The internet is full of great date night ideas for couples, but what about for singles?? Even when I typed "date night ideas for singles" or "ideas for a night alone" into Pinterest, tons of ideas came up for couples! Many of the lists for single people that I did find were geared toward finding a partner, rather than finding yourself. I decided to write a list myself. A lot of these may seem obvious, but I'm guilty of having those, "I just don't know what to do!" moments where I could use a little inspiration.
When I first started dating my boyfriend a couple years ago, I quickly realized his job would keep us from spending every night and weekend together. He's a film writer, director, and producer which means long hours and unusual schedules during a project. I love what he does and love even more that he gets to fulfill his dreams and do work that he is passionate about. What I didn't love for a long time was spending time alone when our schedules didn't line up. I also don't have many friends in town that I can call up on a whim to hang out, so I wrote down a list of things I enjoyed doing by myself. I've expanded that list to share with those of you who have a little extra alone time on your hands and don't want to spend all of it with Netflix.
1. Get Crafty - For me, this usually means scrapbooking and paper-crafting, but there are so many ways to let your creativity shine. Check Pinterest for a fun DIY project or make a card for someone. So many possibilities here.
2. Bake/Try a New Recipe - Sometimes I forget just how amazing it is when the whole house smells like freshly baked cookies. Or brownies. Or pie. You can make enough just for the night or for the whole week! If I have any leftovers, which doesn't happen often, I will bring them to work the next day to share. Recently, I made this chocolate torte. So good!
3. Catch Up on your Favorite Show/Watch a Movie - The newest Gilmore Girls episodes came out four months ago and I'm still only halfway through! Make it an event. Pop some popcorn, pour yourself a drink, and snuggle up for the long haul. Or find a movie you've been wanting to watch . . . one maybe nobody wanted to watch it with you. Eat.Pray.Love, anyone?
4. Organize - OK, this one might sound like no fun, but I'm sure if you look around there's some project you've been meaning to do, but just haven't gotten around to it yet. Once you get started, though, it's amazing how you can get into a groove and before you know it - mission accomplished! Right now I know my closet, craft supplies, and even my iTunes library could use some reorganizing. Throw on some music and get to work!
5. Take a Bubble Bath - When I was in college, I used to schedule one night a week to take a bubble bath. Thankfully, we had two bathrooms in my apartment, so my roommates didn't mind me hogging the tub for an hour. Baths aren't just for kids anymore with all the bath fizzies and essential oils you can add to make your bath a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. I use the time to catch up on reading, watch a show, or sometimes just lay there and clear my mind. Here's my favorite detox bath recipe that works for sore muscles and colds.
6. Write - When was the last time you wrote in a journal? I know I am horribly inconsistent with keeping that habit up. It seems social media sometimes takes the place of journaling now. Facebook's "On this Day" feature even reminds us of past statuses we posted. Despite all the new technology, I still love to pull out my journals and diaries (some dating all the way back to kindergarten) and read an in-depth account of my thoughts, feelings, and experiences. The best part about a journal is that it is for your eyes only. It doesn't matter if you think you're a good writer or if you misspell. The act of writing can be therapeutic. And it's a great way to keep your handwriting sharp in an era of typing. Besides a journal, you could write a letter, a poem, blog or heck - even a novel! Open the door to your imagination and see what comes out.
7. Exercise/Stretch - I have a love-hate relationship with exercise. I am not a fan of going to the gym. Since I teach gymnastics, I feel like I get enough exercise in my daily activity. I also play soccer on an adult league once a week, but it doesn't always feel like enough. It's important to me to stay flexible as I get older. So if you happen to be following suggestion #3, it's a great opportunity to sit on the floor and do some stretching. Or grab a couple 5-pound dumbbells and do some arm exercises and squats. No need to get fancy, unless you want to. Here are some exercises you can do while watching TV.
8. Go for a Walk/Bike Ride - Getting out into the fresh air for a while can make a big difference. It's a little bit of exercise combined with time to think, clear your head, or listen to music. It just feels good to get out of the house. Sometimes, I'll take a book along and head to a nearby park to read. Or walk to a local coffee shop. When I have to be alone, I like to take things I already plan to do (work on my laptop, projects, etc.) and do them at the local Starbucks. Even though I'm not interacting with anyone, I like having the people around and am usually more productive.
9. Call a Relative - This is one that I could definitely do more of. I've always been a independent person, so I don't get keep in touch with many people, including family. You never know what tomorrow will bring, so why not check in and say hello.
10. Try Out a New Bar/Restaurant/Wine-Tasting - Nothing wrong with taking yourself out once in a while, even without the intention of meeting someone new. I did this just a few weeks ago when my boyfriend was out with his friends. I came home after one of my play performances and I just felt like going out. I still had my hair and makeup done from the play, so I headed over to a local bar and grabbed a crossword from the newspaper. Before too long, other people sitting at the bar were wanting to help fill in the crossword, too! Wineries can be especially fun because of their relaxed atmosphere and the interaction with vintners. This photo was taken at the local Vartanyan winery in Bellingham, WA.
11. Plan your next vacation! - Even if you can't afford it now, it's fun to see what's out there. Look at photos of a place you've always wanted to go and maybe it'll kick you into gear to save up for it. And who knows? You may just be surprised at what deals you can find.
This isn't meant to be a comprehensive list, but hopefully it gives you a few ideas to beat the boredom next time you've got a night to yourself. If you have any ideas to add, leave them in the comments!