I take myself on dates. I go to the movies alone. I wander museums alone. I eat meals alone (and yes, that means I resist all temptation to scroll through Ins while waiting for my meal). I sit in coffee shops and journal alone. I take the train and go to new towns and walk around alone.
I realize this may sound super dorky. Youre probably thinking that I must be pretty weird and very lonely. Interestingly enough, I was way more lonely before I started spending time alone. The feeling like I needed to be around people all the time to take a deep breath -- that was loneliness. The feeling of complete anxiety and fear when a boyfriend broke up with me -- that was loneliness. But this? This is peace. This is fun. This is what self-esteem is built of. Heres how I learned to spend time alone.
I just did it. And let go of trying to look .我只是一个人独处，并不去想怎么尽量看起来酷。
2. Make a list of your favorite things. And dont wait for anyone. 列出你最爱的事物，不要等任何人跟你一起去践行。
3. Schedule It. And dont cancel on yourself. 计划时间，不要取消与自己的约会。
For the past year, Ive been single by choice. Not by circumstance. Not because no one will ask me out or I cant find anyone eligible. Its hard for some people to believe that I am choosing not to date, and I often get weird looks and confused grunts from my old aunt and college friends alike. Why would someone voluntarily choose to stay single? To spend time alone? Arent I missing out on life by not going on Tinder dates? What if The One is out there but I dont catch him because Im too busy staying single?
Im not the slightest bit embarrassed to say out loud that Ive been dating myself and its been the most nurturing, sustainable, and non-anxiety inducing relationship Ive ever had. Theres no waiting to be texted back (or obsessing about if my text is too flirty, too needy, too wordy), and theres no feeling like another person just doesnt understand me.
That doesnt mean I dont plan on dating other people in future -- I definitely do. But I know now that the relationship Ive built with myself is a model for the relationship I want to be in. Im kind and patient and gentle and loving and forgiving of myself. I laugh at my mistakes and I let go of my errors. I am strong and courageous. Thats the kind of person I want to be with and the type of relationship I hope to be in.
I know now that Im not going into the relationship as a half, Im going in as a whole. So whether it works out or doesnt work out, deep down, I havent lost anything. Im still me. Im still complete. I still have the friendship Ive built with the me that Ive grown to know and love over the past 23 years. Thats the greatest relief Ive ever known.