Dating yourself in your 20s

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What comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘dating’?

Probably, boy meets girl, they go on a romantic candle-lit dinner and gaze into each other’s eyes. Well yes, but this is not the only form of dating there is. Dating is intentional time spent with someone to get to know them. Recently the term has broadened to include time spent with loved ones e.g. friends and family engaging in an activity to further their bond. Interestingly, dating can also encompass time spent intentionally with oneself doing an activity you like and enjoy alone.

As someone whose love language is quality time, I thought why not try out dating myself? All I can say is it’s been a great year so far. At first, it was scary, especially when visiting places where people are coupled like in a restaurant. With time it gets more effortless and blissful, I promise.

Benefits of dating yourself

As intimidating as it sounds there are fantastic reasons why you should take the leap.

Boosts confidence

  • There is a certain confidence that comes when you do things intentionally for and by yourself. With time you feel empowered to enjoy things alone and not have to wait for a friend to be free so you can watch the screening of your favorite movie.

Knowing yourself better

  • The major reason behind conventional dating is to get to know someone and a date is a great time to engage them with questions like what their values are, who they are etc. You can do the same with yourself. I challenge you to go on a solo date with pen and paper and ask yourself some questions and write your responses and get to know yourself a bit better. You may surprise yourself.
  • When you date yourself you learn not to compromise on things. Is the dating spot you chose not living up to your expectations? Go elsewhere or never go back again. You are at liberty to do as you please for yourself and why would you compromise?
  • As you date yourself you get to know what your likes, dislikes and wants are. You may have absorbed the hype from friends or even social media about something like food dates, where you typically sit at a fancy restaurant, eat and go. So you decide to treat yourself to a solo date like that and you quickly realize that it may not be for you. You prefer to sight-see or do an engaging activity and all this will lead to more self-discovery.
  • You also learn to acknowledge your needs as you date yourself. You may feel overwhelmed by school, work, family, or just life in general and go on a solo date away from the stresses. This will open you up to the needs you have in your life such as time alone to re-group and fill your own cup.

Self-Love

  • Being your own bestie! There are people who struggle to be alone, by themselves for whatever reasons and they benefit from dating themselves in an effort to get to know who they are. Eventually,  they learn to enjoy their own company. How cool is that?
  • Self-care has become more of an internet buzz word but hear me out. No one knows you better than you do and only you can care for yourself as much as you’d love to be cared for. You can take some time off and do your hair, exercise, journal, take a walk, etc to make yourself feel loved and cared for.

Improve relationships with others

  • Dating yourself can be so beneficial in decompressing. You can take time off from others and be with yourself and then get back to being with other people. This can obviously apply to any relationship e.g. family, boyfriend/girlfriend, etc. You’ll come back energized and ready to give your best self to whomever you are with.
  • As you are out and about doing activities you enjoy, you can make new connections with others at the places you visit. Be it a nature trail, an art exhibition, or a salsa class you are guaranteed to meet someone new and strike up new friendships.

Those are just a few of the benefits that come with dating yourself. This isn’t just when you’re in your twenties. It cuts across all age groups. You can still date yourself in your 70s!

Next week we shall explore some date spots and activities you can consider as you date yourself.

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