“Goal- start promoting freedom, end fear of being alone, fear containment of anything, let go, respect the journey of others…”- Pamela Anderson
A couple of weeks ago I enjoyed the most perfect date of my life.
It started on a chilly autumn afternoon at the Marquee Cinemas with a matinee showing of the new “Halloween” (my favorite time of day to see a movie.) Following 2 hours of gruesome fun and WAY too much buttered popcorn, my next stop was to J Frank, one of my top 3 favorite Tri-Cities eateries. I opted for a seat at the bar next to the cozy fireplace. A feast ensued- bread, wedge salad, crab cakes and shrimp piled atop a perfectly rare filet. Red wine flowed as easily as the lively conversation. Following dinner I found myself taking in the city lights at the rooftop bar at the Bristol Hotel. It was a perfect evening with great company and no awkward silences, enjoying all my favorite things at all my favorite places.
Because I was on a date with ME. And there ain’t NOBODY that treats me better than me.
I am a firm believer that no matter your marital status you should be in a long-term relationship with YOURSELF first and foremost. Self-care is so highly underrated and to ever be a healthy individual in a strong relationship, you have to value yourself above everything else. I would say this has been my biggest fault within every serious relationship I’ve had. The way I show love is to “do” for people. I make them the star and center of my universe. My happiness has always been directly equated to the happiness of my partner, therefore I put my own needs and wants second. Within my most recent relationship I did everything asked of me which involved lowering my own standards and compromising my own morals because I trusted and believed this individual and in the end I was very hurt and alone and again left to put my life back together. This is settling and I see so many people making the same mistake because we are nurturers. We want to take care of the people we love and want to make them number 1, even if it means letting the important things in our own lives go. It is a tough cycle to break, especially for me, but one that is absolutely necessary to ever find an equally loving lifetime partnership.
This is why I am putting the emphasis on dating myself and hoping to encourage all of you to do the same. Whether you are in a relationship or not, start investing the love and attention you want to receive from a partner into YOURSELF and watch the magic happen. Self-care gives you confidence and happiness and as a human magnet, that is when you attract the people who value the same things as you. You also will gain the insight that you are completely capable of living and ENJOYING life on your own, and if someone is giving you less than how you would treat yourself, it’s easier to rid your life of them.
So take yourself out for an expensive dinner, or at least a decadent dessert. Draw yourself a bubble bath and dive into a new book. Indulge in luxury bedding or buy yourself something you’ve been eyeballing for awhile. Take a drive over the mountain and spend a day exploring a new town. North Carolina is brimming with exciting small cities less than an hour and a half from the Tri-Cities where you can tour wineries and breweries, shop til you drop and eat til you can’t breathe. If you can’t find someone to go with you, all the better! These “solo dates” are about figuring out what YOU like and want so you can expect nothing less than that out of another person. Worst case scenario you might make a new friend, and when has that ever been a bad thing?
I would love to hear some of your own solo dates! I welcome you to like and follow my Appalachian Barbie Facebook page and share your ideas! Happy dating!