You Need To Start Dating Yourself - Here Are Simple Ways To Do It

It's hard being a singleton nowadays. We see people around us feeling hard-pressed to start dating, find a partner, and settle down, and we're often under the same pressure. Unfortunately, as that pressure builds up, many of us frantically search for the perfect match, moving from one relationship to the next until we finally land on the one.

But as we're busy swiping right and hopping from dating scene to dating scene, we barely give time to nurture the one relationship that truly matters: the relationship with ourselves. Instead, people rush to partner up both because they are too scared to be alone and because they have never really learned how to be alone. This can lead to a repetitive cycle of entering one relationship after the next, each doomed to fail, simply because we compromise our wants and needs and settle for something that is not an ideal match out of fear of the lonely alternative.

But successful relationships also rest on each party feeling comfortable being on their own and existing as an entity outside of their partner. When we have our own interests, hobbies, and well-rounded personality, we know we can both bring something valuable into a partnership and be just fine without one. So before you rush off to date another person, take time for the crucial practice of dating yourself — and watch your happiness and health improve.

Get to know yourself

When we start dating, we pour all our energy into getting to know the other person. We are smitten with their stories, ready to explore their world, and eager to discover all the nitty-gritty details. If only we could pour the same amount of enthusiastic gusto into actually getting to know ourselves! And you can.

We don't mean finding out what your favorite food is or what your best holiday vacation was — you probably already know that. Rather, get to know yourself by traversing the expanse of your psyche and mind. Reflect on where you began, what your plans used to be, and where life's path has led you. Do you still enjoy the same things you used to? With life's natural ebbs and flows, our priorities change, our passions fade, and new ones emerge. Picture your perfect day and see how well it aligns with your daily routine and reality. Is this where you want to be in life, or is your perfect day something out of reach for you?

Determine your pick-me-ups and your drains. What helps you tingle with excitement and makes your heart skip a beat? Once you discover what makes you truly happy, you can work on integrating more of that into your life — set aside time to explore your interests and engage in the activities that bring you joy. If nothing seems to stand out, embrace new experiences, challenge yourself to grow, and expand your horizons.


As a wellness practice, meditation has risen in popularity in recent years; the benefits range in impact on your emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being, from lowered stress to improved sleep (per CanoHealth). Meditation is also a great way to reconnect your mind, thoughts, body, and soul if you want to nurture a relationship with yourself, making it a great practice to indulge in during some of your self-dating time. 

Meditation can help us develop a positive outlook on life, and the same euphoria you experience when embarking on a dating journey with a new person can be experienced when meditating. Mindfulness meditation encourages you to focus on the here and now and can help you be present with the joy of being with yourself (rather than ruminating about a potential new love interest in your life). Plus, when you meditate, you're making a conscious effort to devote part of your day to yourself and your wellness. Leaving all other worries and negative thoughts aside can do wonders for your health and happiness, and when you appreciate the alone time as an opportunity to meditate, you can learn to see the difference between loneliness and solitude.

Keep a mental gratitude log

Regardless of whether you meditate, keeping a mental gratitude log can help you focus on the positive things in your life and promotes your emotional well-being (per Mayo Clinic), making it a good form of self-love.

Our relationships with ourselves are often riddled with the negatives around us and shadowed by the obsession with reaching unattainable goals: get that promotion faster, get thinner, do better, be better. We hold our expectations to such impossibly high standards that we fail to take a step back, look at everything we have and are, and feel grateful for all we have achieved. A mental gratitude log can help shift our perspectives to start loving ourselves more, accepting ourselves as we are, and ridding ourselves of burdensome expectations.

By forcing ourselves to seek the good in our lives, we create a space to reflect on our journeys and celebrate each milestone, no matter how big or small. You would celebrate a date's achievements, so why not celebrate yours? Treat yourself like you would treat a new love interest, and allow yourself to be happy with everything you have accomplished so far.

Bonus — the perspective shift from being grateful often boosts our ability to feel confident in our own skin. This diminishes the perceived need to define ourselves through a love relationship; we're happy being on our own and ready to take ourselves out on a date!

Start a new hobby

There is arguably no better way to start dating yourself and fostering your happiness than diving into a new hobby (per Oregon Counseling). Dating can be time-consuming, so when we spend all our energy and free time trying to find the one, we barely have time to explore our own interests and hobbies. But being alone is the best time to devote the same enthusiasm to ourselves as we would to a new partner by tapping into our creativity and cultivating new skills. Taking ourselves out on a "new-hobby" date can provide us with a sense of fulfillment and self-sufficiency, reminding us that our happiness begins with us.

