The Epic Guide to Dating Yourself (and why you should!)

Hello lovelies!  How is your dating life going these days?  And by 'dating life' I'm not referring to you and certain handsome dude, I'm talking about you and...YOU!  If you have no idea what I'm talking about, then stick around because today I'm sharing my epic guide to dating yourself and why every girl should!

Right now, I'm not in a relationship and I'm not running around trying to date anyone because I'm actively choosing to just be me for awhile.

And you know what...I'm loving life right now!  No drama, no compromising, no unfulfilled expectations, etc.

Do I want to spend the rest of my life single...heck no! But for right now, it's exactly what I want and I'm soaking it up and enjoying every minute of it!

So, I have to ask...when was the last time you took yourself out on a date with just yourself?  

I'm betting most of you are saying never or the last time you were single.  Am I right?

Dating yourself is one of the best ways to make yourself feel special and it doesn't have to be limited to just the single ladies!  Even those of you happily coupled up will benefit from taking yourself on, what I like to call, a ME-DATE from time to time.

Why date yourself?

If this is a new idea for you, you might be asking 'why in the world would I want to go on a date with myself?!'.  I get it...it may seem a little weird at first, but there’s a reason behind why this is a good thing.

By taking yourself on a date, you're telling yourself that you’re worth being treated well.  It gives you the opportunity to feel special and we all deserve that!

A couple of months after I got divorced, I remember waking up one morning and realizing that I didn't know who I was at that moment. I knew I wasn't the person I was before I got married and I definitely wasn't the person I was while I was married, so who the heck was I right then?  

Well...that's exactly what I wanted to find out!  I didn't freak out at this realization, it was more of a 'hmm...that's interesting' moment.  But, I did get excited.  The prospect of just being me and doing what I wanted, when I wanted, in the process of getting back to 'me' was very exciting!!

I threw myself into hobbies and classes and new fitness routines. I traveled with friends and even did a few quick solo trips.  I learned new skills, made new friends, and discovered all kinds of cool things about myself (mainly that it was a lot of fun to hang out with me!).

I was single for about 18 months before I started dating my ex-boyfriend (I had few random dates in the couple of months before I met him, so he wasn't the first guy I went out with post-divorce!).  He and I dated for about 4-1/2 years before I ended it over a year ago.  But, when we first started dating, I wasn't floundering looking for meaning in my life, or trying to fill a void.  I started dating him simply because I liked him and we had a lot of fun together.

It also gave me the courage to end things when I knew it wasn't the right relationship for me.  Instead of staying because I was afraid to be on my own, I knew from past experience that I would be just fine and it would be better than trying to give life to something that wasn't there anymore.

So...now that I'm single, dating myself is something I love to do from time to time because hey...why sit around waiting on a man to take me out when I'm perfectly capable of taking myself out!!  Even in my last relationship, I'd insist on time for myself every now and then.  It's so crucial for knowing yourself and knowing your own worth!

What does it mean to ‘date yourself’?

To put it simply, the idea is to treat yourself like someone you’ve just started dating would treat you!

The easiest way to do this is to imagine the guy of your dreams asking you out for a date (if you’re in a relationship, you can still play along here!).  Mentally jot down how he would treat you on this date (and since it's your dream guy and your dream date, he would obviously treat you like a princess!).  This is exactly how you should treat yourself on your me-date! Think of how dream guy would make you feel by treating you so awesomely - that's how YOU should feel after your me-date!

Personally, I feel solo dating is for everyone!  Just because you’re dating someone doesn’t mean that you won’t benefit from dating yourself!  And, if you’re single, it gives you a chance to tell yourself you’re freaking awesome!

So, how to do I do this solo dating thing?

These are just suggestions!  There really are no rules here other than being kind to yourself and do something that makes you feel special (because you ARE!).

In other words, put a little effort into it because you're worth it!  It'll also make it feel more special than just throwing on your yoga pants, flip flops, and a baseball hat because you haven't washed your hair in 3 days.

A few ideas for your me-date

  • A night in - Grab your favorite takeout and watch a good movie...and buy yourself some flowers first!
  • Go to a movie - Cliched, but hey...it's a good one!  if you're single, no need to stay home and not go to a movie you're dying to see.  If you're not single, but your guy isn't into rom-coms, for example, you don't have to torture him for 2 hours, just take yourself out and enjoy the movie on a me-date.
  • Go explore - Hop in your car and just start driving and see what you find :) (obviously don't do this in the middle of the night or on an almost empty tank of gas!).  I live near Litchfield County, Connecticut, which is one of the most beautiful areas in the state.  When you think quintessential New England/Connecticut...Litchfield County is where it's at.  I LOVE to hop in the car, with no destination in mind and find a cute, charming town to park and explore.  Take a camera and document your adventures!
  • Spa time - You can either save some cash and do an at home spa day, or treat yourself right and book some time for a massage, facial, or mani/pedi at a soothing, relaxing day spa!
  • Cook yourself a nice meal (like you would for a hot guy coming over, only YOU'RE the hottie in this scene!) Now for me, this would never make my me-date list. I don't really enjoy cooking...love to bake...but cooking?  Nah...I'd rather treat myself to my favorite take out, but since I do that often enough, I don't really consider this a me-date anymore!  But, if you love to cook, or you've been wanting to try an amazing recipe you found on Pinterest...do it!! (and enjoy the leftovers the next night!)
  • Take a Class - This might not sound like a 'date', but if you've always wanted to learn to paint, then sign up for a painting class!  Check  your local continuing ed for lots of options from writing, to art, to pottery making, and even foreign language studies!
  • Plan a creative night - Even if you're not crafty, in fact, especially if you're not crafty, this is a great way to do something different and have a lot of fun!  Do some modern art on a piece of canvas, treat yourself to some adult coloring books and go to town (I just bought a few coloring books for adults at Barnes & Noble and can't wait to plan an afternoon of fun with them!).
  • Go to the city!  If you have a city nearby that you don't get to visit that often, plan an afternoon and go explore, grab an ice cream, shop, people watch, take photos, etc.  I live about an hour north of New York City and this is one that I would like to do more often, but I just never think to plan an afternoon in the city (so, I'm making that happen this summer!).

A few extra tips to take your me-dates to the next level

  • Doing something completely new, that you’ve never done before
  • Doing something that scares you!
  • Taking an afternoon off work to go do something fun

What do you think, girls? Do you date yourself? If yes, what do you love to do on your me-dates? If not, would you consider it? I'd love to hear your thoughts, so leave me a comment below!