Women are all about self-care, self-preservation and protecting our energies, leaving dope legacies, and living our best life unapologetically.
To achieve this means we have to reshift our focuses, venture out into avenues that we've never gone to, and follow unconventional paths to achieve our dreams. We have remarkable leaders that have set the example that you can have what you desire if you are uncompromising and authentic. We dig our heels in the mud and hit the ground running.
Our focus is on success, not just professional success, but success of self.
For us, developing the life we desire, with little to no negative energy, is the success we strive for. That is the success we improve and become great at. But on the flip side, our tunnel vision to greatness leaves us lacking in our personal lives. We unconsciously develop blockers that make how we interact with others, especially those we would like to pursue a relationship with, a little intimidating. We can be all about business, and though it works in our professional worlds, in our personal lives? Not so much. Moreso, if you are navigating your single season, you have less time for sugar coating and finessing anyone because "You ain't got time for that!"
I am guilty of this. Throw me under the jail, solitary confinement only, guilty of it. My single season has been ten years too long but I have seen various peaks and valleys that have left a profound lesson or five. The best of which is solo-dating in my single season.
Solo-dating is not a new concept, but it has become more relevant as women started to develop self-care routines that bring out the best in them. I am the queen of solo-dating. I started about eight years ago out of necessity. I felt like a failure at relationships and my personal life was in shambles. Solo-dating was treating myself in the way I deserve to be treated. Immersing myself in the pleasure of my own company and learning my mannerisms so that I could understand what I bring to the other side of the table.
I admit, it is not easy to do the first time out but once you start, it becomes very revealing and personal.
A Commitment To Self
"Solo-dating is me marrying myself. I figure it this way, if I can't make a commitment to myself, to love me through all of my good days and bad, then how can I expect anyone else to?" - Lauren V., Orlando, FL
If you cannot live up to your own expectations, if you cannot commit to yourself, why require it from someone else. Solo-dating forced me to become more mindful and present of how I presented myself to others.
We often take for granted our own presence as we show up into the world.
We are very "take me as I am," but what if as you are could be fine tuned? In our single season, we are not worried about how other people perceive us so we get super comfortable. We grow to love ourselves, flaws and all; we get used to our little nuances that do not bother us or our girlfriends and guy friends. We forget that the evolutionary constant, change, requires us to seek to do better, even in our single season. That is until we want to start dating.
Then we realize that not everything is good as gold and we start to question what it is that we are doing wrong. This is where the dates come into play. I learned how to be comfortable in my own presence and still be mindful enough to know when habits and nuances need to be changed for the better while dating myself. I learned how to be a better friend, how to exist in the moment and keep distractions away, and most importantly, I got better at communicating. Lessons that would have been lost had I not spent the time to get to know myself.
Mastery Of The Art Of Self-Love
"Before you can master a relationship with other people, you have to master the relationship with the most important person in your life, yourself." - Jill B.
Relationships are built on commonalities, chemistry, and a little bit of lust. All of these things come together to create a bond between two people that can be either incredible, disastrous, or incredibly disastrous. Have you ever reflected on your dating life and thought "What the $#%& was I thinking!?" A wave of disgust and tons of questions just pop up in your mind because you really want to know if you had lost all your marbles when you were in that relationship. Or rather, you find yourself asking how did you manage to lose yourself in that one relationship when you were so positive you knew who you were?
I am not a big rom-com fan but one of my favorites is Runaway Bride starring Julia Roberts and RIchard Gere. In it, Julia plays this serial bride with identity issues that ditches her betrothed at the altar; numerous times, various men. There's a scene where Gere asks her how she likes her eggs. A simple question, but there was no simple answer. This woman was so consumed with getting married and being the perfect wife that she never too the time to know herself...nor how she liked her eggs! In the post climax scenes, she is pretty much forced to solo-date to figure out just who she is, what she likes, and what she wants out of relationships. It works out because she gets her man in the end, like all good rom-coms do!
It also worked to illustrate a point: We have to master a relationship with ourselves before we hop into a committed union with anyone else!
Single seasons are hard, but imagine how much harder it would be jumping into a relationship with someone else and you are not sure of who you are. You'd be lost in that other person so quickly you'll feel like you've gone into your sunken place. When we're ready to date, really date, and date with purpose, the universe will open the doors we need to enter. It will guide us to whom we deserve, not specifically who we want. There's no master recipe to follow when it comes to the art of solo-dating; it's really to each her own. The only thing that remains the same for each person is the lessons you learn and the expectations you set.
Defining The Standards Of Love You Accept
"It helps me to set a standard for the kind of love I desire to receive." - Ciera J., Laurel, MD
Eartha Kitt was known as uncompromising in her relationships, and why wouldn't she be. There was a woman that was so self-assured, ruffling her feathers took work! She had standards for her life and all those who dare enter and if you were audacious enough, you were there for the long haul. Setting standards, healthy and realistic standards, for yourself helps you weed out those who are there to waste your time from those who find ways to make time.
If you approach dating yourself as if you are courting someone, you develop this discernment that helps you choose suitors better. Your BS radar is tuned and you can pick up the blips from 150 yards away.
Solo-dating done correctly changes the dynamics of dating and you become more self-assured in what you want.
Not to mention, your taste in the men you attract will change! Energy begets energy, so we attract what we give out. When we start to cultivate healthy relationships with ourselves, we unconsciously create attractions for what we deserve. You'll start putting yourself in places that allow for you to meet suitors that fit the blueprint of what you are deserving of in a significant other. No matter the personality type, men are attracted to confidence, and there is nothing more confident than a woman that is comfortable in her own skin. What's most important to remember is you have to put yourself out there!
Where The Right Place & The Right Time Meet
"The universe will not drop your future husband on your doorstep, unless he happens to be your delivery guy. You have to purposefully get out to be seen."
You cannot stay home and date, solo or otherwise. To be seen, you have to be seen.
Solo-dating allows you to put yourself in social situations and activities that you enjoy but also ones that you may potentially meet your future boo. That wine tasting sunset sail that you are second guessing attending may have your future Mr. Right onboard enjoying the sunset. That new cigar bar that you've been curious about checking out but are afraid of coming off intimidating, that may be the spot where you get swept off your feet.
You have got to step out of the comfort zone and get into the swing of enjoying what's interesting to you. Museums and long walks in the park are not for everyone and you should not operate as if partaking in activities you are 40% interested in will land you the guy of your dreams. That works in only a small percent of the true life stories. The other majority is being like Ruth and putting yourself in position to meet your Boaz. It was not all divine intervention.
Take that DIY workshop at Home Depot, go to that Trap & Sip, check out that drag race, but do it because you want to go.
Enjoy it because you are there to tap into your authentic self.
Relish in the moment because your company and mastering the relationship with yourself is important to you. Then watch how the universe begins to answer prayers and open doors. Be patient.
Taking care of home and preparing a place of peace and nurturing for yourself will reap benefits you never dream of. You just have to be willing to get uncomfortable with being comfortable with the norm and date yourself first.