20 Something: Self-Dating (or Going Places Alone)

I recently saw a thing on Tumblr (it’s this article from Autostraddle) about how everyone needs to date themselves, even when they are in a relationship. As it happens, I am only in a relationship with wine; we’re very happy together.

Now, the article was really about treating yourself like a significant other, but it got me thinking about how taking yourself on dates (a.k.a. going places alone) is extremely important.

What’s weird is how completely against that our society generally is.

I mean, last year I took a weeklong roadtrip to Manhattan from where I live in OKC. My family was not pleased with this plan until I enlisted the company of my ex-boyfriend (long and weird story). I get that it’s a good 1500 miles (one-way), but I would have been fine. It’s not like he knew where he was going any more than I did. Actually, as the one of us who had been to New York on multiple occasions, I was the one who was better prepared.

Now, I’m about to take a solo roadtrip (about 8 hours one-way) in a few days. It’s over 500 miles, but everybody’s cool with that because I’m going to visit my aunt, and I’ve been there before.

I just want to say that I am super pumped for this trip. I took week-long vacations the last two years (one of which was to visit this same aunt), but both were with the aforementioned ex-boyfriend. I am so so so ready to be in a car with the best company I know: me.

But I think I got a bit off-topic again. Sorry, I’m really excited. My point is that going places alone shouldn’t be scary or border-line taboo.

Take yesterday for instance. I didn’t have to work, and I don’t have any articles due, so I went for a swim at my apartment pool. All by my lonesome. Well, there was a woman with two kids there, but you get what I mean. They left, and I was at the pool. By myself. Swimming around, lounging on the pool steps to read, then getting out to read some more while I dried off.

It was great.

As I write this, I am sitting in a coffee place a few blocks from my apartment. This is something that I have been telling myself I will do more of because I need to get out of my apartment more. There’s free WiFi and decently priced beverages, but again the point is, I’m here by myself.

I go to movies by myself. I don’t feel weird about it because even if I go with someone, it’s not like I’m going to talk to them while I’m watching it. I’ll talk while watching a movie at home, but doing that in the theater is kind of rude. And it’s hard to hear.

So to me, going to a movie alone is not strange, but whenever I say that I’m going alone, people are like: Really??

Similar reactions to eating out alone, which I’ve also done and enjoyed.

Of course, then there’s the thing that I would love to do by myself because that would be convenient but both my family and society in general have thoroughly talked me out of: going to a bar by myself.

I’m going to be honest with this one: I don’t have a lot of friends. Especially not who live nearby. I go places alone out of necessity.

So, sometimes I want a drink that isn’t in my apartment or I want to watch whatever UFC fight is showing, but I feel like I can’t go get it or go see it because I am a tiny female and the world is a dangerous place.

But, I actually feel like that is a topic for another time, so we’ll go into that one later.

For now, this has been a very long and rambling post to get to a simple point: there is no shame in doing things or going places by yourself. Sometimes, you’re the best company available, and that’s okay.

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