“Did you come here by yourself?” a girl asked me as I agreed to take their photos in front of the evening’s venue. “Yeah,” I replied, explaining in a nutshell that there were no more group tickets so I came anyway. At the moment it was hard to determine if I was questioned out of pity or out of awe. Either way I got my photo in front of the concert venue, an eager smile across my face as I go forward on a date with myself.
Singles have to consistently fight the stigma of being alone. There’s nothing wrong with being alone from time to time, it’s actually necessary for activities like meditation and prayer. Being single while out and about does not always mean that you’re lonely either. I’ve had lonely moments, but in my singleness, I haven’t really put in the effort to take myself out on a “date” per say, so I set a date with myself.
In conversations with friends and colleagues, we discussed how important it is to take care of yourself. Singles can go shopping for themselves, have their hair styled or cut, get their nails manicured and pedicured, but those are just treats, it’s not a date. A date is a set time for a couple of individuals who meet together at an appointed time, but what happens when you take the time to meet with yourself? I’ll share some of the benefits for going on a “me-date”:
Challenge your own stigma I’ll admit that I haven’t’ gone to the movies by myself, yet. But after my first real me date, it’s definitely on the list. Treat yourself to a dinner and movies style date and break the stigmas that you may personally have about dining and entertaining alone. When you label it a “me-date,” the focus changes. You are not just there to watch a film, go on a walk, or whatever it is that you’d consider a date idea. You’re purposely setting time aside to observe yourself and the environment around you. You can compare it to how you would act if you were on a date with someone you didn’t know. Would the behavior change? What would you think about?
I went to a John Legend concert on my me-date and noticed that I wasn’t the only one single and enjoying the show. I was expecting to see a lot of couples and be surrounded with those types but I wasn’t! The venue was very diverse and helped me relax a little bit and enjoy the comforts of being part of a crowd to see a talented musician give a great show.
Boosting Your Confidence – When you go on a date with another person, it’s important to look and feel your best. I had to work that day so I went home and rushed to get ready, trying to beat the clock to make it to the concert on time. I definitely wanted to go out to dinner on my own, but timing and budget didn’t allow for that. I dressed in an attractive outfit, let my hair down, and put on a little makeup. I was running late after trying to eat a quick meal at home, then drove 20 minutes to the concert venue. Thankfully I found parking in downtown Chicago for under $10, something that’s very hard to come by these days in the Windy City.
Sometimes we let others take the lead and it gives us a false sense of confidence, but you need to have that for yourself…
I felt confident because I made the decision to be happy in that moment. I felt good, looked good, got my parking space, and strutted to the venue space. Not to mention that the weather was starting to break and that alone can make a woman smile. When you look and feel good about yourself, you don’t need anyone else to validate that. When you go on a me-date, look your best for you and smile! Sometimes we let others take the lead and it gives us a false sense of confidence, but you need to have that for yourself at all times; going on a me-date can help challenge your insecurities and help to embrace confidence. Be sure of yourself and let the true you shine.
Understanding Contentment in Real Time – A me-date may lead to some awkward moments, but if you stand in your confidence, and get the stigmas out of your head, you can enjoy the moment in single contentment. I wasn’t feeling sorry for myself for not having a date or friends to accompany me. I had some peace by enjoying something that I wanted to experience and by not going by anyone else’s vision of what a date with me should be like. I didn’t feel the pressure of dating someone else, I was taking in the moments that made me smile. You should do the same on your date. Engage in conversation with others, take in the space, reflect on your singleness in this season and be genuinely content with that status.
Setting Your Standards – If you don’t know your standards, you won’t know how to be treated on a date, whether you’re a man or woman. There’s the adage that says if you set your expectations for greatness, that’s what you’ll attract. Although I wasn’t able to treat myself to a nice meal out, I did have a glass of champagne and my favorite candy during the show. Those small things can help make dates feel personal and special. What lady wouldn’t want flowers or her favorite treats on a date? What guy wouldn’t want to be considered regarding the things he likes? Set the standard for yourself on your me-date and it may just reflect in the dates that you go on with others; after all, you deserve it.
This is an encouragement to not settle for less. If you have champagne taste, why not invest in yourself when it’s within reason? Life is too short to let people do it for you, especially in your single season. Life is meant to be lived, and you may be missing out on a lot in life if you choose to stay locked inside and waiting for someone or a group to invite you somewhere. I have met some singles who have taken full on vacations by themselves. I’m not there just yet, but it sounds so interesting right now. The goal is to keep moving, which leads to learning and growing. Keep that standard going and you’ll attract the kind of people who you want around you.
BMWK family, have you ever been on a me-date? How do you compare it to dating another person?