how to date yourself

How to Date Yourself & Be Happy

First things first, this post isn’t just about fun solo date ideas.

There are tons of those on the internet, but they rarely work for many people.

Why is that?

Lots of people looking for fun ideas to try during solo dates haven’t done the internal work. They are trying to put the cart before the horse, and as you know, things don’t work that way, no matter how hard you try.

Here’s what I mean.

Before looking for solo date ideas, you must first know how to date yourself. It’s that simple!

Spending an entire afternoon cleaning your space and looking good can quickly become a chore if you don’t do the inner work first.

Of course, I’ll share some of my favorite solo date ideas but not before I show you how to date yourself and be truly happy doing it.

What It Means to Date Yourself

Traditional dating creates a perfect opportunity for two people to evaluate their suitability for a possible future intimate relationship.

That’s exactly what dating yourself means ― taking time to reflect on how loving you’ve been to yourself.

Dating yourself means prioritizing yourself by turning your attention inwards and focusing on your wants and needs. It involves giving yourself the love, care, and attention you would give a romantic partner.

Knowing how to date yourself is one of the best things you can do for your overall well-being, and it permits you to do the things you truly love doing all by yourself.

It is creating time to be with your partner ― you ― whether you are single or in a relationship.

Common Reasons for Not Dating Yourself

man wearing a red shirt in deep thought

Like many people, you might have several reasons not to date yourself, even though those same reasons won’t keep you from dating someone else!

Here are some common reasons people don’t treat themselves like they would a romantic partner:

Being Alone Is Lonely

Dating yourself doesn’t mean you’re alone or lonely.

Instead, it means being at peace with who you are, loving yourself enough to enjoy your time alone, and not needing others to fill a void.

That’s a lot to take in at once, but chew it over for a while, and it’ll make sense.

Spending time alone might be natural for you if you’re an introvert, but that’s not the case for most extroverts, and that’s understandable.

However, you want to start figuring out ways to enjoy your company thoroughly so you don’t rely on others to make you feel complete.

If spending quality time alone makes you feel bored and lonely, consider this quote from Dr. Wayne Dyer, “You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.

Doing Things for Myself Is No Fun

I get it; having someone stare deep into your eyes and whisper sweet words is more romantic than spending the evening alone on solo dates.

And rubbing your foot by yourself doesn’t feel quite satisfying compared to getting a foot massage from a loving partner or a masseur.

No arguments here.

But you get yourself more than anyone can ever understand you. And that’s the whole point of dating yourself!

What do you want that no one can do quite well? How would you prefer to be treated? What would you like to indulge in once in a while?

Dating yourself is your chance to demonstrate these things to yourself!

I Already Have a Romantic Partner

This type of thinking is a common misconception. Solo dating isn’t exclusively for singles! Everyone deserves a “me” time, regardless of their relationship status.

You may have an amazing romantic partner, but you still need to spend quality time alone with yourself. This will result in a better you and a better relationship.

Think about it this way.

You’re more likely to bring value to the relationship table if you understand your strengths and weaknesses.

The best way to do that is to spend time in self-reflection, from time to time, where you can focus inward.

Socrates, the great philosopher, puts it better when he said, “an unexamined life is not worth living.” And that’s true whether you’re single or in a loving relationship.

I Don’t Have Enough Money

Money indeed makes the world go round. Here’s the thing, though. Knowing how to date yourself and be happy doing it doesn’t require having a wad of cash.

For example, many solo self-care activities like going for a walk, basking in the sun, meditation, taking a shower, and journaling have nothing to do with being rich or broke.

You can date yourself even if you’re on a shoestring budget. Just go with free or cheap solo activities you love.

How much money you spend on a solo date is not too important. It is the experience you get from dating yourself that counts.

I’m Too Busy

If you’ve ever been on a date with someone, you can certainly create time to date yourself, regardless of your busy schedule.

In fact, dating someone else typically takes more time than dating yourself.

And by the way, you don’t have to worry about someone standing you up and wasting your precious time. You are always with yourself, so you will show up for your solo date ― guaranteed!

I Don’t Know What to Do on a Solo Date

It’s okay not to have a clue about what to do when you’re dating yourself. After all, that’s one of the reasons you’re reading this article.

The last section of this post contains 10 amazing solo date ideas, so be sure to check them out and try the ones that resonate with you. You can also step outside of your comfort zone and surprise yourself.

How to Date Yourself and Be Truly Happy

happy woman with a broad smile

Going on a date should be a fun and exciting experience! In other words, you’ve got it all backwards if you’re on a date by yourself and feel sad and lonely.

Here’s how to date yourself and truly enjoy the experience, regardless of your current relationship status.

