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The Daily Tar Heel

Column: You should take yourself on a date

20230205_santillan_self-care-valentines-picnic-8.jpg
DTH Photo Illustration. A student enjoys a self-care Valentine's Day picnic outside of Wilson Library on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023.

It’s almost that time of year again!

Valentine’s Day is a holiday celebrated every year for couples, new and old, by celebrating love and affection through gift giving, sending cards, or going on romantic dates. But how many people are able to experience this?

Nearly 50 percent of U.S. adults are single, according to the United States Census Bureau. If the goal of a Valentine’s date is to create a special and memorable experience, why should it exclude 126.9 million people? This goes to show how hard dating actually is.

So if you’re exhausted from swiping right, I have a proposal that may turn things around: date yourself!

Once understood, dating yourself can be an incredibly valuable experience. It could help you get to know yourself better, it could prioritize self-care, could improve your relationships with others, and it could also boost your confidence and sense of independence.

Here are six tips to help you plan and make the most out of your solo date.

Choose the right activity.

It’s important that you find something that you enjoy doing and an activity that you can do alone. Lucky for you, there are plenty of things that you can do here in Chapel Hill! Whether it’s a solo picnic, visiting the Ackland Art Museum, or trying a new restaurant on Franklin Street, choose something that will keep you engaged and entertained.

Plan ahead.

Once you have chosen the right activity for your solo date, you should plan ahead to maximize your time and minimize stress. Whether you need to make reservations to a new restaurant or buy tickets at the Varsity Theatre, planning ahead is a key aspect of a successful solo date. 

Dress for success.

Dressing for the occasion is an aspect often overlooked. But doing so allows you to express your personal style and individual identity and can be a fun and creative way to showcase your unique qualities and interests. Not to mention that dressing for the occasion can help foster confidence and have a positive impact on your self-esteem and overall confidence.

Turn off your phone.

Having your phone constantly buzzing and beeping can be distracting and disruptive. Turning off your phone during a solo date also comes with plenty of benefits. It promotes self-reflection, improves focus, encourages mindfulness, reduces stress, and improves your relationship with yourself. Turning off your phone can also prevent the burden and toxicity social media can have on your mental health.

Be open-minded.

A solo date is designed to be an opportunity where you try new things and step outside of your comfort zone. Skydiving, dining alone, or going to the cinema alone can feel scary. Don’t be afraid to try something new or go somewhere you’ve never been before. Highlight everything you truly want to do in one day, and don’t make excuses and put it off. Do it now. Whatever it takes, go do it.

Treat yourself.

You should end your date with some sort of special treat, like a cup of coffee or dessert. I personally love the boba tea from Tea Hill! This will make your experience feel more complete and give you something to look forward to.

So what are you waiting for? Go have a fun and unique experience alone! Don’t let being single prevent you from trying something you’ve always wanted to do. It’s time that you treat yourself with love and learn more about who you are without having anyone else around.

@mattagudelo

opinion@dailytarheel.com

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