People are realising the importance of self-care and are slowly veering towards it. You cannot ignore taking out time for yourself because if you don’t the crippling pressure of everyday life starts showing its ramifications on your personal life. For women, this becomes more important than ever. Women are constantly put under the microscope and every action of theirs is scrutinized. In times like this, you need time for yourself more than ever before.
When you want to treat yourself, a solo date becomes the perfect option. You can do whatever you want without thinking if anyone else would like to do that. A big part of self-care comes from spending time with yourself. The concept of a solo date is slowly gaining momentum. People, especially women, want to take themselves out on a date. They want to spend time and money on things that bring them joy.
I talked to a few women to understand what they do on solo dates and quite interestingly every one of them had a different take on how they treat themselves. For Priya Minz, it is cafe hopping because she loves the vibe of it and of course, some cheesecake to gorge on the side. On the other hand, for Ashita Malik, it is a pamper session at her favourite salon.
But you don’t have to do repetitive things on solo dates. Damini Solanki who started going on solo dates even more after she took on a work-from-home job said, “I had no friends left in my hometown but it never stopped me from doing things which I really love to do. I have gone on hikes alone, I have gone to watch Barbie and Jawaan alone, I have gone to cafes alone and I have done all of it every weekend.” Juli Mehta echoes this sentiment and she said, “I don’t want to do the same thing on my solo date. If I went to a cafe previously, I would go to watch a movie next. And so on.”
Often there have been times when you want to watch a movie but your boyfriend wants to go to a restaurant. Either you do what you want, or what your boyfriend wants, or you find a middle ground. In case you both decide to go with your plan, a tiny voice at the back of your head starts to guilt trip you. This is one of the major conundrums of being a woman. We are cursed with the ability to overthink to the extent of gaslighting ourselves. When we decide to go on that solo date, we are choosing to do what we want without thinking if someone else would like that or not.
Instagram has “yass-ified” what a solo date entails. But ideally, a solo date doesn’t really need to break the bank or fit a certain idea of aesthetic. Ashitha Malik says, “A quiet evening on my terrace where I watch the sunset, sip on chai, and do my nails is also my idea of a date with myself.” I agree with her. While I have reached a financial stage where I can take myself out for drinks and food, I realize that treating myself should not always cost money. My idea of a self-date means snuggling in my blanket and reading that book that I have been putting down for so many months.
The best part about this is not just single women but those who are in a relationship are also going more frequently on solo dates. Priya said, “Solo dates are less chaotic. My boyfriend is a vegetarian and a picky eater so I get to order literally anything and everything I want.” Similarly, Aditi Ganguly also said, “I love my partner but at the same time, the relationship with him is not my identity. I need time for myself and time to recharge, and I get that only when I choose to spend some time with myself. I can only be content in a relationship when I am content in my own skin.”
That’s true. Solo dates don’t mean that someone is out and about because they do not have anyone else to include in their plans. They are an active choice that can help women shape their relationship with themselves. Juli Mehta said that this shatters the notion that women need to do things in groups or with a significant other. She added that it has helped her change how she perceives herself. Being in charge gives her confidence. Even Priya agrees with that. She noted how she has a habit of overthinking and mulling over things that happened aeons ago. Going out alone has made her feel calmer and it has helped her to accept her chaos and be at peace with it.
Damini adds, “Solo dates and self-love go hand in hand. If you get the confidence to do things alone, you won’t tolerate it if others don’t treat you the way you deserve to be treated. It has not only made me confident but has also made me more observant- when I go out alone I observe people and their behaviour, the beauty of nature, and all those small things which we generally miss when we have people to talk to.”
Women always have to answer to people and it is on these dates that they can do things how they want it. You are nervous but there is also a tiny voice that reminds you that you are capable of this and so much more. Your mood depends on you, if you do something nice it is because of you, if something goes out of place it is you to blame. There is no dependency, there is independence. This is the beauty of solo dates and possibly this is why women are falling in love with it.