I don’t know about you but there are days that I long for just five minutes peace. Or just to do something that I want to do without having to factor in everyone else’s whims and fancies. The idea of dating yourself may sound like some anti-online dating app new-age trend. But you don’t have to be single to enjoy a solo date. Just you and a day, or just a few hours, all to yourself, to do precisely what you want to do. We need to accept the discomfort and get comfortable with our own company and enjoy a solo date. After all, if you can’t enjoy your own company, then how can you expect anyone else to? You need to like yourself to date yourself!
At this point I should apologise for my radio silence of late. Unfortunately, in the first week of April, I was struck down by the dreaded Covid and it decided to wipe me out for a few weeks. As much as sometimes a day in bed is very much at the top of my wish list, two weeks in bed followed by awful fatigue was most definitely not on my agenda last month. Now I’m having to play catch-up.
Why Dating Yourself Is The Best Way To Spend A Day
We all focus so much of our time on other people or other things. Kids, partners, and work, all suck away our time and leave us with very little time for ourselves. We use the phrase “me time” but that is often translated to having a wee in peace or having a 10-minute bath before someone needs the loo. How often do you actually tell everyone around you that it’s your day and they can all sod off?
Naturally, I’m not advocating for shirking any responsibilities. But if you’ve got to the stage where nobody is going to starve if you aren’t there and you can take a day off work, then you’ve probably earned the right to have a day to yourself.
It’s also important to get to know ourselves. What actually makes us happy? What do we enjoy doing? Do we even like ourselves? In dating terms, would you date yourself?
Being a single parent and self-employed I’ve had what feels like about a million bouts of burnout over the years. I’ve got myself so stressed out and totally knackered and then probably made a stupid decision or ended up ill. But most of the time I was just ignoring the signs of my body telling me to take a break. A day of peace, relaxing or doing just what I wanted to do was mostly what I needed. Granted there were times I needed a 2-week luxury holiday in the Caribbean with someone else paying for it. But hey, we don’t always get what we want. But a day at the Trafford Centre and a KFC would do the trick.
The point is, we all need a solo date now and then to help us recharge and refocus.
Things To Do When Dating Yourself
Ok, so just a reminder, you don’t have to be single to date yourself or enjoy a solo date. But if you are single, then embrace this time to check out how much of a good date you are. Would you buy you dinner?
There are loads of things you can do on your own, that will probably be more enjoyable on your own, and cheaper. I’ve come up with 10 ideas for you and why I like them. But feel free to add your own suggestions or let me know what you like to do on your solo date.
Learn Something New
You don’t have to formally take a class to learn something new. Yes, you might want to do a cookery or dance class that you sign up for and show up for. And these are great for getting out and doing something as well as learning something. You could learn a language just by downloading a course and listening to it whilst you take a walk. The Open University have loads of free course on all manner of subjects. You could plot your world domination and learn how to do it just from dating yourself.
This isn’t so much about taking time out for yourself but doing something for yourself. It might be a small self-improvement or a lifelong ambition to learn the Tango. But it’s for you and it’s your time.
If you have the luxury of being able to make regular time for yourself, then volunteering is a great option. Not only can you do some good in the world, but it’ll also open your eyes to things you might never have experienced before. There are so many organisations that desperately need helpers. Places like food banks rely on the goodwill of others. In the current economic climate, they struggle to keep up with demand.
A few years ago I helped on a project to raise some much-needed funds for my local food bank. We managed to hit our target plus a bit more. This made a huge difference to both the organisation and the people that used it. Not only did I get the satisfaction of knowing I’d done something good with nothing in it for myself, but it helped me form a clear perspective in my mind of how important it is that people should not have to face the kind of crisis many of the foodbanks users faced. Nobody should be left behind, especially when it comes to access to food.
Have A Netflix Binge
This is one of my favourite me-time things to do. Granted I’m not sure what effect it has on my brain to watch a whole day of brutal murder, money laundering and drug trafficking, but I love a good Netflix and chill on my own! True crime may not be your thing but there is pretty much something for everyone that’s worth a lazy day binge for your solo date.
Visit A Museum
This might sound a bit boring to some but there are some pretty interesting places that aren’t the old stuffy boring types of museums. And many of them are free to visit so it’s a cheap way of dating yourself. A casual stroll for a couple of hours taking in a bit of history or art will help to relax you and clear your mind. You might learn something new!
