Dating myself

May 7th, 2010 · Lisa · restaurant review, Review, Travel · Comments

My post title doesn’t imply those telling reference to Care Bears or Pogo balls that would hint at my “child of the eighties” status, instead it literally means taking myself out on a date.


In my adult life I’ve experienced two great loves and two painful break ups. It is easy when you’re going through the heartbreak of ending a relationship to hibernate for awhile and put off your to-do list. Once time has worked its healing magic you often get to a point where you no longer want to put off experiencing a fulfilling life while you wait for someone special to share it with. I think even those of you in long-term relationships can learn something from this little game I like to play.


The basic premise is:

  • Plan a special night/day that you will really enjoy, just as you would to celebrate your partner. Focus on those experiences that you often deny yourself in everyday life (dining in a fancy restaurant, relaxing with a massage, playing in the park, watching movies in your pjs).
  • Make it really personal-this is not the time to go to the museum because you think it will impress your date. You know your date so well you can pick the perfect roster of activities to tickle their fancy (I love looking at dishes and bowls, scouring the city for unique ingredients and laying in the grass).
  • Dress up in clothes that make you feel great, prime you mp3 player with an interesting playlist and just indulge in your company. Take time to think through life’s big questions and laugh at all the funny little comments that go through your mind – after all, this time your date will get all of your jokes!
The best things about dating yourself – never disagreeing about what to order, what to watch on tv or when to head home for a hot bath. 

Don’t get me wrong, I like dating other people too – but sometimes having a love affair with yourself can make it even easier to build a successful relationship with someone fantastic.



After all that build up, I’d like to share the itinerary for a perfect date in NYC – with me.


I woke up early. I like to. I turned on the tv, had a shower and enjoyed an apple. Once the rest of the world was ready to wake up and open some stores I went to Whole Foods to grab a bottle of ginger Kombucha and a fruit salad.

Then I went for a long walk from SoHo to Midtown. I stopped into a few stores, like Fish Eddy’s and the MoMa gift shop. For some reason they were both full of housewares and cooking gadgets. This city really get’s me.

I continued walking North to Central Park. It was a perfect morning -warm, sunny and clear.

You could smell spring in the air -blossoms bursting forth with fragrance.

I enjoyed watching all the active New Yorkers taking advantage of this expanse of nature to get moving.

Once I reached 79th street I left the park and walked East until I found the perfect spot to treat my date to a delicious meal. Candle 79 was one of the first restaurants in North America to do vegan fine dining. I’ve never eaten there but I have prepared meals from their cookbook so I knew I was in for a lovely lunch.

I decided to select the Live Pad Thai appetizer for my meal. It was incredible -creamy, rich and full of flavour. I ate slowly and enjoyed each bite.

Energized by all of that plant power I walked back through the park.

Listened to the casual concerts and admired the little adventurers exploring the elements.

The sheep meadow was full of people who were peacefully resting away their afternoon. I wish my daily routine included a rest in the grass.


Once I left the park I met up with a couple of friends who were shopping in midtown. Lindsay had been bargain hunting in Macy’s for three hours when I caught up with her. I was amazed by her perseverance!  She strolled with me toward Chelsea while her traveling mates went ahead to the Lower East Side. It was fabulous to have a few minutes with an incredible friend who lives on the other side of the country. 


After we parted ways, I continue on with my itinerary – an afternoon exploring Chelsea. I wandered around and checked out a number of great boutiques. I eventually made my way to the Chelsea Market (which houses the Food Network offices-however, there was no sign of Alton). I spent a long time perusing the shops, wandering the nearby streets and resting in the sunshine.


For dinner, I picked up the Meditteranean Salad from Pure Food & Wine’s Take Away. I had been thinking about getting the famous S&M; salad but they make it without avocado at this location, and that just didn’t seem good enough for my date. I was really happy with my choice, a huge serving of kale goes a long way toward solidifying my special relationship.

On my way back uptown to the Natural Gourmet Institute for my class at 6:30 I wandered past Blossom and walked into CocoaV. If you are not up on the vegan scene in NYC then let me tell you, recently this fabulous vegan chocolate shop and wine bar opened for table service and takeout. It is beautiful, Terry Hope Romero raves about the food, and the chocolates are breathtaking.

I spent time admiring all of the confections (and picked up a little something for Mother’s Day) but knowing that I had a night of truffle making ahead of me I didn’t feel tempted to buy a box.

The flavour combinations will inspire many future experiments in my own kitchen.

If you missed yesterday’s post you can click back to read about my fantastic class with Fran. It was the perfect end to my date night – an evening spent learning and playing with food. I certainly know what Lisa likes.


I hope this message will encourage all of you take a little time to invest in the relationship you have with yourself. It is important and it deserves to be nourished.


May’d me smilethe wonderful relief of taking off your socks and shoes after walking for hours, hours and hours. I guess, I’m rather easy to please but that moment when you return from a fabulous outing and get to just relax is such a treat. We all lead very busy lives so any moment of peace should be cherished.


Have you ever planned a date for yourself?


Would you take a trip on your own? Anywhere that you’d like to visit solo?


I mentioned yesterday that I sent Heathy my winning Moon Pies as soon as I arrived in NYC. If you’d like to see her enjoying them check out the video here.

14 Comments

  1. Posted May 8, 2010 at 1:02 am

    I LOVE this! I mostly go to the grocery store on my dates with myself, but hey, we're foodies, that's what we do!

