Many of us don’t spend time with ourselves. We are always with someone or surrounded by a group. We are always hanging out with friends. Being with Family. Going out with co-workers after hours. Catching up with the girls. Girls night out. Boys night out. Football with the Boys. Mother/daughter. Father/son. Time with brothers and sisters. It is endless the combinations that can be made up when we are spending time with anyone other than ourselves.
It is like the idea of having to be or do something with just ourselves is a punishment. Oh my goodness…I am bored, I have no one to go out with. It is just me, I am by myself. I can’t go by myself. It is almost as if we are saying that we afraid to spend time alone, with ourselves. Spending time with our thoughts, our ideas, our own opinions, can be a scary situation for some of us. It forces us to actually face the reality of what our life is, not the fantasy that is easily lived in because we are so preoccupied with being with others.
We claim that we want someone to be with, but the truth is, how can we expect others to spend time with us when we can’t stand to be alone with ourselves.
Frequently, I go out on a date with myself. I mean a real date. I get dressed up, make up and all. Put on heels, make sure the hair is right, and go out by myself. I go out to eat, not mickey d’s, but somewhere that I have to sit down and be served. Somewhere they serve the meals and drinks on plates and in glasses. I don’t bring a book or newspaper, I keep the phone in the purse, unless it is to take pictures of the wonderful meal that I am about to eat. The goal of this exercise is to see just how I am comfortable being alone in a public place.
There is not to be any reading, texting, phoning, Facebooking, none of that. Just to be alone with yourself. No one or nothing to distract you from what you may be thinking. If you must bring anything, bring a journal and write about your feelings, your thoughts, your meal. How did it feel to say table for one? Did you think people were looking at you differently because you were by yourself? Did you feel self-conscience being with just you?
Some of my best dates have been with just me. Finding new restaurants, and bars is a wonderful time to discover new foods and drinks. I have found one of my favorite martini spots on a date with myself. I have bought outfits that I never would have tried on these solo adventures. I found out that I will try new activities when I am alone. I mean, once you get past the fear, you can really act crazy and no one will know who you are, unless you liked acting crazy and want to go back for more fun. Doing Karaoke, walking a 5K, going to a sports bar and cheering the loudest for the opposing team are all things that were great adventures that I experienced for the first time by myself.
Take yourself to a concert? Did the music sound differently because you were by yourself? Now, do the unthinkable – try a new experience by yourself. Experience a new restaurant, an art museum, a play, or a trip to the park. We often don’t try new things because we don’t have anyone to go with us. That is limiting our life. There is always some degree of fear when we try something new. And the fear is heightened when we are alone, but take that energy and turn it into a new memory that is yours and yours alone.
Dating yourself allows you to be able to expand your experiences and open yourself up for more adventures. It also allows you to share your new experiences with someone else. It takes your conversations to another lever of interesting. People find you more attractive and want to spend time with a person that always seems to be off on some grand adventure. Then you can share your new “spot” with your friends or with someone you may take a liking to. You now can share with somebody a small piece of your world, your mind, your reality.
By dating yourself, you are really laying the groundwork to dating someone else. You are preparing the entrance for someone to come in and share. It also allows you have a better understanding of who you are. What do you like? What you can’t stand? What type of places you like to go for gaining balance? Where do you go to re-energize and to unwind?
Spending time with yourself, somewhere new, gives you the opportunity to celebrate you. Who you are, what you are, how you are…And once you begin to understand that…you can then really be open to the many different dating possibilities that are all around you.