Since I’ve found myself suddenly single, one thing I’ve been missing in my life is romance. At first I lamented the fact that I had nobody to take me out on dates, nobody to pay me compliments or buy me little surprise treats every now and then. After a short while, I realised that I did have someone who could do all those things: myself!
A lack of a partner doesn’t have to mean a lack of romance. After all, what is romance but indulging in the good things in life, doing special things and showing someone how much they mean to you? There’s no reason whatsoever that you can’t enjoy a bit of romance when you’re flying solo.
In many ways, romancing yourself is even better than romancing a partner. You don’t have to stress about choosing a restaurant or movie that you’re both going to like. There’s no anxiety over finding the perfect gift for your significant other. You don’t have to suffer through awkward silences or sloppy kisses. When you romance yourself you’re free to treat yourself to the things that make you feel good, and you can be sure that you’ll appreciate your efforts.
What should I do?
So, how do you actually go about romancing yourself? When I started thinking about doing this for myself, I sat down and made a list of all the things I’d want my perfect partner to do for me. It included dinners out to restaurants, home-cooked brunches, going to the movies, cuddling on the couch, bubble baths and surprise gifts.
When I really thought about it, I realised that there was absolutely no reason why I couldn’t do those things for myself. I started taking myself out for meals to restaurants I wanted to try. I went to the movies alone and had bubble baths. Finding the activities I found romantic was the first step to treating myself like a lover would.
Making it special.
Right now, I can sense you rolling your eyes and thinking “But Vanessa, of course I can take myself out to dinner and buy myself presents. But when a partner does it it’s different. It’s so much more special when someone else is doing those things for me”.
I can understand where you’re coming from, because I thought this at first too. But when I started dissecting that feeling, I realised two things. First of all, one of the reasons that I felt more special when I was being romanced by a man I loved is because I put their opinions above my own. I placed more emphasis on the fact that they thought I was beautiful or interesting than I did in my own feelings towards myself. I had told myself that someone else loving me was more important than loving myself. I’d given so much power to the opinions and actions of other people, which was a recipe for a lack of fulfilment. To counter this feeling, start placing more importance in your own opinions. Reinforce the idea that your feelings towards yourself are as important, or even more important, than what others think of you.
The second thing I realised was that when I did took myself out or did things on my own, I didn’t put as much effort into making them special as I would if I were doing them for my boyfriend. The solution was to look for ways to make these solo activities feel special. When I take myself out for a meal, I get dressed up as though I were going on a date. When I watch a movie at home, I make myself some delicious snacks, light some candles and cuddle up in a warm blanket. Dinners alone at home are made more spectacular with the use of my good china and fancy glasses. You’d be surprised how much more elegant the most mundane solo activities can be with just a few tiny tweaks.
Slaying your doubts.
When you’re out on your own, doubts can begin to creep into your mind. The first few times I ate on my own in restaurants I felt so self-conscious. I was so sure that all the other diners (who were sitting with families or lovers) were gawking at me, giggling or silently wondering why I was by myself.
To overcome these thoughts, I took a hard look around myself. What I realised was that nobody else in the restaurant was even looking at me. They were too busy having fun with their dining partners. I wasn’t even on their radar. I wasn’t a laughing stock, I was free to enjoy myself and relax.
I also tried hard to focus on the good things about being out on my own. I didn’t have to try to force a conversation. I didn’t have to put up with bad table manners or a dining partner who would steal all my chips. I was free to order whatever I wanted, eat at my own pace and just relax.
If you’re nervous about heading out on a date by yourself, try these things. Focus on the positives and remind yourself that nobody is looking at you and laughing.
Another thing I’ve found helpful to adding to the romantic feeling is paying myself compliments. There’s nothing like having someone tell you how beautiful you look, or having them giggle at one of your jokes. Before I head out, I take a look in the mirror and I tell myself that I look beautiful. I’ll tell myself that I love the shoes I’ve chosen, or that my hair looks great. During my ‘date’ I’ll reinforce to myself how much fun I’m having, and how great it is to spend time in my own company.
