Girls dream. Boys dream. But girls seem to dream about this thing much more than boys: The first date.
Because that first date may eventually lead to hugs and cuddles and that someday magical kiss.
And when the twitterpation takes over, it goes beyond that, really.
Guys, if you don’t know this already, let me tell you some truth: Many of us girls dream straight through dates to thoughts of weddings, family, kids. Even if we haven’t met the guy yet, the dreams are still there.
Ladies, I know those dreams are strong. Strong like coffee made with twice the grounds, like August sunshine on a cloudless day, like Grandma applying one too many sprits of perfume.
These dreams of romance and family are beautiful; they’re one of the most sacred things about you.
But those same dreams can also cause you to jump into relationships hot and fast. Because who wouldn’t want to be held, and be told sweet things, and surprised with homemade meals (gentlemen, take hints here)?
Maybe you’re already dating someone. Maybe you’re single. Regardless of relationship status, this is something I think you should do. I think you should take yourself on a date.
Yes, that’s right, I think you should date yourself.
Don’t write me off, just yet. I’m not trying to sound psychotic or narcissistic. I really do think this is important. If you wouldn’t want to take yourself on a date, why should anyone else?
Here’s the heart of it: My hope is that you see yourself as being worthy of being loved because it comes from a place where you know, deeply, what it means to be loved.
If most of us are honest, taking ourselves on a date -a date in a public place, a public place where society expects there to be two people enjoying said activity- is a paralyzing thought.
Date myself? I can barely sit in silence with myself!
Hmm. Maybe that’s a good place to start.
This date shouldn’t be an oversight. If you wouldn’t want your partner to take you on a date to Taco Bell, I don’t think you should take yourself on a date there, either.
Ladies, you’re dreamers. I know the little girls you once were, the ones that are still inside you, and those girls would be able to think up some sweet date ideas, like…
Ice skating, milkshakes and a night at the movies, with popcorn – duh!
A day at the beach spent reading a book and a picnic lunch with the freshest French bread, good cheese and chocolate.
A walk along the waterfront, followed by a dinner at the place you’ve been reading about for months, a restaurant where you get dressed up and order the wine pairings and dessert, because it’s just too good not to.
Yes, all of these dates sound like awesome things to do with your guy. But what if you gifted yourself with the same gentleness and kindness that you would hope to receive from your partner? What if your date with yourself felt so wonderful that from that point on, you would hold yourself to certain standards when dating guys?
If you don’t feel as loved or respected as you did when you took yourself on a date, then maybe he’s not the right guy.
And that’s okay. There will be others. And if the others don’t come for a while, then you know you don’t have to wait to do these amazing things until he comes.
Because you’re a strong, confident and gorgeous woman.
And you can be all these things with a guy, or with your friends, or with yourself.
Before we get all girly here, I want to give a shout-out to the gentlemen, because us ladies taking ourselves on dates is important for you, too.
You see, most of us girls are confident that you are out there. Some of us have found you, some of us are waiting patiently for you.
But when we meet you, we are going to be ready. We will have known to pass by the other guys -the ones who weren’t right for us, the ones who wouldn’t or didn’t treat us well- because we know what it feels like to be loved.
So if you ever hear about the time she took herself on a date, I hope you are excited that she did. For her loving herself fully meant that she was less likely to give herself to someone that wasn’t going to love her back.
And chances are, she is going to be so much more appreciative of what you do to show your love to her.
There’s also the chance that she is going to be really good at planning dates for the two of you, because she planned some pretty cool ones for herself.
… Okay, now that us guys and gals are on the same page, let’s get in it. Let’s get real.
Ladies, get our your calendar and pencil yourself in. Call it “date night” or “me time” or maybe “D.N.W.M.” aka, date night with me (just to make it mysterious).
Dream up your date, and dream good, ladies. Go big or don’t plan it at all. You deserve to make this night special because -cheesiness aside- you are special.
Now that we’re embracing our planner side and our creative side, why not embrace the romantic side, too.
Hear me out on this next one… I want you to write yourself a love letter.
Yes, I’m serious. I think you should write down all the things you love about you, because there is a lot to love. This is truth. Embrace it. Accept a compliment from yourself.
So pick up the pen and pull out your nicest stationary. Write a good one, because no one wants a half-assed love letter, do they?
And when you’re on your date, whatever you end up doing, I want you to read your love letter. It’s okay if your face turns red from blushing. It’s okay if you laugh or if you cry or if you do nothing more than read the words and let them sink in.
I just want you to know that as silly as this dating yourself thing sounds, it all comes down to Truth.
I’ve heard people say you can’t love others fully until you learn to love yourself.
And for a long time I didn’t really give that statement much thought. I brushed it off.
I can love others. I can love God. But I don’t have much time to love me, you see. I’m a busy person.
And I guess I don’t really know how to love me…
The more I think (or avoid thinking) about how to love myself, the more I realize that we must love ourselves. We really must.
For some, it’s going to take a lot of work. It’s going to be a battle. Because some of us don’t feel that we are deserving of love – not deserving because we’ve done things to hurt ourselves, abuse ourselves. Or maybe some of us have been abused and feel broken.
But I believe that no matter what your past is, or whatever state you are currently in, you are deserving of love at this very moment and forever more. Not partial love or love on a timeline or schedule. You deserve abundant love. Love unconfined.
I believe that you are forever loved by a Father and that this Love is the reason that we must love ourselves and others.
I feel accepting this Love is step one.
And before you can truly love your family, friends, partner or spouse, enemies, even, you need to love you.
For when you love you -love yourself so much that you show yourself sweet kindness like taking yourself on date- I hope your love tank will be filled to overflow,
overflowing to your family, your partner, your friend and neighbors;
overflowing to nature and Her creation, Her trees and streams and the smallest of creatures.
Love is the greatest gift.
And you can’t give what you don’t have.
You’ve been given Love. Receive it. Feel it. Fill up with it.
Then go. Go give. Give lavishly and freely.
And then come back. Come back and fill up and love you.