By Theresa Christine
I’m a social gal who values her alone time.
I love meeting new people, going new places, and if I have the opportunity to say yes to something, I will. But sometimes I like to be alone with my own thoughts, relaxing with my cat and enjoying a glass of wine.
Still, I try to make sure that all of my alone time isn’t spent just sitting around watching Netflix at home. To be completely comfortable with yourself, you do need to spend time alone doing things–going to a show, sightseeing, shopping, or taking a class. You may very well meet people while doing these things, but the main goal is that you’re doing what makes you happy and what clears your head.
Now if the thought of going out by yourself sends you into a panic, don’t fret! I used to freak out about it, too. When I first moved to San Francisco, I knew a total of three people, so I had to warm up to the idea pretty quickly. Here are three fun and easy classic dates to try with your fine self.
* Enjoy art galleries and FroYo.
I’m not much of a museum fan, but I do like checking out art galleries from time to time. In larger cities, there’s usually an area where there are a lot of free ones you can visit all in a row. Look up the hours beforehand and see what there is.
Art galleries are more fun solo to me, because sometimes it’s nice to just sit and look at a piece of art for a while. I prefer to not feel the need to walk around side-by-side with someone or discuss a piece with them when I’d just rather be left with my own thoughts. You can even bring in a journal or sketchbook and create some art of your own if you’re feeling inspired by what you find.
Afterwards, it’s time for some FroYo! I know I’m about 5 years too late on this trend, but lately I’ve been obsessed with self-serve frozen yogurt places. So go out and get yourself the most amazing bowl of frozen yogurt–all the flavors and all the toppings your little heart desires.
* Go out to a swanky restaurant for dinner.
You always pass that one restaurant on your way home from work, and you wish that you had an excuse to stop by sometime. Uh, well, you do, because you’re awesome! It’s true, going out to eat is usually thought of as more of a couple or group activity, but no one is going to judge you for sitting down at a table for one (seriously). Treating yourself to something small is important from time to time, but doing it in a social setting is a far different experience from putting on a mud mask and binge watching Orange is the New Black while eating Cheeto’s.
To make your dinner a success, do three things: 1. Dress up, whatever that means for you. 2. Order whatever you damn well please, whether it’s a salad or something covered in cheese (I usually go for the latter). 3. Bring something calming to do, like a book to read or a journal to write in. When I treat myself to a nice meal, I like to hop on my phone and edit photos for Instagram. There’s no one with me to think I’m being rude, I can get a lot done, and it’s a relaxing and fun activity for me.
* Plan a day hike, complete with a picnic
There’s something to be said about being in your own head and exploring a new area. I love hiking because it’s my own two feet getting me from Point A to Point B, it’s exercise (but doesn’t really feel like exercise), it’s all about adventuring, and it helps you to appreciate your surroundings. Believe it or not, hiking solo is one of my favorite things to do. Want to take a break? Want to adventure off to the little pathway to your left? Want to sit and just admire the view? You can do exactly what you want to do without compromising with anyone else.
Look up hikes close to you and at a skill level you’d like to do, and let someone know where you’re going. In a backpack, pack plenty of water, some trail mix, sunblock, and any extra clothing you might need as the day wears on. Also pack some picnic essentials–a Tetra Pak of wine (a way better option than glass or plastic), some cheese and crackers, fresh fruit, and chocolate covered pretzels. When I hike alone, I sometimes don’t go far–John McLaren Park and Golden Gate Park are perfect spots to explore and are both located in San Francisco proper, where I live. Once you’ve found a spot to camp out for a bit, pull out the picnic and enjoy the sunshine!