Being in this category has kinda gotten a bad rap. In a society where we’re conditioned that we are incomplete without someone to “complete” us, it’s a hard feat to be a single. I used to buy into the facade that everything is better when you’re attached. I felt like there were certain things that I couldn’t do because I was alone. I would miss out on doing things, because I felt like it was only for couples. Then one day I realized that I didn’t need anyone to “complete” me. After all, who wants an incomplete person? I realized that I would be doing myself and my future partner a huge favor by striving to be a complete person in and of myself now- and my time being single was the perfect time to do it. In relationships, we can get so wrapped up in the other person that we can forget to cultivate ourselves, so I decided to take advantage of my single time and learn to enjoy- truly enjoy- the person that will be with me for the rest of my life: me.
To push myself beyond my limits and teach myself to have a blast with my own company, I came up with a list of things that would exile me from my comfort zone. Are you single? Want to enjoy the best that this single season of your life has to offer? Here’s a bucket list for you:
- Take yourself out to dinner. You’d be surprised to know the number of women who have never gone out to eat by themselves, let alone taken themselves out to dinner. Dinner is probably the most daunting of mealtimes to go out by yourself, because every restaurant is going to be inundated with couples and friend groups, and you very well may be the only person eating alone. But that’s okay. Take the time to people watch, truly experience your food, and get lost in your own thoughts. You may come to realize that you have the best date in the place.
- Go to the movies alone. This is a fun one. How many times have you gone to the movies with someone, only to not be able to fully enjoy the movie because they like to add commentary, try to put the moves on you, or you’re just nervous about your dorky laugh? Problem solved- just go by yourself. You may feel awkward at first, but after a while you’ll be so lost in enjoying the movie that you won’t even need anyone else.
- Go to a bar and order your own drink. So many times as women we get glammed up and go to bars with our friends and see how many guys we can us to buy us drinks. The thought of doing this weekend ritual without our girlfriends can be really scary, but it’s totally worth it. Sitting at a bar alone is awkward at first, but grab a drink, chat with the bartender, meet other people, and soon you may find yourself with a new set of bar friends.
- Take a trip. Solo. This may be the hardest suggestion the list, but it very well may be the most empowering. When we travel with others, whether it be here or abroad, most likely we share responsibility of the planning and logistics of the trip. When you’re traveling solo, however, everything is on you. You’re responsible for the planning, your own safety, and most importantly, you are in complete control of the trip’s agenda. You get to do whatever whenever you want. There’s no consulting or considering anyone else. The trip is solely about you. While there is a bit of pressure that comes along with traveling by yourself, it can be one of the most freeing experiences. You have permission to be as selfish as you want, and when it’s all over and done, you get the satisfaction of reminiscing on the trip and reveling in the fact that you made it happen all on your own.
- Ask a man on a date. Crazy, right? The man is supposed to do the asking, after all. But says who? Why sit back and wait for a man to make the first move when you are perfectly capable of doing it yourself? If you see someone you like, muster up the courage and ask him out. After all, the worst thing he can say is “no”. (Girl, chances are, he will NOT say no). There is something so empowering about turning the tables and taking control of a romantic situation for once. For many women, it’s something completely outside of your comfort zone, but after the first time you ask a man out, choose where you go, and pay (yes, ladies, you ask then you pay) for the date, you’ll literally feel like you can do anything. Regardless of whether your date ends up to be your soulmate or not, you would have pushed yourself the do something you normally wouldn’t do and gained a confidence like no other.
- Enroll in a class. Always wanted to try yoga? Keep saying you’re going to learn to play tennis? Feel the need to learn self-defense? Sign up for a class. Developing a hobby is one of the greatest things to do when learning to enjoy your own self. Invest in yourself by cultivating your interests and making yourself a more well-rounded person.
- Take a trip with your girlfriends. When you’re all boo’d up with a partner, it’s easy to drift away from your friend group. When you’re single, however, you have much more time to build friendships. Bond with your girls by going on a trip. Whether it be a short weekend getaway or an international escape, you’ll be sure to make memories that will last a lifetime.
- Learn to cook. Cooking seems like a lost art these days. We all have to eat, but few actually know how to cook. If you don’t already know how, you should definitely learn. Don’t let the purpose of learning solely be for the purpose of cooking for a man, but learn for yourself. Add to your personal portfolio of skills. Be able to cook yourself a nice dinner just because you feel like it. And later when you are in a relationship, it’ll just be another reason for him to appreciate you.
- Develop a self care routine. This is SO important. Life today is so hectic that it can be toxic. We get so busy that it becomes easy to forget to care for ourselves. It’s imperative that we learn to care for ourselves while we only have ourselves to care about, because when you start adding a partner or children to the mix, carving out time to care for yourself becomes even harder. Take a trip to a neighboring city once a month. Have a staycation and turn off your phone for a weekend. Develop a meditation routine. Schedule a recurring spa day. Start seeing a psychologist. Whatever you need to do, take care of your physical and mental health at all costs, because no matter who comes or goes, you will always have you. Take care of her.
- Buy yourself flowers. Do you like getting flowers from a significant other? If you do, then you’ll like getting flowers for yourself also. While getting flowers for yourself is a different feeling from getting them from someone else, it’s still just as nice. Having something beautiful like flowers in your space will brighten up your day every time you look at them. If you love you, do something special for you.
Periods of singleness shouldn’t be times of mourning. Don’t waste your time at home, over-eagerly waiting for the next Prince Charming to sweep you off your feet. This can be one of the best times of your life! You are free to travel freely, meet new people, and love yourself completely and unapologetically. So do it! No matter what stage you’re in, be sure to live your life fully.