The urban dictionary defines “me” dates as “an enjoyable evening spent alone where one treats themselves as if they were their own date”.
I heard about the concept of “me” dates only a few months ago. During our first date, my girlfriend told me she does them every now and then as a way to reconnect with herself. As she was telling me how she’d take herself to a gallery or a dinner, I realized it wasn’t something I do and I was feeling uncomfortable to do. I wanted to overcome this fear.
I challenged myself to do “me” dates regularly and use them as a tool for my weekly self-discovery.
Why I do “me” dates
I go on a “me” date to slow down, mind myself, and listen to myself. That helps me to regain my sense of myself and to feel content. I’ve done it to celebrate a professional win, such as fruitful discussions on lessons learned on our past hiring. I’ve done it when I had moved to my new apartment and wasn’t quite settled there yet.
I do “me” dates when I recognize a situation that requires time and space to reflect on the concerns, thoughts, or emotions it brings.
When I look after myself, I also have the energy and focus to deliver at work, as well as the compassion and patience to help or mentor others on the team.
It’s been a few crazy months now personally and professionally:
- separating with my long term ex after 8 years together
- meeting my girlfriend and madly falling in love with her
- having a 4-day overlap between the previous and new personal chapters in my life
- screening for naming agencies to work on our rebranding
- launching a new product’s beta
- exploring Lisbon for a month with Volen, our co-founder, and COO
- coming back to Dublin, moving to a new place
- introducing our co-founder & CEO Georgi to the Dublin startup scene during his 3 weeks here
What my last “me” date was like
Last week, both the post-breakup shock and the madly-in-love adrenaline were gone for the first time and it felt like a low point. All of that had been taking a lot of my energy, like a full-time job, yet on the side of my real Enhancv full-time job.
On Friday I went home early, just after 4 pm and slept for a couple of hours. Then, I reviewed the summary of the first round of company name proposals as part of our ongoing rebranding. At 7 pm I was starving and wanted to focus on myself.
I felt hungry for a “me” date, a “solo experience”, “personal adventure”, whatever you want to call it and I dressed up.
I put a couple of things in my tote bag. My notebook where I put down my thoughts. My current read, a red book called “What I Know about Running Coffee Shops” by 3fe’s creator Colin Harmon.
I love reads about businesses that have nothing or almost nothing to do with tech. They are not prescriptive, yet I find them insightful and inspirational. They allow me to draw parallels between existing challenges at work and how others solved them in the non-tech environment so I can come up with an alternative solution to the challenge I’m tackling. My long term favorite is “Let My People Go Surfing” by Patagonia’s founder Yvon Chouinard.
My plan for the “me” date was to go to the off license in Stoneybatter to discover a few new craft beers, then have a fresh nutritious salad with gorgeous saucy sweet tomatoes for dinner, and then chill at home.
30min later I sent the following to the team in our facebook group chat:
After the casual dinner and some reading at Cotto, I walked down to Smithfield and towards Capel street to rest at home.
I didn’t do anything extraordinary, but it felt extraordinary to enjoy the sunshine, discover new craft beers, read, take myself out for a walk, and treat myself as if I was my own date.
The “me” date finished with a glass of Founders’ Frootwood beer as a dessert.
What did I discover or realize that day? It was a reminder to myself that before you help others, you must first help yourself.
After the “me” date I felt content. I had created and dedicated time and space to myself, to my thoughts and emotions. I can only compare the feeling to the way a meditation restarts the body, the mind, and the soul to prepare them for the next adventures and challenges.
Tell me about your “me” dates
What are they like? Do you call them a “solo experience”, a “personal adventure” or something else? Why and when do you do them? Feel free to post them as comments or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m based in Dublin, so shout out if you are around for a coffee. Also, I’m currently hiring here for a few roles: