The best relationship advice my Mom ever gave me was this: Build a happy life for yourself. Eventually you will meet someone who has done the same and you can share your happy lives together.
What she was trying to tell me was that relationships aren’t the main course in life, they are merely the dessert. The most important relationship you’ll ever have is with yourself. You need to be OK with dating yourself before you can date someone else. Here are 5 things you can do to get you started on dating yourself:
Learn to enjoy being alone
Try doing something that you have never done solo. Go watch that movie that you are embarrassed to tell people you are desperate to see. Order the largest popcorn possible because no one is looking. Enjoy having both armrests to yourself. Eat a meal alone in a restaurant. Who cares if people stare? Enjoy your seafood risotto like it’s your job. Being alone doesn’t mean you are lonely. Once you get comfortable doing these things you might realize that being alone can be deliciously self-indulgent.
Cultivate your interests and learn something new
Take that _____________ (Spanish, sewing, graphic design, pole-dancing, under-water basket weaving) class you’ve always wanted to take. Spend a day at the Museum seeing an exhibit that only you are interested in. Take a weekend to watch the complete filmography of that indie director that you have been dying to get into. Go to the library or bookstore, pick up a bunch of books that inspire you and take them home. Volunteer for a cause that you are interested in. It doesn’t matter if you are single or in a relationship, exploring the things that you are passionate about in life is fun and makes you more interesting.
Cherish the friends you have and make room for new ones
Romantic relationships come and go. When life knocks you down, your friends are the ones that will help cushion the fall. Surround yourself with positive, inspiring people whom you trust and care about. If they can make you laugh and give really good hugs, even better.
Be nice to yourself
Would you want to date someone who was always putting you down or saying negative things? Of course not. No one wants to hang out with someone who is constantly saying stuff like If only your thighs weren’t so fat, I’d like you more. Stop saying these things to yourself. Treat yourself how you want to be treated by others. Remind yourself that you’re beautiful, smart and special because it’s true.
You don’t need another person around to plan the perfect date. Run a bubble bath, put on some music, grab some champagne, some strawberries, and kick back with a good book. Have fun taking that yoga class and enjoy that smoothie afterwards. Relish in your favorite trashy TV show while giving yourself an at-home pedicure. Whatever it is that you love to do to recharge your batteries: Do it. You deserve it.