Paying yourself compliments can feel a bit awkward, but once you get the hang of it it’s a great way to boost your confidence and show yourself some love.
I can’t really write a post about romancing yourself without at least touching on the issue of solo sex. I think that a lot of people, women in particular, are nervous when it comes to the topic of masturbation and pleasuring themselves. If you’re not comfortable touching yourself, then single life can be peppered with feelings of frustration and a lack of intimacy.
Now, I’m not going to tell you to do anything that you’re not comfortable with, but I will say that learning to take care of yourself sexually can be very liberating. Learning what your body likes and doesn’t like can be fascinating and loads of fun to boot. Just take it slow, make sure that you’re not rushed for time. Be sure that you’ve got plenty of privacy and that nobody is likely to burst in on you. Relax and have fun with it. You might like to read this article by Violet Blue about masturbating for women. Take the time to explore your body. You might just find that you’re the best lover you’ve ever had.
How do you romance yourself? Do you have any questions about solo romance that you’d like me to answer?
I’m in a lackluster relationship and he’s not as mushy and lovey dovey as I prefer. This blog has encouraged me and given me ways to create my own romance, find happiness within myself and not rely on anyone for that.
This VDay, (2016) I plan on buying myself a few gifts, a bouquet of flowers, and dedicating a mushy post to declare how beautiful and loving I am….this should be fun.
Good for you for taking matters into your own hands! I’m sorry that your relationship is lacking in romance, but it sounds like you are very capable of bringing that special spark into your own life. I definitely advocate taking the time to treat yourself and appreciate how awesome you are.
Just a thought, but perhaps you could have a chat with your partner and mention to him that you’d like a bit more in the romance department? Maybe a nudge in the right direction could make all the difference.
[…] hesitant about romancing yourself, you might like to read this post I wrote a while ago about romance for one. If you’re strapped for ideas, I’ve got 15 to share with […]
[…] You don’t need a partner to romance you. You can do that for yourself! Take the time to nurture yourself and celebrate the awesome person that you are. For more information about romancing yourself, read this post. […]
Power to you! I think even though what happened must’ve hurt like hell, it makes you an even stronger blogger Vanessa. 🙂 You come from a strong point of view with this and there’s no reason why we can’t treat ourselves like queens. All we have in the end IS ourselves. A companion is just someone to share the fun with, nothing to rely on. I try to think of that as much as I can..
Thank you so much for saying this. I won’t lie: being dumped did hurt like hell, and I’m still hurting. But the only way to move forward is to try to do the things that make yourself feel good and take back some power for yourself. And this is one thing that really helped me to feel more self-reliant and less lonely.
Whenever I eat out alone I always have a book or Kindle or phone with me both to help me chill out and enjoy myself and also in case I start thinking about if people are looking at me. I spent a lot of time by myself after my last relationship ended – it was important because now I’m comfortable in my own company 🙂
It can be a really good idea to bring a book or something like that to occupy you if you start feeling anxious. The first time I went out on my own, I took a book to read but the restaurant was so dimly lit that I couldn’t even see the words, so that didn’t work out so well 🙂
I think this has to be my favourite blog post of yours ever. AMEN to every single part of this!!!
*blushes* Thank you so much! I spent a lot of time writing this, and I feel pretty proud of it. I’m glad it’s got your stamp of approval!
You’re the best. My husband travels for work sometimes and I find being along hard. I get scared to shower when nobody else is home! WHAT IF SOMEONE BREAKS IN AND IM NUDE AND WET?? I also find that I do put to much emphasis on what others think of me, and I should try telling myself I look good too.
I had to giggle when I read that. When I lived in Melbourne, I was so scared of showering when I was at home by myself. I was also anxious when I was home alone and I’d listen to music with headphones. I was like, “what if someone breaks in and I don’t know they’re here until I walk around the corner and come face to face with them?” I don’t feel the same way now that I live in the country.
I’m glad that you enjoyed this post. Even if you’re married or in a relationship, I think that it’s important to cultivate a beautiful relationship with yourself.