1. Figure Out What’s Stopping You From Fully Loving Yourself

Imagine reluctantly going on a date with someone you don’t really dig.

During the date, there’s a huge chance you’ll be more focused on why you shouldn’t be hanging out with the person rather than enjoying your time together.

Also, your bias makes you less likely to give the person a chance.

That’s exactly what happens if you try to date yourself without first loving yourself completely.

While you may go through the physical action of spoiling yourself or doing something you picked up from a solo date idea, your inner critic will always have the last laugh. For this reason, it is important to do the inner work first.

Here’s what I recommend.

Make a list of the things preventing you from truly loving yourself and enjoying your own company. This may require a few soul-searching sessions, meditation, and journaling.

You might discover one or several self-limiting beliefs, including:

  • Putting others’ needs (romantic partner, family, or friends) way ahead of your needs
  • Seeking external validation
  • Always listening to your inner critic
  • Believing that you need someone else to complete you

Once you’ve identified what’s making you dread your own company, you can get to work, applying specific solutions to improve the situation.

Dating yourself without this important first step will hardly be a happy experience. Jumping the gun might make you more dependent on external sources for internal necessities.

2. Think About What Would Bring More Joy Into Your Life

Research shows that being in a relationship with someone you love increases your life satisfaction.

Now, think of all the things you can do for yourself to increase your life satisfaction. This step helps you pinpoint specific solo date ideas that align with your definition of happiness and fulfillment.

For example, booking a massage might feel right for an indoor person who wants more pampering in their life.

On the other hand, going on a solitary adventure might sit well for an outdoorsy person who enjoys exploring new places.

Think about it this way: you need to figure out what your date likes if you want them to enjoy their time together with you.

In other words, reflect on what will make your life happier if you’re puzzled about how to date yourself and truly enjoy the experience.

3. Create Time to Date Yourself Regularly

Lastly, it’s time to put your solo date on your calendar!

You can’t be too busy for someone you truly love, right? Schedule time to date yourself as often as possible, and make sure not to cancel unless it is absolutely necessary.

Now that you know how to date yourself, check out the following solitary date ideas and try as many as you like.

10 Solo Date Ideas

woman using a lighted umbrella at night

1. Have a dance party by yourself: Get a collection of your favorite songs, clear your schedule for the evening, turn up your sound system on full blast, and dance the night away!

Don’t think you’re a good dancer? No worries.

No one is taking scores, so dance your heart out. And by the way, dancing counts as exercise, too, so you’re dating yourself and getting a good workout!

2. Groom yourself: Spend long hours doing your nails, styling your hair, taking care of your face, or doing whatever grooming activity catches your fancy.

3. Visit a spa or have a DIY spa night: A luxury beauty spa should rank high on your list if you want to splurge on self-care.

But if you’re on a tight budget, you can spend a few bucks buying a few DIY spa treatments from the local drug store and create the perfect DIY spa night for yourself.

4. Treat yourself to a gift: Gift yourself something thoughtful once in a while. The gift doesn’t have to be expensive, though; it’s the thought that matters.

Like in any romantic relationship, make the gift special by giving it on special days, such as birthdays or when you achieve a milestone.

5. Dine alone at your favorite spot: You don’t have to wait for a romantic partner to eat at your favorite restaurant or that new eatery in town. Take yourself to dinner and eat something healthy.

6. Take the night off: In a world where nearly everyone wears “busy” as a badge, turning in for the day at 8 pm is considered a luxury.

Your body deserves complete rest once in a while, so go ahead, turn off the TV, put away your cell phone, and curl up in your PJ for an early bedtime.

7. Write yourself a love letter: Take time to write a love letter to yourself by hand. Use a fancy pen and your finest handwriting as you would if writing to a special person.

You can also leave love notes for yourself in random spots like on the mirror or fridge. Love notes can put a smile on your face on those days when everything seems dreary.

8. Cook something nice for yourself: A home-cooked meal takes time and careful planning. But you’re dating the most special person in your life ― you ― so no effort is too much!

Take a break from stuffing your body with junk food and shop for fresh ingredients instead. Play your favorite music while cooking to keep things fun and exciting.

Pour a glass of wine and enjoy your delicious meal!

9. Go on an adventure: Love the great outdoors, but your daily grind has restricted you to a droning indoor lifestyle? Plan a solitary vacation to see some of the world’s beautiful sights!

Besides the breathtaking views, traveling alone allows you to learn more about yourself and your preferences.

10. Go on a weekend gateway: A change of scenery is good for your mind and body sometimes. While you can travel halfway across the world to see foreign climes, a simple staycation in a local hotel will do the trick. Just make sure to order room service, take a hot bath, and sleep in!

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