So lately I have kind of fallen in love with going on dates… with myself! I started dating myself when I was about twenty. I moved to a different state and didn’t know anyone, and really learned to embrace the value of quality time with myself. Here I am, almost 27, still finding excuses to get away from the bar scene (at least with groups of people) and go on dates with myself. When I was younger, most of my dates were to the movie theaters, a place I loved to go alone for three reasons:
1- I hate multiple hands in my popcorn.
2- I don’t have to sit through Braveheart-esque movies unless I truly want to.
3- No one makes fun of me as I cry myself through every movie.
As the years have progressed, my movie dates turned in to dates to other places: restaurants, parks, playing sports, riding my bike, coffee shop, etc. I have really learned to cherish this time and am actually looking forward to these times rather than loathing spending time alone. I realize some people do not have the confidence to do this, but once you get over that hump and realize no one is making fun of you for being alone, you too can enjoy dating yourself. I am even planning a solo vacation next year!
Are you stumped for ideas of things you can do alone? If so, here are 8 ideas for you:
1—Go Hiking! Hiking not only frees your mind of all of the petty stuff, it is a great workout and time to appreciate nature.
2—Wine and dine yourself! My dates will consist of trying new restaurants. I love trying locals flavors, and it is much better to do this alone than with my peers who may not be in to this same cuisine or curiosity of trying new things. None of my friends like Indian food (how can you not!?), so I always eat Indian alone. The people in the restaurant know I am going to come in there solo and will chat with me or give me my space if they know I am in there to write (yes, I take my journal in sometimes and sit and write).
3—Go to a bookstore! I find that bookstores are a place of peace for me. I love the atmosphere, the fact that they always have a coffee shop, and they I can read all of the new gossip magazines without purchase.
4—Take a solo weekend vacation! Try out a new city that you have never been to before. If money is not an option, fly there after work on Friday evening and spend all day Saturday perusing around the downtown checking out shops and restaurants, as well as sights, before you head back home on Sunday. I have seen and travelled to many US cities alone, and I truly love getting a taste of something different, even if just for a day or two.
5—Volunteer! Doing this alone can help you channel your inner passions to a greater cause. I find that volunteering at animal shelters makes me happy and I get to help out other living beings at the same time as enjoying some alone time.
6—Take a drive! Pick a random city on a map (one within a few hours of driving of course), and just go! Once you get in to the city, ask the locals of the places to eat, local wineries or breweries, and things to do. I enjoy doing this because I was always one to not appreciate the small towns until I got older. I am not sure I could permanently live in one, but it is nice, even just for a day, to see why people stay in these towns their entire lives.
7—Do a theme night in your own home! Pick a country, or just a theme, and go with it! Purchase beer, wines, cheese, etc, from that country, and find a recipe online of something native to that country. Sometimes it is hard to find movies based in that country, but if you can, enjoy a movie with the great food you created!
8—Go card shopping and make someone’s day! I know this sounds cheesy and I am the queen of forgetting people’s birthdays, but I would love nothing more than to put a smile on someone’s face. Try going to all of the local card shops and finding cards for your friends…not just any cards, but cards that remind you of them. You don’t have to write much in the cards, but just by saying “I miss and I love you”, you can feel good about yourself and make someone you care about smile.