How to ‘Date’ Yourself as an Introvert

An introvert “dates herself” and cooks

When you date yourself, you elevate your alone time and make it something truly special — instead of the same old routine.

I’m a creature of habit. I like my time and space, and, for the most part, I like it predictable. Spontaneity can be fun, but it’s sure to be exhausting — this is why I frequently avoid people like the plague. 

It’s not that I don’t like them or that I’m afraid of them or that I don’t know what to say to them. I’m an introvert, and even the threat of a novel circumstance drains my adrenals quicker than Drano unclogs a sink. 

Other people are filled with incalculable ideas. The amount of mental energy required to intelligently banter about the NFL or craft a believable excuse for why I really can’t go to karaoke happy hour is unimaginable to many of my more extroverted friends. (They are proficient at shooting off at the hip and living life on the edge.) 

I can hold my own in these chaotic social situations, but I’ll need a nap afterwards. Solitude, on the other hand, protects my energy. I worship it accordingly. 

Falling Into a Loneliness Rut 

While I adore being left to my own devices where nothing can surprise me, I also risk becoming a total bore. I’ve gone entire weeks without speaking to a soul outside of work, eating microwavable oatmeal every morning, and losing the same game of Solitaire to myself every night. 

Days like these, pleasant and predictable, begin to blur. One day becomes unrecognizable from the next, and the only certainty that time is passing is the steady decline of oat levels and the steady accumulation of dirty laundry. 

If this sounds like you, too, I’m here to convince you that there’s another way to live. As I’ve grown up, and grown into myself, I’ve begun to realize that there’s more than one way to embrace my introverted ways. I can eat oatmeal and play unwinnable card games with myself (and my old beat-up deck that’s missing a queen) — and I still do from time to time. 

But, more and more often, I’m choosing a different route, elevating my time with myself and imbuing it with as much intention as I can. I make it as special as I might for my significant other (who, thankfully, is also an introvert and consequently allows me plenty of alone time). I call this methodology “dating myself.” 

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Getting Out of a Loneliness Rut by ‘Dating Yourself’

Dating yourself is a way to take your introversion by the horns and make it your own. Dating can be a struggle, and for far too long, introversion has been defined as extroversion’s passive opposite.

But when you date yourself, you define it however you’d like. You add ritual (and perhaps romance) to everything. You make yourself swoon. Dating yourself means walking through the world how’d you like to walk through it rather than adapting to a world that asks you to be something you’re not.   

Too frequently, introverts feel the need to run or hide. There’s immense relief to getting out of the extroverted crossfire, but we deserve more than a respite from external noise. Dating yourself is a way to take your space back on your own terms. Here are some ideas to get you started on the best relationship you’ll ever have — the one with yourself. 

7 Ways to ‘Date Yourself’ as an Introvert

1. Play dress-up — wear something that makes you feel good.

Some introverts are also closeted eccentrics. So let your eccentric side out to play! Whether or not you decide to go show it off publicly afterwards, putting on an outfit that your inner six-year-old (or current self) would be proud of is a fantastic way to boost your self-esteem and confidence.

We all eat with the eyes first, so to speak. Slap on some blue lipstick and a wide-brimmed velvet hat, and mesmerize yourself with the person you’ve always been behind your careful exterior. 

2. Make yourself a playlist full of love songs. 

There’s nothing more romantic than a playlist that says all of the things that are hard to profess out loud to the object of your affection. This is no different if the object of affection is yourself — in fact, it may be even more true. 

Introversion and self-deprecation seem to go hand-in-hand at times. Get over this hurdle through the loophole of a good playlist, brimming with major chords and sappy lyrics. The goal of this exercise is to curate a soundscape that makes you feel about yourself, and the world, how you’ve always wanted to feel. 

In essence, it’s a manifestation practice, but one that’s easier and less cringey than staring at your reflection in the mirror and whispering sweet nothings. To this end, don’t you dare put a single sad song onto your playlist — you’re not commiserating with yourself, you’re celebrating yourself. 

Throw every campy high school jam you always hoped someone would play for you on a boombox outside your bedroom window onto it, and embrace the consequent butterflies.  

3. Cook a lavish meal for one — attention to detail is key.

I’ve eaten my fair share of beans straight from the can, hanging over the sink to catch the desultory drip of bean goo. (There’s a time and a place for everything.) If you’re looking to add a little spice to your life with yourself, though, you can start by adding a little spice to your food. 

I tried really hard not to like Eat, Pray, Love, but that scene where Julia Roberts’ character makes a picnic for herself and eats it on her floor in lingerie really does it for me. 

The meal you cook for yourself doesn’t need to be Michelin-starred, or consumed in lingerie, but it does need to be imbued with thought and attention. (Culinary therapy is a thing!) Choose the components of your meal with seasonality in mind. Make them look nice on the plate. Set a spot for yourself with a special touch or two. A candle, perhaps, or a single long-stemmed rose. Pay attention to every bite. 

Are you an introvert who shuts down around the people you’re attracted to?

As an introvert, you actually have the amazing ability to be irresistible, without forcing yourself to talk more. It all starts with recognizing the most common myths about dating and learning a framework for fun, flirty conversations — no extroversion needed. To learn how to connect with your true sensuality, relax, and open up on dates, we recommend Michaela Chung’s online courses for introverted men and introverted women.

4. Take yourself on a trip — get away for a day or two. 

If you can spare a day or so, there is no better way to get to know yourself better than to go somewhere you’ve never been. This doesn’t need to be an exotic getaway — it can be as simple as a day trip to the next town over. 

The idea is to go somewhere unfamiliar in order to bring yourself in closer communion with yourself. It may be difficult to break out of your physical comfort zone, but you’ll be rewarded with the heightened internal alignment that comes with self-reliance. Push yourself a little. You’re worth it. 

5. Make a bucket list: What are your hopes and dreams?

An important step in any relationship is deciding where it’s going. If you’re romantically involved with somebody else, eventually you start asking the million-dollar questions together: Are we going to get a dog? Have kids? Maybe even open a joint-savings account? 

It’s well worth asking a similar set of questions to yourself: What do you really want to accomplish in this lifetime? This is a time to get dead serious. Romance becomes durable when it’s bolstered by shared goals, so decide what you, yourself, are aiming toward. 

Maybe it’s only one thing, maybe it’s a hundred and one. Either way, sit down, get out a piece of clean white paper and your favorite inky pen, and take the task seriously. It’s time to have the big talk.

6. Show yourself off and take yourself out on a date. 

When you’ve fallen in love deeply enough with yourself, it’s time to take the next step and show yourself off to the world. The pinnacle of dating yourself is, well, taking yourself on a date. I don’t mean a quick lunch at a sandwich shop or 15 stolen minutes browsing the magazine section at CVS. I mean a real date, one that requires a reservation and a thorough shower. 

Taking yourself out alone is a way to celebrate the rich relationship you have with your innermost self, so save up and commit to it. It may feel odd, at first, to feel other human eyes fall upon your secret affair. But if you can relax and remember you’re still existing in the world on your own terms, you might find yourself enjoying how you’ve taken the outside world and turned it into your own. After all, that is the goal, right?

7. Write yourself wedding vows as an eternal commitment to your wellbeing.

I know this may seem over-the-top, but if you only do one thing from this list, writing yourself wedding vows should be it. Ignoring the fact that it’s become a bit farcical in the 21st century, marriage — by definition — implies forever. 

Vows, in this vein, are more than a symbolic gesture: They’re a contract you make with someone that spells out your eternal commitment to their wellbeing. This is a critical thing to have with yourself, especially as an introvert. Even with plenty of close relationships, the introverted life assumes a lot of time spent in intentional solitude

Since we introverts often tend to rely on ourselves, make it official. Write down, in your very own words, what you promise to do for yourself, ‘til death do you part. It doesn’t need to be high-falutin or formal; scratch a few bullet points on a napkin, for all it matters. But do sign it and keep it. This is the most important contract you’ll ever put your name on.

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