Have you ever taken yourself on a date? I don’t mean just catching a matinee alone every once in a while—but intentionally hanging out with y-o-u, just for the thrill of it. Loving your own company is a crucial part of self-care, no matter whether you’re single or paired up. Why? Dating yourself not only helps you develop the self-confidence that’s so important to bring to a relationship with someone else; it’s also super fun to be your own dream date!
But there’s a big difference between getting out there and actually enjoying the solitude–and getting out there and feeling weird about being alone. The key is to quickly push past any awkwardness and learn to soak up your solo time. Skip the whole “table for one” cheesiness and instead challenge yourself to try an experience that’ll keep you busy doing things—and will totally make your solo mission way more exciting.
Fill in your calendar with these solo date ideas, ASAP.
- Find a plant workshop: Green thumbs don’t grow on trees. Scope out a plant care event at a flower shop near you or find an online offering, where you can learn all about propagation techniques, terrarium building, and succulent care, then test your knowledge by picking up a few new plant friends to bring home.
- Go to a gallery opening: You’ll get to scope out a new exhibition with a glass of wine in hand, plus gain a different perspective or learn about a new artistic technique. Bonus points if there’s an artist talk or curator talk planned, but either way, use this chance to figure out what kind of art speaks to you.
- Sign up for a cooking class: Maybe you’re already packing chef-level knife skills or maybe you can barely boil water, but there’s always something new to learn in the kitchen—and you’ll be surrounded by like-minded foodies. Find a cooking school or restaurant near you that offers in-person classes, then sign up for something that’s a little outside your comfort zone—giving you a chance to really get your hands dirty (who knew kneading bread dough could be so therapeutic?!).
- Go to a poetry reading: Local bookshops are great places to scout out interesting events—chat up an author, listen to a reading and fall in love with the next great novel.
- Try horseback riding: Hop in the saddle and hit the trail: There’s something incredibly soothing about a rhythmic trot into the woods. Whether you’re a novice rider or a seasoned pro, a little QT in the great outdoors with one of these majestic creatures will be good for the soul. Scope out trail rides in your area or plan a bigger trip through equitours.com, which offers U.S. and international horseback riding trips for all skill levels. (Galloping down the beach in Morocco? The stuff of dreams.)
- Take a new fitness class: Boxing or SUP yoga, anyone? If you’re up for a challenge, jump on a new fitness trend that’s bound to bring major benefits. After all, the best workouts are the ones where you have the most fun but still break a sweat. Who knows, you might just spark a new regular routine!
- Set off on a mini road trip: You know that museum out in the country you’ve been meaning to check out? That cute winery with the perfect selfie spots? Dating yourself means you can just get up and go. Pick a Saturday, queue up a podcast, and hit the road.
- Go vintage shopping: Spend hours wandering around thrift shops and antique stores in search of the perfect crocheted crop top or mid-century modern end table. You’ll uncover some weird finds and come home with a cool collection of things that feel decidedly you.
- Take a hike: There’s a reason forest bathing is a thing: Research shows that time spent in the woods can work wonders for anxiety and stress levels. Lace up your hiking boots, bring some water (and a charged phone, JIC), and hit the trail for some meditative moments among the trees.
- Get room service: Book a cute boutique hotel in your neighborhood and set up your own luxe night in, complete with room service and a cozy robe. Snuggle up with a good book, a great cheeseburger and a classic movie, then lights out for some sweet dreams in a super fluffy bed. Bliss!