Why Every Girl Needs to Try Dating Herself
All month long, Galore is celebrating what it means to be independent. Click here for more.
When’s the last time you did something alone?
No, I don’t mean going to the grocery store or hitting the gym, I mean something semi-enjoyable, like going to dinner or taking a trip.
Thanks to the iPhones we carry around like a fifth limb, it’s been found that although people are “more connected,” we’re also more lonely than ever. But being alone doesn’t mean that you have to be lonely. In fact, alone time could be just what you need to improve your mental health and find meaning within your busy life.
We talked to dating expert Kim Samuels and relationship therapist Marissa Nelson about why loving yourself is so important and how to do everything solo with a smile, plus the added benefit of how alone time can help your current or future relationships.
Besides the obvious drama-free life that comes with rolling solo, there are so many reasons why spending time with and “dating” yourself are awesome. Besides, who knows how to spoil you better than yourself?
1. You’ll Never Have To Share Your Food
You’ll never have to answer “I don’t know” when deciding where you want to eat. When you do go out to eat, you’ll never have to share your food or worry about ordering something that makes you bloated. Bring on that chocolate cake and rosé. And yes, it’s cool if you drink the whole bottle.
2. You Don’t Have To Pretend To Enjoy Dumb Shit
No more pretending you like football on Sundays or listening to bands you hate in attempts to be trendy. No compromising on where to go out at night. When you only have to answer to yourself, it becomes a lot easier to make time for the things you actually want to do.
3. You Can Schedule Everything On Your Time
Remember that one time that you had to wait three weeks to see the new “Hunger Games” because your group chat couldn’t all decide on a date that worked for everyone? Never again.
“I wanted to go to see a movie and I actually didn’t even ask any of my friends if they were available, I wanted to go by myself,” says Kim. “Once you get used to it, it feels so empowering.”
4. You’ll Suddenly Stop Falling For Fuckboys
We’ve all gone through the lonely single girl phase where we start entertaining fuckboys just because we want someone around. It’s a bad habit, but it becomes easy to kick when you start enjoying time spent alone. After all, you’ll never be lonely if you like who you’re alone with, right?
“We teach others how to treat us by how we treat ourself,” explains Marissa. “Dating yourself, being your own significant other for a while, is the key to learning and teaching another how you want to be treated. When you respect, love and trust yourself, you’ll stop looking for an outside source of validation to fix you, fill you, heal your wounds or reflect your love-ability.”
“If you can’t spend time with yourself, why would anyone else want to? This is where you wind up being needy and relying on others for your wellbeing and peace of mind,” explains Kim. “You have to stop looking for confirmation of your value from other people. You decide your worth! You control everything.”
Once you realize that you can have a blast without a partner, you’ll stop giving the time of day to people who clearly aren’t worth your time. That means no more negative energy, no more drama, and no more ghosting. Sound awesome? That’s because it is.
5. You’ll Also Start Becoming Irresistible To Everyone
No offense to the ladies who always need a sidekick, but something about an independent chick is mystifying. We’re all so used to seeing girls travel in packs to the bathroom and #squad pics that seeing a girl doing her own thing makes a guy go crazy (in a good way). We know it’s all a game, but there’s a reason why playing hard to get and being “mysterious” works wonders. By showing off that you don’t need nobody, you’ll only make everyone want you more.
6. You’ll Start Meeting The Right People
When you go out alone, you open yourself to meeting new people that you would never meet if you were already in a closed off group. Plus, since you’ll actually be doing the things that you want to be doing, you’ll meet other like-minded people. For example, instead of getting hit on by creeps at the club that your roommate keeps dragging you to, you’ll meet people at the rock-climbing wall that also are into extreme sports.
“If you’ve been waiting to take that trip, or do something adventurous or even romantic until you have a significant other to do it with, stop the excuses and just do it,” says Marissa. “Try that thing you’ve always been curious about. When you pursue your passions and fill your life with fun and stimulating activities, you’ll feel a love for your life that can’t be quenched. And as an added bonus, you’ll be meeting like-minded people who you have a lot in common with.”
How To Do It
If you’ve never been the type to do things alone, starting to date yourself can feel unnatural and awkward. But don’t let it. Just like with all things in life, fake it until you make it. Put on your hottest outfit and your highest heels, and take your fine-ass out to dinner. You might feel weird af at first, but if you exude confidence then everybody is going to either wish they were joining you or wish that they were you.
“Practice being alone and take yourself out to dinner,” says Kim. “Yes, you can eat alone. No, no one is going to look at you like ‘poor pitiful you’! I walk into a restaurant and when the hostess asks ‘how many?’ I proudly say, ‘one.’ I don’t look down at the floor and say, ‘just one.’ Or I’ll jokingly say, ‘three: me, myself and I.'”
Make a list of the things that you’ve always wanted to do but never gotten a chance to, it can be as simple as a restaurant you want to try, as ambitious as getting your yoga teaching certification, or as wild as going sky-diving. You don’t have to do everything alone, but you also shouldn’t wait for someone else to push you to do these things.
“It’s not that you can’t spend time with family or friends,” says Kim. “But it they’re not around you can be comfortable doing whatever you want to do, wherever you want to do it, alone!”
“Rather than save your love for that one ‘special’ person, treat the world as your lover and you will never be lonely,” says Marissa.