I Tried It: I Went on a Date ... With Myself

reserved tableI'm a homebody. When I get those moments in which I have the house all to myself, my favorite thing to do is make coffee, play records, and read. Sometimes I even just sit there savoring the taste of my coffee and the sound of the music. But the other day, I did something different. I took myself out to dinner. It was a date.

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My kids were spending the weekend at their dad's house, and after spending much of my Saturday doing a bunch of nothing of note (light cleaning and showering for a ridiculously long time without interruptions), I was craving sushi. It's not often I get my favorite tuna roll, but on this night and since I was kid-free, I thought why not? I'd order it and pick it up since my favorite spot doesn't have delivery.

Except sushi tastes better when you eat it at the restaurant -- at least I think so. But eating alone? I wasn't sure I was up for that. My introverted tendencies were saying stay in, but there was another part of me that was asking that part of me out on a date. I said yes.

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Because I deemed this an actual date (albeit with myself), I had to put on something cute because I am someone who appreciates clothes. And since I was taking myself out, I wanted to feel good on my date. Jeans, heeled booties, a cute top, my favorite necklaces, black winged eyeliner, mascara, and a bit of tinted lip balm and I was ready for my date with myself.

I did go out early bird–style. I figured I could take myself out to dinner and then I could walk around downtown a little bit after and treat myself to a cup of coffee (a theme in my life). Maybe I'd go into the record store so when I am having those date nights at home alone, I'd have something new to listen to.

I brought along a book I was reading because I didn't want to be sitting at a table alone eating sushi and looking at my phone. Because even when you are on a date with yourself, looking at your phone is rude. Reading, however ... well, solo that's a whole different thing. Completely acceptable. Technically I brought along the narrative of Hanya Yanagihara from her book A Little Life. Which meant that I could have sat there for hours not realizing that all that time had passed so quickly. Much like a very good date.

book reading

"Just one," I said when the host ask how many. I instantly regretted saying "just" as if there was something wrong with that. It was me, the words of Yanagihara, my very active mind, and my introverted and extroverted self all out on a date. I ordered some tea and my eyes went straight to my favorite Tuna Sushi Dinner, but I also wanted a Kani Salad. Treat yourself, were the words my spendy self said to my practical side. And so I did.

I only read a few pages of A Little Life before my Kani Salad arrived, and soon after my tuna was at my table, too. I was having so much fun, I didn't even need the crutch of Yanagihara's words. I really tasted the food, which was so fresh -- this was a much better idea than getting it to go. The only dialogue in my head was about how beautiful the dishes looked, how well the crunchy goes with the spicy tuna roll, and how gorgeous the color of raw tuna on rice looks. I felt very aware of myself, my feelings, my senses. It was like meditation, but different. I almost wanted to get dessert so I could stay longer -- I was really enjoying my own company.

But I thought taking myself for that little walk and for coffee seemed much more romantic.

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And it was. It was getting dark and there was a cool breeze in the air -- the perfect walking-around weather. I went to the coffee shop where there was a jazz band playing. I ordered my coffee and was there long enough to hear two songs. Then I went to the record store and looked through the albums. I love the smell of hot coffee and also the smell of record shops and books. My senses were seriously happy. I ordered an album they didn't have in stock and walked back to my car.

If I could have kissed myself at the end of that date, I certainly would have. I did take myself home. It was the perfect date -- to either go on with someone ... or by myself. I wondered why I was hesitant about going out to dinner alone before. Being alone while doing things you love to do doesn't feel "alone" -- it's invigorating, liberating even. And it's something I will do more often. We all should.

 

Image via iStock.com/BrianAJackson

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