by Daisy Jasmine, Staff Writer
Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and beleaguered unpaired folks across the nation are sighing with relief as the happy couples cease their parading of grandiose dates, floral arrangements, oversized teddy bears, and conveniently-timed proposals.
While this reporter is certainly never one to dismiss the experiential value of an obscenely large stuffed animal, the fact remains that mid-February can be a frustrating time for the unattached. No amount of calling it “Singles Awareness Day” can change the fact that Valentine’s Day in the United States is geared entirely toward twosomes of the amorous variety.
However, things are not as bleak as they seem at first glance—in fact, they don’t have to be bleak at all. If the seasonal oversaturation of romantic sentiment has you glumly considering re-installing Tinder or Bumble, have no fear. Now’s the time to revel in the freedom of having no one with veto power over your plans! It has been said that before you can love someone else, you have to love yourself. But whether or not that’s true—and the complicated nuances of that statement alone could easily fill a self-help book or ten—there’s definitely something to be said for treating yourself with love. If you’re looking for a way to show you care for that one person who’s definitely been there for you for every minute of your entire life (that is, yourself) here are a few suggestions for fun one-person dates to give yourself the appreciation you deserve!
The Classic Night Out
One failproof and time-tested standard for dates (be it with two participants or one) is the archetypal romantic dinner and a show. Over the years, people have grown to believe, even subconsciously, that this standard for sweethearts requires two participants. However, this old-school, enduring evening agenda can be relaxing and fun on your own!
First, dress to impress—give yourself permission to wear something you tend to save for “special occasions.” Go to your favorite restaurant, or to a fancier place than usual, and eat there—just because you’re enjoying the company of yourself doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get to enjoy the ambiance! If you feel unsure about eating alone, bring a book you love or something else to engage your mind. Otherwise, just sit back and revel in being waited on and savoring your meal.
Once you’ve enjoyed your dinner, it’s on to the cinema—or whatever entertainment suits your fancy. This can be a symphony, a play, or just the guilty-pleasure blockbuster you’ve been dying to see! When you’re your own date, you don’t have to worry about arguing over what to see, and there’s no pressure to sit through something you’re only slightly interested in. Treat yourself to some popcorn if you aren’t too full from your dinner, grab the best seat in the house, and enjoy the uninterrupted show!
The Cozy Night In
If the classic “dinner and a movie” sounds like too much of a to-do for you, maybe you’d prefer something more relaxing, and even a bit indulgently introverted. Enjoy an intimate night in and embrace the concept of hygge—a Danish word referring to a feeling of low-key comfort and contentment. Enjoy a steamy bath and put on your most luxurious pajamas or your most well-loved sweats, and curl up in a soft blanket on the couch or your bed with whatever simple things bring you joy. Play a game you like, drink a cup of cocoa, or watch a season (or more) of your favorite show on Netflix. Chilling is also implied, of course, though not mandatory—but if you do, there’s no one better acquainted with what you’re into than you.
Do Something that Scares You
Maybe a sweet, snuggly night in is your idea of a total snooze fest. In that case, you may want to do something more engaging. Be the most adventurous, exciting date you’ve ever gone out with by doing something you consider scary, but fun. Note that fun is required, here. Doing something scary and un-fun sounds like a horrible date, whether you’re alone or not! Studies have suggested that doing something adrenaline-boosting with your date increases your attraction, because we unconsciously assume that an elevated heart rate must be the result of chemistry. Even on your own, trying something scary and new will give you a boost of confidence and pride in yourself. Watch a scary movie, or go on a roller coaster, and scream as loud as you want without having to worry about looking cool to your date. Lose yourself in the thrill, and afterwards, reward yourself for being so brave!
Soak Up the Sun
If none of these date ideas appeal to you, you can always spend some time with yourself out in nature. After all, it costs very little—often nothing! Go out to a lake or make a trip of it and go to the beach, take a hike along a scenic trail, or simply walk to the nearest park for some sunshine. Bring a kite, or a fishing pole, or just pack yourself a picnic and enjoy people-watching from a grassy patch.
Outdoor activities and dates at the park are especially fun when on your own, as there’s no one right way to spend time in nature. Take a nap or bring a basketball to the nearest court and see how many shots you can make in a row. If you want a little more of a mental challenge, try geocaching—this fun outdoor activity is the closest thing we’ve got to modern treasure hunting, using, clues, an app, and your phone’s GPS to find hidden capsules in public places with a logbook to sign and prove you were there. Geocaching alone gives you even greater bragging rights, since you’ll have solved the clues without the help of somebody else!
These examples are merely a select few suggestions—the possibilities for a one-person date are just about limitless. Whatever you decide to do, have fun exercising total freedom to do whatever you like most, and showering yourself with the adoration and love that you deserve!