I don’t know why, after all the things that I’ve done alone, I had never been to the movies by myself until recently. My friend canceled on me last minute to go see “Trainwreck” and I almost didn’t go because I didn’t want to go alone. Then I thought, I moved 10,000 miles from home, alone, and I want to see this movie now, so what’s stopping me?
So I went. I sheepishly walked in to buy my ticket, feeling silly to go see a romcom alone.
Turns out I wasn’t the only person sitting alone in the theatre! And even if I had been, who cares?!
That day got me thinking about why I perceive certain activities as strange to do alone. My list of what not to do alone is probably shorter than most people’s, because I love spending time alone. I need to spend time alone. I love to be social but some of my favorite parts of my day are when I can just be by myself.
I think it’s very important to spend time with just yourself. Plan a date night… with you. Watch a movie, take yourself to lunch, go shopping, take a book and go to a coffee shop, go see a show, go move to Australia, or go do whatever it is that you enjoy and have fun doing it alone.
For anyone who’s been to the movies with me, you know my motto: no kernel left behind. You know that even if we go to the movies together, you should get your own popcorn because otherwise you’re not getting much. But anyway, the point is, even if you are seeing someone, there will be times when you’re alone. And maybe there will be a time when you’re not even with that person anymore, so learn how to love that you time now. Date yourself unrelated to your current relationship status (which you should check to be sure you’re feeling good about as you read this).
I was just speaking with a friend after her recent life-altering breakup and she said something that I was so incredibly proud of. She said, “I know that I’m fun to be around. I love spending time with myself. I need someone who appreciates me and feels the same way about me, because that is what I deserve.”
When in a relationship, whether it be a friendship or a romantic relationship, where you aren’t appreciated enough (and I think we’ve all been there), it’s really hard to recognize your own self-worth. Sometimes it’s easier to allow, knowingly or unknowingly, another person to take advantage of you than to admit that you’re better off without them. It can be really hard to get out of these relationships, because you may be willing to put in the effort but the other person may not be reciprocating that effort.
I’m not trying to discourage selflessness, I’m just trying to promote the important piece that is missing from a lot of relationships, including relationships with yourself, and that is true independence and love for yourself.
For all the men and women in the world who think they need someone and can’t be alone, read these words from the guy who the media claims to be one of Hollywood’s biggest heart-breakers and bachelors, John Mayer:
“Don’t be scared to walk alone. Don’t be scared to like it.”
Take the time to get to know you, because it’s surprisingly difficult to figure out who you are and what you want in this life.
And as for my friend, I know she made a massively difficult decision giving up a relationship that she built her life around, but I couldn’t be happier for her for realizing that she deserves someone who appreciates and respects her more than he did.
I hope that more people, especially women, can be strong for themselves, realize when a relationship needs to end, take the steps necessary, and embrace the challenges of being alone. It’s not always easy, but you will be okay.