A 'bit on the side' if you will.
This affair has been going on monthly - sometimes weekly - for the past few years or so now. I don't always have time for it regularly but if I've had a busy month, I always make sure I dedicate one full day to this secret.
But now the cats out of the bag and I know I'm not the only one.
Dating yourself is a fairly new concept (at least, the name is) which is on board with the year of zen - eating healthy, working out healthy and generally learning how to love yourself.
And it's about time too. Who's going to love you when you're single? You've got to get that appreciated feeling somewhere! So why not from yourself? Why not sit down and appreciate yourself - treat yourself to that giant greasy pizza you've been saying no to for the past month, or book yourself in for a relaxing spa treatment.
A day spent dating yourself? It does wonders.
Here's the best way to have a solo date this Valentines Day, without even leaving the comfort of your own home (barely. Maybe.)
10am: Get up. Or not. I'm a firm believer of a lie in on the weekend, but Saturday is usually the day I sleep in the latest. Since I get up between six and seven most mornings, 10am is a lovely time for me to get up on a Sunday because it involves a bit of a lie in but also getting up early enough to do stuff with my day.
11am: Make breakfast - and then take it back to bed with you for some Netflix or to read a magazine. I usually enjoy some avocado on toast whilst catching up on New Girl. Alternatively, if you're being good and still on a health kick, an hour of relaxing yoga wouldn't go amiss on a Sunday morning. Yoga is great because it's an all body workout, but it doesn't feel like it. It relaxes you too.
12pm: Some lunchtime 'dating' activities can involve reading a new book, calling a friend for a catch up and a gossip (and yes, I said call, not text or Whats'app) or going on a walk. This might sound stupid, but when I was with my ex boyfriend and things were going to shit, one of the few things we did together that actually felt really nice was leaving our phones at home and walking to the local park for a slow stroll around, holding hands and catching up. This can work when dating yourself because it's appreciating nature or just having some peace and quiet away from whoever you live with and social media. Alternatively, take your iPod out with you to listen to your favourite music. (Yes, iPod's still exist).
1pm: Catch up on things that need doing - but only enjoyable things. It's usually on a Sunday afternoon that I like to catch up on blogging, even if that just means reading other people's blogs and commenting. I find myself most inspired to plan and schedule content on a Sunday, and more likely than not, I'll use this time to take any photos I need to - when I can use lots of natural light.
2pm: Give yourself a manicure. It took me a long time to realize that doing my nails last thing before I went to bed at night on a Sunday just wasn't working. Do it early and get it out of the way so you can a) see the colour properly and be a little bit neater with the natural light and b) don't have to rush waiting for them to dry. Just kick back and stick Netflix back on whilst you're waiting.
3pm: Plan for the month ahead. No, I'm not talking about the boring stuff like bills and budgeting but the fun stuff. Scour the internet for whats coming up - cool pop up bars in London, quirky film showings or bar openings - fill your diary with lots of fun stuff to do.
4pm: On that note, plan your outfits for the week ahead too. It sounds boring, but once you get into it you'll enjoy taking the time to experiment with different looks and this will make sure you remember accessories and such too. Monday morning you will thank you, and you'll feel ever so stylish.
5pm: Dinner. Really treat yourself here. Take your time cooking a delicious meal you know you enjoy, one with tons of flavour or..order in. Yes, you're trying to be healthy. Yes, a giant big fat Domino's pizza is bad for you. But it's Sunday. And life's too short to not treat yourself to bad and greasy but oh so delicious takeaway food, even if it's just one Sunday once a month.
6pm: Relax with a movie of your choice, and don't even feel guilty for what you choose. So what if you pick a corny romcom over Making a Murderer - no one will know and there's nothing wrong with not wanting to think. My favourites are What's Your Number, Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past and 17 Again. They're corny - but they're my guilty pleasure.
7pm: Do some online shopping. You know you want to. If you've got that urge but not enough cash to splurge, why not just treat yourself to something little like something from Accessorize or Paperchase. Or, alternatively, order your food shopping for the week ahead. Again, it might sound boring, but it'll make you feel great planning healthy meals in advance.
8pm: Take a long, hot bath. A really long one. With bubbles and candles and a stack of books and magazines to read. And don't get out until you're beyond wrinkly.
9pm: Pamper yourself. You've done your nails, but nows the time to do all that stuff you forget to do in the week, like moisturise all over, pluck your eyebrows, put on a face mask. Give yourself some self maintenance, but feel relaxed when doing so.
10pm: And finally, get an early night. Or just stick on Netflix again and eventually fall asleep at 3am after back to back episodes of Gossip Girl...
And there we have it - how to successfully date yourself in 12 hours this Valentines Day. Self love is so very important - even if you are in a relationship - and there's absolutely nothing wrong with switching off social media on a Sunday and focusing on just YOU for the day. In fact, I believe the world would be a better place if we all took the time to do this...
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