Dating Yourself: the Art of Practicing Self-love

By: Diana D’Amato

Post-Valentine’s Day as a single girl can be hard. Even if you are happy to be unattached, the constant bombardment of heart-shaped candy and overtly cliché romantic commercials can make anyone feel lonely.  So, now is the perfect time to begin the journey to embracing self-love by dating yourself.

Relax. Make an event out of getting a good night’s sleep. Wash a comfortable set of sheets to put on your bed and wear your favorite cozy pajamas. Find a lavender scented spray to help you get a deep sleep. Take your time with your nightly routine. Moisturize. Massage your hands, feet, or muscles. Meditate or do a bit of yoga to calm your body and mind. Take a long shower or a luxurious bath.

Give yourself a gift. Pick up the new installment of your favorite book series. Or find a movie or performance you’ve been wanting to see. Treat yourself.

Unplug. To really spend quality time with yourself, treat this time like any other date by avoiding your devices. Be present or, as Jen Phanomrat put it, “enjoy the senses.” So often we get distracted by our phones and forget to live.

Eat a delicious dessert or meal. Indulging in your favorite comfort food will be a nice treat. If you are nervous about going out to a restaurant alone, pick somewhere familiar.  While it is common to feel a sense of awkwardness eating alone in public for the first time, it is a great step toward becoming comfortable in your own skin. Try not to let insecurities and fear of a social stigma get the best of you. Keep in mind, every passerby is too distracted with their own lives to notice what you are doing. So, there is no reason to fret over the thoughts of others.

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Dress confidently. Wear a favorite outfit, elegant perfume, or special piece of jewelry for your date. Looking good will help you feel good. Confidence is key to a great date, whether you are single or committed. 

Being single gives you time to heal after heartbreak and practice these self-love ventures. Loving yourself also leads to better relationships in the future. Most importantly, spending time by yourself helps you to truly find yourself. You learn so much about yourself and become more self-aware when you’re on your own. Over time, you will fall in love with yourself.

 According to Psychology Today, practicing self-compassion can lead to “less anxiety and depression, more optimism, better recovery from stress, and better adherence to healthy behavior changes, such as exercise or diet.”

I know you’ve heard it before, but the most important relationship is the one you have with yourself. As Jerry Lewis says in the original Nutty Professor movie, “You might as well like yourself. Just think about all the time you’re going to have to spend with you.”