The dating scene is booming with all the ways to meet and connect with people. People put their best foot forward when their dating someone and eventually, they slowly let their guards down to become more intimate with that other person. A lot of time and effort is put into getting to know that other person, and for the right one, that time becomes time well invested to secure a future. The dinners, movies, listening and telling, and more go into pursuing a relationship with another human. Eventually, you get to know this person so well that you could order their coffee while reading a text on your phone, or be their voice in certain matters because you know how and what they think.
So, I pose the question: Do you know yourself that well?
I would say that I do. I got to that place by taking some time to date myself for a while. I invested a little over a year to date myself. I continually put away the thoughts about being in a real relationship to truly discover what I was really like. That year was great, I did and learned a plethora of information about myself and truly learned to love me, all of me. Here are four of my favorite things that happened during that year, hopefully it will inspire you to call yourself bae for a while.
I did things I wanted to do.
Do you ever want to do things that none of your friends want to do, like try a new restaurant, see a certain movie, or just go somewhere different? That was me, ALL THE TIME. I didn’t want to eat at the same old restaurants anymore, I wanted to see not so popular movies, I wanted to go exploring out of town for a weekend, but I was always the only one on that train. I was tired of the same pace. I was tired of always doing what everyone else wanted to do. So, when I dated myself, I did lots of stuff I wanted to do for a change. I went to fancy restaurants, or to shabby ones that were famous for their desserts. I went to quaint, but expensive, coffee shops. I drove out of town just to explore a new place, or a vintage one. What was the most awesome thing I did, you ask? I bought tickets to Spain, and I went, alone, for 9 weeks. Dating myself enabled me live life the way I wanted to. No one could hold me back, even when my mom almost had a heart attack when her 24-year-old daughter told her that she was going to Spain. Yeah, I didn’t ask, I just went, and it was AWESOME!
I found my voice.
Spending more time with me gave my soul the microphone it needed to speak up. While some, and I too, would say that I am opinionated and outspoken, I really became outspoken once I realized it was okay and good to let my voice be heard. Not only was I outspoken, but I was heard. My mind, will, and emotions had been on a leash for so long. While I spoke my mind sometimes, I would hold back or alter what I really thought for the sake of the people I was talking to. I’m not talking about respecting other views or being blunt and tactless. I mean that when it mattered how I felt after something affected me, or when I was asked too much of, or when I was wronged, I would hold back just because I didn’t want to offend the other person. I cared too much about what they would say if I said what I needed to say. That is an unhealthy social characteristic. I needed to be more transparent. When I learned that what was inside me mattered and that those who truly respect and cherish me will still be around in the end, I found my voice. I found the courage to speak my mind and not be afraid of what was in there.
I found answers.
When in the dating phase of a budding relationship, asking the right questions is essential to really getting to the base of a person and understanding who they are. Anytime I date someone, I plan what questions I wanted to ask him before we go out. I ask about the foundations of his belief in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, and I ask about his take on following life’s passion versus doing what is financially responsible, etc. I want answers to questions that will determine where this guy is going and hopefully where he is from. When I started dating myself, I had to use the same method. I know myself, obviously, but throughout life I have suppressed events, emotions, and passions based on where I want to go in life and where I have come from in life. I found answers in letting myself be open with me. I wanted to uncover all the roots that would eventually make my story what it will be or break my future to come.
I fell in love with me.
Some of you know what it is like to invest time into someone for a long period of time and fall in love with who they are. In the time spent pouring in to a life and discovering the galaxies of beauty within a being, its not hard to fall in love with what you find. Think about the people you’re really close to, people that are like family. You admire everything about them, even their flaws. You could spend days with them and you would still love them after they got on your nerves. Think about why you love those people, think about when you realized you loved them. You don’t know when you realized you loved them, it just happened the more you spent quality time with them; you got to really know them. That’s how it happened for me about myself. I took that time to invest quality time into getting to know me. There was a deeper layer to loving myself than just what I looked like. I learned to love that: I have a great memory. I love stargazing because it makes me feel small and insignificant. I enjoy making myself laugh despite whether anyone else laughs with me. I love how tall I am, and that my hands can do an octave and a half on the piano. I LOVE ME. I love who I am, the potential within me, my flaws, every aspect of what makes me, me.