Many blogs that focus on love will easily put a lot of emphasis on the couple part of a relationship. This blog is just as guilty as all the others. Simply because a relationship, by definition, implies more than one party.
The whole “It takes two to tango” phrase does have a lot of sense behind it. Today, however, want to challenge the notion of relationship just a little.
A Solo Date
When was the last time a person took time to get comfortable knowing themselves? Or did a check in to see how one was feeling? Not the self-centered type of check-in but the honest mirror on the wall look at oneself type.
Many years ago, I did something rather unique. I took myself out on a date. Before you roll your eyes at the page, hear me out a second.
I was in the middle of a difficult trying time. I was woefully under-employed. In a given month, if I made $125 for the whole month, it was considered a good month. No dates. No romance. No prospects in sight. Just me, my desktop, and my VCR. Of course, a lot of time to kill.
So, what did I do? In the middle of the July heat, put on a suit, placed my journal in my brief case (yes, back in those days before the iPad replaced the case) and went on an hour drive to find a random IHOP to sit at and date myself.
Wait, date myself?
Yeah. I took the afternoon to sit and contemplate what was working in my life to balance out all the thoughts of what was not working in my life.
In that moment, I made the realization that part of my lack of social life was directly linked to my attitude towards life because I thought I was failing. The mindset/attitude was not contained exclusively to my frustrations about not making much money at all. It was spilling over into everything.
No wonder I couldn’t get much traction in the dating arena. Worse, the lack of funds was proving to be a hurdle I was not willing to face. So, with mounting excuses, I was becoming a lot less attractive to women.
During that hour long date with myself, I made a point to pretend I was not broke. I made a point to act like I was in a very important high level meeting. Not the rude type, for the record.
I smiled at any and everyone, and I worked feverishly on my journal between parts of the meal (main course and desert).
The staff there were so impressed with my demeanor that I got a few business cards, a lot of questions about my work, and one contract for my photography business at the time. One woman asked if I could have a chat with her boyfriend about how he carries himself in public.
Lessons from self-care-dating
The most obvious lesson was how I cared for myself after that day. I changed many things about myself so that my attitude and posture reflected how I felt about myself. I am a winner. Not a quitter. I am not the results of my moment in time, instead I’m a force of influence making change for my better future self.
Many times, we get caught up in funks in life that has us feeling out of sorts and no in-tuned with ourselves. Without taking a pause to check in, we may miss the messages and signals. That’s why self-care and self-dates are a good thing.
By the way, even the smallest details count, that moment made me appreciate how much I like the “fuss” about doing a date like if it was the first date. Any other time, I could care less about all that “fuss”.
The confidence boost it takes to break convention and go into a restaurant to treat yourself feels very good. Sure, some might look and wonder, but the fact you’re able to do what most will be too scared to do… feels good. In periods of funks… that extra good vibe of confidence is very helpful when pressing through stress.