Party for One: Dating Yourself
All by myself
Learning to date yourself is something it can take years. The idea of spending time alone can be scary for many of us, but today we’re going to go over some tips and tricks to help maximize the positive impact of your alone time.
Why are these skills important?
- Sometimes you will be alone (due to the pandemic, your partner being on a date, etc.).
- Although no one wants to be completely isolated, there is a long history of humans needing some time alone.
- It’s good for you. Adequate alone time is linked to:
- Increased memory and concentration.
- Greater empathy for people different from yourself.
- Boosting creativity.
- Positive effects on interpersonal relationships.
Alone time warmup
- What do you think of when you think about spending time alone? Where in your body do you feel it? How else would you describe the feeling? Give it a name?
- Think of at least one time when being alone was awesome. What contributed to it being a positive experience?
- Think of at least one time when being alone felt bad. What contributed to it being a negative experience?
- Compare and contrast those positive and negative experiences. What things were similar? What things were different? Which of things do you have control over? Which ones were out of your control?
Loneliness and boredom
Loneliness and boredom are the two main fears that show up when we’re talking about time alone. Our society tells us that being alone equals loneliness and that being lonely is bad, but it has some positive effects as well.
- Loneliness is normal.
2. Strong, recurring feelings of loneliness are linked to depression and anxiety, and although some of our advice today may help, sometimes professional therapy is necessary.
3. Sometimes loneliness may mean:
- A reaction to social pressure to have a certain kind of social life.
- A lack of variety in your life.
- Deeper connections in non-romantic relationships are needed.
- A link between your own feelings of self worth or fear of rejection.
- Clinical interventions involving focusing on changing negative thoughts are four times more effective than others.
Boredom is not necessarily related to what you’re doing but instead how much you are stimulated or engaged in your current environment. Nowadays it’s more of a problem than it used to be, because while there is no shortage of things to do, if we’re not stimulated by it then it doesn’t alleviate the boredom.
Party for one ideas
- Make a list of what you want to change in your life, like goals, new experiences, etc.
- Look for things you enjoy that you avoid doing around others.
- Go somewhere you’ve always wanted to go.
- Consider if you are over- or under-stimulated and work to remedy it.
- Try a new hobby or rediscover an old one.
- It’s all right if your self-date involves other people (i.e. someone you don’t talk to often and want to reconnect with).