How Self-Dating Changed My Life

One of my biggest dreams as a child was to fall in deep, true love. Today, while my experiences have refined my perspective on romantic relationships, it’s still a wish of mine. To some, this may seem cheesy but I know that many others feel the same. Our dream is the all-consuming beast Carrie Bradshaw longed for all those years ago.

It’s actually very scary and intimidating to allow yourself to be completely open with someone. I did reject this childhood dream at some point at the start of my adult life, around age 18: as my teenage experiences with males accumulated, my belief in fairy tale romance faded. Then at some point, I figured there was no “The One” but a select group of potential forever-mates I could choose from. I lost my virginity to someone in the said potential group whom I liked a lot, but in his final blow I told myself, “…he’s not it”. I had a few more of those not-it moments. It being the one. That one. The one whom I can share myself with, wholeheartedly, no holds barred. And so I preceded to believe that perhaps this notion of “The One” actually made sense. I believe that The One is out there for me. Like Charlotte York, I’ve got the unwavering belief that I, too shall live a fairy tale kind of love.

I’ve tried to seek “The One” quite recently, but to no avail. Right now, I’m like a bored judge at an audition, sitting at the table like, “next…” Some don’t have the decency to ask me out on a nice date, but rather to hang out at the Subway down the street or the parking lot. (What!??) Oh, and the dating apps are boring. I can’t meet a serious person on there, and I freak out when I see someone I actually know. So I figured, why wait for someone to court me? I can court myself!

I take myself out on a date sometimes. My favourite activity is exploring natural parks because I love seeing wildlife, breathing fresh air, and taking long walks. I visit art exhibits. I indulge in my brunch obsession sometimes. I love to date myself for the self-discovery it brings. Most of all, I get to be selfish and bond with my favourite girl — me! I am my own best friend.

Taking yourself out on a date is an avant-garde practice. It’s about deepening the relationship you have with yourself — a relationship which none of us can escape from, but can either hinder or nurture. Smiley Poswolsky explains the benefits of self-dating perfectly:

“When you start dating yourself, your mindset shifts. Rather than define your own self-worth based on whether someone else swipes right at your photo or whether someone else wants to go home with you, you determine your own self-worth based on how you’re spending your time. You can commit to personal projects, set aside time for self-reflection and self-care, and discover new career aspirations. Instead of simply going through the motions, you’re in the driver’s seat of your own life.”

One night, I wore some makeup and athleisure to a date on the couch watching Netflix, while eating a delicious bowl of cheese-flavoured popcorn. Actually, that night, I felt bummed and lonely prior to my impromptu date, but I did not want to let the feeling consume me. It came to me that I had to acknowledge my loneliness, but that I am also able to cater to my own needs.

This past couple of years have been a rough ride. I am just now becoming comfortable in my own skin and living in a way that best suits me. In the past, I complained about guys not treating me with complete respect and not seeing how incredible of a catch I am. Meanwhile, I was not treating myself with the utmost respect. Now, I’ve created new boundaries and gained a great amount of self-respect and appreciation. I can be romantic, honest, present, and kind with myself. There always seems to be an issue I have to fix, but that’s part of self-development. All in all, I’ve never loved myself quite like this!

How To Go Outside Despite Depression

Summer is here. Try taking a walk. The sun gives your skin vitamin D, which plays a role in the improvement (and cause) of depression. Studies show that the liver and kidney transform vitamin D into a hormone that aids in the release of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine. A deficiency in vitamin D can cause depression, especially during colder months–you may have already heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Besides, you know what else is great about summer? The smell of sweet green grass and scented flowers. Butterflies and moths fluttering around on their breathtaking wings. Trees shivering when meeting the breeze. Birds singing, and finally seeing something other than a pigeon or a seagull. You know, a bird that’s actually nice to look at.

You don’t have to go far, and you can start out once or twice a week.  You don’t need running shoes or workout gear. You only need yourself. You can bring music with you if you think you fear being stuck in your thoughts or bored.

Decide that you can at least do this one thing today for yourself. When you get back home, and maybe crawl back into bed, you’ll be glad that you got your body to move a little bit. You may even be energized and want to do a little more with your day.

The first few weeks can be hard to motivate yourself to go outside. Here is what helps me:

  • Having a destination: there’s a mall across the street from my home. I get groceries or wander around Wal-Mart. My siblings and father also live a walking distance from me.
  • Pep talks: I tell myself, “I just need to make it downstairs and through the door.”
  • Staying in the neighborhood:  I am seriously anxious about seeing anybody I know in public places, so I stay close to home at the moment. I don’t know many people in my neighborhood, so it’s easier for me to want to leave the house and take walks here.

The sun and nature are incredibly therapeutic tools to use. I hope you find comfort in them.

Resources:

Psychological consequences of vitamin D deficiency-Psychology Today

Vitamin D: Health Benefits, Facts & Research

How can I get the vitamin D my body needs?

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