Asian Girl Problem #85: How to Date Yourself

I’ve never been seeing someone or gone on a romantic date on Valentine’s Day, or cared. Once, a few years ago, I was on the cusp of dating someone, but spent the day getting high and going to a tattoo parlor with my roommates. I could use something like that this year–I’m tired of dating and my friends’ love lives. The Valentine’s ads and aisles of chocolate hearts are bleeding into my everyday life.

But the big pink day is tomorrow, aka as good as over, and my annoyance has lifted. To celebrate, I have several dates with my ever-reliable Galentines. Smart, strong, positive ladies who are in various stages of singledom and relationships. Many of them have taught me new ways to treat myself and be contently alone at the end of the day when all outside noise falls away. No matter how long we try to put it off, the noise will fall away. And those moments can be profoundly distressing or beautiful depending on the state of our self-love.

So at the risk of sounding like a Buzzfeed article, here are ways to date yourself, inspired largely by my Galentines. It might get a little sappy; sick bags will be distributed out on your way out.

Jewelry. Wear it, or get something you can’t resist. I used to wear this tiny diamond ring my mom didn’t want (long story) on my ring finger because that’s where it fit. The downside was that people thought I was engaged, but once, a woman at a party told me that I could be married to myself. After that, whenever I needed a boost, I’d look to that ring. Of course it could be more extravagant–one of my friends bought herself an understated but fucking exquisite band of diamonds for her 30th birthday.

Cologne. I caught on to this one early when I was in college when I realized the Prince of Persia would not be sweeping me of my feet anytime soon. But I kind of love the smell of Armani Code, which my friend who worked at the fragrance counter of Macy’s told me is the typical Persian man pick. I love wearing unisex fragrances so this was a no-brainer. I wear it a lot, except on days I feel more bummed than turned on by it.

Food. I was working this gig completely alone for a few months last year, and the best thing I got out of it was the delight in taking myself out to lunch. For someone who loves food, this was perfect, because I got to take my time relishing everything. Sometimes I’d go into a dimsum restaurant, where everyone was eating with groups and the staff was taken aback that I wanted to dine-in, but that was amusing too.

Sweat. They say that the same happy hormones get released in the body during a workout as the ones during sex. <—I totally made that up but who’s going to argue with me? Working out can feel like a gift especially when I’ve been stuck in a routine or don’t usually drop $20+ on a class. Hot yoga and hip hop are old standbys I like to revisit. Spinning and CrossFit when I want something new. When all else fails, a massage puts all of life’s grievances in perspective.

Kindness. When I wasn’t a happy camper last week, I took it out on my family. I wasn’t in the mood to see them, and tried to avoid talking much and left as soon as possible after a few hours. Other times, I’d go to my room and catch up on sleep. I guess it’s a safe move, but rationally I know that when I’m just a little more patient and sweet (even if it’s fake) with them, the overall mood always brightens up. Yeah, I can’t tell them about my dating trials and tribulations, but I should be able to silence those for a freaking day.

Peace. Or practicing aloneness, except in the damn fine company of yourself. Light a candle, stretch, read a book, put on some 90’s R&B., take a hot shower…they’re tiny luxuries, but each positive thought or thing leaves less room for negative ones. Some of the super busy people I know make time for serious meditation, whereas having more free time makes it harder for me to work on that discipline.

Of course, 26 years is a long time to date yourself. Regular ecto-dating schedule resumes after 2/14.

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