The best way to build a relationship is to create shared experiences. Friendships strengthen and romance blooms when you do things together.
But there’s a more important relationship than the one with your friends and loved ones: your relationship with yourself.
Granted, you don’t have to try to create experiences with yourself. The kind of experiences you create matters. It’s not healthy for every good memory and experience to be tied to someone else. You need some good memories just for yourself.
Last year, I stepped out of my comfort zone in a big way: I travelled to Galveston by myself. I sat on the beach alone and I went out to eat in fancy restaurants alone. I built a stronger relationship with myself and also discovered that there’s a breadth of experience I can have if I don’t have to worry about another person.
Since then, I’ve been more and more keen on Solo Adventures. I’ve bought tickets to two concerts and I’ll be going to a writing convention this summer by myself. All those experiences are just for me. If every other person leaves me and all the shared memories pain me, I’ll have these memories for myself. I’ll have this proof that I can make myself happy.
Traveling alone is also easier, really. Every traveling companion comes with their own tastes and limits, just like you have. When those tastes and limits don’t match, someone has to miss out on things. If they have social anxiety, you don’t get to join the crowd and enjoy the experience of being with other people. If they can’t see in the dark, you can’t do a lot of things at night. If they don’t like books, you can’t just drag them to book signings and midnight releases. If they don’t have event-appropriate clothing, you can’t take them with you. If they get seasick, you can’t go out on a boat.
But when it’s just you, you can do whatever you like. The only thing holding you back is yourself, and that can be the most freeing experience. You can just focus on making yourself happy.
It doesn’t matter if you want to fly across the country or see a show at a local bar, try stepping out for a Solo Adventure and build that most important relationship with yourself.