I’ve had a personal goal as of late to master the art of dating myself.
Regardless of my happily coupled-up relationship status, there’s something to be said about taking yourself on solo dates.
Not only are you curating the life you want by doing exactly as you please – but you’re also building confidence and empowering yourself.
Sitting with the initial discomfort helped me realise there shouldn’t be any discomfort in the first place.
There’s a certain outdated stigma about being alone; that you have no friends, partner, or loved ones to go anywhere with.
Once you try it though, you can reclaim this narrative and turn it into whatever you want it to be. It becomes an active and liberating choice.
No longer will you be beholden to the ebbs and flows of your friends' social calendars; no longer will you have to vet potential candidates for their suitability to a particular activity.
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In some societies like Japan, dining out alone isn’t just a socially acceptable thing to do: it’s the norm.
There are even 'solo-only' bars and a growing hashtag on Instagram, #ohitorisama, which loosely translates to ‘party of one.'
So while as humans we might not be naturals at being alone, it’s definitely a growing phenomenon we can be embracing.
It's also a skill that once learnt, can foster a deeper connection to self and that’s something we all should aim for.
How did I go about these, ‘solo dates’? Well, first of all, I didn’t make a big deal of them. They weren’t extravagant dates. They were just the kind of dates that I would normally do with someone else, but challenged myself to do alone.
I realised how easy it is to romanticise my everyday life. Call anything a ‘date’ and it’s a date to you.
Here are 5 solo date ideas I took for a spin.
Going to an art gallery
Art galleries are essentially designed for solo dates. Meandering around rooms with another person can be… stressful.
Like do you have to look at the same painting at the SAME time? Or do you divide and conquer and then find your way back together once you finish each room (in which case, you might as well go alone).