Women Are Taking Themselves On Solo Dates And We’re Here For It
Show yourself some love and take yourself out on a date.
TikTok is a place for trends to explode. But in this case, it’s a place where long-held beliefs get hashtags. For example: #tookmyselfonadate is currently trending on the app. It’s not hard to see why; we’ve been told over and over again that self-care is important. In this case, the idea is simple: women are filming their solo dates and celebrating their own company. As someone who has voyeuristically watched the hashtag explore, I can tell you that the biggest takeaway I see is how often these women say that they plan to make solo dates something they do more often.
Sure, it’s exploded on TikTok, but it’s something I’ve been doing for a few years. It’s literally the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. Moms in particular need to take more time for themselves and let go of the guilt attached to it because it is one of the only ways we are going to feel recharged.
And it doesn’t have to be much: an hour at Starbucks alone, journaling instead of running errands; carving out an hour of alone time can give you a much-needed refresh so you can tackle the rest of your week feeling a little more regulated.
After my divorce, I started taking myself out on dates. It was something I had to force myself to do. I wasn’t yet in the mindset to go out on dates, and you can only have so many girls’ nights. I felt like I had to get over the hurdle of doing things alone.
Treating myself to a dinner out, going to the movies, trying a new class, or browsing the aisles of Target all turned out to be great ideas. It can be a little intimidating to sit at a restaurant alone. But once I started doing my solo dates more regularly, it became easier. And while I missed my kids a lot, I really enjoyed taking myself out on these dates. Spending quality time with myself — instead of waiting until a girlfriend was ready to go or I met someone I wanted to date — made me feel more confident, taken care of, and I didn’t feel lonely despite being single. I look forward to doing these things and being able to do them alone and call all the shots is actually comforting.
But solo dates aren’t just beneficial for single women. I started to wonder why I waited until I got a divorce to start investing more time in myself. Long gone are the days when people see someone dining alone, or sitting in a coffee shop solo and assume they are lonely or have no one to meet them. The truth is, spending this time by yourself — essentially dating yourself — doing something that fuels your soul is such an important way to love yourself.
There have been times I’ve felt sad or burnt out and I didn’t feel like putting the effort or energy into doing something. But I book a massage, or go for a walk on my favorite trail then go to my favorite restaurant and it never fails, I always feel like a better version of myself when I return home.
Learning to make ourselves happy and treat ourselves to something special is also a great example for our kids to witness. It teaches them to be independent and that being happy and fulfilled has to come from inside and it’s pointless to wait for someone else to come along and do that for you.
Personally, these self-dates have been a great way for me to get to know myself, and it’s something I’ll do whether I have a partner or not and regardless of my age. Women can give themselves a lot of gifts and material things. But I think the best of all is taking the time to plan a special day, morning, or weekend, just for you. It's not selfish, it’s essential self-care.
Katie Bingham-Smith is a full-time freelance writer living in Maine with her three teens and two ducks. When she’s not writing she’s probably spending too much money online and drinking Coke Zero.