Post Category: Inspiration

How To Date Yourself: 35 Ways To Practice Self-Love


More Self Love(Pretty in Pink and Retro Red) designed and sold by TheLoveShop

In 2023, invest in the most significant relationship you have: the one with yourself. How to date yourself isn’t something you should learn around New Year’s or Valentine’s Day; it’s something you can learn all year long. Our current culture pressures us to have it all, often at the expense of ourselves. Some of us wake up in the morning and don’t know who we are anymore. 

If that sounds like you, you need a self-date, stat! Here are 35 ideas to get you started.

1. Get Out of Those Sweats

We all know how uncomfortable nice clothes are, but how we dress can impact our mood. While those oversized sweats and a messy bun are oh-so-comfortable and perfect for a day off or a sick day, they don’t make us feel special. In fact, they can have the opposite effect if our brains associate them with sick days or exhaustion. 

We don’t think it’s crazy to look our best for someone we’re dating, but how often do we afford ourselves the same courtesy? Your look doesn’t have to be glam or perfect; just putting in an effort will boost your self-confidence. So the next time you leave the house, dress like you’re going on a date with yourself.

2. Treat Yourself

An easy way to date yourself is to treat yourself to a little gift from time to time, just like you would for a significant other. Link the gift to a particular goal, or save it for a bad day pick-me-up.

3. Give Yourself the Night Off

When you have a lot on your plate, it’s tempting to burn the midnight oil until you are exhausted. While that may be necessary sometimes, it shouldn’t be the norm. If you’ve been working overtime lately, pick a night to take off. Make sure you have time for a healthy dinner, maybe a workout or a glass of wine, and an early bedtime. It may not sound luxurious, but curling up in your pajamas at 8:30 is the height of luxury when you are overtired.

4. Go on a Solitary Adventure

The world has too many beautiful sights to put off traveling until you have a significant other to go with you. Take a weekend to stay in a cabin in the state park you always wanted to visit, or jet across the world to see the pyramids or the Eiffel Tower. You’ll learn a lot about yourself while traveling alone and probably come back more comfortable with yourself as a result.

5. Learn Something New

Spend some quality time with yourself while you learn a new skill or take a course on a topic that interests you. Finding success at something new will boost your confidence, and setting aside time to do something interesting can help recharge your battery for work and family.

Your local community centers, churches, libraries, and hobby stores may offer classes in crafting or cooking, and the internet is filled with online forums for any craft you can think of. Enroll in a Coursera course or pick up a class at the local community college. If you don’t have time for anything structured, consider a language app to help you learn a new language during your commute.

6. Do Something Good for Your Body

Sometimes the best way to show yourself some love is to do something good for your body. Often, we fill our bodies with stuff it doesn’t need, like salt, sugar, caffeine or alcohol. Instead of reaching for a salty or sugary snack to get you through that meeting that definitely could have been an email, try eating a healthy snack, like yogurt with granola or an apple. Replace your daily energy drink with water. Your body will thank you for treating it to what it needs and repay you with some extra energy, which will leave you ready for an exciting date with yourself.

Keep your body happy during your next date with yourself with this white water bottle with a blooming heart

Blooming Heart Water Bottle designed and sold by flintsky

7. Put Together a Time Capsule Box

Schoolchildren do time capsules all the time, and you should do the same! Take a shoebox or an old delivery box and fill it with mementos from the year. Include artifacts like pictures from memorable events, ticket stubs (or printed tickets since everything is digital now), and anything else you’ve collected from the last year. Throw a love letter to yourself in there, too! Then label the box with the year and stick it somewhere safe to pull out later to take a trip down memory lane.

8. Escape Reality With a Stay at a Hotel

Sometimes you need a change of scenery, and you can get that without leaving town by spending the night at a hotel. Take a relaxing dip in the pool, order room service (a hot meal with no cleanup!), take a hot bath, put on your PJs, and fall asleep to your favorite trash TV. Wake up the following morning to a hot breakfast before heading back home to reality. No cleaning or cooking required to get ready for this date with yourself!

9. Cook a Nice Meal

The phrase “you are what you eat” first appeared in America in the 1930s and has been used by dieticians ever since to justify eating healthily. While fast food has become a way of life in our fast-paced world, you have to stop and ask yourself: Are you a greasy, cold, tasteless value meal? Of course not — you are a perfectly cooked medium-rare steak with a loaded baked potato and a slice of tiramisu for dessert!

While this may be one of the hardest things on this list to do, plan a home-cooked meal for a date with yourself as often as you can. Shop for fresh ingredients, turn on your favorite music, pour yourself a glass of wine, and make a nice meal for yourself. With the rising popularity of meal kits, even the most cooking-challenged of us can successfully make a meal.

10. Conduct a State of Myself Meeting

Every year, the president updates the country with a state of the union address. Governors do the same with a state of the state address. Companies do it quarterly with shareholder meetings. Your child’s teachers do it with a quarterly report card. So what’s stopping you from holding an annual review of yourself?

