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Spa Guide

How To Date Yourself (And Why You Should)

When was the last time you took yourself on a date? No, not the last time you got dressed up, butterflies in stomach, for a first or 100th date with someone else, but actually treated yourself to some tender-loving care?

It turns out we should all be doing it.

Self-dating is not just an emerging lifestyle trend that places you at the heart of your social calendar, it’s also making waves in the wellness world, as we acknowledge that treating ourselves with the same consideration as we do those we love is especially good for our mental health. That means taking the time to check in with ourselves and ultimately choosing to take the time for solo activities that make us feel great, even if it’s as infrequently as once a month.

From dinner dates and spa days to, yes, self-pleasure, here’s how to date yourself – regardless of whether you are in a long-term relationship, casually dating, or totally single.

Go On A Dinner Date

Let’s start with the ultimate dining taboo – eating alone. As our solo traveller advice guide emphasises, this should be something you embrace, instead of shying away from. It makes you more comfortable being alone with your thoughts, and it allows you to try any restaurant that takes your fancy, which is one of the best ways to sample local culture when you are on your travels. You don’t have to be abroad to try solo dining though. At home, start by heading to a small, local establishment you’ve been to before, so you know you love the food, and if you need extra support, bring a book or podcast along with you. Solo dinners can also be a great time to remember to journal or plan out a problem you’ve been having. Then, you can branch out to trying somewhere new.

Visit The Theatre Or Cinema

When you think about it, the theatre and cinema are actually perfect solo activities, despite our inclination to go in groups. Firstly, you can pick the type of performance you really want to see without being influenced by others. Then, once the show starts, there’s no need to have someone to speak to anyway, and you can soak in the action, romance or comedy while totally invested, before sharing the recommendation, should you really enjoy it. What’s more, there’s been a big surge, especially in the theatre world, in providing discounted tickets for single patrons, so be sure to ask about getting a good deal on something you really want to see.

Treat Yourself

We all have a tendency to save ‘special’ experiences for when we are with others, but you don’t have to wait for someone to be free to treat yourself. By going it alone, you’ll never miss out on doing something that truly excites you. Whether it’s a glass of champagne at the top of The Shard to toast a big work success, a trip to that rooftop bar you’ve been saving for a memorable occasion, or finally booking that limited-edition dining experience that you’ve always wanted to try, make the time to dress up and enjoy it. You’ll be surprised how much fun doing something you would normally save for a special occasion can be on ‘just a normal day.’

Don't Forget Self-Pleasure

It’s always been a bit of a hush-hush subject, but female pleasure is finally being discussed more openly and that’s incredibly important: there’s no better (and arguably easier) self-date than getting to know what you like sexually. Not only is it integral that we remove the secrecy and shame around masturbation – something which is, after all, meant to be fun and enjoyable – but it also helps you guide others on what you enjoy and don’t enjoy if you do have sexual partners now or in the future. How you get your kicks can be very personal, but from ethical porn companies such as Lust Cinemas to female-led pleasure brands such as JOMO, there’s plenty for you to explore.

Enjoy A Spa Day

Another great self-date activity is a pampering spa day as it can help you take time out to focus solely on you. If you want to treat yourself to a luxury spa experience, read our advice on how to go to the spa solo to ensure you maximise your time and all the facilities; don’t forget to book your favourite (indulgently long) treatment. Or, follow our guide to enjoying an at-home spa day to benefit without even leaving your home. From lighting some candles around your bubble bath to putting on a face mask as you give yourself a mani-pedi, you’ll feel more relaxed and de-stressed in no time; aka the perfect date night.

Exhibition: I'm Yours by Mel Taing

See An Exhibition

With often self-imposed silences, and always plenty to see, heading to a museum or gallery by yourself can help you get your culture fix and give you something to talk about with your friends afterwards too. From history-ladened exhibitions to thought-provoking artwork, there’s something for everyone regardless of what city you find yourself in. Highlights in London at the moment include Beyond Fashion at the Saatchi Gallery, which showcases the work of acclaimed fashion photographers, and Naomi in Fashion at the Victoria & Albert Museum; an exhibition focused on the iconic supermodel, Naomi Campbell.

Go On A Walk

Finally, to prove that self-dating doesn’t have to be another expensive activity to slot into your already crammed to-do list, it can be as simple as going on a walk by yourself. It’s simply the act of taking some probably much-needed alone time. However, the aim is to be a little more ‘present’ than during your day-to-day strolls. So keep your phone in your pocket, buy yourself a coffee (or other hot drink of choice) and take in your surroundings by dropping your speed a little bit. You can even check in with yourself as you would with someone who was walking beside you; taking the time to muddle through anything that might be bothering you, while switching off from your weekly grind.

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