I have written before about the importance of building a strong, healthy relationship with yourself. For the most part this entails a mix of cognitive and emotional processes. For example, it is important to say nice things to yourself, compliment yourself and generally be kind rather than cruel to yourself. It is also a good idea to learn how to challenge negative thinking patterns and focus on increasing constructive self-talk. But what would a relationship be if it weren’t for the fun parts like time spent doing enjoyable activities and trying out new experiences?
So here is my guide for how to take yourself out on a date of a life time. The next time you’re on your own, try it out!
- Dress to impress
It doesn’t matter that only you will know how good you look. I think it is important to dress up for yourself. Wearing clothes that make you feel cool and comfortable will help you feel excited for your day/night out and will make it special. Enjoy walking out of the house feeling like you look like a million bucks. So who cares that nobody gets to see your outfit? If you really must, take a selfie just so that you can look at it and be reminded of how great that outfit is…
- Take the road less travelled
Whether you’re in your hometown or a travelling through a foreign country, it is easy to get caught up in a routine. We tend to find our “little spots” that we circle around. When it’s time for that super special date night, however, try to be a little adventurous. Take a route you’ve never gone, even if it is a detour or delays you by 15 minutes. They say that change is as good as a holiday. Find out how even the smallest adjustments make for interesting stories. Perhaps you usually drive a car. Why not take your bicycle this time? Or maybe you’ve never gone on the public transport – why don’t you take a train and catch up on some reading along the way?
- Be a tourist
Even though I love to travel, I have always hated the word “tourist” and would shudder to think that someone would refer to me this way. But actually taking a day to do ‘touristy’ things, even in your hometown, can be fun and refreshing! Perhaps you’ve never gone up close to one of your town’s greatest monuments or maybe you’re too shy to visit that museum that allllll the tourists go to. Well I say, “Go for it!” You’ll be surprised at how refreshing it is to be surrounded by so many foreigners all enjoying something together and besides Table Mountain isn’t something just to look at from a distance. Usually these ‘national treasures’ are so for a reason – because they’re grand and magnificent and totally worth the trip! The other day I went walking around Mitte in Berlin and checked out a whole lot of the famous monuments such as a the Brandenburg Gate and the Jewish Holocaust Memorial. It was a great day out!
- Eat delicious food
No date is complete without some good grub. Eating is still my number 1 pleasure in life and without a doubt what I spend most of my money on. It’s easy to think that eating for one is just a mundane task that needs to be completed but I urge you to consider the potential for fun and adventure when it comes to that date with yourself. You can try out a new dish, you can go down to your local Asian sector and sample some streetfood, or you can take a table at a nice restaurant. I would suggest that you take your time over the meal. Enjoy the experience of trying out new dishes while sitting peacefully by yourself. You can read or catch up on emails but I would recommend that you try, try to take a break from your smartphone and take some time to look at your surroundings. This can be a moment to practice your mindfulness exercises or simply to sit and enjoy the view. I love to people watch! It always makes me smile to see parents and children chatting over a meal or an obviously new couple getting to know each other. There is even a chance to make new friends if you’re open to it.
But whatever you decide to do with your time, make sure that you enjoy the experience of being alone with your thoughts and feelings. It might be a time for you to reflect on your week, your month, or your year. Perhaps it’s the only time you get away from your partner or children. If you’ve been working really hard, it’s important to take that break. Whatever your reason for dating yourself, do it right and never worry about those moments alone because solo missions can be the most fun of all!