Dating is a pretty big part of the world that we live in. Obviously. Everywhere you look there is a new celebrity couple or a couple sitting on the same side of a booth at a restaurant or maybe one of your close friends has a new bae. There’s not really any way to avoid it, even though most of us constantly joke about trying to avoid it at all costs.
I have (very) recently become a member of the dating world. I’ve been on some fun dates and some reallllllyyyy bad ones (hilarious stories available upon request). I don’t know why I decided to actively start trying to date people, I guess the time just seemed right. But, I have enjoyed getting to know new people and I feel more empowered through the whole process. I really think I’ve learned more about myself and what I am looking for in a future partner.
The process of dating is exhausting. Texting/chatting leads to phone calls that lead to an invite that leads to a drawn out process of getting ready that leads to an excruciatingly nerve-wracking car ride to meet someone over dinner for the first time. I’m exhausted just typing it all out. Putting detail into every brush of mascara and what shoes you are going to settle on. This whole shoe thing is even more of a hurdle if you are tall because God-forbid you show up and are taller than said person. So much effort is put into something that may turn out to be a lovely relationship or ends before you even get through the appetizer.
Can you imagine what our life would look like if we put that much effort into dating ourselves?
I started my job about 8-months ago and have spent a good portion of that on the road traveling. After a few months, I really started to struggle. I felt like all of my friends were moving on with their lives while I was trapped alone in a hotel. So, after feeling sorry for myself for about three days. I decided I was going to date me. I mean if I’m going to date other people, I might as well date myself too, right?
For the past few months, I have taken myself on a date every couple of weeks. I don’t broadcast it obviously, just like I don’t broadcast the dates that I go on with other people. I get ready, just like I would for a “real” date. It feels really good to take control of my time and intentionally invest it into myself. I’ve gone to dinner, museums, parks, and the movies. Alone. Dressed up. And what have I done? I’ve had a freaking blast.
What else has happened since I decided to date myself?
- I’ve eaten a lot of good food and seen a lot of good movies. Best part of doing this alone? You never have to compromise on a meal or a movie. You’re the only one picking so you can do whatever you want.
- I’ve learned to not take my time for granted with other people. I can be comfortable alone, but I also know how fun it is to be surrounded by people and to enjoy the conversation and fellowship. If you’re always surrounded by others, it’s hard to miss them.
- I’ve met tons of new people. Most of the time at a restaurant, there are other people there that are alone and looking to make connections and friends. I’ve met so many strangers that were just looking to have a random conversation.
- I’ve had a better mental head space. When I wasn’t taking the time to date myself, I felt alone all the time while I was traveling. But, once I started to think of it as an event, instead of just hanging out alone, it changed the way I felt mentally.
- I’ve learned to be comfortable in silence. And it has taken some time to get used to – because ya girl loves to talk. There’s not exactly anyone to talk to when you are sitting at a dinner table alone. So, I got to know myself better and learn that silence isn’t awkward or sad. Through the whole process I have grown to respect the quiet and even look forward to it.
- I’ve learned to love myself more. Making the decision that I deserved to go on dates and be treated good really helped me to love myself. Especially because I was the one doing the dating.
If you’re reading this and cringing at the thought of having to go out and do something on your own, I really want to challenge you to do it. Even if you just go and have a drink somewhere alone or go get ice cream by yourself for 30 minutes. Making the intentional decision to date yourself is one of the best that you can make. It’s helped me to grow as a person. It was a decision I made late one Wednesday night as I went to my first movie alone. The movie was great and I didn’t have to worry about a bad kiss afterwards. Win/win huh?
If there is one thing I will shout from the rooftops until I lose my voice is the importance of loving yourself and truly believing that you deserve that love. So put on your favorite outfit and take yourself out. You deserve it.