Humans are biologically wired to desire/need human connection, however, we are also more than the relationships we have. A solid connection to self is a base for the other relationships in our lives to thrive. No matter what your relationship status is, it’s valuable to “date yourself”.
As this idea of “dating yourself” starts to emerge, you may find yourself asking, “What does it actually mean to date yourself?” Dating yourself includes taking intentional time to get to know and deepen the connection with one’s self. This can be done in a lot of different ways and it doesn’t have to be extravagant. Sometimes, the simpler, the better!
Here are 5 ways you can date yourself:
1. Take yourself out
This one might seem obvious but is one a lot of people are actually afraid to do. Society conditions us to believe that we have to do things with people and that it’s more fun that way. How many times have you missed out on an opportunity because you didn’t have someone to go with? I challenge you to get dressed in your favorite outfit and go to your favorite restaurant, museum, concert, movie, ______ (bonus points if you do it while putting your phone down!). It might be uncomfortable at first, but try to sit with that uncomfortable feeling and recognize that it is also a sign of growth! Maybe one day you can challenge yourself to travel alone! 2. Complete a values activity Core values are like a compass. They help guide us in our lives. I love doing values activities with clients because a lot of people don’t regularly take time to assess their core values. Try asking yourself, am I living according to my values? If not, how can I start making action steps toward aligning more closely with my values. If yes, are there any ways in which you could further live into them? Where do these values come from? How do your values differ from society or the people around you? It’s important to choose values that are truly YOUR values and not values you think you should choose or values someone would want you to choose. 3. Try something new A question that I like to ask people is, when was the last time you did something for the first time? It’s usually met with stumped faces and silence or “um’s”. Trying new things is a way you can get to know yourself, increase confidence, and open yourself up to the feeling of joy. Try taking a cooking class (or cook a new recipe), check something off your bucket list, read a new genre of literature, learn a new skill. Doing new things often can make life meaningful and disrupt monotony. 4. Do something that makes you feel connected to yourself or could invite that feeling
In John Kim’s book, Single on Purpose, he talks about how he never felt as free as he did when he was 12 riding his red 50cc Honda Spree scooter and how he found in his adult life that riding motorcycles gave him that similar feeling after his spirit was killed when having to “grow up”. He asks, “how are you connecting to your spirit today? Or are you? When did you listen to your true spirit and allow it to dance? Or have you ever? What happened that killed your spirit? What would reconnecting with your spirit look like?” He specified that it doesn’t have to be an activity but even creating a space. For one of his clients, it was rearranging his office and another walking down the hallway at school carrying drumsticks in her back pocket, not because she played drums, just because she liked them. 5. Self-Care
It is important to practice self-care as you’re on the journey of dating yourself. John Kim says, self-care is your first date. I like to use the metaphor of being on an airplane and the instructions being that you must put your mask on before you can help others. Ask yourself what you need. Go for a hike in the forest preserve, use your favorite lotion, take a nap, light your favorite candle, wear your comfiest sweats.
Blog post written by Alex Ziemann, LPC of Green Door Therapy.