It’s officially spring and love is in the air. People (including myself) often put the emphasis on couples, but lets talk about the one person you should be in love with more than anyone else.
Above all else, you should focus on dating yourself before you go about dating anyone else. What I mean by dating yourself is this: You need to treat yourself the way an ideal partner would treat you. You need to learn and grow with yourself before attempting to do so with someone else. Here’s why you should date yourself:
1. You’ll learn how to be comfortable alone
Some people date to avoid being alone, which is a shame really, because even the least exciting person out there is pretty interesting. When you’re dating, you should want to find an equal, not a substitute for your parents or a substitute for being a complete person. Dating shouldn’t fill a need (like the need to be whole) it should fill a want. The want to be with someone who is your equal. They don’t need to be your equal in everything (I’m way better at most video games than my girlfriend, she’s far superior at like…everything else) but they should be able to enrich your life, not complete it. By focusing on enjoying your own company, being able to just sit and think to yourself, or write, take long walks, or whatever else you want to do, you’ll learn to be a more full person. You’ll stop dating to fill a need, and date because you WANT to date.
2. You’ll learn when to be selfish
Let me ask you this:
If you happened upon a child who was lost and alone and you were running late to work, would you stop and help them or speed past them?
I’m guessing most people would stop to help the child. Being selfless is great, but sometimes you need to be selfish, especially in dating. All relationships require a certain degree of compromise to be healthy. The problem arises when all you do is compromise. Take some time to really evaluate if you want to do things while your alone. Maybe you skip a friend’s event that you’re not all the interested in attending, maybe you’ve always hated brunch and you’ve finally resigned yourself to stop doing brunch, maybe you start flaking out on the people who constantly flake out on you. Whatever it is, learn to put yourself first (within reason, don’t be selfish if you see a lost kid)
3. You’ll figure out what you want
While you’re spending all this time devoted to yourself, you’ll learn more of what you want out of your life. If you realize that you do enjoy spending time doing a particular activity, chances are you’ll want to find a partner who wants to do that activity. If for some reason you discover while dating yourself that you hate brunch, well, you’ll also learn that you want a partner who hates brunch (or is okay with you hating brunch). At a minimum, you’ll figure out the smaller or superficial things you want out of a partner, or if you’re lucky, you’ll figure out some of the major things you want out of a partner (and hopefully, their opinions on brunch aren’t a major thing to you).
4. You’ll learn how to take things slow
If you’re dating yourself there should be absolutely no rush. You don’t have to wait to call, you don’t need to put a timeline on when you’ll see yourself again, or when you’ll sleep with yourself, and most importantly, you’re in no rush to settle down.
You have yourself for the rest of your life.
Awesome right? What’s great about this is that if you truly enjoy being by yourself, are doing what you love, and know what you want, you wont feel compelled to force or rush things with someone else. I cannot tell you how freeing it is to not have an agenda with dating. Do you really need to rush into a relationship with someone if you’ve always get that amazing fall-back option of just dating yourself?
5. You’ll learn what type of person you truly are
As Aristotle once said:
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
If you truly spend time dating yourself you’ll realize who you really are at your roots. If you want to be successful when you start dating someone other than yourself, knowing who you are is important. The easiest way to have your life subsumed by someone else is by not having a clear understanding of self. You’ve probably seen people who turn into completely different people depending on who they are dating. While compromise is great (and key) in a relationship, you should never try to change who you are fundamentally. Once you know who you are, dating other people will be a breeze.
This period of introspection, of “dating yourself”, will help you truly understand yourself and ultimately, help you to find the right person for you (if that’s what you want).
Good Luck Out There.