We all know what a date is because we see it in movies all the time, right? Two crazy
hot adult actors kids fall head over heels and go out on a date to get to know one another. Dinner and mini-golf is really just an excuse to start developing a one-on-one connection without it being awkward. And maybe as they ask questions, they find a bunch of reasons to become more smitten. The connection evolves and they’re happy together forever.
FADE TO BLACK. Applause.
What they don’t always teach us in the movies is how to love yourself. Actually, did anyone teach us this? Sure it’s something we’re told to do and shown to do but most of us don’t know how to do it. And it’s probably the most important lesson we could ever learn!
Try this fun and quick Love Quiz!
Okay, no one can teach us how to love a romantic partner, not the movies or even our parents, because all love is unique. So maybe no one can tell us exactly how to love ourselves. And if that’s so then a quiz can’t tell us either. So where do we even start?
What if we start by dating ourselves?
You may want to say to me, “But Mary Caitlin, why would I do that if I already know myself so well?” And I hear you, but I also realize that too many women, including myself, are uncomfortable with doing activities on their own.
This can be for any number of reasons, but only one of them matters because it’s the only one we have control over: if we are uncomfortable doing things alone, we are (for some insane reason) uncomfortable with ourselves. The question is why? If you can’t answer right away, maybe you need to have a chat with yourself. Dig deep and be honest. We can’t afford not to be.
By ‘dating’ myself, I discovered a high form of self-love. I believe anyone can benefit from this no matter where you are on your journey of self. Also, what better person to join us on adventures we love than ourselves?
There are so many ways to show ourselves love, compassion and forgiveness. There is an article on what people who love themselves do and don’t do from Mind Body Green that may offer inspiration. But today, I’m sharing 12 date ideas to try by yourself that I personally enjoy doing.
Okay, it’s important to know that these date ideas are just that. These activities to do by yourself are for you to discover self-confidence, love and joy. The date itself ain’t love just like a date with a special someone.
A few reasons why this isn’t so crazy.
- It forces you to become comfortable with yourself. Doing anything by yourself can be weird at first, but it shouldn’t be. Friends and family are wonderful to have in our lives, but we shouldn’t be dependent on their presence to comfort us.
- It can also help get us out of our head and focus on what’s in front of us without relying on friends to entertain us.
- It’s a great way to be honest with ourselves about what we really love in life.
A few rules to consider.
- Schedule a time and place and then show up. It doesn’t feel good to be stood-up so, ya know, don’t do it to yourself.
- Put your phone away when possible. Okay, this one is difficult for me and may be hard for you too. Just keep in mind that this allows you to better focus on you and what’s around you. It’s good to have a break sometimes.
A Dozen ‘Dates’ to Do By Yourself
1. Staycation: Netflix + Chill
Girl, you are a strong independent woman who doesn’t need a (wo)man to binge watch in style. This is an easier one to start with if doing things alone is something new because you get to stay in. But instead of making it like, well, all those other Netflix nights, try to make it special.
I’ll sometimes put on my favorite PJ’s (cute or comfy or both) and pop some pop corn with my favorite seasoning on top which is definitely nutritional yeast these days. Or maybe I’ll do a facial or something else that I enjoy.
2. Read A Book At A Coffee Shop or People Watch At A Cafe
I love going somewhere like a cafe and just drinking coffee for hours. It’s a great way to find peace with yourself or just enjoy the bustling of people around you. Bringing a book gives you purpose and makes this self date feel waaaay less awkward.
3. Take A Class In Anything
It could be a dance class you’ve been tempted to try, a self-defense class or an art class. Paint night is so much fun because most people who go aren’t super experienced artists, which is nice because there’s no pressure to make a masterpiece. There is a class for nearly everything if painting isn’t your thing. There are even flower arranging classes that I want to try!
4. Go See A Movie
Okay, this is liberating. I’ve done this a couple of times and it’s amazing. I get to watch the movie I want to see without explaining why it’s amazing it to someone else first, I don’t miss any of the action while watching and since no one else is sipping on my soda, I don’t have to leave to get a refill. Also, since I can’t talk to people during a movie anyway, why not go by myself? Best self date ever.
5. Do What You’re Most Passionate About
Even if you normally do whatever it is you love most by yourself, this is a great thing to do always! I like to practice yoga by myself. I also have a blog post about yoga + self-love you may enjoy reading.
Sometimes I go for a walk and snap photos. Whenever I blog, I’m by myself and I love it. What’s your passion? Feed your soul and do it more.
6. Do Something You’ve Always Wanted To Try And Never Have…Yet
Is there an activity you’ve brought up to friends or family before and they never seemed interested? It could be birdwatching or archery or anything!
Or you could make a list of all the restaurants with outdoor patios you have yet to try or list all of the free things to do in your city you’ve maybe never done and cross a few off.
7. Treat Yo’Self (Or just browse)
I like to treat myself to the occasional new outfit or ice cream or something small! My last treat was a $2 Whistle Pop. I was so overjoyed eating this nostalgic treat from when I was a kid. The price tag did not matter. It’s good to give ourselves gifts sometimes instead of hoping someone else will get it for us.
Another self date idea is to look for nothing in particular. Peruse a record shop, a plant nursery or a thrift store and see what you find.
8. Take A Road Trip
Whether it’s a weekend trip or a day trip, to the next city over or 1200 miles away, I like to get away on my own. I can listen to whatever music I want as loud as I want, have the windows up or down or halfway, take whatever exit I want when I want, you get the point.
Just remember to tell a family member/friend/roommate where you’re going or they might get concerned, track you through a GPS app, see you’re 3 hours away and report a kidnapping to local law enforcement… Spoken from experience.
9. Self Date Day At The Park or Beach
I used to go all the time back home in Georgia where the sun is always always shining and the weather is practically tropical. Often I would invite my friends but sometimes I wouldn’t.
So nice to just have me, a towel, rays of sunshine beaming on me and grass or sand to squeeze between my toes while feeling the wind come and go… San Francisco beaches are a little different as you can see in the photo below.
10. Listen To Live Music
It can be a big concert or a neighborhood jazz band. No one is watching you, they’re watching the band play.
11. Visit The Great Outdoors
I feel it is important to say that no one should do anything too strenuous or in a place too desolate for the first time alone for safety reasons. However, if heading outside is something you love, I highly encourage this! Maybe go for a hike or a walk or go kayaking or any number of things. (This is the closest I can get to therapy without paying bucketloads to speak with a therapist.)
12. Eat A Meal
If you can eat brunch or dinner out by yourself, you might be ready to take over the world. I found this simple self date to be the most powerful.
One last thought…
Ladies, people will try to make you feel guilty for being alone. Do not let them. They may act concerned for you and that’s no better. They may even make rude comments. Ignore them and keep enjoying your time by yourself. We don’t need to be surrounded by friends or family or a significant other to have a good time (and to know exactly what we’re doing). You are enough just as you are.
You are enough.