Get A Makeover
If you’ve got eyebags bigger than your Tesco bag for life and you’ve no idea what contouring is, then a makeover at a beauty counter in a department store is going to transform you. Many cosmetics counters offer free consultations on their products, granted you might have to buy an item or two, but many also offer one-to-one tuition on how to apply products and get the best from your skin texture and face shape. It’s also great to sit there for an hour or two whilst someone else paints your face and makes you look ten years younger. Followed by the moment you arrive home looking fabulous to everyone wondering what you’ve been up to.
The likes of Mac and Charlotte Tilbury (aff links) are great for doing consultations at their counters and the staff are always super helpful. Just tell them you are dating yourself and need to look totally knock out.
This is like the premium version of getting a makeover. If you’ve got the time and the funds booking yourself into somewhere nice for a spa day is an absolute must. It is something you can do with friends but it’s also super relaxing to go on your own and just enjoy a peaceful day to yourself being taken care of. You don’t even have to go all out on the treatments and many packages offered include one or two mini treatments. You can just laze away all day by the pool or in the steam room enjoying your solo date.
Rearrange A Room
They say a change is as good as a rest. Is your bedroom in need of a move around or would your sofa look better in a different spot? You don’t need to master how to feng shui your room but moving stuff around and getting rid of clutter can give a room a cut-price transformation. Or you could splash out a bit and give it a bit of a makeover. Just spend a day by yourself creating a nice space for dating yourself.
Eat Something Fancy
Some people would rather die in a ditch than go out to dinner on their own. Because I’ve travelled quite a bit all over the world on my own, I’ve gotten used to dining out on my own. Yes, it does feel a bit weird at first but once you’ve done it the first time is over and done with and you can eat at some fancy places for your solo dates. Plus, dining alone is cheaper.
When I was in Dubai, I really wanted to go to the Burj Al-Arab for the afternoon tea. So, I booked it, got myself dolled up and off I went. And it was amazing. Firstly, I got to have a good look around the world’s only 7-star hotel. The restaurant they use for afternoon tea is at the top with amazing views. I had a beautiful window seat and the service was amazing. Ok so it was a bit pricey, but for the experience alone, I’m glad I took a solo date there.
If you’re dating yourself, you might as well do it in style. Is there somewhere nice near you that you’d love to visit for a nice meal or even just somewhere to people watch whilst sipping on a cocktail? Well, off you pop and get yourself there. You’ll soon get over the discomfort. Don’t let the prospect of doing something alone put you off.
Go To The Theatre
You’re sat in the dark watching the stage. Why does it matter if you’re alone or not? And because you’re only buying one ticket you can usually bag a great seat as there are always odd seats available. It’s a lovely way to spend a few hours and you can even treat yourself to ice cream at the interval.
A Weekend Away
Ok, so this one is a splurge and a bit more than a few hours of a solo date. But if you can then taking yourself off to a hotel for a night or two is well worth it. If you’ve already mastered dating yourself, going to dinner, a spa etc, then a hotel is no different because you can combine all of that and spend the night in a comfy bed with no snoring to wake you up. Or anyone to battle for the duvet with.
A few times I’ve taken myself off for writing breaks when I’ve been working on something I need some peace for. Combining work with a hotel break, room service, endless cups of tea and a hearty breakfast is just the ticket when I need to reset and get something done.
How To Start Dating Yourself
The easiest way to get on with dating yourself is just to do it. If you have a partner, kids, dogs, whatever, don’t think you need to ask for permission. If you need to take a day out, figure out how everyone else can survive without you and then just tell them. It’s your day and unless little Bobby is being crushed in a meat grinder, then you are not to be contacted.
Taking yourself off on a solo date can also be a great break from swiping left and right if you are single. Dating fatigue is real! Sometimes you need to take a step back and not be looking at profiles or dodging weird messages. Are you a good date and have you been settling for less from God awful dates? You have to know yourself to know your worth. Learning to be single and actually not thinking it’s some awful contagious disease and embracing and enjoying your own company will do wonders for your mental health.
Remember during the various lockdowns many people reported being lonely. Now granted as humans we are supposed to be social creatures and have contact with other humans. But sometimes we need some peace and time to ourselves. We need to be ok with our own company and actually enjoy it. Dating yourself is a great way to do this. Go on, get out there and make the most of it!