rationalise with yourself – you’ll probably learn a thing or two.
Supplies: A notebook, a pen, a good window spot in a busy street cafe.
Rules: No rushing. Enjoy each sip of your coffee, bite of your lunch or moment sitting peacefully for a while.
Why: People watching is just the best. If you don’t want to think about yourself anymore then watching others walk along gives great insight into how other people live. You’ll see people glued to their phones, arguing with their partners, friends catching up, children playing and being free. People-watching (aided with a nice hot drink and a cake) connects us with the world a little more – we’re all just getting on and just because we’re sat alone doesn’t mean we’re lonely or completely alone.
Movie for 1
Supplies: A movie ticket, supermarket bought snacks (if you’re not a baller).
Rules: Don’t shy away from saying ticket for one. It’s not weird to be on your own.
Why: Being at home alone and having a lil’ date night is one thing, but being in public and enjoying your own company is the next step. Going to the cinema is such a nice treat and who says you can’t go just because no-one else wants to see that film? It is also, ultimately, just sitting in a dark room so why does it matter if you’re on your bob or with a big group. It also helps you get into the film and really connect with it – one of the reasons Gone Girl is still one of my faves, I went to see it on my own.
Supplies: Transport, packed lunch, snacks, a camera, rucksack and layers.
Cost: £Transport costs-Exhibition costs £10-£40
Rules: Do the guided tour, take a picture (if allowed) of the pretty thing. Spend as long as you like in each section.
Why: The right museum or gallery can produce hours of learning, entertainment and inner dialogue. You get to pick and choose which exhibition you want to see, you get to read as much or as little as you like. It’s valuable time on your own and it’s not out of place to spend hours wandering around a gallery or museum alone – it’s actually pretty common. Absorb the information, let it fuel your own ideas and of course, get to know how you feel about 18th Century fashion or abstract art.
Supplies: An overflowing wardrobe, some fancy make-up bits and some feel-good music.
Rules: Get dressed up, try on clothes, do your makeup in fancy ways. Basically, get some music on and revisit your 15-year-old self who would spend days in the bedroom playing with outfits and combinations – make-up, hair, perfume layering.
Why: When I was a teenager and spent hours in my room just messing about, I didn’t have a concept of time or worry that things needed doing. It was pure playing. The aspect of fashion, beauty and style adds a little appearance-based self-care and can boost self-esteem. Dancing around in a safe space, playing with your favourite clothes and trying out daring eyeshadow is unadulterated me time. Just do it – it’s great fun.
Supplies: An overnight bag and your fanciest pyjamas.
Cost: Probably quite a lot.
Rules: Try to keep it a room for one, I guess. Relax, enjoy and take advantage of any hotel perks (gym, spa, breakfast).
Why: I feel like many of us are scared to do things alone (I definitely have been). Spending the night away is kind of the ultimate date night for one, and also the most indulgent. Taking yourself to a nice hotel or even staying somewhere fancy when visiting family or friends (instead of taking the sofa bed) kickstarts the process of being comfortable in your own company. Yes, there are cheaper ways to date yourself, but the extravagance of staying in a nice hotel and being away from everything you know gives that real date feeling – excitement, a few nerves and real appreciation of the quality time.
Now, I know that my 7 ideas have quite a range, but there are 101 other ideas that fall in between each one. Whether you have no time and no spare cash or a whole week with a big budget, there’s an activity that you can turn into a date for yourself.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on taking ourselves on dates. Do you date yourself on the regs already? Or are you planning to take the time you have alone and make it high-quality date-material time? Let me know in the comments below.
Here’s to shedding the idea of aloneness meaning loneliness. Let’s date ourselves.
Until next time,
This post is part of my January Self-Care Series.