Flying solo can be luxurious.
Being alone with ourselves can be an unnerving pursuit. Most of us are more inclined to fill our time religiously: work, side projects, freelance gigs, hobbies, and most frequently, people.
While, yes, sometimes it can be good to retreat from the noise of other people, it is hard to do for long. It’s not that our solo thoughts are unwelcome, it’s just that we don’t exactly yearn to be alone with them.
But perhaps there’s something to be said for the way we choose to interact with ourselves when we’re solo. When we’re in good company, we’re typically more than willing to shell out funds for the sake of experiences—wine bars, meals out, live music, movies. All of those things are plenty enjoyable in solitude—but we’re reluctant. So, in retaliation, here are some guidelines for dating yourself.
Make your day-to-day feel new.
Some of what can feel challenging about dating yourself can be the when and where. An approachable start can be bringing something you do everyday to a new environment, one that makes your routine feel refreshed. Bring your laptop to a new coffee shop, go for a phone-free walk in the park in lieu of the gym, set the table and make yourself dinner instead of picking up takeout.
Reserve the time in advance.
Tell your friends that you are busy, make a block on your google calendar, and in the same way that you wouldn’t want a date to cancel on you at the last minute, try to honor this time slot.
Set yourself up for success.
When prepping for a date with someone new, you likely do the things that make you feel most confident: listening to a favorite playlist, wearing something that makes you feel like you. Consider doing those same things before taking yourself on a solo-date. Particularly if you are new to the self-dating process, don’t just take measures to make the time feel special, but take measures to make it feel natural and comfortable.
Allow yourself to indulge.
Treating yourself might just change your relationship to alone time. Start small: try a face mask, light a candle, take an extra long shower. You can work your way up to the solo dinner or museum trip if that feels intimidating at the onset. Part of something feeling indulgent is the intention: is this something you’d do everyday? Or is it a break from the norm?
All in all, mastering the self-date is an exercise in getting to know oneself. Tailor it to feel like something you’ll look forward to: be it a walk, taking a book to a bar, or a solo movie. In consistently cultivating time that feels like a small luxury, you’ll find that you make a pretty good date.