Firstly I hate the term date night , it’s up there with ‘me time’ for phrases that make me want to pull my hair out! You know what I mean though don’t you? Getting all dressed up with somewhere to go?
Well the best night out I’ve had in ages was last year.I got all dressed up , made a bit of an effort. I went into Manchester to an Italian for dinner ,got the tram up to media city and had a glass of wine looking out onto the water then went to see Wicked which was one of my favourite stage shows I’ve ever seen.
All on my own.
I know my love of going out on my own isn’t to everyone’s tastes. Frankly , many people think me a bit nuts. That’s ok. I even went on holiday alone last year , maybe that’s a step too far for most people.I do think though that everyone should have a tiny taste of it . It’s good for the soul, I’m sure of it. Here’s why :
You don’t have to compromise
You fancy Chinese , have it .There’s no added extra person who you have to take account of. As a mum there is ALWAYS someone elses tastes and views and likes that I have to take into account when I do anything. There’s a certain freedom in being able to do whatever the hell you like , feels a bit naughty too. I fancy going to that restaurant everyone else hates…who’ll stop me?! That kind of thing.
It gives you chance to reconnect with your own brain
I know the term ‘reconnect’ is a bit tossy , sorry. What I actually mean is we’re all busy , all the time, the kids need at least a bit of your attention constantly. Even when they’re in bed asleep ,part of my mind is always on the listen out should anybody need me. So to get out on your own with no mum chores to do , no one needing your attention , no need to even have a conversation with anyone else feels nice. Your mind is all your own. I always do my best thinking at these times ( not that my thinking is a thing of genius but just to stop and slow down feels good)
You can remind yourself of what YOU like
In our house we have spaghetti bolognaise every week. It’s the kids favourite so we have it. When I go to an Italian restaurant though I’m still tempted to order it because I think “ooo I love bolognaise”…but I don’t. The kids love it so we have it . I really aren’t a big fan. My children have, over the years, brain washed me. I suppose what I’m trying to say is that maybe you go to the cinema to see rom coms because the people you go with like them and you’re actually into horror …go see your movies (actually horrors on your own might be scary-probably don’t do that)
People are nice
Obviously other people don’t really factor into the going out alone thing , but humans are unavoidable in the main so stay with me. You find when out alone you end up chatting with people you otherwise wouldn’t. On my night to see Wicked just before the show started the two women sat by me were making small talk and by the interval I was drinking wine with them in the bar. They were really interesting women and as I love hearing peoples stories it added a special something to the night! Then of course if you’re dining alone the waiter will often upgrade your wine to a large at no extra charge. The sympathy wine. Tastes all the better for it. Same goes for the pity flirt…all adds to the nights fun!
You can fully immerse yourself in what you are doing
This might just be me but I have a tendency to daydream never fully giving my attention to one thing fully. I think it’s a practised mum skill for when you have to have three different conversations at once. No matter what it is I’m doing I’m usually doing something else at the same time, whether that’s missing a vital moment in Eastenders because I was looking at Twitter on my phone or making a mental To Do list whilst cooking dinner. If I am out at the cinema or theatre with another person it extends to that. Yes I’m watching the movie or the show but part of me is wondering if they’re ok, are they enjoying it ?Are they gong to want a snack at the interval? When it’s just me and the big stage in front of me I am absolutely engrossed and enthralled. I really did spend a couple of hours in Oz on the night of Wicked.
So there we go. Don’t get me wrong there is no better feeling than sharing a magical night with someone special. I’d never say otherwise. There is though a certain selfish magic in spending time on your own. I obviously go to the crazy end of the scale , I’d happily holiday on my own. There’s no need to go that far. Maybe a coffee you’ve not had to make and mug you don’t have to wash with a trashy mag would do the trick?