Here's Why You Should Date Yourself

by Laken Howard

If you're newly (or perpetually) single, it probably feels a little lonely at times. Giving yourself a foot rub doesn't feel nearly as satisfying, am I right? But when you're on the constant lookout for a new partner, you can get a little caught up in the idea of the "next SO." Here's a new proposal: dating yourself when you're single can be the best thing for you.

But what does it mean to date yourself? Is it the same thing as being single? Yes...and no. I like to think of dating yourself as a more active version of singledom. Rather than just going along for the ride or occasionally lamenting your status as "unattached," dating yourself means you are getting out there and doing things you love to do, solo, just because you can. You embrace the fact that you aren't with anyone, and don't spend your time actively trying to find a new partner. Instead, you're your own partner.

Francesca Hogi, love and life coach, says there are a lot of good reasons to start the process of dating yourself: If you're newly single, your confidence is low, or if you've never taken the time to focus on you/what you really want, it might be high time you considered making yourself your new (and only) SO.

Here are seven reasons it can be sexy to date yourself, embrace your single status, and just do you. But first, check out the latest episode of Bustle's Sex and Relationships podcast, I Want It That Way:

1. You Can Find Your Passion

If there's one thing I've learned as I've gotten older, it's that confidence is key in every situation. And what can boost your confidence better than delving into a new hobby and owning it? When you have a lot of free time on your hands, you'll have the chance to do things you've always wanted to try but never had the time. "If you really want to learn ventriloquism, or how to — just do it," Hogi says. "Pursuing a passion will bring you joy (and will have the side benefit of making you more attractive to others)." Plus, being a ventriloquist is a great ice-breaker, IMHO.

2. It Strengthens Your Independent Side

I can still remember the first time I "took myself out to eat": I was tagging along with my mom on a business trip, and I had to fend for myself to get lunch. Instead of ordering room service, 21-year-old me took myself on a hot date... to California Pizza Kitchen. Sure, it felt a little weird at first, but it made me realize that being alone is seriously NBD. If you're someone who constantly needs a companion, dating yourself will help you get more comfortable keeping yourself company. Hopefully, that independence will help your next actual relationship be balanced and not co-dependent.

3. You Get To Know Yourself Intimately

Yep, I'm talking about masturbating. "Sexual release is good for you — mentally, emotionally and physically," Hogi says. "Self pleasure is a skill that you should master and there's no time like the present to do so! Not only will you feel better, but it'll be easier to use good judgment about when and who you engage in sexual activity." There you have it — an ironclad reason to stay in and ~get to know yourself~ instead of going out.

4. You Don't Have To Compromise

Compromise is an important life skill, and one that is crucial to having a healthy relationship. At the same time, it can be good for you to have periods of time when you don't have to compromise — especially if you have a history of being a people-pleaser. When you're dating yourself, your opinion, happiness, and wellbeing comes first (as it always should). You can practice saying "no" to things you don't want to, and you can spend your time doing whatever it is that's best for you.

5. You Can Live Without Fear of Judgment

Not that you should ever live in fear of others' judgment, but if you're dating yourself, there's not an SO around to constantly make you feel weird about, say, wearing a crop top when it's only 50 degrees or eating a whole box of Hot Pockets as "dinner." Not that you can ever truly escape the harsh gaze of society, but being single gives you the perfect opportunity to practice not giving a f*ck. If there's no one around to question even the most minor of decisions, you'll get used to not making any excuses for what you want to do. And that's sexy as hell.

6. You Get to Pamper Yourself

Is there anything sexier than self-indulgence? If the only person you're dating is you, you have more resources (like time and money) to spend on things and experiences you want to have. Want to stay in and drink Franzia on the couch? You don't have to run it by anyone first. Want to spend a little too much of your paycheck on makeup? There's no reason to feel guilty, because you have nothing to spend your money on but you (and your bills, you should probably pay those).

7. You Can Focus on Your Mental Health

What's hotter than a woman who's totally in tune with her body, inside and out? Not a whole lot. Without the messiness that almost always accompanies the dating scene, you have more time to do things that will make you better, like meditation. "Meditation is a game changer," Hogi says. "It's not easy when you first try, but putting in the time to develop a regular meditation practice will benefit every area of life." Even if it doesn't sound like your cup of tea, it's worth a try. Hogi's advice? "Start small. Commit to sitting in silence and focusing on your breath for five minutes. You'll be glad to have made the investment in your peace of mind."

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