‘I had made this happen for myself’

‘I had made this happen for myself’

Wondering if you can experience A Year of Dates by yourself? Read this mum’s inspiring story and find out how she’s been solo dating.

When Beci Denham bought the A Year of Dates classic box for her partner’s Valentine’s Day present in 2021 she thought they would be completing the dates together.

But when the couple decided to separate shortly after, Beci decided to do the dates by herself – leading her on an empowering journey she could never have imagined.

Beci, who lives in Dorset, explained: “I’m a single mum to four children – I have a 12 year old son and triplet girls aged eight – and I decided to buy the box after seeing it on Etsy.

“Sadly my partner and I split up a few weeks after Valentine’s Day, and instead of giving the box to a friend or sending it back I made a bit of an impulsive decision to do the dates by myself.

“I’ve always been a mum or a partner, and alongside work, parenting and being in a relationship I felt I didn’t really know who I was anymore, and I couldn’t remember the last time I did something just for me.”

Beci opened the first envelope with some trepidation – it suggested a dinner date.

She said: “I saw the dates as an opportunity to get out of my normal routine and do something a bit different that would push me outside of my comfort zone.

“For the dinner date the Covid restrictions had just been lifted to allow people to meet outside, and it was a freezing cold April evening with heavy rain. Normally I’d have stayed at home, but instead I chose a dress, put on my make-up and went with a couple of friends to a pub I’d not visited before.

“They had a marquee up, and although we were shivering we had a fantastic time. I was so happy to be out with friends, enjoying lovely food, drinks and chatting, it felt amazing.”

“Going on the date also felt really empowering as I had made this happen for myself.”

Next up was the ‘around the world’ card, which encourages daters to choose a country and theme an evening of food, drinks and entertainment around it.

For Beci it was another chance to try something new, and rather than her usual Italian or Thai dishes, she went for Greek.

Beci said: “I looked up a recipe and made moussaka. Trying out new food and cooking new things is not something I do very often, but again, it felt so positive and empowering.”

The date also provided Beci with a lightbulb moment, and she realised that by dating by herself she was also setting her children a powerful example.

“By showing my children how to value yourself, how to set aside time for yourself and demonstrating that I can be happy and fulfilled on my own, I hope that I’m setting them a really strong example that being on your own isn’t sad or upsetting, it can also be beautiful too,” she explained.

For the comedy night date card she booked a single ticket to go and see comedian Sarah Millican perform a live set.

Beci said: “There’s no way I would have dared to book a single ticket to a comedy gig 12 months ago, and although I’m nervous I’m really looking forward to it.

“The A Year of Dates box has been such a positive experience for me. It’s pushed me to try new things and have adventures, but all at my own pace.

“Over the next 12 months I’ll have a year of experiences, a year of building my confidence and a year of really discovering myself. I can’t think of a better gift than that.”

Thank you Beci, we’re so glad you’re on this journey and learning so much about yourself after a really difficult year. And thank you for inspiring us to book tickets to Sarah Millican too – we can’t wait for our date night in June!

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