How I Plan to “Date” Myself : Getting Used to My Own Company Again
I’ve got no idea who I really am. Of course, that sounds absurd; if I don’t know myself, then who possibly can? Aren’t I the one in charge of dressing myself, choosing my food, putting myself to bed and getting myself to work? So how can it be that I totally don’t know myself at all?
I have decided that I need to get to know myself over the next month, and to do this, I am going to date myself. Yes, I know that sounds so cringingly awful and trite, and also hyper-self-involved. I am not a narcissist, I think, despite having written about them frequently. In fact, I think that part of me doesn’t love or know myself well at all.
Since I have recently split with my partner, I have decided that it’s high time I got to know myself again, rather than choosing to deal with my grief by running right into a new relationship. I am pledging to do a whole month where I don’t date, have sex, flirt or get involved with any man, while I get over my ex and work out what I really want.
I used to be able to spend time on my own, in fact I used to fear being in relationships full time and always insisted on living alone. But that has changed in the last few years, all I want is to be attached, in love and involved. But I know that I have not been acting this way and pushing people away when they try to get close to me.
I am lacking in self love and self respect. I need to seek ways to give this to myself. I read a great article today about a woman who was a member of SLAA (Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, an offshoot of Alcoholic Anonymous which also works the 12 steps) who realised that she was using other people to fill a void in her that she needed to fill herself.
Hedley Galt wrote Finding Paris: An Unusual Love Story when she immediately booked a ticket to Paris after a break up, expecting to find love. Instead, she found herself. “I was in Paris and I was dating myself,” she says. “I’d take myself out and I just really tried to get into a place of being with myself and being OK to be in my own company… it was really beautiful.”
I really admire her bravery, not just in doing this, but in sharing her journey with others. I think it’s actually very hard to look at relationships and where we are going wrong. I have lost many jobs, but losing a relationship feels so much worse, it truly feels like a rejection of the self on a deep level, and that hurts. However I have come to realise that it is never another person rejecting me, it’s only ever me rejecting myself on some level.
Hedley Galt had to really learn about how she functions in relationships, and about her patterns. “It’s been such an interesting process of learning about myself and relationships,” she says. “I can now see where I’ve been misguided and misdirected in those pursuits – looking to men to meet my needs rather than me being responsible for my own needs and then being able to be in a relationship where I’m simply sharing my life with somebody rather than looking for them to fix me.”
So often we try to fill parts of ourselves with the wrong kind of panacea. I need to learn how to give back to myself in an appropriate, kind way. I need to fill myself with things that are responsible and caring and to treat my body and mind with tender loving care. It’s the usual mumbo jumbo, but they are things that make me feel excellent.
How I plan to “date” myself:
- Focus on work and writing projects
- Keep in contact with friends, and be a good friend
- Look after my body, eat well and exercise
- Don’t drink or smoke to excess, be kind to myself
- Keep up with my family responsibilities, stay in contact with those that need me
- Do cool things that I love. Reward myself with outdoor activities, shopping and nice meals out
- Look after my finances and get ahead in my life
- Focus on cool things I am doing, such as buying an apartment
photo by kewl – thanks!