What are Solo dates?
We compare the dating world to the vastness of the ocean coining the term, “there are too many fish in the sea…” It’s probably the reason I have been single for most of my life. If the fish fails to capture my full attention, I won’t mindlessly throw my hook out there. And I am terrible at fishing.
In the past, I was always afraid of being alone and constantly sought people’s approval according to social norms. In addition, I got annoyed when my sexual orientation was questioned because of my singleness. “Like being single and what’s my preferences have no correlation,” I usually thought to myself.
I began chasing images that did not belong to me and consequently gained a wardrobe full of masked identities. I forced myself to be sociable (partly to grow from being anti-social), but I got caught up in creating a persona that did not suit me.
Now, now. No need to gasp at my vulnerable truth. Honestly, I rarely concern myself with my relationship status (unless going through a period of depression). I typically fill the void singleness creates with anime, books, Korean drama and writing.
Therefore, while perpetuating the persona of an extrovert when realistically I am an introvert, I began to lose my sense of being. I lost my individuality in the lost hopes to be somewhat liked by the people around me.
Through those experiences, I recognized that I am an ambivert (a combination of introverted and extroverted). With a preference for my own company. My ideal day consists of going to work, returning home alive, finding delicious snacks to appease my aggressive appetite and locking myself in my room. -Finally, enough interactions for today, I can watch some Korean drama at last-
Being a hopeless romantic, watching endless films based on romance and reading books that gave insight to young innocent love made me feel hopeless in my singleness. “Couples get to enjoy themselves, why can’t I?” I would think to myself.
Hence the beginning of my attempts to grow in self-love, by treating myself out on a date. With me as the date. Initially, it felt weird but became essential to who I am. Movies, parks, restaurants, short road trips and obviously local coffee shops became my designated date spots.
One not-so-cold winter in Florida, I decided to go on a two-hour road-trip from West Palm Beach to Miami. It was a nice experience, bought some awesome socks that received compliments from friends.
Going on these awkward solo dates has allowed me to be more comfortable with who I am rather than what I want others to see. A considerably good looking lonely guy who would prefer to sit in a random coffee shop, with a dirty almond chai tea latte and watching strangers pass by.
Here are three reasons why you should not hesitate to take yourself on a date.
1 | You can build your self-confidence
The best way to build confidence is to dive straight into the depths of what you fear. It may sound counter-productive, but it is super-effective.
Some of the dates I have taken myself on were in places where everyone else was in relationships. And what I dread most as an overthinker is to awkwardly stand out. Therefore, before the date starts, my consciousness would be overwhelmed with discomforting anxiety.
I vividly remember the days when I strolled the park alone, with no dog, earplugs, friends or partners to accompany me. Surrounded by the lovey-dovey couples, playful children and the multitude of dog breeds being lead by leashes too short for their freedom.
Like callous forming on part of my sub-conscience, I slowly became adjusted to these scenarios. Allowing me to be more comfortable with my own persona.
As I continue to struggle with mild social anxiety, these dates allow me to meet new people. In addition, I can confidently embrace my solitude without feeling like the odd man out.
Therefore, solo dating helps build confidence. For example, a confident and outgoing person may fear to spend time with themselves. So these dates can help you build up in areas that are typically tedious to improve upon.
2 | Spend quality time with yourself
Trust me, we all need time to ourselves once in a while. Imagine being surrounded by unnecessary noise; every. single. day… all day.
The alarm buzzes off as it vigorously wakes you to a jolting start. The annoyance of early morning traffic jams as horns blare off, before rubbing all the sleep from your eyes. The boss yells negative judgemental criticism in your direction, the co-workers viciously laugh like hyenas as they gossip instead of being productive. Ambulance sirens wailing through the congested streets, as you head home to a loud television set, crying babies and barking dogs. The sun finally sets on the horizon, but the bar across the street amplifies the music on a powerful bose system. It’s 2 am and you just finished watching your Netflix series at 100% volume. Not one moment did you have time to enjoy the peace of quietness.
Let that sink in.
You may think I am exaggerating, however, when we refuse to take time out for ourselves we can tend to become overwhelmed. Meeting the demands of life, with no rest will surely tire even the most sociable, energetic person.
Therefore, dating yourself will allow you opportunities to focus less on the noise around you and more time on discovering who you are. You do not have to worry whether they will enjoy that movie, this restaurant, or a walk down the beach. You can take yourself and enjoy the moment.
3 | Gives you an opportunity to try new things
Have you ever been curious about that new coffee shop three blocks from you or the restaurant that just opened three weeks ago?
With solo dating, no need to wait? Choose your favorite outfit that always puts a smile on your face, and enjoy this special occasion.
One of the greatest aspects of solo dating is not waiting on John or Jane to decide if they can make it.
When you have the freedom to take yourself on a date, you have the opportunity to do things you like or try activities that you have always been curious about.
People are equally likely to create memories with themselves, just as they would be able to with othersBy: Pedro M.
Going on solo dates grants us the chance to try different coffee shops, a variety of restaurants or watch movies that do not pique popular interests.
Back in 2017, none of my friends wanted to watch the new Cars 3 movie. I went by myself and the demographics in the theater were parents with children. That did not deter me, stubbornly with much anticipation, I watched the movie with a childlike heart.
You can even use this time to search for new date spots or ideas that you can share with your favorite person. Therefore, anyone who is running out of date ideas can utilize solo dating to add variety, and uniqueness to each date.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not lame to be single. You do not need to be desperately clinging to anyone who feeds your attention. Instead, learn to be comfortable with ‘you’ and take care of yourself.
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