With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, advertisers bombard us with gift and date ideas for that special someone in our lives. But in the midst of all the hype around dating and relationships, we women too often forget about ourselves. As much effort as we put into dating other people, we should put the same effort into dating ourselves.
I know, dating yourself sounds like a strange concept. I mean, why would anyone in their right mind want to do that? Isn’t that the kind of lame thing that desperate girls do? Um, NOPE. Believe or not, there are many benefits to dating yourself. Don’t believe me? Here are few benefits that can improve your overall wellbeing:
Dating yourself helps boost your self-esteem.
And not just temporarily. Taking the time to really appreciate yourself is something that will carry over into your dating life. In order to have a healthy relationship with someone else, you need to know, and really own, your own value and worth. This will also help you understand what you expect from a potential partner.
Dating yourself increases your independence.
It’s easy to become comfortable doing things with your friends or family. But, enjoying your alone time is important. Give yourself time to embrace the things that you love and enjoy.
Dating yourself allows you to learn more about yourself.
Dating others is all about getting to know them – and the same applies to dating yourself. We are constantly changing on a daily basis because of our experiences and interactions with others. Find time to discover who you are and what matters to you. Knowing that can help you find and maintain healthy relationships.
[Related reading: How to Be Your Own Best Lover]
Now, here comes the hard part: following through and actually taking yourself out on a date. The idea of going out alone can be overwhelming and scary, especially if you have no idea what to do. The nice thing about dating yourself is there’s no pressure to impress someone! Remember, this is about you, so take some time and think about activities you would enjoy. If the thought of eating alone in a restaurant terrifies you, try taking it slow and building up to that point.
Still at a loss? Try these fun and simple self date ideas:
+ Go on a hike or bike ride. Don’t forget to explore that trail you’ve been dying to try! Just make sure you take the proper precautions for exploring the outdoors alone.
+ Check out that new exhibit at your local museum or art gallery. This is probably one of my favorite things to do by myself. I love reading all of the information about each piece, and I can take my time!
+ Take a class. I’m not much of an artist, but I love painting when I get a chance. Find a class you’re interested in and have fun creating something uniquely you!
+ Curl up at home and read a good book, or write. Not all of your dates have to be out and about. Sometimes being at home alone with your favorite book, journal or your thoughts can be the perfect date.
+ See a movie. Is there movie that you want to see, but no one else wants to go with you, or coordinating schedules with your friends is impossible? Go see it by yourself. This past summer, the hubby and I both wanted to see two different movies. Neither one of us was interested in the other’s movie choice. So we drove to the theater together and went to our own movies! And you know what? It was great.
It sounds so easy to make time for yourself, but often our needs and well-being get overlooked because we’re so busy taking care of others. In order to have healthy relationships, we have to learn to love and accept ourselves. I challenge you to schedule regular self dates and see how that changes your relationships.