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Actress Vanessa Kirby has admitted to visiting galleries and the cinema by herself. Serial self dater Claire Cohen says good for her, there’s nothing nicer than being your own best date. After all, if you don’t want to go out with you – who will?

Recently, I’ve had some fantastic dates. You know the sort: stimulating afternoons in the city, brimming with culture and curiosity; indulgent summer evenings, awash with good food and wine; cosy trips to the pub. Not to mention a really good film at the cinema, with no one else to pinch your popcorn.

Oh, didn’t I mention? My best dates ever have been with myself.

It’s why I understood perfectly what actress Vanessa Kirby meant when, earlier this week, she spoke about ‘dating herself.’ The former girlfriend of actor and Great Expectations co-star Douglas Booth said; “Someone said to me, ‘just go out and date yourself.’ And I’m like ‘That sounds so boring.’

“But I started doing it – going to art galleries and just walking around London, going to the cinema. I’ve noticed I’m even enjoying my own jokes more.”

Love thyself

Well, good for her. There’s nothing wrong with a healthy dose of self-love. We’re so often prone to those other ‘selfs’: self deprecation, self sabotage, self doubt. Why not try something a different? After all, if you don’t want to date you – who else will?

My self-dating began by accident, much like Kirby’s. A single gal around town, I often found myself with a spare Saturday afternoon. What better to do than take myself out?

Exhibitions are the ideal place for a first self date. Even the most devoted couple is usually happy to part ways at the gallery door and peruse in their own time. This is the perfect place to get used to enjoying your own company in public.

The cinema (or theatre) is another safe option. I went to see Senna alone and relished the opportunity to weep, silently and unjudged in my seat. Unfortunately, the man next to me had exactly the same idea. He began crying as the opening credits rolled and spent the next 106 minutes alternately sobbing and crunching on handfuls of increasingly soggy Doritos. I think he tried to speak to me at one point, but it was hard to tell through the tears and crumb dust.

Yes, self dating does occasionally open you up to random conversation bombing from the general public, but it isn’t usually accompanied by dry, heaving and faintly cheesy sobs. It can be enlightening, even educational.

Take the time I ate at a Michelin star restaurant alone (I was in Paris on a work assignment and didn’t see why I should resort to a baguette, hastily crammed in my mouth on the Metro). The sheer delight of not having to share the cheeseboard was enough to convince me that there might be something in all this solo-dining malarkey (although I wouldn’t have minded somone to share the bill). When I asked the sommelier about the dessert wines I wasn’t trying to show-off, or appear convivial to a date. I really wanted to know about them and could chat away unhindered.

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