Guest Post: The Best Relationship You’ll Ever Have
By Adriana Verdad
You Should Date Yourself
After failed attempts at dating, and developing feelings for someone who had none for me, I decided I really should try dating myself. Yes, I’d read about it, multiple times, on the internet, in your typical articles geared towards single women. Honestly, at first I thought it sounded super cheesy, and I even had a friend tell me that it was really cheesy, and maybe calling it “dating yourself” is. I’m not going to feed you some crap about how it’s not cheesy at all. It’s wonderfully cheesy. It’s as cheesy as The Notebook, the notion that someday some man will show up to take me on a surprise picnic, or the fact that after all I have been through, I still truly believe in true love. I embrace the cheesy, and I make zero apologies for it.
So, when I first decided to date myself, I thought of what it would look like. I thought of what types of dates I would go on with someone I was dating in the traditional sense: movies, dinners, drinks, coffees, picnics, festivals around town, the art museum, etc. I decided these types of things would work, but I also thought maybe I should see what other ideas were out there, and so yes, I turned to Google and Pinterest. I thought why not think outside the box, so I let others think outside the box for me, at first. I created a whole list on my phone of different types of date ideas, and I will share some of them with you in future posts.
I was more organized about this dating time I carved out for myself at first, clearly marking it down in my daily to do lists as a date with me. I protected this time, and rarely went outside of it, unless of course, a better opportunity came along, like an outing with my girlfriends, or a an actual (very rare) date popped up, or if I had a chance to hookup with someone, but in general these times were sacred to me, and I like that I was so protective of that time at first. It’s when the kids are at their father’s house of course, but I don’t really refer to it as dating myself , although it is. It’s akin to when you’re dating another person, and you settle into such a comfortable routine, that you don’t think so much about it anymore. Like at first, you are so worried about you wear, look like, or what you are going to plan at first, but you slide into a routine, a comfortable routine, with one another. I started to make it less organized, but I still definitely date myself. Now, it’s a Friday night of Netflix, or a Saturday full of reading on my sofa under a big cozy blanket. It might be a Sunday afternoon where I get cute, and take myself to the Art Museum to check out an exhibit I’ve been eyeing, or even my Tuesday night running club, that’s a date with me. I’ve spent a couple hours listening to my favorite music and coloring mandalas. I rarely cancel with myself if I don’t have to. Sometimes, I will go out to a bar, and people watch as I enjoy a couple new beers, or I will stay home and give myself a spa night. The point is, I make it a part of my regular routine. Let’s call it what it really is, self-care.
Just like you would devote time to a relationship that’s important to you, this is how I approach dating myself. The truth is, the relationship we have with ourselves, is far more important than any other. While, I’ll quickly tell you that my children are the most important people in my world, and they are, the reality is that if I don’t take good care of myself, then I’m not at my best to be there for them. This goes for your friendships, your romantic relationships, and even your career too. Dating myself will be something that I will never stop doing until I’m dead.
As I discussed in my last post about how being single has ensured that I will be a better future partner, time and space for yourself, and your partner, are essential to being at your best for one another. So yes, my future partner will have to realize that I need regular time to me. I am more than understanding that they will need time to themselves as well, and I not only highly encourage it, I think that they need it to be at their personal best. I know that when I’m in a relationship, I won’t be able to take a date by myself three times a week, but yes, I will most definitely be taking time out for myself to do things that excite my soul. I think once a week, or every couple weeks, is a good goal if you’re in a relationship, but I am saying that you should make it a priority. It’s called self-care, and it’s so important to helping you be the best lover and friend you can possibly be.
As I’ve said previously, I lost myself in my relationship/marriage, and I forgot who I was. I forgot about the things that brought me joy, put me into a state of flow, like reading and writing. I think that this was incredibly unhealthy for myself, my children, and my marriage. Here’s the deal- your relationship with your kids is significant, and your relationship with your partner will be there, and need to be whole, once the kids have grown up, and moved out, but in the end, you are what you really need. Let’s face it, kids will grow up, and won’t visit as much, spouses pass away, or move on sometimes, but you will always have you as long as you’re alive. While we certainly must give, nourish, and support our children, partners, family, and friends, even our colleagues, we cannot give to everyone else if we are not at our best.
Dating yourself, or if that phrase bothers you, self-care, or just calling it taking time for yourself, is important to keep your cup from overflowing with stress. So, please tell me in the comments below about how you’ve taken time for yourself this past week, or if you didn’t, how you plan to do it this upcoming week. I hope you will take literally one minute to fill in your email address and name below, and follow my blog so you can continue to learn to love the other side of life- whether that’s as a single person, or just loving the other side of your life, as in, the second half of it. Please share this with someone who could use a little encouragement, or validation, in the area of self-care. Thank you!
About Adriana Verdad:
I spent over two decades with a narcissistic sociopath, but after leaving him, I have found myself. I’m learning to love life on the other side of marriage, love, and life. I write so that I can help others learn to love the other side as well.
Check out Adriana’a blog, Love the Other Side!