Last summer, my boyfriend had a 3-week work trip. When he left, there was a huge void that I didn’t know how to fill. This was incredibly alarming to me, especially as a dating coach, because I encourage my clients to maintain their own independence, interests, and priorities even as they get deeper into a relationship, and here I was sulking being alone for three week. About half way into his work trip, my coach suggested I date myself. So I started doing all the things you would want someone to do for you when when you’re dating. I wrote myself love notes, bought myself flowers, I indulged in some of my favorite (but pricey) food, and I even took myself out on a date for wine and jazz. Dating myself helped me to feel more confident in my relationship, self-reliant, and helped me to get to know me. Once I realized the huge benefits, I immediately guided my clients, most of whom are single and dating, to start dating themselves too. Here are 3 of the biggest benefits they got when they dated themselves: 1. They took responsibility for their own happiness Perhaps one of the biggest myths about relationships is that the other person is responsible for our happiness. When we date, we look for someone who will make us happy, rather than someone who we can share our happiness with. So, if we’re not feeling happy, fulfilled, or loved, we immediately blame the other person. This puts an unfair burden on them. However you want to feel every day is no one’s responsibility but your own. When you date yourself, you do things for you that make you feel happy, fulfilled, and loved. And the best part is, when you feel those things yourself, you share that with your partner, and the happiness, fulfillment, and love goes so much deeper than when only one person is responsible for making you feel those things. 2. They showed up more fully and authentically on dates and in relationships. Dating yourself helps you to show up more authentically as you on dates and in your relationship. This matters because it is so important to confidently ask for what you need, and stand by your values in a relationship, without apologizing or feeling guilty. So often I see women apologize for their beliefs or feel guilty for asking anything. Ultimately, they spend dates, or worse, entire relationships, hiding behind who they really are just to earn their partner’s love or approval. This almost never ends well. It is so much better to show up fully as yourself on a first date and get out of the wrong relationships earlier rather than later, saving you time and heartache. 3. It’s fun! Dating yourself is a ton of fun. You get to do what you want, when you want, and how you want. It’s also true that the relationship we have with ourselves is a reflection of the relationship we have with others. When we can truly start to have more fun being by ourselves and truly love ourselves, we attract relationships into our lives that reflect those qualities. This Valentine’s Day, no matter your relationship status, I challenge you to date yourself. No pity parties, no desperate last minute search for a date, and no male bashing. And if you’re in a relationship, take the pressure off your partner and just tell him that you’re gonna date yourself this year.