The other day I broke up with my boyfriend. Granted, we hadn’t been dating long, but needless to say he did not take it well. We didn’t have a nasty breakup, there was no lying, cheating, or mistreatment. I simply decided I was not at a point in my life to be dating anyone that wasn’t myself. Plainly, I broke up with him so I could start doing exactly that: date myself.
As odd as the concept sounds, so far I’ve been loving every minute of it. I had the realization pre-breakup that for the past two years I hadn’t really been single, I had always been dating or talking to someone. The intimidating part of this was that I hadn’t realized that over these past two years I had been letting those romantic relationships define me. I felt like I didn’t know who I was anymore, and that needed to change. I was at a point where I needed to reintroduce myself, to myself. I didn’t remember things I liked to do for fun alone, or where my favorite place to eat was, considering the response that always came to mind was “Well, our favorite restaurant is…” and so I decided to effectively date myself, at least for the rest of my freshmen year.
My name is Riley Robert, and I’m currently in a relationship with myself. I like to sketch in the notebook I bought last spring break in a teeny tiny bookstore in San Francisco. I like to listen to Lana (come on who doesn’t?) and country, and pop. My favorite song is Born to Die because the line “sometimes love is not enough and the road gets tough I don’t know why” deeply resonates with me on a million different levels for a million different reasons. I like to drink tea and read books in giant sweatshirts, uninterrupted and at peace for as long as I so choose. My favorite restaurant is White Chocolate Grill, and I’ve easily eaten there three times since I discovered it this quarter. I love sleeping in but hate feeling like I’ve wasted a day in bed. I like to wear my elephant pants and sometimes I sleep in them and then wear them to class the next day (we’ve all done it at least once). I paint my toenails red most of the time because of the song “Whatever She’s Got” by David Nail. All these things I’ve literally just discovered about myself, because I’ve taken the time to date myself.
Even though it cost me a romantic relationship with a great guy, I couldn’t be happier with my decision to take some time for myself. Figuring out who I am, and what I like, is so exciting to me at this stage in my life. I don’t need a guy to love me right now, I just need to love myself, and to love myself, I need to know myself.
Written by Riley Robert, WLLC 2015-2016