I'm a big fan of the 'solo date'. Alongside the couple date, the girly lunch and the family adventures sits the 'solo date' at the top of my list of things to do.
Now before you grab your tissues and hit me up on speed dial, hold fire. This is not about being lonely. Oh no! This is not about swiping left or right on a screen. It's about pure unadulterated time to yourself. Me time. Not needing to follow any agenda, just my own.
I mean - being your own cup of tea - is it even a thing??!! Just writing this post is a bit risky - because it could catch on! Imagine that, a flash mob of solo daters! A herd of Normans!!
People actually read this blog - I kid you not!
Lunch for one?
The funny thing about doing things by yourself is that you can almost feel the need to conform to the societal norm and explain yourself. Explain why you are doing something alone. Reassure people that you aren't lonely and that you rather enjoy choosing to do things alone.
My daughter would put this more simply (and bluntly!) and utter a single world... 'LONER'.
Of course, if I wind back to the teen years and her age, I would say exactly the same. The mere thought of doing something 'alone' as a youngster would have been a perfectly good reason not to do something. To miss out. Rather miss out than be thought of as a loner!! And no phone to bury your head in either! I would rather have starved than gone into a restaurant by myself. Heaven forbid!
But fast forward a few years and who gives a stuff about all that. So, is it a 'midlife' thing?
Being more comfortable in your own skin? Possibly. Liking your own company? Definitely. Liberating? Most certainly. Would I flake on myself? Never - unless it suited me to do so. What's not to love?
From a practical perspective, busy lives often mean that time is short and diaries don't always match up. We all have different tastes and our free time is sporadic. But why miss out when there's no need? Hence the 'solo date'. Or choosing to do something by yourself.
Are there any benefits to 'solo dates'?
Plenty! But then I guess I'm biased.
Firstly, I think you notice more when you are on your own. Going at your own pace means just that. Doing things in your own time. If you happen to be a 'lingerer' when it comes to exhibitions, then you can linger away without the feeling that you are holding anyone up.
No guilt (see holding people up). In order to enjoy a 'solo date' to its maximum potential, there is no guilt allowed. No feelings of 'I should be doing this, that or the other', otherwise there is no point in embarking on this pastime.
I can guarantee you will feel totally refreshed and energised and so very grateful for your own company, that you'll just want more and more of yourself.
Another important point is that there is no phone action. Photos only. For everything else, there is a notepad and pen.
Food for thought?