Set aside some time (maybe at a hotel or during a solo weekend trip) to take stock of your life. Set some goals and keep them in mind for the future. Write it all down in a journal so you can come back to it for next year’s State of Myself meeting. 

How to Date Yourself State of Myself printable

11. See a Movie Without Sharing Snacks

One of the hardest things about being in a relationship with yourself is going out in public by yourself, especially if it’s something normally done with someone else. If being alone makes you self-conscious, start out small with this solo date idea: See that movie you are dying to see. It’s dark, so no one will know you’re there by yourself. Plus, you won’t have to share the popcorn or the candy!

12. Take Yourself to Dinner at Your Favorite Spot

The ultimate dating yourself activity is eating at your favorite restaurant by yourself. If this seems daunting for you, go at lunch when it’s more socially acceptable to be alone for a meal. Bring a book or your headphones so you can listen to your favorite podcast and settle in for a good meal with no one to bother you but the waiter with food and drink refills.

13. Explore Your Community

Get out of your comfort zone and book a date with yourself to explore your community! Check out a park, visit a museum, or stop at a new shop. You can make a day out of some of these, or you can squeeze it in after you drop your daughter off for ballet and before you pick up your groceries.

14. Book a Massage

After a particularly stressful day or as a reward for finishing a challenging project, relieve stress with a massage. Give yourself an hour to relax and think about nothing but yourself. When your mind and body both feel good, you’ll stand a little taller.

15. Cut Yourself Some Slack

It seems like the idea of giving someone grace is everywhere these days. Your local coffee shop is out of your favorite bakery item due to supply chain issues? Give them some grace. The wait at the restaurant is over an hour because they are short-staffed? Give them some grace. But do you do the same for yourself?

Instead of beating yourself up about something you weren’t able to do, give yourself some grace. You are doing the best you can in a complicated world. Forgive yourself for not meeting a deadline or booking the new client, and move on to the next thing on your list.

Remind yourself to be kind to yourself on your next date with yourself

Be Kind To Yourself Pin designed and sold by Annie Riker

16. Generate Endorphins in an Exercise Class

As Elle Woods said, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” Workouts are more accessible than ever with all the new fitness apps on the market, so there’s no more need to go to a gym. Do a quick yoga routine before bed, or start your day with some HIIT. If you need a real person to help hold you accountable, take a class at your community center or sign up for a gym membership. However you make it work, show yourself you matter with a regular date with yourself to sweat.

17. Take a Mental Health Day

Sometimes doing something impromptu can spice up a relationship, and the same is true for the relationship you have with yourself. Take a random day off as a mental health day and spend it doing whatever you want guilt-free. Catch up on sleep. Binge the newest series on your favorite streaming service. Curl up on the couch with the latest book by your favorite author. In short, do whatever makes your heart happy — including neglecting your email inbox.

18. Stop and Buy the Roses

Flowers are commonly thought of as gifts you get someone to show how much you care about them — Mom for Mother’s Day, a partner on an anniversary, a grieving friend. But despite what society makes you think, there’s no sign in the flower shop that says you can’t buy them for yourself!

Flowers are a powerful trigger for memories, and aromatherapy can minimize stress levels. Trigger those positive memories with a bouquet of flowers that remind you of your grandmother’s garden, or lower your stress with a posy of lavender. Put the bouquet you choose somewhere where it will remind you to stop and smell the roses throughout your day.

19. Compare Yourself to a Summer’s Day

All too often, the talk we reserve for ourselves can be a bit harsh. We berate ourselves for not succeeding at something or tell ourselves life would be better if we were just a little bit thinner or taller. 

Pencil in a date with yourself to repeat some positive affirmations to break the subconscious cycle of negativity in how you think about yourself.

20. Write a Love Letter to Yourself

The goal of a love letter is to let someone know how much you love them. It’s a great way to give yourself some love, too! Write a letter to yourself talking specifically about all the reasons you love yourself. If writing in the first person (using “I”) feels too cringey for you, write it in the second person (“you”) instead. 

Your goal is to write a letter that:

  • Highlights your best traits
  • Apologizes for anything you’ve done to yourself
  • Accepts your mistakes
  • Shows support for your dreams
  • Thanks you for your hard work

Don’t type out your letter — this isn’t a love email! Make it personal by using a fancy pen and some stationary, or use the template on the next page. Maybe draft a version on notebook paper or in your journal, and then write out the final copy in your best handwriting.

When you finish, put your letter in an envelope and address it. Tuck it away in a drawer or a notebook, and read it whenever you need to be reminded how special you are.

How to Date Yourself Love Letter to Yourself printable

21. Take a Trip Down Memory Lane

It’s not unusual to be nostalgic for the things that made you feel good when you were little. Watch your favorite childhood movie or read your favorite book from when you were a kid. Drive by your old house and remember all the fun you used to have. Buy a T-shirt with your favorite cartoon character on it. Find the gum Grandma always kept in her purse and let its taste transport you back to a carefree summer day.

