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  • Writer's pictureTash Sekar Goodman

Solo Date Ideas - Valentine's Day Special <3

Looking for ways to enjoy your leisure time solo? While hanging out with loved ones or co-workers is great, sometimes you just want some 'me time'. But what can you do besides staying in bed or dining alone?


Before dismissing solo outings as awkward, consider this: dating yourself can actually boost confidence and self-awareness, says therapist Cassie Ekstrom. Spending time alone lets you connect with your true desires and emotions, free from others' influence. Just think of the freedom, you can do whatever your heart desires and take as long as you want doing it.


So, why not give solo dating a chance? If you’re not sure what to do, exactly, or how to actually enjoy yourself (yes, even without someone else to talk to), I’ve put eight beginner-friendly activities to help you do it alone—without feeling lonely.

1.    Go on a nature walk or scenic hike


If you're worried about being alone in public, consider starting with a relaxed daytime walk on a nearby trail or a safe outdoor hike. According to Ekstrom, being in nature can help you feel less self-conscious compared to crowded places like restaurants. Plus, you can set your own pace without worrying about keeping up with others.


Not only does being outdoors offer a change of scenery, but research suggests that any physical activity, like walking, can reduce stress. To make the experience more enjoyable, try tuning into your senses or listen to an audiobook or your favourite playlist. This way, you can stay engaged and distracted from any anxious thoughts while you soak in the beauty of nature.


2.    If seeing a movie in a packed cinema intimidates you, try going to a lunchtime viewing


I’m all for solo movie nights anytime, but going alone to a Friday night screening, surrounded by groups of friends and couples, might feel awkward. If that's not your vibe, consider catching a lunchtime viewing instead.


Watching a movie solo can be more enjoyable than you think. Picking a film you're excited about can make the experience fulfilling, regardless of who's there with you. Plus, weekday afternoon or morning showings tend to have fewer people.


Still unsure about solo movie outings? Don't worry, I've been there! Waiting in line for popcorn alone might feel a bit strange, but once the movie starts, you'll be too engrossed in the story to notice anyone else around you. Trust me, it's totally normal and can even be delightful!



3.    Chill out (or knock some items off your to-do list) at a cute coffeeshop.


One of my favourite solo date activities is hitting up a cosy café, which has become my go-to weekday reset ritual. Sitting in a charming café with soothing acoustic music playing while sipping on a coffee (or tea) is surprisingly relaxing and far from weird.


Chances are, you'll be surrounded by others absorbed in their own coffee and pastry delights. Plus, it's budget-friendly compared to a restaurant dinner. If the idea of sitting alone at a café feels intimidating, try challenging yourself to stay for at least an hour. You can use the time to read a new book, catch up on emails, or even browse for skincare products.



4.    Take yourself to an exercise class


This one's for those who enjoy breaking a sweat or are up for trying something different. If you're a seasoned fitness enthusiast, maybe it's time to sign up for that dance class or give strength-training a go. Or perhaps you wish to work on your flexibility and mobility. In which case, why not step out of your comfort zone with some gentle yoga or beginner-friendly Pilates?


Besides getting comfortable with solo activities and taking care of your body, trying a new exercise class offers another perk: you get to focus solely on your own goals without worrying about comparisons with friends or co-workers. I feel this may remove social pressure and let you fully enjoy the workout as an opportunity to discover your strengths and embrace something energising.


5.    Treat yourself to a spa or self-care day


Self-pampering means different things to different people. It could be as extravagant as a fancy spa day with facials and massages, or as simple as meditating in your backyard followed by a soothing shower. Not everyone has the time or budget for a full spa experience, but taking time to care for your body and mind in any way that feels good to you is important.


The key is to pay attention to how your self-care ritual makes you feel. Whether it's refreshing your spirit or helping you feel more connected to yourself, that's what truly matters. So, go ahead and indulge in whatever makes you feel good and rejuvenated.


6.    Make yourself a tasty meal (or dessert)


Dining out isn’t a prerequisite. What better way to date yourself than with a home-cooked meal?


 You don't have to go out to have a solo date. If you love pasta, try making spaghetti bolognese at home. Or if you have a sweet tooth, gather ingredients from your pantry and follow a simple recipe from YouTube to bake chocolate chip cookies or brownies.


You don't need to be a master chef, and your treats don't have to be perfect. The idea is to have fun and enjoy the process. You can even light candles or pour yourself a glass of Chardonnay or a mocktail to enhance the date-night feeling


7.    Visit a museum or art gallery


This is one of my favourite ways to spend an afternoon solo. Having the freedom and time to explore and admire things at my own pace feels like a true luxury. It also feels less awkward than sitting still at a restaurant. Perhaps treat yourself to a warm beverage and a slice of cake at the café afterward to soak up the vibes even more.


8.    Go to a craft+arts class


Attending an arts or craft class can offer a variety of benefits. It can promote a sense of creativity and self-Expression. Engaging in artistic activities allows you to explore your creative side and express yourself in new ways. Whether you're painting, sculpting, or crafting, you have the opportunity to bring your ideas to life and express your emotions through your artwork.


It’s also stress-relieving – hurrah! Artistic activities have been shown to reduce stress and promote relaxation. Focusing on a creative project can help distract your mind from everyday worries and provide a therapeutic outlet for stress relief.


Whatever you do, remember that no one’s going to judge you harshly—or no one worth your time, anyway. I mean, have you ever looked at someone engrossed in a novel at a coffee shop and thought, Wow, what a loser? Probably not.

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