A new hobby will shake things up, forcing us to venture into new territory and discover ourselves afresh. Whether it's delving into the art of pottery, experimenting with new cooking classes, immersing ourselves in learning a new language, or perfecting those Argentinian tango moves, a new hobby opens doors to self-discovery and personal growth. Just as you would eagerly take the time to explore the interests and stories of a new dating partner, apply that same enthusiasm and curiosity to yourself. So embrace the journey of self-discovery and celebrate the joy of "new-hobby dates" by finding and committing to a hobby you love.

Travel to new places

The thrill of exploring new places and the excitement of travel is not limited to relationships with other people. On the contrary, embarking on solo travel can be an incredibly fulfilling and enriching experience. From making all the decisions yourself to learning how to deal with unexpected surprises, traveling solo has plenty of benefits and is a great way to self-date. Just as couples seek to create a bond by sharing travel experiences, taking yourself on a solo adventure to explore the wonders of the world allows you to forge a deeper connection with yourself (just remember to stay safe).

Traveling provides a unique opportunity to broaden your horizons, step out of your comfort zone, and treat yourself to new excitement in your life. Don't wait to travel with your special boo; instead, discover the world from your own perspective. Immerse yourself in new cultures, navigate unfamiliar territories, and engage in meaningful interactions with others.

Carefully choose an itinerary that aligns with your personal preferences and sparks your excitement — and don't forget to allow time for introspection and self-reflection during your adventure. Cherish the time alone to delve deeper into your own thoughts, aspirations, and expectations. Turn your travel into a journey not just to a new place, but also to a better understanding of who you are, what you value, and what makes you happy.

Show yourself the same love you'd show a lover

When we are in a relationship, we try extra hard to show our partner the love we feel for them. We surprise them with gifts, make special arrangements for the weekends, keep our houses in order, try to look our best, and do everything in our power to keep them happy. Love is blind, so we also try to let their mistakes slip, and we overlook their shortcomings — instead praising their positive qualities and stroking their ego by telling them how proud we are of what they have accomplished.

Self-dating is the perfect opportunity to show the same amount of love to ourselves. From building resilience to lowering stress and encouraging us to set boundaries, self-love is crucial for our happiness and mental well-being (via So make the same effort for yourself that you would for a partner.

Maybe that means dressing up, using yourself (rather than another person) as an excuse to buy that gorgeous maxi dress you've been lusting over, or splurging on a new nail trend that you'd wear to date night. Be kind to yourself and forgive your mistakes. Embrace your flaws, and don't be too harsh — if you can overlook the small things in another person, you can surely do the same for yourself. Practice this self-love, and you'll find that you don't need a date with another person to look and feel your best or to receive the kind of care you deserve.

Look after your body

We love taking care of the people we love — often with a warm plate of food on the table that we've come to associate with equally warm memories. A 2014 study published in Frontiers in Psychology explored how offering food as a means of soothing or bonding with others is one of the earliest emotional regulatory behaviors we learn, so it's no wonder that we so often view food as an important shaper of our relationships with others. We surely want to showcase our culinary skills to a new fling — and even if our cooking skills fall short, we still want to prepare (or at least order) a nice, healthy meal for a special date night.

So why not put the same effort into preparing a healthy, nutritious meal for yourself instead of settling for quick, pre-packaged eats? Take yourself out on a special date night on your very own porch, patio, or veranda. Nourish your body with food that speaks straight to the heart. When you're alone, it's easy to settle on a simple toast, cereal, or junk food; you may feel that you don't want to go through the hassle of cooking for just one person. But doesn't that one person deserve the same attention and care a dating partner receives? When that one person is you, absolutely!

Nurture your soul

What nurtures your soul? Use your self-dating time to surround yourself with spiritual awakening experiences — whatever those may be for you. Watch a play, go to the opera, or visit the new art gallery. Take a walk in the park or explore nature trails, and let the beauty of nature help you reconnect with yourself and ground you in what is important now: yourself and your inner peace.

Make a conscious effort to prioritize these soul-nurturing experiences in your life. Fortunately, they're not only valuable for your mind and spirit, but they are also likely easy to do when you are alone. Granted, taking yourself out on a date may not sound like the easiest thing to do, especially if you're not comfortable venturing outdoors solo. But visiting a theater or museum — and many other enriching activities you may have previously considered "couples only" — are all things you can perfectly pull off while alone.

Taking yourself out on a date and feeding your spiritual growth needn't be an extravagant event. Making time for yourself in your busy schedule will gradually come naturally as you practice more self-love and do more of the things that bring you joy. As you nurture the relationship with yourself in the same way you'd nurture the relationship with a lover, dating yourself will become an enjoyable habit — so much so that you won't want to (and shouldn't) give it up, even if a new partner comes along down the line!