Solo Dating In Your Single Season & How It Preps You For Relationships


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.

Moreover, 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.

Featured image by Getty Images

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
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