How Solo Dates Help Build Self Love

Growing up, one of my favourite memories was going to the cinema with my dad, mum and siblings on Sundays after church.

Asides going out for lunch every Sunday, my earliest memories involve trips to Silverbird Cinemas to see a movie. Going to the movies has always been a thing I did with family or at the very least never ever alone.

Now fast forward to last year, almost sixteen years later and I saw myself dating a man who almost used my inability to see a movie alone to hurt me. Our first date was a movie date which I thoroughly enjoyed. 

However, when I saw movies that I thought we could enjoy, he either made excuses or outrightly cancelled on me. Safe to say he has been blocked.

Now, I am someone who is heavy on self love. Although I love love, I will say that self love has encouraged me to leave situations that do not serve me. Situations like the one mentioned above.

While I love self-love and the idea of going on solo dates even prior to the cinema event, I find it very interesting that I still had a lot to decenter when it came to enjoying movies alone. I’m proud to say that I’ve gone on more solo dates to the cinema since last year.

That experience was a learning point for me however. It showed me the importance of not just preaching about self love, but actively walking the talk. Solo dates are essentially going for events and activities alone in order to build, discover yourself and enjoy your own company.

In my experience, solo dates are necessary for women because when we truly enjoy our own company, it is easier for us to walk away from situations that don’t serve us. It is also easier not to fall into the arms of just anyone because we don’t know how to be alone.

This is not to say that wanting romantic dates or a partner is wrong. No it isn’t. It is however to ask why lots of women find it incredibly difficult to spend time in their own company. Wanting a partner is not wrong and is a very human need. But when women see being alone as something to run away from, what happens is that they stay with men who give them lots of trouble with a side dish of occasional happiness.

The fear of being alone, eating alone and genuinely enjoying your solo company as a woman extends beyond romance and even into friendships and work related shenanigans. 

A woman who doesn’t know how to be alone may end up accommodating friends who put her down because she needs a party buddy. She may also not know how to stand up for herself at work when a close work friend takes all the credit for a project that was done majorly by her.

And why is that? Why have women not learned the art of solo dates and enjoying our company? Why don’t we realise that solo dates are a great opportunity to learn new things about ourselves and even make new friends? Why do some women complain about not having “me time” but yet be clueless when that “me time” comes in the form of their children growing up and leaving the house? Such that, they become the aunties who begin to police younger women in the family because they genuinely do not know how to spend their old age and have little to no hobbies.

Speaking with Rebekah, she says that solo dates help to build self sufficiency and the ability to sit with your thoughts.

In her words: “I am the queen of solo dates and solo activities. I live in a town far away from most of my friends and family. I work remotely and I am single so I spend 97% of my time alone. While I will love to make new friends and to meet someone and fall in love, I have learnt to enjoy doing things solo. 

Spending so much time alone has made me get to know myself rather intimately. I have a much better relationship with myself than I did when I was younger and surrounded by so much noise and activity with other people. My mind is quieter and I like myself more. There is still work to be done but I am more patient with me because I know what it feels like to be all I’ve got (in a way because my family keeps in touch and loves me like crazy).”

She went on to say: “I have no patience for people’s nonsense. If I meet someone or walk into a place and sense any disrespect or wahala, I remove myself IMMEDIATELY. Solo dates and solo activities are great. It helps one build self sufficiency and teaches you how to sit with yourself and your thoughts, no matter how uncomfortable.”

For Shalom, she says that it has helped strengthen her sense of self.

To quote her: “When I say solo dates completely changed my life forever. At first, I thought it would be weird but now I love it just as much as friendship and romantic dates.

For me, it has helped to strengthen my sense of self and whenever I want to do something fun, I no longer wait for others, I just go ahead and do it.”

In a world that hands out respect to women in relationships with numerous terms and conditions, the best thing a woman can do is to be comfortable with the idea of being alone.

Even if she may want a relationship, being comfortable with the idea of alonness gives her the chance to heal herself of past traumas in an uninterrupted manner.

Solo dates are the best way to build that ability to heal yourself uninterrupted.

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