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    Mama Pea

  2. Posted May 8, 2010 at 8:24 am

    This is such an important, inspiring post. I couldn't agree more – the ability to truly enjoy one's own company and to remember to pamper yourself the way you would others is so important.

    I love to plan dates for myself, although back in high school and early university when I was first discovering SARK and constantly reading something of hers, I was doing it much more often! Maybe I should re-read some of her books and get re-inspired.

    Another thing I like to do and recommend to people is to keep a stash of gifts for yourself hidden away. Go through your house or go on a little shopping trip and find little gifts for yourself that excite you, but don't give it too much thought because you don't want to remember what it is you've chosen. Wrap them up in a box just like you would for anyone else, then store them under the bed or in the back of a closet and just let it sit there until a time when you feel you deserve a gift.

    The more gifts you package for yourself, the longer it will be until you open the last one and by the point, you'll have totally forgotten what it was and be completely surprised! One time I ended up giving myself a gift of $10 in change – it doesn't seem like a very personal gift, but I happened to be going to a zine fair the day I opened it and I was so thrilled to suddenly have an extra $10 to spend! :)

    Would I travel alone? I think I could have a marvelous time travelling alone but I actually have a fear of walking alone at night and sleeping when home alone, so I think that aspect would be what would hinder me.

  3. Posted May 8, 2010 at 8:57 am

    Oh yes, I've been a long-term practitioner of the solo date. Unfortunately, I rarely have time to go on any kind of date these days!

    I actually prefer travelling alone and London, UK has been my favourite solo destination. Spending 9 hours in the National Gallery, 3 days in a row, is not something I would ever ask anyone else to do!

    Going to NYC alone would be awesome. I'd probably lay in the grass in Central Park the entire time – except, of course, when I was getting teary-eyed over the 18 miles of books at the Strand.

    I'm glad you're having such an excellent time!

  4. Posted May 8, 2010 at 9:16 am

    hi lisa…

    ohhhh i can't wait to go to new york in the summer…i'm enjoying your posts, they're giving me so much to look forward to!!!

    i really enjoyed this post…and although i am in a relationship i still very much enjoy time to myself…doing things that i love…like searching high and low for rare ingredients…walking around aimlessly peaking in stores…grocery shopping for hours…

    i'm not sure about traveling alone, maybe not a plane ride as i have a very nasty fear of being on one, so i have to take meds…but i might consider taking a bus somewhere alone…i don't mind being alone…i actually really love time with my own thoughts…i look forward to it…although i love company too!

    have so much fun girl!!

  5. Posted May 8, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Great post! I just adore Central Park! I've never had the Live Pad Thai at Candle, I'm going to have to try it! The Live Enchiladas are amazing! :)

    Cocoa V is my next stop in the city! I think we are going to Blossom for our anniversary so I hope to go then. Enjoy your time–I love spending quality time with myself!! :)

  6. Posted May 8, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Solo dates to the theater are my favorite :)

    I also travel alone frequently — have been all over Germany, Sweden, Denmark, and Portugal alone, as well as to NYC many times. I always agree with myself about what we want to do!

  7. Posted May 9, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    Mama Pea – my last boyfriend quickly realized that my favourite date destination was Whole Foods. When we were in Ecuador I wanted to go in all the big grocery stores. What a girl's weekend you and I could have :)

    Barbee, as always you are full of amazing ideas. Thanks for sharing your gift suggestion. I love it.

    Colleen, a woman after my own heart. I love getting lost in galleries but I just can't do it while worrying about someone else.

    Nelly,
    You will love your time in NYC. I recently had a tough plane ride which was why I opted to bus it this time. I look forward to reading about your adventure.

    Lauren,
    I haven't eaten at Blossom or Coco-V so I can't wait to see what you think. The Live Pad Thai was truly excellent.

    Megan,
    Your example is an inspiration. I want to continue to push myself to explore the world and have the experiences I crave – with or without a traveling partner.

  8. Posted May 10, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Now a days my dates with myself revolve around going to the grocery store, I could spend hours in there.

    When I was 20, a LONG LONG LONG time ago, I went to Paris by myself and it was the best date EVER. Hanging out in Galleries and at the Louvre, taking in all in and enjoying the people was amazing.

  9. Posted May 10, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    Claudia,

    I would love to do Paris just like that but like you, most of my "dates" are spent picking out dates in the produce aisle, and by that I mean medjools.

  10. Posted May 14, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    I have taken myself on dates before and one of those solo dates even ended up being the best night of my life so far! I highly recommend this practice and it seems that you really know how to plan a date!

    Gingerade kombucha is my favorite!

    Candle 79 is one of my favorite restaurants in NYC. I haven't visited since Cocoa V has been open, so that's on the list for next time!

  11. Posted May 14, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    P.S. I have traveled alone and I've found it both invigorating and, at times, a little lonely.

  12. Posted May 14, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    Vegyogini -I love that a solo date has been one of your best nights ever. I agree that traveling alone can be lonely which was why I really created the fun of planning a special date for myself. It made it an intentional adventure. I hope you get to visit Cocoa-V soon.

  13. Posted May 23, 2010 at 9:41 am

    I love this post, Lisa! I've been single for much of my adult life (pre- and post- marriage) and used to have "dates" with myself all the time as well. Exploring new cities was a particular pleasure (I can remember spending a weekend in Washington, DC, very much as you are in NYC). So glad you enjoyed yourself there!

  14. Posted May 23, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Thanks Ricki, I am glad to hear you've enjoyed similar adventures. NYC is a great place to just wander.

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