Dating Sabbatical

“Dating yourself” isn’t as strange as it sounds. Well, maybe it is. But you might be at the point I was: ready to try anything. Dating yourself can be done on a dating sabbatical (taking time out from the dating scene) or while you’re still out mixing and mingling.

The overall concept of dating yourself is very similar to dating another person. Think about it, when you first start dating your sweetie, it’s all wine and roses.You take each other out to nice places, cook each other romantic meals, spend lots and lots of time talking and getting to know each other. You probably dress up for each other. You use your best manners, posture, and always (of course!) use your turn signal when s/he is in the car.

Behind the scenes, there’s a lot going on too. Maybe you’ll watch what you eat a little more closely. Pick out your clothes with a little more attention. Drink more water and use breath freshener. Some dating resources even suggest reading the headlines, good books, or catching up on the latest music and movies prior to dates.

Dating yourself is about doing a lot of this stuff, but for yourself. And without any qualifiers – “until I find The One,” or “to help me find The One,” or “because I haven’t found The One” – this is about treating yourself as The One.

Dating yourself does not have to be solitary or lonely and you have a lot of options about what this process will look like for you. I chose what I call a dating sabbatical, meaning I didn’t ask anyone out on a date or take anyone up on an offer for a date. I also tried not to look at the personals and I didn’t go to any speed dating or singles events. I chose a reasonable time frame for myself, which was six months. Interestingly, this left some extra time and energy on my hands, which I started to fill up with family, friends, volunteer activities, and I even got back into some old hobbies.

Taking a dating sabbatical is a definite commitment to yourself, so think about two things: what timeframe and what you want to do with that timeframe.

On the other hand, you can still date and mingle, but begin to shift your priorities to date yourself first. Maybe there are ways in which you don’t treat yourself well or put yourself first. You can now work on carving out time and energy to nurture your relationship with yourself in this area. For example, maybe you love to cook…for others. But it’s hard to muster the energy for a one-person meal. By dating yourself you might choose to buy a cookbook for small meals or find a way to cook a huge, delicious meal and savor it over the week. Or maybe you invite neighbors or friends over to share a meal.

So find the dating yourself process that’s right for you. Or, just enjoy the tips on this website for the occasional date with The One: You!

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