Are you comfortable in your own skin? It’s important to take the time be alone and connect with yourself. There is an art and a beauty in getting to know yourself on a deeper level. When you’re by yourself, in the still and mundane moments, with no distractions, what’s it like? Do you find happiness in these solitary moments?

To connect with yourself in a way that leads to self-love, you might want to try dating yourself for awhile. This means taking the time to be single, taking yourself out on dates, and enjoying your own company. Take yourself out for dinner, take yourself on a picnic in the park, and take yourself to the beach to watch the sunset.

This works best if you don’t bring your phone with you, and you leave yourself alone with yourself.

If you, like many of us, find your identity in external things, people, accolades or in your career, dating yourself can actually be very liberating.  Your identity is not in what you do – your identity is who you are.

Dating yourself can help you identify with yourself, which is a very powerful concept.

This concept may sound daunting. However, when you take these integral steps of loving yourself, nurturing yourself and getting identifying with yourself, you soon begin to realize that embracing every quirky, painful and beautiful quality about yourself is a fast-track to inner contentment and self-love.

The more you love yourself, and the happier you are being alone, the less you rely on others to make you happy. This puts less pressure on your relationships, therefore giving them a higher success rate.

This is how you date yourself:

1. Get back into the hobbies you used to love as a kid. The hobbies that brought you joy and a sense of wonderment back in the day are the types of hobbies you should be pursuing today.

2. Start treating yourself with the utmost respect. This may go without saying, but, start honoring yourself in all your choices and decisions. Really think about the question: What does treating myself with respect look like?  Is it walking a life of integrity? Is it speaking kindly of myself in all situations? You must have respect for yourself, and then others will too.

3. Take a little hiatus from social media. If you’re on various social media platforms constantly looking for validation, a new date, or spending your time scrolling through other people’s lives because you’re bored – stop. You’ll be amazed at how much more free-time you suddenly have for yourself.

4. Treat yourself to a day at the spa . It doesn’t have to be ridiculously expensive. There are Groupons and reasonably priced places out there. Treat yourself to a massage, a pedicure, or whatever your heart desires.

5. Pursue your calling. Your calling is the gift you happen to possess that ignites a spark in your heart – it causes a flare-up of joy and passion within you. It gives your life meaning. Find ways to pursue it, even if you start small.

6. Self-care. You are worth the energy it takes to take good care of yourself. Whether it be following a new health regime, walking your favorite trail or treating yourself to a new hair-cut.  Invest in yourself.

7. Just breathe. Take moments to do absolutely nothing except breathe. Sit in a comfortable position, put both feet on the floor, and inhale deeply in, hold, and then deeply exhale. Repeat for a couple of minutes. This will help allow you to be present in the moment. The more present you are, the more able you are to accept yourself and your surroundings.

8. Practice the art of gratitude. You are made uniquely and magnificently. When we take time out to be grateful for the legs that hold us, or the eyes that allow us to see, the ears that allow us to hear music, or the talents that let you shine a little differently, our perspective begins to shift.

9. Take yourself out on dates. Go out for dinner by yourself, or to a beautiful park with a picnic basket, or treat yourself to your favourite hot beverage at your favourite coffee shop. Do whatever brings you joy. Be present and in tune with yourself when you do it.

Remember, when you take the time to intentionally date yourself, you actually start to find your identity. As a result, you start to feel more comfortable in your own skin – which ultimately leads to a successful and healthy relationship with not only yourself, but with others. Going against society’s ‘norm’ and dating yourself is one of the healthiest things you will ever do.

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