I Started Dating Myself & My Whole Life Improved

When my last serious relationship came to an end, I decided I was putting guys on the back burner and putting me first. I started taking myself on all the dates guys never do, and in those few months of doing so, things started looking up. Like, really up. As in, you have no idea just how much your life can improve until you start treating yourself like the queen you are.

  1. I actually got to do what I wanted to do. The first date I took myself on was to The Plaza for a late lunch then to The Met to see my favorite opera, La Boheme. Do you know how many guys I’ve met appreciate The Plaza and the opera? Zero. Do you know how many guys I’ll meet in the future who will appreciate these two things? Again, probably zero. This first date with myself was just the beginning of a long run of effing fantastic dates that dudes I’ve known would never even think of suggesting as an option.
  2. I learned how to be more secure in being alone. Although I’ve always been secure in being alone at dinner and such because I travel alone so much, in dating myself I become even more secure in all my alone activities. I’d get dressed up, toss on the Louboutins and some red lipstick, and go out there with the confidence of a thousand mediocre guys who have convinced themselves they’re great. It was amazing to feel such confidence in my independence.
  3. I inspired others. While I may not have inspired legions of people or created a new religion of dating oneself, I did inspire a handful of my single female friends, many of whom would have never conceived of going out to dinner or the opera or anyplace else alone. While their newfound sense of confidence didn’t directly affect me, it indirectly affected me in that I felt like I’d done a good deed in showing them the way. By that rationale, I was off the hook for having to do other good deeds any time in the near future.
  4. I began to like myself better. Truth be told, I have a self-deprecating side to all my confidence and badassery, which is totally a word as of now. I know that this self-deprecation comes from a place inside me that can’t stand me, probably because it knows me a little too well. But when I was forced to spend so much time with myself, not just at home on the couch but out in the world on dates and little adventures, I began to like myself better. Technically, I had to if I weren’t going to break up with myself but from another perspective, I just kinda dug who I am.
  5. I started to understand why I do what I do. Not to drag you through the nightmare caverns of my brain, but in dating myself, I started to understand myself better. When you’re alone with your actions and reactions to places, people, and scenarios, you become acutely aware of what you do and why you do it. Why do I feel the need to constantly apologize to people even though I have nothing for which to be sorry? Because society has taught me that as a woman, that’s what I’m supposed to do. See? And all this time I just thought it was a nervous tick.
  6. I tried new things. When it comes to dating guys, it’s always been the same: dinner, movie, drinks, or hours watching Netflix. While none of those are bad, when I took myself on dates, not only did I want to spice things up, but I had to because it was just me, myself, and I, and we get bored with each other very easily. So some of my dates included trapeze lessons, shark diving, a weekend at the beach with a pile of books—you know, the type of stuff that would keep the relationship with myself alive and kicking.
  7. My circle of female friends expanded. Fun fact: Do you know how many other women date themselves? I mean, besides the ones I so obviously inspired? A lot. Do you know how I know this? I met them when I was on dates with myself, while they were on dates with themselves! And you can never have too many awesome women in your life.
  8. I learned to value money differently. In dating myself and shelling out bucks for fancy dinners and dates for Numero Uno over here, I learned what is an investment and what’s not, at least in my eyes. A dinner at Eleven Madison Park is an investment to me that I’m willing to make, just as much as box seats at the Met are. It doesn’t matter if neither thing lasts and you, ultimately, poop out that dinner (not to be gross, but it’s true), the experience is worth every cent. Life is about experiences.
  9. I finally realized that lingerie is made for the woman wearing it. Although this might seem like a strange thing that improved my life, it totally did. When I understood that buying the expensive sexy lingerie that I knew no one else would see and wore it on my dates with myself, I finally understood the power and confidence it was capable of giving. As someone who usually sticks to cotton cheekies with bunnies and popsicles on them, wearing sexy lingerie for me and me alone had my self-esteem skyrocketing. Now whenever I feel a twinge of “meh” in the self-esteem corner of my life, I pull out the La Perla even if I have no place to go.
  10. I re-realized how useless guys can be. If ever there were an important re-realization to have, this is it. I’m not saying all guys are useless all the time, but I am saying some are and lots of the time. While on dates with myself, free of the bullshit that a guy could introduce to the equation, I re-realized over and over, that guys are pretty much a stain on humanity and I truly am better off dating myself.
Amanda Chatel is a sexual health, mental health, and wellness journalist with more than a decade of experience. Her work has been featured in Shape, Glamour, SELF, Harper's Bazaar, The Atlantic, Forbes, Elle, Mic, Men's Health and Bustle, where she was a lifestyle writer for seven years. In 2019, The League included Amanda in their "15 Inspirational Feminists Every Single Person Should Follow on Twitter" list.

Amanda has a bachelor's degree in English and master's degree in Creative Writing from the University of New Hampshire. She divides her time between NYC, Paris, and Barcelona.

You can follow her on Instagram @la_chatel or on Twitter @angrychatel.