Why You Should Take Yourself On More Dates
I experienced this undeniable restlessness recently. I had just met a friend for drinks, we’d wrapped up rather early, and as I was driving home I really just wanted to pull over and buy myself a drink. Alone. It was such a strong urge. I just wanted to sit on one of the many restaurant patios filled with people this time of year, by myself, and just be. I didn’t want to rush home to my live-in boyfriend. It had nothing to do with not wanting to spend time with him so much as it had to do with wanting to spend time with myself. I knew once I got home, we’d go over the details of our days. There would be some tidying up to do. Life would take over and I just wanted a little space, and a little time, that was all my own. So I did it, and now I’m making a habit of it. Here are reasons you should take yourself on more dates.
No taking on other people’s stuff
Meeting up with friends for dinner or drinks is nice, but you do take on their stuff. Whatever they’re going through—marriage or work issues—you hear about it. You counsel them. You download the feelings and experiences the other person is having, which can actually leave you a little tired. On a date with yourself, you don’t take on anyone’s stuff.
It’s nice to be admired
Hey, it never hurts to have some eyes on you. When you get dressed up and sit at a nice bar, alone, people notice. People are curious about you. Don’t be surprised if a few men offer to buy you a drink—you’ll say no, because you’re on a date with yourself—but it’s still nice to be asked.
People watching can be inspiring
There’s a reason people love to people watch. It’s in our nature to see what others are up to and how they interact. You never know what you’ll learn about yourself or what realizations you’ll have about your own life, just from watching a couple on a date or someone dancing.
Truly explore your interests
When you go on a date with yourself, you don’t have to compromise on the activity. You don’t have to sell someone on what you want to do. You don’t even have to explain yourself. If you want to go to a jazz club for the first time ever, just do it. You don’t need to tell a companion what you do or don’t know about jazz. If it calls your name, you can just go.
Regain energy for others
Spending time alone is an important part of refueling and regaining energy to give other people. We spend so much time fulfilling the needs of others and listening to the problems of others. If you are a giver in many ways, it’s important to take time all to yourself on a regular basis.
Remember how you should be treated
Taking yourself on dates regularly is a good way to remind yourself how you want real dates to treat you. You make it fun. You are gracious with yourself. You’re patient. You’re open to new ideas. You want a date like that.
Dress up however you want
We all have those outfits that we love, but don’t know when or how we’ll ever wear them. They’re too much for our work life, and if we wore them to socialize, people might say we’re overdressed or just comment on how that’s not really our usual style. But those outfits represent a side of you that needs to come out. Wear them on your solo date night.
Chatting with strangers is interesting
It can be nice to just chat with strangers—perhaps others on solo date nights, or couples. It’s a way to expose yourself to personalities and mind sets in micro doses that you wouldn’t be around otherwise.
You can disengage whenever you like
The nice thing about being out with yourself is that when you feel like you’re done talking to a stranger, you can just move on. You didn’t arrange to meet this person here. You have no obligation to him. That’s not the case when you meet someone for drinks—you’re stuck with him, whether you want to be there or not.
Explore your own mind
Our lives can be so routine that we have the same types of thoughts over and over again. But there are corners of your mind—often the creative ones—that are left unexplored because you’re busy working or you’re in conversation with someone else. It’s important to get to know yourself more, through solo dates.
A reminder that you’re happy alone
It’s always important to remember that you are happy alone. This is important so that you don’t choose relationships—platonic or romantic—out of fear of being alone. Remind yourself that there’s nothing scary about being alone, and you’ll only choose the best people to have in your life.
You’ll be more confident in social settings
Something about spending time alone, but in a place filled with people like a bar or restaurant, actually boosts your confidence in regular social settings. If you do struggle with social anxiety at things like parties and group settings, going on solo dates can wear down some of those nerves.
You’ll be more giving of your time
Do you ever find yourself resenting the fact that you have to meet a friend for dinner or go to a friend’s birthday? And you’re confused because, you love that friend! It could just be that you haven’t given enough time to yourself, so when others take your time, you resent them for it. Have more solo date nights and you’ll be glad to give time to others, too.
A little space from a partner is a good thing
If you are in a committed relationship, taking yourself out can be a nice way to have a little space from your partner, and that’s an important part of a healthy relationship. It’s especially great to do on nights when your partner doesn’t feel like going out and you do. You don’t have to rely on him for a date.
It’s a chance to be silent
So rarely are we just quiet with our thoughts. Meditation and yoga can be good for that. But, that’s not everybody’s thing. Simply sitting alone at a bar and sipping a drink or sitting alone in the park with a picnic basket gives you that chance to be still and quiet.