I got married and divorced in my early 20s.
I got remarried in my mid-30s.
My second marriage is my life marriage – this is the one that will last and looking back on my first marriage (and all the relationships in between) I knew nothing else would work.
Yes, of course, I truly love this guy I call my husband.
And I really like myself now.
That was the biggest change for me, actually – I started to like myself and it allowed for so many other things that I didn’t have when I was married the first time. Know how I got to loving myself? I went on dates. With myself.
I’m not talking about going to Target or running to the grocery store – I’m talking about taking yourself out on a real date. And if you want to start liking yourself more, here are some good places to start:
You are worth putting yourself on your schedule. Schedule time for you to take you out. Take some time and choose a day that you won’t cancel, that works with your schedule, and that you’re excited about.
After it’s on your calendar, plan where you’re going. Make sure you’re picking a place that makes you feel comfortable and happy: some people don’t want to go to a restaurant alone, others don’t want to go to a movie. Think about fun places you’ve been with partners. Some of my best dates with myself were going to restaurants that I was excited about – places that dates didn’t necessarily always like to go – or didn’t choose to go. I remember going to a fancy ramen place in San Francisco when I was there on a business trip – fun, delicious, and exciting.
This one is personal preference – get ready in a way that makes you feel good. Is that dressing up? Full makeup? Hair done? Do it! Is it being comfortable and fresh-faced your “feel good”? Make it happen! Whatever it is, be intentional about it – that means make choices for yourself.
I love doing my makeup now and would definitely put on some fun makeup and blow my hair out – at the same time, I would wear a super comfortable pair of pants and a loose shirt. Whatever makes you feel like the best version of yourself!
Plan For More Than the Event
When you’ve been dating someone for a while, you go to more than just one place. Think of something nice to do before you go or after – get some coffee, browse a bookshop, get ice cream. Whatever it is that leads up to the event or puts a button on it.
I took myself out to dinner – even though it scared me so much in the beginning! After dinner, I make sure to take myself out to ice cream or a fun dessert. One afternoon I went to a museum, dinner, and dessert – and it was the nicest event date that was all for me!
Be Kind to Yourself
When you’re out, don’t beat yourself up for being alone. Bring a book, play on your phone, just enjoy the time. This isn’t punishment, this is a treat!
Keep Doing It!
Are you getting married after one date? No? Then you have to keep dating. The same principle applies to dating yourself. You need to go on more than one date and cultivate that relationship with yourself.
I’ve been remarried now for over five years – and I still take myself on dates to this day. Because I like myself, and you should like yourself, too.