The 5 Reasons You Need to Date Your Self

Discover the transformative power of self-love with our guide to dating yourself forever. Scientific research shows that nurturing a positive relationship with yourself can boost emotional resilience, enhance self-esteem, and even improve physical health. Imagine dedicating time each week to activities that make you feel alive and fulfilled. As you embrace self-compassion, you'll find your relationships with others deepening and your creativity flourishing. Join us on this journey and learn how to ripple love from the inside out, enriching every aspect of your life.

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 The Top 5 Reasons to Date Yourself Forever: The Science of Self-Love and Its Ripple Effect

In a world often focused on external validation, dating yourself might sound unconventional or corny, yet it holds profound benefits backed by some pretty fascinating scientific research. Self-love isn’t just a feel-good buzzword; it’s a critical component of mental and emotional well-being that I will forever continue to shout from the rooftops. Here are the top five reasons to date yourself forever regardless of if you’re partnered, single as a pringle, or heartbroken, along with some practical examples to inspire readers of all ages and backgrounds to nurture this transformative relationship with the Self, and your innerworld. Read to the end to finish this article with an uplifting story about a sweet man who learned just how valuable dating yourself truly is.

1. Enhances Emotional Resilience

Scientific studies highlight that self-compassion significantly contributes to emotional resilience. Kristin Neff, a leading researcher in self-compassion, found that individuals who practice self-kindness rather than self-criticism cope better with stress and setbacks (Neff, 2003). By regularly engaging in activities that you enjoy and bring you peace, you build a reserve of emotional strength. This doesn’t always mean a bubble bath and no, this research doesn’t just apply to one gender.

Practical Example: Dedicate one moment (morning, mid-day, or evening) a week to doing something you love, whether it’s painting, reading, or simply taking a long walk in nature. This ritual not only provides a break from daily stress but also reinforces a positive relationship with yourself. A bottle of wine all by yourself actually doesn’t fully count…

2. Boosts Self-Esteem

Self-love and self-acceptance are crucial for healthy self-esteem. A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology indicates that self-esteem is enhanced through consistent self-care and self-acknowledgment practices (Orth, Robins, & Widaman, 2012). By dating yourself, you affirm your worth and uniqueness, which translates into greater confidence in social and professional spheres. This is something that has been radically undermined in our daily lives. Key word here is consistent.

Practical Example: Start a daily journal where you note down three things you appreciate about yourself. This habit reinforces positive self-perception and encourages a habit of recognizing your own value. Though it might not be that every day you can buy yourself a bouquet of flowers (nor should you to be fair), that doesn’t mean don’t make the intentional effort to find what for you creates a daily, thoughtful, peaceful and reflective moment with yourself.

3. Promotes Better Physical Health

Surprisingly, self-love also correlates with better physical health. Who would’ve thunk!? The research from the University of Pittsburgh suggests that individuals who practice self-care are more likely to engage in healthy behaviors, such as regular exercise and balanced diets (Sirois, Kitner, & Hirsch, 2015). This is because a positive self-relationship motivates you to take care of your body as an act of love. It’s not just one of those artificial relationships where it’s all talk and no action. That consistent action build momentum that is hard to argue with once it’s going on its own, with your help, it builds… and begins to create that ripple effect from the inside out.

Practical Example: Plan and prepare a healthy meal for yourself at least once a week. Cooking a nutritious meal can be a meditative and rewarding experience, reinforcing your commitment to your own well-being. Though I can’t say that’s my cup of tea (hello rice cooker therapy), I do know a few beautiful souls who, if I asked them to describe the feeling of what this did for them… we’d all be instantly envious and eager to be chef boyardee. Quit underestimating the little things.

4. Improves Relationships with Others

When you cultivate a healthy relationship with yourself, it positively impacts your interactions with others. According to a study in the Journal of Happiness Studies, self-love enhances empathy, making you more understanding and supportive in your relationships (Neff & Beretvas, 2013). This is because those who are content and secure within themselves are less likely to seek validation from others, leading to more genuine connections. Trust us, this is the research speaking!!! Imagine a world where seeking others validation didn’t have to exist because each of us was putting in the work?!

Practical Example: Practice active listening and empathy in your interactions. By being fully present and empathetic, you not only improve your relationships but also reflect the compassion you have cultivated within yourself. When you want to jump in, instead, challenge yourself to pause, to really be there in the moment with that special person you’re interacting with. Notice yourself after.

