The Importance Of Taking Yourself On A Date Once In A While

by Grace Cassidy

One of my most prominent memories of being 16 years old was witnessing everyone stress out about whom his or her prom date would be. At the time, I was just hoping I would be able to find a dress I could dance in that wouldn’t be too tight over my busty frame.

When I was 17, the same things happened, but to more of an extreme. While junior prom was less of a big deal, it seemed everyone needed a date to senior prom.

Both years, I went with two of my best friends, both of whom had girlfriends who couldn’t make it to the big event.

If I hadn’t gone with them, I would have gone by myself. I was okay with that reality, considering it was my original plan, anyway.

But, not everyone feels this way. For whatever reason, many of us feel a lot of pressure to have prom dates.

I thought the stress associated with having a date would change once I got to college, but it didn’t. In fact, it only got worse. Girls wanted dates to their first frat parties and formals, regardless of whether or not they were in Greek life.

Sure, this was always easy for girls who had boyfriends, but the single ladies had a way more difficult time.

We singles ladies want people to know that we’re desirable. We want to be able to take pictures with someone and match our outfits and call someone a date. We want to have a companion, even if it’s only for a night and even if there’s no romantic connection whatsoever.

However, I’m proposing that the single ladies (and the taken ladies, too) take one night – whether that's a sorority formal or a random Wednesday night – to take themselves on a date. When you do, take sure you follow these tips:

Make sure you have the night all to yourself.

It’s important for all of us to have a night to ourselves. We must get over the fear that other people think we’re undesirable just because we didn’t have a date to prom or because we decided to go to Applebee’s by ourselves for dinner.

You don’t owe anyone an explanation for wanting to go to dinner by yourself.

Being alone gives us time to think.

We’re actually alone often: We’re alone in the shower; we’re alone before we go to bed; we’re alone at breakfast when our roommate hasn’t woken up yet; we’re alone when we’re on the silent floor of the library doing our homework.

But, taking ourselves on dates is a little different, as it’s deliberate and intentional and so important to do.

Get out of the house and leave your cell phone behind.

It doesn’t even matter what you do, but at the very least, make sure to get out of the house. Binge watching TV in your bed with a bowl of cereal isn’t a date, regardless of how intimate it really can be.

We live in a culture where we feel uncomfortable without the company of someone to talk with. We must get over the discomfort we feel when we’re on a subway car and forced to look at something other than our phones.

I don’t have anything against the way we use technology, but I think that in some ways, it has created comfort where there shouldn’t be discomfort in the first place. We need to get over our fear of being alone in public.

Ask yourself questions.

When you’re on a date with someone, you’re getting to know the person. You ask questions about what the person wants to do with his or her life, what his or her favorite color is, where he or she grew up – all sorts of things.

But, when you already know the person with whom you’re on a date, the questions have to dig a little deeper below the surface.

So, take yourself on a date (even if you’re in a committed relationship) to get to know who you are a little better.

I don’t doubt that you’re already aware of where you’re going in life, what you want from your career or who you are as a person, but I think that sometimes, we lose track of what’s important when we don’t force ourselves to challenge our minds with what we want and what we need.

Think of this as a way to recharge your mind. Being alone is really nice sometimes, but it’s also very necessary.

We must be able to ask ourselves important questions and know how to answer those questions. We need to focus on knowing ourselves better because as humans, we're always changing.

Photo Courtesy: We Heart It