Here's Why You Should Start Taking Yourself Out On Dates
I was never okay with being alone. I always had someone around, whether that be a family member, a friend, or a partner.
While being around people isn’t a bad thing, it’s also important that we take time for ourselves every so often. Otherwise, you can end up feeling really uncomfortable when you’re faced with a situation in which you’re alone.
In 2020, when everyone started to quarantine and social outings because non-existent for me, I found myself with more alone time than I had ever had before.
I would sit at my desk or on my bed and think about all sorts of things. But more notably, I would sit down and feel incredibly lonely and uncomfortable.
I think we all experienced something similar during that time, and it was difficult to deal with. But the aftermath is what stuck with me, and I’ve been on a mission to change it.
About six months ago, I set out on a journey to become my own best friend. Now, that’s not to say I shunned my other friends to do so - I just slowly started spending more intentional time alone.
Initially, this was hard. Like, really hard.
There’s a type of shame that revolves around being alone, and it’s something I carried with me. I had seen a few videos about people going out on solo dates, and I figured I might as well take myself out on one.
I had no idea how life-changing it would be for me.
My first solo date was at a library. I went by myself to grab a coffee and then headed out to find my next read.
I walked alongside countless bookshelves and eventually ended up grabbing another romance novel much like my last.
I found a spot to sit and stayed there for maybe an hour. Seems pretty chilled and simple, right?
Wrong. My anxiety was absolutely through the roof.
I’d look around and see friends and couples and classmates working together at tables across the floor. There was maybe one or two people there that were alone as well, but it’s hard to notice that when you feel awkward and out of place.
Even today, I’m not sure why I felt so anxious about that situation - but I did.
I decided I couldn’t end my solo date journey there just because it was a bit uncomfortable. I continued going to the library and eventually upgraded to solo coffee dates, picnics, and breakfasts.
So why am I telling you all this? Because I want to you understand how going on these solo dates not only made me feel more comfortable with being alone, but they also made me more confident in myself.
Let’s debrief. Here are the 3 benefits I’ve experienced after solo dating myself for 6 months.
Solo dates made me more confident in myself and what I have to offer.
Nothing makes you realize how valuable your presence is more than a solo date. After going out a few times, I began to crave alone time the way I used to crave company.
I started to recognize how valuable my time is, and that made me want to be way more selective with how I spend it.
It’s important to note that this realization wasn’t in a vain or “I’m better than you” way. It was a realization founded in respect for myself, and that does wonders for your confidence.
I think one of the reasons I struggled with being alone was because it felt like I was going to be judged. As if people would see that I was out alone and think I had no friends.
This is a mentality I have carried since I was in middle school, and as someone who now has a college degree - I thought it was time I grew out of it.
So, the first benefit of solo dating myself was an increase in confidence and a newfound comfort in my own company.
Solo dates gave me the opportunity to reflect on my true desires without outside influence.
When I first started this journey, I was just dipping my toe into a new industry and thinking about changing careers. I had been working the same job since I was 18 (I’m 22 now), and the thought of going for something different felt both intimidating and insane.
I went on a solo coffee shop date with myself on a random weekday. I needed to get some work done, so I thought I’d make a day out of it.
While at the shop, I thought a lot about this new career. A lot.
I weighed the pros and the cons more times than I’d like to admit, and I still couldn’t decide what the right call was.
My initial instinct was to have a chat with my friend and my partner to see what they thought about it.
But then, it hit me. I was on this solo date with myself to learn how to trust and connect with myself a bit better. This is the perfect opportunity.
I sat there and thought about both options. After considering it all, I made the decision on my own.
I didn’t run to tell anyone or ask for their opinion. I sat with my answer, knowing fully that it was the right one.
Without spending alone time with myself to realize what I wanted without external influence, I don’t know if I would have made the same decision.
Solo dates made me more creative than ever.
I’ve gone to countless coffee shops during this whole solo date journey. I find them to be such quick and easy ways to spend time with myself in a setting that makes me feel inspired.
While out by myself, I noticed I would have more ideas than normal.
As I sat in my chair drinking my coffee, I would get an overflow of thoughts.
Video ideas, content ideas, business ideas.
Outlines, scripts, concepts.
I let myself write these out for a bit just to see what would come of it.
And then I did it again the following week.
This was the first time I really started to connect the dots - being alone with my thoughts didn’t have to be a dreadful time, it could be a creative time.
What started as a quick brain dump ended up being a list of over 200 content ideas created over the span of two weeks.
If I never went out by myself to get creative, I don’t know how long it would have taken me to think of this massive list of ideas.
So, I hope that sharing these benefits with you has inspired you to take yourself out on a date this week. It’s been one of the best things I’ve ever done, and I think we all need to spend a little time with ourselves every so often.