the art of self-dating

it was one of the days that i woke up and i felt like i had to try something i have never had the chance or thought about trying before. i thought i should go on a date with myself. so i wore one of my best dresses, one of my best shoes, put on make up and i was ready for my date. it was my first time to actually ever go out on a date alone. the idea sounded even absurd to me, but i had to try and see.

i went to one of the best restaurants that i always wanted to try and had one of my all time favorite foods, then walked over a coffeeshop and wrote and read some poetry, with the ballad music in the background, had one of my favorite teas, and then took a slow walk over to the park nearby to enjoy a wonderful afternoon spring day. because i love flowers, which by the way inspired me to write few poems. i ended my date with buying myself two things that i love, a plant and a candle to boost my writing mood.

my date was typical. nothing so different from usual dates. but it made all the difference. the idea of self dating, as my friend Nanu put it “the basic rule for self-loving” is very, entirely important to me. and it’s one of the things we often mistake it for “loneliness”. i can’t talk about self-love here, because if i do, i will need to write 10,000 words post just telling you what self-love really means to me and yet i am still learning to love myself because it can mean so many more things that i haven’t discovered yet. but self-dating is just one way to approach it. to learn to share your moments with yourself before you learn to share with someone else. it disheartens me though, that self-dating is often mistaken. there is power in it, and there is beauty and whether you are in a relationship, married, single, or dating someone, you always need to give time to yourself. and no, that’s not selfish. in fact it’s one of the most genuine and selfless ways to learn to treat yourself right and then learn to share this self with someone else.

look at me right now, telling you about my experience with self-date, how i should treat myself, i am actually teaching you to treat me how i want to be treated and then asking you to treat yourself in a way that you find it right for you too. it doesn’t mean you don’t care about others, nor does it mean that you are pushing anyone out of your way. it fact it means you want to live in the way that brings you closer to you and them. until you become sure of the things that make your soul dance.

the thing about self-dating is that, it does not only teach you how to treat yourself, but how to be comfortable in your own skin and enjoy being alone in today’s world, the time and place where a lot of ideas are mistaken. simply because most of us think that being alone means lonely. but the more you spend time with yourself, the more you will grow out of these thoughts, because to you it will no longer be about who is sitting next to you, but how you enjoy your own company. and the happiness and comfort that you find alone will expand to the people you hang out with.

i remember after my second date with myself just two months ago, i came back and told one of my friends about it and she laughed and told me that i shouldn’t call that a date ( i still love her though and i totally understand where that’s coming from). i laughed back and i told her how much i actually enjoyed it and encouraged her to try (of course she still thinks am totally insane).

it was just 2 months ago and i may have done that twice only, but i am intending to do it even more.

it’s going to be worth it. it will teach you simple things like how you want to sit, it will teach you the boundaries you set for yourself and your significant other in the future, the kind of conversations that you want to have, the kind of world you want to create for yourself, it will teach you how to let others be themselves in your company, and then most importantly it will teach you how to be totally happy to be you. alone. with yourself. and then learn to share this little world you have built for yourself with the other person’s world.