How and Why you should take yourself on a solo date
I get it we are all taught that compromise is the gold standard of a good relationship. That bending is better than breaking. But so many of us end up compromising ourselves. The things that bring us joy and make us feel uniquely us. The talents that we want to exercise or the rituals or activities that just bring us joy.
So one Sunday afternoon with my husband nestled happily into the couch for another 4-hour session of American football not even the promise of a Taylor Swift sighting could have gotten me to spend this sunny afternoon inside watching men throw a ball and fall down every 30 seconds for 4 hours.
So I decided to take myself on a date. No one will ensure I have more fun and do the things I love than me. This was a chance to indulge in the activities that made me feel joyful and alive. It happens too often that those musings go untouched for far too long. Collecting dust in the far corners of our hearts. With that, I shook off the forgotten promises of my sketch pad and headed to the art museum.
William Shatner asked me to describe my perfect date as he did to the hopeful contestants in Miss Congeniality it would not be a tough one for me. We all know what sparks joy in our souls. It is the time to indulge in those activities that are elusive.
It seems archaic to say out loud but there is still a stigma attached, if only in our minds, to a woman alone. To have the audacity and tenacity to enjoy your own company? Scandal.
As I walked down the adorned halls of the art museum, listening to my Ladies of Jazz playlist, I thought about the difference between doing these activities alone and with a partner. When I am with someone the energy is different. You are giving and receiving from another. Effected by their ups and downs. Considering and replying to the conversation created from your shared experience. The stillness and solitude produced by venturing on a solo date is that rare and beautiful jewel: the ability to converse with yourself.
I took the time to linger at artwork that I had ignored before. To lose myself in the eclectic museum bookshop for an hour. Admiring the cool and somewhat tacky art lovers’ trinkets.
I took myself for a long walk around the park stopping to literally smell the roses and then to an outdoor cafe where live music cocooned me in a warm embrace. I thought about dating. We go on dates to connect with people. To get to know who they are as a person. What they like and dislike. To enrich those relationships and spend time growing them. Why is that not something that we want to do with ourselves? To spend time doing the things that bring us joy so that we can continue to enrich our relationship with ourselves?
It is beautiful to do things with people you love. But that solo date made me realize that it is also beautiful to do things with myself. To give myself the pleasure of my own company and nurture that relationship with myself.
I invite you all to take yourself out on a date. You know exactly what you would like to do. So do it. Enjoy being with yourself and getting to know that internal side of what makes you into the unique being you are. And if so listen to the advice from Miley - you can buy yourself flowers. You can love YOU better.