My Romance With Myself

This post of mine was originally published on March 24 on my friend Rachel’s blog:

I recently took myself on a date. Treated myself to the works: Dinner, movie, dessert. I dressed up for the date, texted pics of my outfit to my sisters, met up with myself directly after work and gallantly drove myself an hour away. After the date, I got myself home at the respectable hour of 10 pm and told my roommate all about how I had been treated so well by my date.

Hmmm…perhaps I’ve just stumbled onto the reason I’m still single.

No matter! I’m here to tell you exactly why it’s a good idea to date yourself every once in a while (even if you’re not single).

Dinner: When you go to dinner by yourself, you can get what YOU want – and splurge a little! Whether it’s a steak dinner or just getting the avocado at Chipotle, you can get what you want, where you want it. None of the, “Where do you want to eat?” “I don’t know, where do you want to eat?” Plus, you can check your phone all during dinner without being rude.

Movie: I recommend the luxury of attending a movie by yourself. You get to sit exactly where you want to sit, people don’t usually sit next to you, you don’t have to deal with other people’s loud snacks or talking during the movie, and you can get up and pee as many times as you need to without your date judging you. On my recent date with myself, I even was able to take down my uncomfortable ponytail and didn’t have to worry about my hair still looking good.

Dessert: I don’t know about you, but I rarely get dessert on a normal day. So it’s a delightfully decadent splurge. Whether it’s pie and coffee after dinner, frozen yogurt after the movie, or even pie for dinner, that one extra touch and those few extra bucks will make yourself feel really special. And I hear that calories on a date don’t count!

Money: This one should be obvious, but let me just state it anyway. You only have to pay for one person on your date. And it’s your own money. No checking the joint bank account, no doing the dance about who is going to pay, no sweating about if the salad is going to blow the budget, no arguing about the tip! I’m not saying you should take yourself out for a shark steak dinner when you’re on a Chipotle budget. I’m just saying, sit back and smile as you hand over your debit card because your date is half as expensive as it could be.

Romance: I once took myself to see “Romeo & Juliet” performed live at the Sydney Opera House. And last week, I took myself to see “Cinderella” at a luxury cinema in San Diego. I walked out of each experience, able to savor what I’d just seen and heard, let it seep into my soul, and walk as slowly as I wanted away from the theater without having to talk to anyone else about it. I was able to revel in how special I’d just been treated, how wonderful the evening was, and how lovely I felt in my pretty clothes – and since I didn’t have anyone to direct the romantic feelings to, I directed them to myself (and, okay, partly to Jesus). Maybe for you, a play or movie wouldn’t make you feel loved; but find what does (Monster truck rally? Shopping spree? Wine tasting?) and do that for yourself just because you want to and can.

I notice that when I’m by myself on dates, people treat me differently than they treat couples. I don’t get the spiel of “chef’s specials” at dinner; I don’t get the run-down on how the luxury theater works; I am spoken to by several strangers (servers complimenting my fingernails, movie-goers noticing my Cinderella shoes, a security guard commenting on how dressed up I am). All things that probably would be different if I were with a man.

Still, I can dig it; it saves time to not sit through the chef’s special, I get my food faster because I am alone, and it feels nice to have other people notice when I dress up.

So whether you plan ahead for your date, or whisk yourself away spur of the moment, remember to treat your date special – he or she has probably had a long week and would appreciate it.

I guess the only danger in occasionally dating yourself is that you might treat yourself so well that no other date could live up to you!

I want to hear from you what you usually do to treat yourself – or if you ever do. Tell me in the comments, pretty please (and if you’re a single, Christian man: I live in San Diego and enjoy beaches, puppies, and other people’s cooking).

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