Solo dates are my most enjoyable dates. Everything else is a blur of regressive social rituals, burdensome insights into other people slipping out from badly created pretences.

The agency to be solo is hardwon. Solitude is a privilege for women. Everyone tries to fill up a woman’s time with their needs. Being a visible, approachable person in a crowded city like Mumbai makes this a venture of careful planning.

I began by taking myself to a movie. Surreptitiously slipping out, dodging questions, steeling myself to buy a single ticket. It was worth it. I watch my reactions, unfiltered. My own company satisfies me in a way strangers don’t.

Solo dates don’t mean being a recluse. Even couple dates don’t mean that. A date is getting out into the world & experiencing something with someone you’re getting to know. No different if that person is you.

I know more places where I can be with myself that are safe & socially acceptable. Sometimes this means being on the move. Walking is excellent solo date activity. My dates with my city are times of falling in love with myself.

I dress for solo dates, with gusto. A solo date is the safest way to try different things with minimal fear of backlash. There are sparkles of joy when you notice a lovely face & realise that’s your reflection in the glass.😄

A solo date has the kind of magic that over-scripted couple dates don’t. I’m listening to myself, my body & mood. I eat with relish on solo dates. A glass of wine, panipuri, chocolate ice cream. Solo dates are when I can be people I haven’t been or people I have not been in a long time.

There’s the possibility of spotting a lovely stranger & holding a crush as lightly as an ice cream cone, relishing it & walking away. Sometimes that crush is on a place, a time. A beach. A table at a coffeeshop. A spot on the divider. A piece of sky at sunset. A building with a creeper on its pipes. We do enjoy those who show us how to enjoy ourselves.

Don’t take my word for it. Take yourself out on a date sometime. And when you return, tell me about it in the comments. 😀 I’m always up for new solo date ideas.

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