On Self Love: The Art of Dating Yourself
A How-To Guide For Modern Women
BY REANNE DERKSON
Valentine’s Day can either be the most anticipated day of the year or one you’d rather sleep through altogether. It’s one of those well-intentioned occasions that’s meant to celebrate love but can often lead to feelings less than. While the lovers get lucky, the lonely get lonelier.
But it doesn’t necessarily have to be this way.
This Valentine’s Day, vow to love yourself first and make a commitment to the most important relationship in your life — that is, your relationship with yourself. Re-direct cupids arrow right back to you by following this how-to guide for modern women.
When you master the art of dating yourself, you quickly learn that you are the main source of love in your life and that regardless of relationship status, there is an abundance of l-o-v-e to go around.
1. Set A Date And Pencil It In
It’s way too easy to back out of something when you’re not letting anyone down. But please, don’t be the woman who flakes on herself. You owe this time to yourself, for reasons you probably won’t even understand until you’ve experienced the magic of truly getting to know yourself.
So, pick a date and put it on the calendar. Write it in permanent ink. Set a reminder on your phone. Leave a sticky note on your fridge. Plan for it.
2. Go Prepared
If this is your first time taking yourself out on a date, it might feel a little awkward. Go prepared by packing a book, journal, small craft, or crossword puzzle in your purse. When you start to feel weird or you're not sure where to look or what to do with your hands, take a deep breath. Reach into your bag. Pull out your distraction of choice and let out a sigh of relief.
Pro Tip: An “activity” date is a great option for first-timers who don't want to risk the awkward silences. Go to a matinee, visit an art gallery or museum, take a long walk in the park.
Whatever you do, resist the urge to pull out your cell phone. You deserve your full attention.
3. Dress Accordingly
Show up for yourself. There’s something so beautiful and exciting about putting on some lipstick, accessorizing with sparkle and your favourite pair of shoes and hitting the town solo.
While I'm not suggesting you wear your prom dress from way back when, I am suggesting you treat this as seriously as you would any other date. While it can be tempting to throw your hair in a high pony, slip into some yoga pants and your favourite sweater — because it's not like your date will mind, right? — I highly suggest you show up for yourself the same way you would show up for someone you're trying to impress.
4. Sit Back, Relax, and Enjoy Yourself
Take a deep breath. Stop worrying about who’s watching (it doesn’t matter), or what anyone else is thinking (nothing bad), or what the heck you’re supposed to do with your hands (whatever feels right).
Loosen up. Sit back and enjoy yourself. Try to pay attention to what you're feeling. And remember, it's okay to smile.
The point is to get to know yourself better.
The point is to feel at home and at peace in your own company.
The point is self-care, self-growth, and ultimately self-love.
Congrats, gorgeous! You survived your solo date. There’s nothing like a little reflection to put your feelings into perspective, learn from your experiences, and expand your consciousness. I find journaling helps.
Here are a few prompts to consider:
- How did you feel during your solo date?
- Did you have any great epiphanies?
- How did you find your own company?
- Have you learned anything about yourself?
- When were you the most uncomfortable? Why? What can you take away from that?
- When were you the most comfortable? Why? What can you take away from that?
- What would you do differently next time?
6. Plan Your Next Date
Kind of like when seeing a therapist, one appointment is never enough.
Get your next solo date on the calendar, ASAP. Make it a habit, and I promise you, in time it will get easier. More than that, you may find yourself craving solitude, peaceful moments with yourself, and the luxury of alone time. This is a beautiful thing.
Happy Valentine’s Day (Self) Lovers!