No, I’m not single. I am in a fantastic relationship with the greatest guy. But going out by myself is one of the greatest things I have discovered. It’s not an uncommon thing: women empowering themselves and taking themselves to dinner etc, but I feel like people think it’s cliche and doesn’t actually work.
Sure, when my bf comes up to see me, it’s great to go for a lovely meal. But when he’s not around, I have lots of time on my hands to focus on just me. Being by myself encourages me to think about the world, contemplating and enjoying my own company. I swear the ability to go out alone has made my mental health improve so much lately.
So here is a list of self-dating ideas to try out:
1. Go out for a meal.
Pick your favourite restaurant and go out and eat. Simple as that. Think about the food you eat and savour it, maybe even do a little people watching!
I do find this idea can actually be quite daunting. Personally I wouldn’t choose a big fancy restaurant for this. Instead I’d go to a small lunch venue or cafe – obviously my own personal favourite is YoSushi. This way, it is appropriate to bring a book, and give yourself a nice meal just in your own company.
2. Build a blanket fort
The small child in me is squealing with excitement right now. Often when I was younger I’d build a fort with my friends, or it could be a fun and cozy *hint hint* date night idea. But what about setting up your own blanket fort by yourself?
Grab pillows, sofa cushions, maybe even a tent pole if you’re into the whole engineering thing, and create a killer blanket fort. Kit it out with fairy lights and comfy blankets, make yourself a cup of tea and watch movies on your laptop, or read a book.
3. Go on a non-romantic stroll
Take yourself to a nearby beach, park or a local woods and have a little wander. Don’t listen to music, don’t use your phone. Just look around you and listen to the sounds around you. I am very guilty of taking pictures of scenery as I go, but still, having a lack of communication with the world is just such a relief sometimes. I don’t have to be thinking ‘Who has just messaged me?’ or ‘What is my timetable like tomorrow?’, because I am in the moment and having a great time!
4. Go to the cinema
Seen an awesome movie advertised on TV? Don’t wait for when your friends or SO are available, just go in your own time, avoid planning anything and just enjoy a great film. It is hassle free and nobody will steal your popcorn!
5. Go sketching
A little similar to no.3 – all about taking in and enjoying the environment in front of you. I particularly enjoy this one, but if you’re not arty then it doesn’t matter. Even take a camera or phone and maybe go on a photography mission instead?
Personally my favourite method is taking a small watercolour set and setting myself up with a sketchbook. That’s what my mum and I do whenever we go on holiday. Drawing really makes you appreciate the small things. (Wow I was not expecting to be so cheesy in this post..)
6. Go to an aquarium or zoo
If you’re an animal lover like me then you’ll adore this one. Make a day of it and head out to the zoo or an aquarium. Take a packed lunch (or splash out and buy cafe food there) and enjoy seeing all the animals! Make sure to check if they have any talks and head over to those.
7. Go to a gig
I have a friend who was a massive fan of Katie MacDonald. She bought tickets and went by herself to one of her shows. Never before had I considered going to a concert solo, but she reported back saying she’d had the time of her life. And anyway, you don’t talk to your friends or SO at a concert, you just listen and dance to the music!
8. Be a tourist for a day
Never will I forget my mum’s comment about the many tourist groups in Edinburgh – “They just move around together, like amoebas!!”. To this day I have no idea how she likened tourists to amoebas, but the words definitely stuck!
Where ever you live, take a day to explore the most touristy places around you. You might actually discover some really great things! If you’re in a big city, some of the activities may be expensive, so make a budget and try to stick to it.
And as always, take lots of pictures and have fun being an amoeba ;P
9. Gourmet Chef
Cook yourself the fanciest meal for one you can think of. Plan in advance and make yourself a starter, main and dessert. Have a nice glass of wine with it and just savour this meal without needing anyone with you.
For me, cooking is really soothing and so this is a great way to relax and have some me time. Of course, for some, cooking is stressful, so perhaps do this with ready meals or takeout.
Basically, with these ideas you should do just whatever feels comfortable and right. I know people who find the idea of going out somewhere along utterly terrifying, and I used to be that kind of person, but now I’ve got so much better and find it a great way to relax. It also helps you to appreciate the world so much more.