Solo Dating 101: the What, When, Where, How, and Why

As of lately, solo dating has made headlines across social media with people going on all sorts of outings by themselves with the very intention of being by themselves. That’s right: not to scope out any potential singles. There’s nothing wrong with leaving the house with eyes to scope out the market, but an outing in public by yourself isn’t equivalent to a solo date.

Fun fact: it is like any other date. Ultimately, solo dating encompasses entering a deeper, more meaningful connection with yourself…exactly how you would try to pursue one with someone else. You want to get to know them more, understand what they like, learn what they’re not interested in, and gain more comfortability with their company. With solo dating, that’s entirely with you.

Going on a date with yourself may seem like nothing or the most daunting task you’ve ever thought of (besides public speaking, of course) depending on the environment you’ve been raised in, your current mentality on yourself and dating, and your attachment style.

Question is, why solo date at all? Can’t you just try to meditate every morning or complete a journal prompt right before bed and call it a day? You can do all of those, but solo dating is an entirely different self-care activity. The objectives are not the same. Even though proactively clearing your head and expressing your thoughts are crucial for self-development and getting to know yourself more, solo dating can does the same, but more passively. For that matter, you catalyze yourself to go out, act, and think, independently. There’s no need to wait for someone to pick you up or for you to drive, carry a conversation you cannot steer entirely on the way, and worry about entertaining someone else. You can wear whatever you want, eat what you like, and do anything you wish. Only you and your wants and needs! Doesn’t that sound fabulous? (truly, because I don’t drive men on dates…)

There’s no right or wrong time to go on a solo date. Ideally, you should carve out at least an hour to begin and gradually go from there. Dates can be either outside of your home or in the comfort of your own home. Please, at some point, you and your significant other would want to order pizza and watch the next episode of whatever series you need to catch up on (big time) at 8 P.M. instead of rushing to a dinner reservation.

Lastly: how can you overcome the fear of being alone without the intrusive thoughts of not having a partner or the feelings of loneliness? Sadly, you can’t guarantee these types of waves to stay away, especially if you’re grieving a loss or a breakup. You also cannot control others’ perceptions and reactions if you’re out and about alone (but please be safe!)–still, and I mean this earnestly: they will forget you seven minutes after they pass you by. I guess not being special has its perks? Just kidding, you are special, but not the type to ruminate in everybody’s thoughts.

Allow yourself to sit with the loneliness when it comes. There are times to ask the tough questions and answer them honestly–yes, in the face of shame–to mentally purge without hesitation. Don’t overthink what you say in your head, either. However, make sure this loneliness doesn’t scare you into complete isolation. This should encourage you to try again! Moreover, start small if needed. The first solo date can take place at home, then at a local coffee shop, then a new place that may require half a day’s worth of time, and so forth. Frequency will change as well. You eventually evolve to want to spend days with yourself, even solo travel!

Personally, my mood ranges drastically when it comes to date ideas. I like a mix of both! One day, I’m walking all around Beverly Hills or Santa Monica for lunch and sunshine, but another day, I’m baking a storm then capping the night off with a bubble bath and non-alcoholic champagne. Here are some of my personal favorite solo date ideas for any occasion!

  1. Coffee date
  2. Baking/cooking new recipes
  3. DIY spa night
  4. Food fair
  5. Conventions, conferences, and other events for like-minded people and interests
  6. Museum or art gallery trip
  7. Walk in the city
  8. Live performances such as plays, musicals, improv, etc.
  9. Trying a new workout class
  10. Dessert date
  11. A brunch or dinner reservation for one
  12. Visiting a large garden or park
  13. Outdoor (or indoor) picnics
  14. Hiking
  15. Movie/TV night (don’t forget the takeout or popcorn!)
  16. Solo card games
  17. A self-care appointment (i.e. dress try-ons, facials, manis and pedis, etc.)
  18. Seeing a fashion show
  19. Dance classes
  20. Pottery workshops
  21. Attending festivals or concerts
  22. Window shopping for your favorite items (I love clothing, skincare, flowers, and books!)
  23. Farmers markets
  24. Pampering in skincare
  25. Planning and enjoying a staycation
  26. Beach day
  27. and many more…

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