5. Fosters Creativity and Personal Growth

Dating yourself encourages exploration and self-discovery, which are essential for creativity and personal growth. A study from the Creativity Research Journal found that self-reflection and self-care practices can significantly enhance creative thinking and problem-solving abilities (Kaufman & Gregoire, 2015). By dedicating time to yourself, you open up space for introspection and innovation.

Practical Example: Set aside time each week for a solo activity that challenges you creatively, such as writing, drawing, or playing a musical instrument. These activities not only stimulate your creativity but also provide a fulfilling sense of accomplishment.

In-Myung Kim says people should learn to love themselves, have meaningful hobbies, keep pets and do plenty of reading. Photo / Dean Purcell.

To close this article, I want to warm your hearts with a closing story and photo of a sweet old man, believed to be the oldest North Korean-born person in New Zealand who doesn’t think outliving friends and loved ones is necessarily a blessing… and advocates with more than 100 years under his belt for self love (and dating yourself as a ritual to be taken seriously).

In-Myung Kim was born in 1922, he was a former government worker under the Kim Il-Sung regime, who had escaped to the South in 1948 with the intention of establishing himself up before bringing his wife and two sons, then aged 5 and 3, over to South Korea. Before his plans became his reality, the Korean war broke out in 1950 which left his plan in pieces. He never got a chance to see or contact his family again, and to this day, at 100 years old still wishes knowing whether or not his sons (back in S. Korea) are all right or if they are even still alive. He’s tortured with this uncertainty daily.

In reflection on his 100th birthday wish, he said, “I just wish that they (his children) have had a happier life than me.” When asked about bestowing this succinct wisdom to those younger than him he said, “Get a meaningful hobby, have pets – because unlike humans, they can be replaced – and read plenty of books because they will take you places even when you’re no longer physically able to.”

In the photo below, In-Myung Kim holds an old photograph of himself and his best friend who was shot by the military that he keeps in his wallet.

“Learn to love yourself, because if you happen to be one of those who live a long time, then all your friends and loved ones will have gone before you and all you’ve got left is yourself,” Kim said.

In-Myung Kim with an old photograph of himself and his best friend who was shot by the military that he keeps in his wallet. Photo / Dean Purcell

“People really don’t know what they’re talking about when they say I am lucky to be living to this ripe old age,” he said. He said growing Mugunghwa (무궁화), a flower considered an important symbol of Korean culture for centuries, keeps him connected with his motherland even amongst his hardest days, this is his version of dating himself again and again.

Mugunghwa (무궁화) is the Korean name for the rose of Sharon, and is Korea’s national flower. The name means “eternal blossom that never fades”, and the flower is a symbol of Korean culture and the country’s resilience. It can thrive in harsh conditions, from hot heat to cold, and represents the Korean people’s ability to overcome challenges.

Dating yourself is more than a path to personal fulfillment; it’s a scientifically supported way to enhance your emotional resilience, self-esteem, physical health, relationships, and creativity. By making self-love a priority, you create a positive ripple effect that influences every aspect of your life. Embrace the journey of dating yourself and watch as the love you cultivate within radiates outwards, enriching your life and the lives of those around you. Even if you live to 100, you’ll learn there’s so much more of you to discover, love, and befriend. Embrace the journey of dating yourself and watch as the love you cultivate within radiates outwards, enriching your life and the lives of those around you.

If you’re struggling learning how to be okay with dating yourself, please reach out. There’s so much in store for you as you begin cultivating the garden of self-love, the weekly rituals of dates with yourself, and the joy that’s in the in-between. This world needs you to do the hard thing.

Love & light,

Emilia

References

Kaufman, J. C., & Gregoire, C. (2015). *Wired to create: Unraveling the mysteries of the creative mind*. New York, NY: Perigee Books.

Neff, K. D. (2003). Self-compassion: An alternative conceptualization of a healthy attitude toward oneself. *Self and Identity, 2*(2), 85-101. https://doi.org/10.1080/15298860309032

Neff, K. D., & Beretvas, S. N. (2013). The role of self-compassion in romantic relationships. *Self and Identity, 12*(1), 78-98. https://doi.org/10.1080/15298868.2011.639548

Orth, U., Robins, R. W., & Widaman, K. F. (2012). Life-span development of self-esteem and its effects on important life outcomes. *Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102*(6), 1271-1288. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0025558

Sirois, F. M., Kitner, R., & Hirsch, J. K. (2015). Self-compassion, affect, and health-promoting behaviors. *Health Psychology, 34*(6), 661-669. https://doi.org/10.1037/hea0000158

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