By Nellie Umutesi-Vigneron
About two years ago, I was all of a sudden single after a 10-plus-year relationship and had to learn to be with and by myself. Weekends used to be the most difficult for me, especially when my son was away at his father’s for the weekend. I would miss him tremendously, miss him asking me twenty questions per minute, miss his voice and his playfulness. I would spend most of my weekend sleeping, bored or looking at the four walls of my bedroom asking myself: who was I now? What made me happy?
Most of my girlfriends were either in relationships, busy or my pride and ego would not allow me to admit that I was just lost by myself! I had to think quick and come up with a plan before I drowned in the abyss of boredom. I did not want to just fill my weekends with frivolous and expensive activities just to fill a void (that would cause a whole other set of problems, the financial kind!). I wanted to learn to enjoy my company! That is how solo date night was conceived. Implementation was the easy part, all I had to do was dress up and go. The hard part was what would I do?
I knew I liked pizza, reading, wine and some people watching (not the weird kind). My very first date night was just that: I went to my local pizza place, sat at the pizza bar (watched them make my pizza) and had a glass of Pinot. My second date with myself was at my local Starbucks with a good book and a Chai Tea Latte (Starbucks should really consider diversification and include wine as part of their menu!). Date night with myself helped me realize that I was kind of a cool chick to hang out with. Here are some of the reasons, you should consider solo date night:
One: Freedom! This about it: you get to do what you want, how you want to and for however long you want to, without having to consider someone else’s feelings, moods, likes or dislikes. The date is about YOU!
Two: Meeting New People. I have met very interesting people while out on my solo dates. I have expanded my circle of friends and business connections while dating myself. I have learned about different cultures and expanded my mind to ideas I may have never thought of otherwise.
Three: An opportunity to slow down and recharge. We spend most of our time at work, meeting deadlines, running around from meeting to meeting, unable to slow down and enjoy a proper lunch. In addition to our professional responsibility, if you are a parent, your time is spent doing homework, driving your children to soccer or swim practice, cooking, cleaning and preparing for the next day. Taking yourself on a date helps to slow down, breath and smell the roses, recharge and refocus.
Four: Getting over the fear of being alone. At first you may think that people are looking at you and feeling sorry for you (trust me this is all in your head). You may not know what to do while out with yourself. Your first instinct may be to play with your phone, check out Facebook or Twitter, to only realize that your Tweeps and Facebook friends do not update their statuses fast enough to keep you entertained. You may be tempted to call your girlfriend on the phone, but that defeats the purpose of a solo date. I went through all of this until I learned to sit in my solitude, with myself and be fine with it. As I continued with my solo date, it became easier and my fear of being alone dissolved!
I started this practice really out of necessity: I was newly single, bored and in need of some self-love. However, I do plan on continuing this practice even when I find my other whole. I think it is even more important for married women to adopt this practice. Many of us, women, make the mistake of forgetting ourselves, our needs, our emotional balance and our own happiness when in a relationship or a marriage. Date night… with yourself will help cultivate your happiness!
What is your ideal date night… with Yourself?
I Really love it!! Everyone should consider solo dates. I think thats the only moments we can recharge ourselves as we give out so much more of ourselves at other times!
I am seriously going to do this and try it for sure. It sounds really great, moment of reflecting mentally spiritually and emotionally. We all need that
This is very true. I’ve been going on date nights since 2007 and it felt odd at 1st but like you mentioned you get the freedom to do what you want, when you want so I got used to liking saying me quickly. I’ve also continued to go out on date alone even while in my relationship. This started mainly because of the cost of a babysitter plus costs of whatever we decided to do was out of our budget so my boyfriend would stay at home with the kids while i got to get out of the house for air and see the world. We’d take turns doing this. It’s very rejuvenating and it does allow you to think about what you enjoy and makes you happy. Although another topic is very important in finding time and money for much needed date nights with eachother as a couple. This is needed to survive a relationship. It’s also very needed to get in tune with yourself and to not lose yourself in a relationship which most end up doing. Good article.
Thank you all for the great feedback! I am really thinking of starting a ‘Date With Myself Movement/Group/Challenge’ so that we can share our experiences! 🙂
I love going to Starbucks to read and write. Great article!
Great article. You know I’ve been dating myself for quite sometime now so I’m all for expanding this movement and letting others know that it is completely ok to be by yourself sometimes:-)
being single or not… it’s always good to be able to have some good quality time by and for ourselves…never forget yourself… no matter your kind of relationship. There is an adage saying something like that: “if you can’t stand alone with yourself, it will be hard to stand with others and be true with them”
I have also dated myself for a long time now, and it is primarily borne out of a balancing act between my extroverted and introverted self. I love being with myself, but I have to say that up until I read your article, I didn’t realize that I mostly prefered being on dates with myself snuggled in bed watching a TV show or the like. I am going to take up some of your suggestions, including pizza and wine out. Merci!
Love this article I have been practicing solo dating for tje last 14 years
Its the best way to get to know yourself better, love yourself and relax
This is actually a good idea. I try to take out the time to go out and enjoy my own company. It really can make a big difference to ones mood and being.
Great article. 🙂