By Amanda Vining, Regular Contributor September 6, 2015
When someone asks me, “Are you dating?” they’re typically referring to whether or not I’m looking to find a romantic partner. However, even if I’m not seeing someone at the time, my answer is always “yes” because I began a ritual when I was in highschool of taking myself out on dates. As soon as I had my driver’s license at age 16, I made a promise to myself to make time to celebrate myself and enjoy being in my own company. (Of course you don’t need to have a driver’s license to begin making time for yourself, this was just when I realized the importance of my relationship with myself.)
Every month, I set aside one evening for an activity of my choosing. Usually I take myself to dinner at a restaurant I’ve been dying to try, or I see a movie of my choosing and treat myself to a large popcorn with extra butter. Sometimes I get a pedicure, go on a hike, or dress up and explore the downtown area of my city. When I talk about taking myself on dates, I am often countered with questions about why I would want to go to dinner alone, see a movie by myself, or dress up and go out solo. Why wouldn’t I want friends or a flirtatious date for company? My answer is that I cherish the time I spend with my friends and
I make the people I love a priority in my life, but I realize the importance of loving myself and indulging myself just as much as I realize the importance of spending time with others.
You love the people in your life, so you try to do nice things for them. Why wouldn’t you do those same things for yourself? I love myself, and I am aware of how important it is to maintain a healthy relationship with myself, so I make time to take myself on dates. My favorite author, Dr. Seuss, wrote in his famed book Oh! The Places You’ll Go, “Whether you like it or not, alone is something you’ll be quite a lot.”
Why make being alone a negative thing? Why not choose to celebrate being alone and take the opportunity to treat yourself to the things you enjoy?
image via rona-keller.deviantart.com
When I take myself on dates, I not only get to eat at my favorite restaurants and spend time at my favorite places around town, I also get to spend time with myself thinking about my dreams, goals, and hopes. I reflect on my favorite memories and envision the woman I want to be. Going on dates with myself allows me to take the time to recollect and enjoy my relationship with myself. Like any relationship, you have to put in love in order to receive it. Every romantic relationship and friendship requires time spent together away from the distractions of daily life, and just like those relationships, your relationship with yourself requires the same TLC (tender loving care.)
If you haven’t already, I encourage you to take yourself on a date! Pick your favorite restaurant or find a movie you’ve been wanting to see, and treat yourself to time with yourself. I promise you that you’re worth it!
Do you set time aside for yourself? What do you like to do when you're alone? Tell us below!
Amanda lives in Austin, Texas, where she strives every day to be as BRAVE and BeautyFULL as she can be. She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a self-designed degree in Children’s Rights, and Duke University with a certificate in Nonprofit Management. In her spare time, Amanda can be found scouring Pinterest for her latest craft project, drinking coconut mochas in her favorite coffee shop, and creating content for the sexual violence prevention organization and blog, Talk About Rape (www.talkaboutrape.com.)
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