I Tried Dating Myself & Here's What Happened

No matter how independent we become, or how self-made we think we are, as women there is always this small part of us that hopes Prince or Princess Charming will ride around on a white horse ready to sweep us off of our feet. You’ve tried talking to the cutie in your chemistry class, meeting new people at parties, and even Tinder, all ending in the same result—flop. At some point or another we have all looked at ourselves, even for a brief moment, and said “I am pretty great, what don’t they see in me?” Quickly and quietly, we begin to break ourselves down and point out all of our own flaws in order to find the reason: not pretty enough, smart enough, rich enough, heaven forbid we don’t put out right away. We know it's bogus, but it's still there, and the majority of us feel insecure and vulnerable when we have to face the facts. 

A question I posed to myself not too long ago was this: Why am I even looking for love right now in the first place? I am young, ambitious and goal-oriented, and most of the girls I see getting married (let alone into relationships) are setting aside their own dreams to make way for his. As a single feminist that seems absurd and I believe the majority of women in their right mind would agree, yet we still flock back to thoughts of the same five romantic comedies in hopes that our very own Ryan Reynolds is around the corner. 

After long contemplation in regard to the question stated above, I realized the reason I was looking for love was to find some sort of stability in my ever changing world. Only to realize shortly after, that not only is that a high expectation to place on another person, it's also something that can be achieved on my own. Therefore, like any hardworking person would do, I set a goal. I was going to try something that when stated out loud sounded slightly ridiculous, but to me, felt like the next best thing. I was going to try to date myself. 

The first time I took myself out was to a movie. Let me just tell you, sitting in the theater of the movie that you want to see, and being able to laugh and cry at all the parts you want, with no filter, is quite refreshing. I have never been one to care about what other people think of me, but it wasn’t until I was by myself in pure authenticity that I began to understand my own likes and dislikes on a deeper level. On a separate night, and now on several occasions, I have taken myself to dinner. It is not always the most comfortable thing to ask for a table for one, but there is power in knowing you can handle things on your own, even if they are as simple as going out to eat. 

One of the things about dating in general, is that you sort of take care of each other; when dating yourself you do the same thing. It's not about blowing a ton of money with a ‘treat yo' self’ mindset, but more so loving yourself by taking care of the things you can control. Learning to love your body might bring you to exercise more often or eat healthier, but loving yourself can also be understanding your limits, and when it's time to put down the study guide and say goodnight. Just like dating another person helps you get to know their quirks and habits, you also begin to break down walls. Dating yourself teaches you what you need to know about your own thoughts and tendencies. 

After three or so months of reminding myself to breathe, and take time out of my busy schedule to take care of my mental health (with anything from going to the gym to going to the mall) and exploring the things that I enjoy, I discovered that dating yourself is a journey without a destination. Yes, purposefully taking yourself to brunch at your favorite coffee shop may eventually bring you to find your preferred order, but as new experiences occur you will grow and change. Therefore this is as much about falling in love with yourself as a person, as well as the process. People come and go, but you have yourself forever, and stability is not something you can fully depend on someone else for. You need to be able to love and be happy with yourself first before you can ever truly be happy with someone else.