Date Yourself Instead

How To Be OK (& Actually Really, Really Happy) With Being Alone

According to TikTok’s Lyss Boss.

Interview by Hannah Kerns
Lindsay Hattrick/Elite Daily; Getty Images; Lyss Boss

With over 1 million followers across platforms, a growing self-love podcast called Date Yourself Instead, and endless comparisons to Carrie Bradshaw, Lyss Boss (@lyss) is beyond making a name for herself. The Miami-based content creator has become an advice guru — especially for those who are embracing alone time for the first time. Known for her solo travel adventures and inspirational videos, the 30-year-old has no shortage of lessons to share. In this as-told-to below, the TikTok star explains what it’s really like to value solitude and how to flex that muscle, one day at a time.

From the age of 14 to 29, I was almost always in a relationship. But after my breakup last year, I knew I needed to learn how to be by myself. Once I let that person go, I thought about all the things I had been putting off because I was spending my energy and time focused on someone else. It can be so easy to lose yourself — and that’s not exclusive to romantic relationships. It applies to friendships and even your workplace.

That’s why you have to develop a strong sense of self. You have to think: If those things were stripped away from you, are you still going to be you? Or are you going to lose your purpose?

Of course, that’s easier said than done. But for me personally, spending time alone was crucial to figuring out who I was — and who I want to be. It's not just about going to get a massage by yourself once in a while. I used to think of self-care that way, but really, it’s more involved than that. It’s about integrating new habits into your daily life, and doing them alone: going on walks, trying a new restaurant, visiting an art gallery, heading to a bookstore, getting into hot yoga. These might be things you’d normally do with your partner, but doing it solo can actually be more fun, because you have the freedom to come and go anywhere as you please.

To kickstart this new era after my breakup, I started doing some solo travel, first to Tulum and later to London. A new environment really is a fresh start: You're away from everything that you know, and you get to reset your identity. That’s not always easy. All the time, people ask me, "How are you not anxious about doing all of this alone?" My response is: "I am." You have to give yourself time to settle in — but once you do, you open yourself up to new experiences and connections.

For example, in London, there’s this cultural thing where everyone is out on the street, drinking beer, instead of staying inside the pubs. One night, I was exploring, and a guy came up to ask if I was visiting. We ended up having a 30-minute conversation, which led to me giving him my number, which led to him inviting me to other things. That's the beauty of being alone. If I hadn't been walking by myself, that never would've happened. I never would have made that connection.

Of course, going on a bunch of solo trips isn’t always in the budget, and one trip won’t change your life. I love this book called Wherever You Go, There You Are. The title is kind of self-explanatory, but it’s about how wherever you are in the world, you carry yourself with you.

So, you have to make sure you like spending time with you. You can start with something simple: Go to dinner alone. My go-to is bringing a book (I love Journey To The Heart) and my headphones, and sometimes, I do an admittedly weird-sounding manifestation exercise. I write down how I envision my life — whether it’s a relationship or friendships. What do I want my future to feel like? It’s comforting to envision that and to remind myself that I won’t be alone forever.

If that self-reflection feels intimidating, I think a lighthearted activity can be more doable. There are these cheesy (but cute) little places called Paint ‘N Pour, where you go paint and drink wine. It’s a big date spot, but I went by myself. A part of me was freaking out internally because you're questioning, "Will I look stupid? Are they going to ask if someone else is coming?" But once you actually do it, you realize it's really not a big deal. And then you're warming yourself up to do it again and again. After a while, you become secure with being alone — and that’s really empowering.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.