We hear and talk about self-love a lot but when everyone else is coupled up and seemingly in love, it’s easy to feel like something is missing when you’re not in a romantic relationship. Nothing is wrong with desiring companionship but what are you doing and who are you as you wait to find your person? Are you happy and content in your singleness or are you miserable because you’re not in a relationship?
Two of our most basic needs as human beings are love and belonging so it’s only natural that we spend a considerable chunk of our lives waiting to be chosen or to choose someone to do life with. However, I think it would be tragic if we went through life never having dated ourselves. Dating yourself is not something you do when you’re single; it’s a lifelong commitment to getting to know, love, and accept who you are.
Dating yourself is about giving yourself the love you freely give others. It’s understanding that your cup needs to be filled before you can pour it into others. And since this is a forever thing, you also stay committed to continuous self-discovery, personal growth, self-care, and well-being. You heal who you’ve been and nurture who you are and who you are becoming. Dating yourself is cultivating a fulfilling relationship with who you really are and allowing yourself to exist in the truth of your being.
Try the following ways of dating yourself:
Be curious about yourself. There are the obvious things that anyone who knows you can attest to but there are those idiosyncrasies that only someone who truly loves you would pick up on. These are your little habits, ways of communicating or doing things, emotional reactions, obsessions, interests, dreams, how you dress, etc. Assume that you are a new person in love with you and you’re excited about learning who you are then pick up on the smallest things about yourself. You’ll be surprised about how much you learn about the real you.
Get comfortable with being alone. This can be quite intolerable especially if you’re always around people or if you’re an extrovert who gets energized by being with people. It involves learning to enjoy your own company, finding peace and contentment in solitude, and embracing the quiet moments of life. It’s not the same with total isolation or shunning people away. To be comfortable with being alone, it’s helpful to engage in activities that bring you joy like writing, reading, taking walks, watching TV, etc. Or you can try new hobbies or take solo trips. The idea is to find time to be with yourself; reflecting, recharging, or connecting with your thoughts and feelings. Remember to be patient with yourself when it gets uncomfortable; you’ll get the hang of it as time passes by.
Learn your love language then love yourself accordingly. A love language is a way in which you feel the most loved and appreciated; how you express and receive love.
There are five love languages:
Words of affirmation: Love through verbal affirmations and compliments
Acts of service: Love through practical acts like cooking a meal
Gifts: Love through giving small and big gifts
Physical touch: Love through physical affection like hugs and kisses
Quality time: Love through giving undivided attention and spending time
When dating yourself you can practice speaking your love language to yourself by showing yourself love and care in ways that resonate with you. Examples could be:
Words of affirmation: Write yourself positive notes and affirmations, speak kindly to yourself, and acknowledge your achievements.
Acts of service: Treat yourself to a relaxing spa day, plan a fun activity for yourself, or do something that makes your daily life easier.
Receiving gifts: Buy yourself presents that bring you joy from time to time or treat yourself to things on your wishlist.
Physical touch: Take a relaxing bath, go for body massages, wear clothes that fit you, cover yourself with soft blankets, or get plushies you can hug. Alternatively, get hugs from people you love.
Quality time: Go on solo dates or have quiet time with yourself doing things that make you happy like watching your favorite movies or reading a book.
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