Society likes to push the idea that people are “incomplete” without a partner or that it’s sad when people are alone in public.These are so heavily enforced in our culture that many people are extremely uncomfortable with being by themselves and go as far as to tolerate unhealthy relationships for the sake of having other people to hangout with. This, like most of the values mainstream society tries to reinforce, is incorrect, toxic, and needs to be unlearned immediately. Spending time with yourself can be very healthy because it gives you time to reflect on your emotional and mental needs.
Spending time alone with the intent of becoming more comfortable with yourself and learning to enjoy your own company should be referred to as “dating yourself”. This is a beautiful way to promote self love and acceptance, considering we are taught to be overly critical from a very young age.
The concept of “dating yourself” is perfect for people who are trying to become more conscious of their needs, people with busy schedules, and people who just got out of a relationship. It’s very easy to neglect your own thoughts and emotions for the sake of other people in all three of these situations. However, even if none of these are the case for you, “dating yourself” is still great. You can do it for casual reasons like if you’re just plain bored or if you want to give this a shot because it seems fun.
“Dating yourself” can involve all sorts of things. Here are some ways to get started for those of you with no clue where to begin :
It is crucial to set some time aside just for you. Just as it is important to make time for a partner or your friends every now and then, same goes for yourself. It isn’t necessary to open up an entire day , especially when you’re first starting out. Thirty minutes to an hour is a great start. You can increase the amount of time depending on how comfortable you get. If you think you can handle having an entire day or even the entire weekend, go for it. Only you know how much you can handle.
So you made the time but have no idea what to do with yourself? Start by going to places where it’s generally acceptable to be alone, places that people are always rushing in and out of like movie theaters, coffee shops, restaurants with take out options, and libraries. I think movie theaters are the best places to go alone. It really is an experience to enjoy a movie without having to worry about your date getting bored or your friends judging your taste. Another suggestion would be shopping alone. Go to the mall or go thrifting by yourself. Wander around. You might find something you’ve been overlooking because you were with other people.
Make a Goal
At least once, plan something big to do by yourself. Take yourself out to a nice restaurant for dinner. Dress up and get fancy. Organize a trip somewhere. If you’re lucky enough to have money to spare, go on vacation by yourself. If you’re broke (like me), plan a trip to the neighboring town or downtown. There are many other big creative things to do but whatever it is, do it! I highly recommend it. It is the ultimate way to check your progress and see what you’re capable of.
It’s important to remember that YOU make the rules and these are all suggestions. Don’t push yourself too much or be hard on yourself for messing up. That defeats the purpose because it’s all about promoting self love. Dating yourself doesn’t have to mean not talking or spending time with your friends or partner at all. It can just mean taking time out for yourself every now and then. If you think you need space from the people in your life, that’s fine too.