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Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Issue #116 Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing

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Solo Dating: Is It Just The Latest TikTok Trend Or An Important Tool For Improving Our Wellbeing? Eman Ali/ Kintzing

Solo Dating: How To Embrace Me Time & Why It Could Improve Your Mental Wellbeing

Whenever I have a free weekend, I take myself out. In my head, I am John Travolta in the opening of Saturday Night Fever; in reality, I am more like Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker in Spider-Man. But instead of Spidey senses, web-slinging and a side parting, I navigate life with mild dyslexia, skin sensitivity and what I keep telling my friends is a “mature” hairline. However, spending dedicated time in my own company on a solo date has allowed me to discover who I am, away from the influences of others, and improve my overall wellbeing. 

I’m not alone in feeling this way. From taking a book as your date to your favourite cafe to dining for one, the #SoloDate trend on TikTok has had millions of views. Being alone has sparked pop culture’s imagination, too: see Olivia Laing’s The Lonely City gaining popularity for its exploration of art and isolation; and countless social media posts including guides, lists and tips for places to go for your own solo day out.  

I realise I am not the obvious audience for this trend. Online, the idea of solo dating comes with a particular aesthetic: Tiktok and YouTube videos with titles such as Come With Me On A Solo Date and 10 Solo Date Ideas are usually filled with matcha lattes, nail art and artful flat lays. 

However, as I’ve discovered, going on a solo date can be beneficial for anyone. Dr Natalie V Bailey, a psychologist based in London, agrees that spending quality time alone can be a valuable tool in our mental health kit. “Solo dating is all about self-love, self-discovery, growth and empowerment,” she says. “It’s an invitation; a time to discover more about yourself without the noise and the influence of others.” 

Kimberly, 23, embraced solo dating to indulge her love of concerts without having to convince friends to go with her. “I find the most random artists in the middle of the night when I’m listening to Spotify. I become hyper-fixated, and I’m like, ‘This person is amazing, I must see them live,’” she says. Once Kimberly started going to the gigs alone, she found it gave her the freedom to live in the moment. “This has allowed me to tap into my interests further and connect with myself,” she says. “[Before], if I was out at a gig, I recorded every song, posted it and told everybody, ‘Oh my gosh, look at what I saw.’ Now I don’t feel the need to share it anymore. I will go to a gig, enjoy myself and go home. I don’t feel the need to prove that I’m having fun. I no longer care about that external validation. It’s deepened my relationship with myself because I’m intentionally choosing to spend time with me, doing what interests me – without external validation.” 

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Chester, 29, loves dining out but doesn’t share the same tastes as his friends, so he started booking his favourite restaurants for one. “It’s a bit of ‘me’ time,” he explains. “I can just sit there and take my book, so I don’t go anywhere that’s too busy or noisy. I find that really helps me to shut off.” Some might feel daunted at the thought of going out by themselves, but for Chester, that’s become part of the appeal. “One thing I think holds people back from taking themselves out is their concern [that] people might think they’re lonely,” he says. “As soon as you overcome that barrier, you realise it doesn’t exist. If anything, I find people are quite impressed to see someone confidently out, having time for themselves. It’s bizarre that we have this idea that doing something ourselves is sad or negative, when I think it’s sometimes better to be completely in control of your experience. [So] do it! You will love it and probably have a great time, too.” 

Kimberly and Chester merit their solo dates with time to connect with themselves, something Dr Bailey agrees can be not only pleasurable but beneficial for our mental wellbeing. She explains that the solo dating trend has psychological grounding in cognitive behavioural therapies and attachment-based theory. “It’s about strengthening your emotional toolkit,” she says. “Each solo date is an opportunity to develop and refine your coping strategies, enhancing your ability to adapt and recover from stress and adversity. This self-reliance and proactive stress management practice is rooted in CBT and emphasises that our thoughts and behaviours shape our emotional experiences.” 

Dr Bailey has experienced the positive effects of the trend herself on a solo trip she took to Egypt. “I wanted to remind myself of who I am and that I can do things independently,” she says. She suggests choosing a solo date activity that will “nurture your mind, body and soul. We want to transform the moments of solitude into something rich and show that it is a real self-care experience. It’s not about luxuries or things that entertain, it’s about things that will inspire and help you to grow.” 

However, as Chester referenced, solo dating might seem intimidating for some, especially for the first time. Dr Bailey advises: “Acknowledge that it’s natural to feel nervous before stepping out alone. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Facing and overcoming the challenge of pre-date anxiety is crucial in unlocking the full benefits of solo dating. Pre-date anxiety is a common hurdle, but it’s one you can clear with grace and confidence.” (See more tips from Dr Bailey on successful solo dating below.) 

In the meantime, I’ll continue taking myself out on dates. You might see me wearing my favourite T-shirt (the one that says ‘Hot Girls Drink Red Wine’), sitting outside a cafe or pub, browsing in a bookshop, or ordering dinner for one, imagining people thinking: Who’s that manly and mysterious diner? I love his T-shirt…

Solo Dating For A Mental Health Boost: Psychologist Dr Natalie V Bailey’s Top 5 Tips  

  1. Live In The Moment “Whether you’re savouring a meal or sitting in a park, practising mindfulness helps anchor you in the present moment, elevating your awareness and appreciation of the experience.”  
  1. Express Yourself “Bring a journal, sketchbook or camera on your solo date. Expressing yourself creatively can be therapeutic, offering a window into your thoughts and feelings.”  
  1. Get Moving – “Integrating movement, be it through a leisurely walk, yoga or dancing, not only benefits your body but also clears your mind and boosts your mood.” 
  1. Educate Yourself Visit a museum, read a book in a cosy cafe or take a class. Learning new things stimulates your mind and sparks joy.”  
  1. Put Your Phone Down – “Make your solo date a time to disconnect from technology. This pause from digital distractions can lead to deeper self-reflection and peace.” 

Jamie Styles is Digital Editorial Assistant at Service95 

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