Why You Should Self-Date This Valentines Day
Treat Yourself Like a Lover and Feel the Benefits
It's 9 pm, I'm sitting in a hot tub overlooking fantastic highland vistas after a meal of seabass and sparkling wine and some chocolate covered strawberries. Tomorrow I'm going kayaking. Sounds like the perfect romantic getaway right? Now what if I tell you that I was alone? Would that change your perception? Probably, right?
This, among many other things, is what self-dating looks like; defined as the process of embracing singledom and treating yourself as a romantic partner, I have to say it's amazing. I decided, after reading one too many Cosmo and Glamour issues, to give this a go and I can honestly say I've never felt better about myself and my life.
What Is Self-Dating?
Aside from the definition given above, which really sounds like being single with extra emphasis on indulgence, self-dating is really about self-love (which as you know I'm big on). You see, too many singles (especially women... yes, I know it sounds cliché but it is true) spend all their time lamenting the things they wish they could do. The implication, of course, being that you need a partner in order to go skiing or enjoy a hot tub with a view for the weekend.
And so while the 'friend-date' has sky-rocketed in popularity, many singles aren't getting out there and pleasing themselves in the ways that they really deserve to. Self-dating, as a trend, could be set to change this, leaving us all a happier.
Why You Should Self-Date This Valentines Day
For singles, especially the newly single and the chronically single, valentines day can be an ordeal. In fact, it's hard on everyone; while many single people report feeling depressed, sad, or lonely on valentines day, those in relationships report being stressed about money and gifts. So, while valentines day can be magical I don't think I'm wrong in saying it might belong in the bin... (no?). Ok, maybe that's harsh, but I've got 5 good reasons as to why you should toss Tinder, ditch dating events, and go it alone this valentine's day!
1. You Don't Have to Compromise
Does this sound selfish? Yes! And it is selfish, but you know what? There's nothing wrong with that; you spend so much time helping and pleasing others. Everyone deserves, to take a day or two to please themself and no one else.
When you self-date you don't have to compromise; eat what you like to eat, go where you like to go and do what you want to do! Indulge yourself and grab life by the short and curlies for once.
2. You Can Explore New Things and Find Your Passion
My ex hated to be messy, so when I wanted to do things like Tough Mudder or take pottery classes he held me back, and I was too scared to do it without him. I felt my spare money and time were better spent on things we could both enjoy... which is fair when your time and money are limited and you're in a relationship.
When I started self-dating, however, I could explore things without fear of hating them; it's only my money and time I'm wasting, after all, no-one else's, and if I hate what I end up doing I can chalk it up to experience without apologising or feeling bad.
3. It Gives You Time to Introspect
Ok, so it's not healthy to spend too much time in your own head, but a little introspection is good for us.
Being alone, without someone else to distract you gives you a good chance to look at your inner landscape and ask some serious questions. Whether this is an enjoyable or painful process depends on your outlook and your feelings about yourself, but it is a beneficial process that we should all undertake from time to time.
And when you're alone you can cry into a pillow, drink wine, and eat ice cream without anyone judging you...
4. It Helps You to Become More Independent
A strong sense of independence is, I think, key to building healthy relationships. When you have no ability to function alone (outwith the necessary) it can be easy to cling to a bad realtionship out of fear. When you're comfortable being alone, however, it's easier to make sensible choices about your relationships.
Self-dating helps you to develop a sense of your own tastes as well as the confidence to go out and get what you want without back up. This means that if and when you are ready for a new relationship you're less likely to spend all of your time capitulating to your partners' desires.
5. Because You Can
No, really. It's valentines day and you deserve to feel fabulous... so go out there, choose something that makes you smile and let the world pass you by, even if it's just for one day! Treat yourself like someone truly special (after all, you are).
Self-Dating Isn't Only for Singles
Just because you have a partner, doesn't mean the two of you shouldn't self date now and then. Maintaining your own interests, passions, and hobbies is crucial to keeping your sense of self while in a long-term relationship. Especially if you have kids! Rather like with meditation, it's those who say they lack the time to self-date who really do need it the most. Even a few hours a month can make the difference between feeling stressed but in control and being completely overwhelmed when bad days roll around.
This is why it is so important to work with your partner to ensure that you each have time with friends, family, or simply with yourself.