My favourite person in the whole world is me*. I’m my own best friend, lover and family. I am surrounded by people that make me feel loved, make me laugh and challenge me every day, but yet, I’m so happy to be able to fall asleep with my own body and brain, no matter who is lying next to me. No, I’m not arrogant or full of myself, I have the same hang-ups and anxieties as most 20-somethings navigating through the fuckery of life do, but I’m pretty good at practising solo dating.
Solo dating is the art of treating yourself the way you would treat a best friend, a partner or a family member. We have been conditioned to believe that relationships sit at the highest value and that the epitome of our lives is to find companionship. To be in solitude means loneliness, and nobody wants to be alone because that’s sad. But being on your own, and listening to yourself, laughing with yourself, relaxing, reading, exploring with yourself is the least sad thing you can do.
Being alone is just as important as surrounding yourself with people that make you feel loved (or even ones that don’t). The better your relationship is with yourself, the better it will be with other people. When you spend all your time learning new things for other people, saying the right things for other people, boosting up other people, loving other people, caring for other people, you forget to do all of those things for yourself first. To be a well-rounded human, you must give yourself the time to feel your own feelings, and most of the time you can only sit and listen to them when you’re on your own. Be jealous, be angry, be turned on, be resentful, be entertained, just do it on your own sometimes.
Whether you’re single, dating, married, or *who the fuck knows*, carving out a little time for yourself every day/week/month will become something to look forward to and not be a filler before your next interaction with somebody else.
Try one of the below and start to fall in love with yourself even more.
(Or just sit still and revel in how bloody lush you are)
Cook yourself Dinner
I’m not talking about chicken dippers and spaghetti hoops here, unless that’s what you’re craving, then fair do’s babe, I’d suggest adding some smiley faces. Trawl through recipe books, online articles or cooking blogs to find something that properly makes your tummy rumble. Write a list of all the ingredients and head off to the shop to pick them up, then go home and lay out your haul. Chop, dice, simmer and bubble away your culinary concoction and then scoff it all whilst patting yourself on the back because your belly is full.
Find your Niche
Everyone has got some sort of guilty pleasure, kink or hobby that makes them excited. If you already know what yours is (and I’m not talking crime documentaries here) then good for you, but I bet you have another. There is a wealth of information out there on the obscure, weird and just really niche. Send yourself down a hole of investigating that niggling thing that you know has always given you butterflies in your tummy. Then embrace it and enjoy it.
Get yourself a new sex toy, light a candle, put on some mood lighting and treat yourself to a posh wank, you deserve it. Or you could just take a bit of time scrawling through Pornhub, or touching yourself up and exploring what gives you goosebumps, makes you feel good. Do it quickly under the covers, lavish in yourself for hours, whatever you want to do just remember how lovely it is to make yourself cum.
Table for One
The times I have walked past a proper fancy restaurant and pressed my little nose against the glass thinking I’d love to try that nice pasta everyone takes pictures of. Or how much I fancy a veggie Nando’s. Book yourself a table, take your time while looking at the menu and decide what you want, tuck in and then tip your waiter. Granted this could be quite a spenny solo date if you choose it, but you’re worth it.
Sit on the Bus
Pop in your headphones, turn up your music and sit back in that slightly grubby bus seat and just see where you go. Have a little ride around and look out the window at the world zooming past you, even better if you’re on the top deck to look at the ant people going about their lives. This works really well if it’s raining so you can look out the window with a sad Rihanna track on and pretend you’re in a ‘90s music video.
Go and look at some weird modern art or stare vacantly at some pretty paintings, even if you know shit all about art, you’ll find it interesting, promise. Other people’s minds are really great and when they create interesting things it’s good to look at them and see what you think or feel. Just the monotony of going from gallery to gallery at your own pace is peaceful and relaxing in itself.
You + a bottle of wine, or 4 pack of cans or strong gin or fancy cocktail or all the above tbh.
*My Mam is a close second.