Have you ever taken yourself on a date, to enjoy your own company, unwind, and do something JUST for you? Not so you can become more “dateable,” or find love or check the “self-care item” off your to-do list.
The reason to go on a date with yourself is to have FUN.
Have you ever done this? Just for the heck of it, for fun?
Oh, girl, you gotta try it.
This is about doing something just for you, spending time with yourself, and EN-JOY-ing it. I’d like to say I came up with this idea myself, but alas, I did not. The great Julia Cameron introduced me to it probably twenty years ago in her seminal and amazing book, The Artist’s Way, A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. She recommends doing them every week, and while I’ve never done that, I do throw in a date with myself every month or two.
They don’t have to be expensive or time consuming. A free 30-minute visit to a store you’ve wanted to visit counts as a date.
Think of these as little adventures for your soul.
The only “rule” I try and follow is to unplug, and I’ll admit that I’m not always super great at this. I usually will have a book in my bag if I start getting the itch to grab my phone, but I also love to read so that can be a fun part of my date with myself as well.
Here are a few ideas for a date with yourself:
- Go to the library or a bookstore and browse
- Go out to eat at a nice restaurant – this one is super fun. I’ve done it a few times (keep reading for the story of my first solo trip to a nice restaurant)
- Make yourself a nice meal at home and enjoy the process of cooking it – take your time
- Take a walk (and if you come across a puddle, jump in it…with both feet)
- Get an ice cream cone and eat it in the sunshine
- Have a mani or pedi
- Get a massage
- Wander into some stores that you’ve never been in but always wanted to visit like a pet, plant, make-up, motorcycle or whatever store…there’s seriously a store for just about everything
- Take a long drive with your favorite playlist on super LOUD and let your inner rock star OUT
- Go to the craft store and buy some stickers or glitter and glue and PLAY, like you did when you were five
- Buy yourself some flowers
- Pick some flowers and create your own bouquet
- Visit a local museum
- Put on some of your favorite music and dance, or draw, write, or create something inspired
- Take a long and lovely bubble or Epsom salt bath
- Go to your favorite coffee shop or tea house and enjoy your favorite hot drink, sitting down, savoring it, NOT working or rushing off with it in a to-go cup
- Go to the movies and see a show that you really want to see
- Kayak/paddle – okay I realize you have to have a kayak in order to go paddling, but if you live near water, you might be able to rent them. This is one of my FAVORITE solo activities. There’s just something about being on the water that is SO relaxing for me.
- Take a class at the gym that you’ve wanted to take – For me that would be a Pound class where you pound the ground with weighted drum sticks to rock classics, but for you, that might be a ballet or kick-boxing class.
- Go to the zoo
- Go fly a kite
Why date yourself?
Because it’s FUN!
I remember vividly the first time I went out to a nice dinner by myself. I was at the NCTE (National Council for Teachers of English – fascinating I know) conference in Las Vegas, and I’d thought I’d meet up with some local teachers who were also going. They were, but we never managed to connect. At the end of the first day, I could either go back to my room by myself (um – I was in Vegas, baby), hang out in a smoky casino and play nickel poker, or take myself to a yummy dinner at one of the hundreds of amazing restaurants on the strip.
I chose the dinner, and I’ll be honest. I was super nervous to go in alone. I’d always felt sort of sorry for people who were alone at restaurants, but guess what? I had a blast. I had the BEST waiter, and we chatted it up. I ordered what he recommended rather than what I would normally order. He brought me some yummy wine that he recommended for the mean. And, the people watching was amazing.
I walked out feeling ridiculous for ever feeling sorry for people who were at restaurants alone. I loved it, and I felt confident and happy. I wondered at what I’d missed on in my life because I didn’t have the confidence to just do them by myself.
Ever since, I’ve made it a point to go to the nice restaurant, even if I’m alone, to take myself to the bookstore or the craft store, just for the fun and adventure of it.
I’ve learned that I don’t need to be with other people in order to have fun or adventures. And neither do you.
Right now choose an activity for a date with yourself, whether it’s a more elaborate dinner and movie kind of date or a simple walk to pick some flowers and make yourself a simple bouquet for your desk.
Plan it. Then DO it.
Let me know how it goes in the comments.