real life

How to date yourself.

Carley Schad




I don’t think there is anything more wonderful than being able to pick yourself up out of bed, make yourself look beautiful and head over to a café to have breakfast by yourself. You’re alone, you can enjoy your food at your own pace and get things done. You’re reading the newspaper, you’re taking Instagrams of your muesli and you’re remembering why it’s so great to have time alone with yourself every once in a while.

Self-dating is underrated and I aim to make it come back. Only a very slim selection of my friends can actually spend quality time dating themselves. Taking themselves to the movies with a small box of popcorn, looking at themselves in the mirror and saying ‘hey, you look good today, have you lost weight?’ and treating themselves to a meal alone at a café paired with a warm, frothy beverage. Why don’t more people do this?

I know I am not in a good frame of mind when I am hunting down people to go to places with. ‘Hey, are you busy?’ ‘Hey! What are you doing today?’ ‘Hey! Why aren’t you replying to my texts!?’ All classic, desperate messages I have sent to my friends only to realize I was sitting at home waiting for someone else to make my life happen. I know I am in a great frame of mind when I am setting my alarm for 7am, at a restaurant by 8:30am and finished with my second cup of coffee by 9. It is going to be a good day.

What was holding me back before? Was it the insecurity of having to deal with being by myself for extended periods of the day? I have to admit, when you make the initial decision to start dating yourself, the first outing can be a little daunting. You think everyone is staring at you – the lonely girl/boy – and you constantly wonder why you couldn’t find a mate to do this with you. You ask yourself, why have you resorted to dating yourself?


But I will tell you this, after dating yourself steadily for a couple of weeks, months even, you start to treat yourself differently and you start to realize that the way you date yourself is the way others should be dating you. End of. There is no judgment, you can order whatever you want, you are completely comfortable and you come home feeling absolutely content with your day’s events, shivering with excitement for next time.

So… could you date yourself?

And just like any relationship, it gets easier as time wears on. You learn to accept that no one cares if you have sat at your laptop for two hours and chugged two double-shot skim caps in a half-empty café. You learn to confide in the time with yourself when you are feeling out of sorts or lonely. You learn that if you can’t enjoy your own company once-in-a-while, it’s going to be very hard to find someone who does.

I am sure there are plenty of people completely okay with not dating themselves and have plenty of worthy companions to date. But for the guys and dolls, like myself, who find themselves constantly wondering where the interesting people are to take out for a night on the town or whether or not you have managed to date everyone already and there is no one left, I ask you to ask yourself, ‘How long has it been since I treated you?’


So far in the past two weeks, I have been on two dates with myself and I have to say, after 20 years of playing the game, it’s getting pretty serious. I have gone on a few self-dates previously but only recently am I becoming comfortable enough to make it a weekly occurrence. The saying ‘no one can love you until you love yourself’ is a cliché because it’s true. If you are looking for love in all the wrong places, it’s probably because you haven’t looked at yourself.

Understand you, understand your wants, your needs and your desires and discover those things on your own. Become confident and content with coming home to yourself and your thoughts. There are only small amounts of people who will stay with you as long you stay with yourself, but you’re the only person you can ever full rely and depend on.

I ask you to try it, go to a movie, go shopping and get a coffee alone. Treat yourself! It’s not narcissistic; it’s love. It’s finding genuine happiness without having to look any further than your table for one. It could be the start of a beautiful and inspiring relationship, and I promise you, there is never an awkward moment when you’re dating yourself.

This post was originally published on Carley’s blog and has been republished here with full permission.

Do you “date yourself”? What are the best solo dates you’ve been on?

Carley Carter Schad is a Media and Communications (Journalism) student at Charles Sturt University. She blogs at and you can find her on Twitter @carleyschad.