I’ve always been somewhat of an introvert and am partial to a quiet night at home, tucked under a blanket with a good book or my latest crochet project. I just love spending time on my own and always find my own entertainment – however (until recently) there is always one constraint – it has to be within the safety of my own home. It might sound silly to some, but for me the thought of going out alone to a restaurant or the theatre just gave me the heebie-jeebies, thoughts such as ‘what if I feel awkward‘ ‘what if people look at me‘ would cross my mind so I’ve just never even thought of it as an option.
Spending time with friends is always fun, but this isn’t always practical. The older I get, the harder it is to pin my friends down – with Vee now working shifts and most of my friends having families of their own, it’s not always possible to plan a friend-date – as much as I’d like to.
I realised I was missing out on what I actually wanted to do and always putting others first instead of my own desires. If there was a new restaurant in town I wanted to try, or a movie I want to see, I would always ask around until I found someone to go with me so I didn’t feel like I was going out alone. Of course, this wouldn’t always happen to I would end up missing out….. or, sometimes going somewhere completely different all together. Doh.
So, I have decided to make a change. I have finally grabbed the bull by the horns and taken matters into my own hands. I don’t want to sit at home feeling sad as I’m missing out, why should I have to wait for other people? I’m going to do it anyway!
My first lone venture out was when I was in Cardiff a few weeks ago. I was feeling down and just generally stressed out about life and not sure what to do. I had never been to Cardiff before so as I wandered around I spotted my favourite restaurant Wahaca. Suddenly, the craving for Mexican food was overwhelming. My immediate thoughts were “I wish Vee was here, we could go to Wahaca”. As I turned away from the bright lights idea of a Mexican feast I made a mental note “We must come back to Cardiff and go to Wahaca… one day” and then I literally stopped in my tracks.
“Why am I waiting for someone else? Why can’t I go now?” I turned on the spot and without thinking walked quickly through the doors and asked for a table for one. As the waitress came to my table and took my order, I thought…. I’ve got this far, I think I’ll go one step further… and even though it was only 11:45am, I ordered a Mojito too.
It turns out my Welsh Wahaca experience was completely liberating. Something so simple ended up being quite a game-changer. I sat there for hours – I had time to think, I enjoyed my food and it felt like the pace of life slowed down just that bit more than usual. I took a book with me and read a few chapters as I sipped my mojitos without worrying about a thing. It turns out I didn’t feel any of the things I had worried about – I didn’t once feel uncomfortable, or like other people were looking at me thinking ‘look at that poor girl, what a loner’. Actually it was nothing like that, they were probably jealous – time to myself, a good book and a cocktail! What more would you want?
I’ve since then rebranded my time alone as a ‘Me Date‘ and it’s become quite an addiction. I’ve been working out where else I want to take ‘myself’ on a date. The rules of my ‘Me Dates’ are that I can have all my favourite foods, all my favourite drinks and do anything I want to do. It is a totally selfish few hours where I make the decisions and completely disconnect from the world. That also includes time off looking at social media, checking emails or thinking about work. Bliss!
Some of my latest ‘Me Date’ ideas include:
♡ Going to the cinema – I went to see ‘How to be Single’ on my own this week – I’m not single, but this sort of self-discovery movie was perfect for a me-date! I’m glad I went on my own as I cried……. at an advert. (cringe)
♡ Going to my favourite restaurant – My plan is to visit Food For Friends soon and have all my favourite dishes!
♡ Visit a Museum
♡ Visit a local festival – In Brighton there is always something going on such as the Foodies Festival or the Fringe Festival – these are perfect for some me-time to immerse myself in something different, try some new foods, watch a cheesy play, you never know what might come up!
♡ Take a Class – I want to start Yoga and Meditation classes, these would be perfect for my Me-Date sessions.
♡ Visit a Spa – the ultimate luxury. A Me-Date pamper day is a must.
What are your thoughts on spending time alone? Do you like the idea of going on a Me Date?