Can you date yourself to become a better partner?
For the past few years relationship experts have been talking about how unhealthy it is to rely on one person to meet all of your needs. Some needs are met by our romantic partner/s – but other needs aren’t. That’s why we have friends, family, acquaintances, game night buds, baristas, doctors… I’m getting pretty literal, but you know what I mean.
At the center of this network, this community, is you.
Here are some ways you can date yourself that might help you become a better romantic partner:
- be true to yourself, aspire to be your best self
- When you go out on a first date, a nice general rule to abide by is be yourself, while also putting on your best face. For me that means making a conscious effort to both know who I am and deeply show that I care who that other person is. When you’re dating yourself you can always take the time to check back in and think “if I was sitting across me at a table, would I want a second date?”
- take the time and effort to look nice
- In a long term relationship people, bodies, and styles will change with time and age. Making an effort to look nice is about what makes you feel your best. For some people that’s just a quick face wash, some moisturizer and some jeans. Others prefer being creative with makeup and fashion.
- care for yourself, be your number one ally
- Looking good doesn’t always equate to feeling good, especially if you’re battling depression, anxiety, or another condition that deeply impacts your state of mind. It’s tricky because if you are depressed it can be hard to reach out to get help. In relationships we always want our partners to care for themselves as much as we care for them. Try and build up a support team with the resouces available to you. You can start with inexpensive methods like going on long walks, meditating, or listening to funny podcasts.
- consider dating landmarks: are you helping yourself grow, or holding yourself back?
- In the last 5-10 years, how have you grown, and how have you changed? One of the biggest roadblocks to growth is internal. Fear of success. Procrastination. Distraction. Pure, sweet, delicious avoidance for things that are just easier. Don’t let your relationship with yourself stiffle your growth and development as a person.
- try new things by yourself
- Trying new things with a partner is fun. Learning something new together can be a great bonding exercise. But trying new things by yourself is also a great way to further your own growth. Especially if you’ve always wanted to learn something your partner isn’t that super into! Growing and developing on the side, apart from your partner, gives them new and exciting things to continue learning about you as you continue to evolve as a person.
- take yourself out on a date
- Dates aren’t just for couples. You work hard and you love yourself. Take yourself out for a treat: a happy hour snack, a glass of champagne, a movie, a new sweater. Go frugal and take a nice walk, window shop, write some letters to friends, journal, read a book. I took myself out to my first solo movie this year and it was one of the most relaxing things I’ve ever done solo. It felt like a private screening just for me.
- have tough conversations, challenge your bullshit
- I’m constantly telling myself bullshit stories about what’s real or isn’t real. I can’t do this, I can’t do that, I’m this way, I’m that way. We lie to ourselves and then those lies get passed on as truths to others. Learn to get better at seeing your own bullshit, challenging your own bullshit. We do this in our relationships because it’s easy to see when someone else isn’t being completely honest. But it’s much harder to see it in ourselves and then make change happen. Challenge yourself. When you hear yourself say “I can’t do this thing” try to do it. See what happens.