Dig Baton Rouge

The Bitter Lemon: I’m not single, I’m dating myself

“What happened to the days of dating someone just because you liked them?”

I’ve been single for almost three years. Of course, during these three years, I’ve gone on several dates and had many flings and crushes.

But recently, I’ve found myself in a situation that rarely happens: I don’t even have a crush.

As pathetic as it sounds, this thought disappoints me greatly. While I’ve never considered myself to be boy crazy, a crush gives me something to be excited over, something to work toward (you know, before I ultimately get crushed).

Given that this “zero crush” situation is rare for me, I realized I probably need to do something else I’ve never done — date myself.

That term sounds incredibly weird, but it’s something that needs to happen.

You see, I will admit I have a habit of filling the void of one relationship with another, and this is an unhealthy pattern I’ve been working to break.

Between relationships, you’ve really got to focus on yourself to heal, and to avoid ruining your next relationship because of the last.

Dating yourself doesn’t mean sitting at home alone all the time (as fun as that is). It means truly being in a relationship with yourself.

Some days, that may mean pampering and being kind to yourself, while other days that could mean jumping out of your comfort zone and challenging yourself.

The reward? You’re going to learn a lot about who you are, and ultimately what you want out of life and out of a relationship.

It also solidifies the fact that you can spend time alone and enjoy it, not because you have to, but because you want to!

I put this to the test last weekend when I made it a goal to eat alone at a restaurant I’d been wanting to try. Normally in these situations, I’d just get takeout, and enjoy the feast alone, within the privacy of my apartment.

But no, I put on something I felt confident in, went to the restaurant, and I sat by myself, with no book or shield to protect me.

I even ordered a giant beer and watched a basketball game before mowing down a messy burger and cheese fries.

And you know what? I felt like a million bucks when I walked out of that restaurant. I’d done what I thought was impossible, and it was actually fun!

I know you think I’m nuts. But everyone has their thing that seems scary to do alone. I have never minded going to the movies alone — in fact, I prefer it.

Coffee shops and errands are fine. Hell, I’ve even gone on vacation by myself. But for some reason, tackling the restaurant scene alone seemed untouchable.

Now that I’ve at least tried it, I’m kind of excited to go out again. It means I’ve got more control over my life, and that I don’t have to miss out on things I love just because I’m not coupled up.

Okay, sure, I’m not getting a good night kiss at my doorstep when I date myself, but I also don’t have the anxiety of fumbling for my keys, wondering if a kiss will even happen.

Building the relationship I have with myself is going to prepare me for whatever’s to come. I’m going to be my very best self, and when the next guy comes along, I’ll have to decide if he’s worth breaking a date with myself.

I don’t even know who he is yet, but I can tell you this: I’m a pretty cool girl, and it’s going to take someone really awesome to get me to share my Saturday nights with someone aside from myself.

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