Table For One: The Joy of Solo Dates

Spending your Saturday entirely alone may seem like a depressing experience for some. It used to be that way for me. I would do my best to spend most of my waking moments with other people; when they were not physically present, I would text or scroll through social media. Going on like that-never giving myself time to be alone-for an extended period of time is bound to result in burnout, and that is precisely what happened to me. 

That’s about the time I discovered the good ole’ solo date. 

Not to sound like an infomercial, but solo dates might just be the best possible thing for building my self esteem. They’ve taught me to value my own company, helped me learn about my likes and dislikes, and allowed me to develop a sense of self-sufficiency. They’ve given me room to breathe and revive my spirit. 

When you’re not used to spending time alone, it can appear extremely intimidating. Here are a few tips and ideas to get you started on your own solo expeditions: 

What are some things you enjoy doing that don’t require another person’s company? This one is pretty obvious; I wouldn’t put, say, a romantic dinner on the list. However, just about anything else is fair game! When putting this list together for myself, I considered what I am interested in and like to do. Do I enjoy going out to a fancy coffee shop, getting a seven dollar latte, and drinking it while I read a young adult novel? Do I like making playlists, or practicing lacrosse, or baking cupcakes? One of the coolest things about solo dates is that you can go on one anytime and anywhere, so it doesn’t require a ton of planning. 

Another question I like to ask myself is: do I have any goals for myself that I could take steps toward right now? Since a solo date is time to improve yourself and your well-being, it’s important to consider some deliberate actions you could take to make your own life better. The internet is my favorite resource for this. Say I want to improve my friendships and become a better listener. I’m certain Psychology Today would have some valuable information on that, and if something like that doesn’t suit your fancy, there are hundreds of thousands of websites that are but a Google away. On the flip side, maybe my goal is career oriented. Perhaps I want to wander the library for an hour or two and pick up some titles that’ll help me become a dermatologist, or a professional rugby player, or a hip hop dancer. All of this can be done on your own, for free, and gives you a solid sense of satisfaction that you did something genuinely productive. 

When going on a date by myself, I try to keep in mind the fact that this is time just for me. I turn off my notifications and give myself a space that is for me alone. I don’t have to answer any texts, calls, or emails for however long I want my solo date to last. I like to keep it simple and mindful, in order to take a true, uninterrupted break from the world. 

Whether your jam is going out to a fancy restaurant, doing research in your dorm, or just reading a book in the library, I hope you discover that you are fantastic company. Never forget that you are intelligent, capable, and able to kick ass all by your lonesome.