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Sex + Relationships

The Art of Dating Yourself: How to Be Alone Without Feeling Lonely

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

The identity that comes with being single is not always a pleasant one. Many people think you have to be miserable to not have someone to call at random times of the day, hang out with and go out on dates with. And there’s no shame in enjoying any of the mushy bonuses that come when a relationship finally falls into your lap. But there’s also no shame in wanting to be your own person for as long as you want. 

Sometimes relationships make us want to gag while subtly making us long for the kind of connections you see in The Notebook and Pride and Prejudice. Often times we are caught between wanting and not wanting anything to do with love and everything that comes with it. Yet, some days it hits us like a brick wall that we’re single and we’re left wondering what we should do about it. 

But there’s a difference between being alone and feeling lonely while single. Sometimes, instead of going out of your way to find “the one,” you have to step back and realize that you yourself are “the one” and you should take time to explore that before trying to fill your life with someone else. 

Dating yourself is the perfect excuse to be selfish and do the things that only you like without having to compromise for someone else. Not to mention, it’s great for your mental health and a major act of self-love to boost yourself up and help you feel more independent. But how do you put that lifestyle into practice? It’s easier than you think. 

Set aside time  

One of the biggest aspects of dating yourself is finding the time to. Just like you would set aside time for a significant other, set aside time for yourself even if it’s just 30 minutes to properly do your skin care routine. Plan ahead and block out chunks of time on your days off from work or school to come up with something to do for yourself. Work up from half an hour to an hour or more while you get into the habit of focusing on yourself. Eventually, taking entire days to yourself will seem like a breeze. 

Pick something that gets you up and out

What I mean by this is, pick something that gets you up and out of bed. Trust me, there’s nothing worse than feeling lonely and being in bed at the same time. To remedy this, my advice is to pick something that gets you up and out of bed, your house or wherever you are. Unless you’re sick and all you want are fluffy pillows and blankets with a movie, pick something that pushes you to get out a bit. Even if it’s just running to Target to eventually come back home, that’s better than staring at the ceiling the whole day. Go for a walk, go to the gym, go to a coffee shop, book store, go shopping; the options are endless. 

Try something new

As the great Emma Chamberlain said on her podcast, Anything Goes, the one thing you can do for yourself to find fulfillment is to take up a new hobby. Whether it’s cooking, crafting, painting, taking a class, and so on, trying something new can do wonders to fill spaces in your life that feel particularly empty. There’s something about taking on something new or finding you have a hidden talent in an unexplored area that feels extremely filling with the time you have with yourself. And any new activity can turn into monthly or weekly dates with yourself to pursue that activity. 

Words of affirmation 

To bring it all together, you have to check in with yourself and let yourself know that you’re proud of how much time you’re dedicating to self-love. Say out loud that you’re proud of yourself, tell yourself you can’t wait to take a self-care day, write out positives about your alone time, answer new journal prompts and do some self-reflection. All of these are great ways to take mental health time for yourself and make sure you feel okay. If you find yourself feeling a little bit isolated, surround yourself with friends or people that lift you up. And don’t forget that it’s all for personal growth and independence. 

20 Self-date ideas: 

  1. Have a spa day
  2. Coffee date 
  3. Breakfast date 
  4. Cook yourself dinner 
  5. Go for a long walk 
  6. Go watch the sunset or sunrise 
  7. Go get your favorite food or snacks 
  8. Go for a late drive 
  9. Go on a shopping spree
  10. Have a Netflix binge day
  11. Manicure or pedicure day 
  12. Try a new food
  13. Go to a painting class 
  14. Clean your space 
  15. Read a new book
  16. Journal 
  17. Meditate 
  18. Have a photoshoot 
  19. Take a workout class
  20. Buy yourself flowers
Sydney Scalia is a junior at the University of Missouri studying Journalism with a minor in Italian. She specializes in writing pieces about fashion and style, fitness, lifestyle, and culture such as travel, entertainment, and social media.
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