22. Do Something That Scares You

Don’t let fear hold you back! First, make a list of all the things you are afraid of doing: talking in front of people, heights, snakes, whatever. Then pick one fear and face it head-on. Join Toastmasters and give a few speeches. Go ziplining. Pet a snake. Confronting your fears can help you gain confidence in yourself and instill a sense of pride.

23. Commune With Nature

There’s no better place to think than nature. Go to the beach and wiggle your toes in the sand, and feel the sun on your face. Strap on some hiking shoes and hit the trails. Take a leisurely float down a river in a kayak. Let your responsibilities float away, and concentrate on being present in the moment. 

24. Have a Solo Dance Party

This is a date with yourself that requires no pre-planning. Choose your favorite tunes (’90s boy bands, anyone?) and blast them for an impromptu dance party. The music will remind you of simpler times, and the dancing will get you up and moving. Don’t be afraid to sing along at the top of your lungs — there’s no one around to hear you.

25. Get Organized

Getting your physical space in order helps you get your mental space in order. Take a few minutes to tidy up your workspace before you start the day, and create a to-do list for tomorrow before you leave the office. Keep your appointments in a calendar app or use an old-fashioned planner. You can even try bullet journaling to keep track of home and work tasks. 

Use this Do More of What Brings Your Joy tote on your n ext date with yourself

Do More Of What Brings You Joy Tote Bag designed and sold by Annie Riker

26. Do Something That Makes You Feel Proud

If your work isn’t incredibly fulfilling for whatever reason, find something you do that makes you proud of yourself. Maybe that means helping someone else by volunteering at a local food bank or organizing a charity event. Or perhaps it means doing a project you’ve been meaning to do but keep putting off, like cleaning out your closet or putting in a garden in the backyard. Sprinkle these dates with yourself throughout your calendar whenever you can.

27. Indulge in the Simple Things

Life today is go-go-go and then go some more. We’re often so busy running from one thing to the next that we forget to enjoy the simple things in life. Enjoy the gentle sounds of the rain and thunder during a thunderstorm, or breathe in the scent of the first wood fire of the season. Take your dog for a walk and enjoy the sounds of the kids in the neighborhood.

28. Leave Yourself Encouraging Notes

If you know you have that important presentation tomorrow, leave a sticky note on the bathroom mirror to remind yourself that you are awesome. Pump yourself up with a positive affirmation as your phone background, or leave a note in your planner to remind yourself that you can do hard things. 

29. Celebrate Milestones

Who says you can’t throw yourself a party when you experience success? The best part of setting goals is achieving them, so reward yourself when you do so. Post it on social media, grab an ice cream cone on your way home from work, or order yourself that new outfit you’ve been eyeing for months. You can even take yourself out to your favorite restaurant for dinner.

30. Be Spontaneous

When it’s just you, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut, but life gets boring that way. Challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone and break out of your routine. These challenge cards are a great way to spice up an evening alone. Keep them in a jar, and draw one idea at random. Whatever you draw you must at least attempt to complete.

How to Date Yourself Self-Challenge Cards printables

31. Have an Evening Self-Care Routine

Self-care puts you first so you can be your best self. A great time for self-care is at night. Set an alarm to tell you when to start wrapping up your project and put down the phone for the evening. Get everything ready for the next day, and then take some time for yourself. Most importantly, avoid canceling on your nightly date with yourself. After all, you wouldn’t cancel on a date with someone else unless the circumstances were extreme, and you should give yourself the same respect.

Do a face mask or a conditioning treatment. Use some essential oils or light a candle and reflect on the day. Taking time for yourself at bedtime will help you fall asleep faster so you can wake up refreshed the next day and slay that to-do list.

32. Say No Like You Mean It

Repeat after me: It’s okay to say no. That wasn’t so hard to say, was it? Now for the hard part: actually following through with it. Set some boundaries for yourself, just like you would in a relationship. No phone during dinner. No emails after 6 p.m. No work on weekends. You would set those boundaries to spend time with someone else, but it’s even more critical to set them to spend time with yourself. Practice saying no in front of the mirror a few times if you need to. 

33. Change Up Your Look

It sounds cliché, but a new look really does help change up your mindset, especially when you do it for yourself and not for others. Schedule a date at the salon and the mall to get a new hairstyle, buy a few new outfits, and just look great for you because you deserve it.

34. Hit the Open Road

There’s nothing better than getting in your car and driving with no destination in mind. Roll down the windows (weather permitting), blast some tunes, and put rubber to pavement. Stop when you’re hungry, and get out to explore any small town that piques your interest. 

35. Move Your Office to the Coffee Shop

Take your laptop and spend a few hours working from your favorite local coffee shop. Enjoy the ambiance, and hopefully, the location change will spark some workplace creativity. Or just take your favorite book, grab a latte, and curl up on a comfortable chair by the window to escape into a fictional world. 

Use this Valentine’s Day to empower yourself. Who said Valentine’s Day has to be about someone else, anyway? Make it about yourself with these self-date ideas, because the relationship you have with yourself impacts your relationships with others. Choose the best activities for you and record your experience in a new journal or notebook as you make 2022 the year of you!

Make Some Noise