Let’s face it – everyone likes a hot date: the wine, the soft lighting, the excuse to indulge. But why wait for someone else to take you out? Here’s how to have the best date night ever – with yourself.

As Oscar Wilde once said, “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” So rather than a night out in uncomfortable heels making boring small-talk, wondering if he’ll pay or you’ll end up going Dutch…why not spend a night in spoiling that special certain someone – you.

Slip into something more comfortable
We all know the date night classic line “let me slip into something more comfortable” and those baggy, faded sweatpants are just the trick. Whether it’s for work or our social life we often spend so much time making sure we look ‘just right’, but on date night you don’t have to. By snuggling up in your favourite fluffy socks and wearing that eight-year-old Elmo t-shirt (sans bra), you get to escape the critical eye of the outside world and can just relax and enjoy being super comfy. After all, there’s something luxurious (and glamorous) about giant knickers and a headband. And just like wearing the right gym-gear can make you keen for a workout, so too can changing into your loved-and-lived-in pajamas help you change gears and unwind.

Indulge in something delicious
Dinner and a movie is a date night tradition, but when you’re spoiling yourself, keep the indulgence – but save yourself the hassle of venturing out. Take a moment to think about what your favourite foods and flicks are without pandering to someone else’s dietary requirements or obsession with Wolverine. It’s an opportunity to really enjoy yourself, so don’t stress about calories in the camembert or the cost of the Chianti and just go with what feels good.

For me – it’s the ultimate Holy Trinity: Ben, Jerry and Ryan Gosling (ice cream and eye candy? I’m only human). I love a bit of girl-power in films, so anything from Bridget Jones to Easy A is a winner. Otherwise, get stuck in with a marathon series of Downton Abbey or Girls.

Films not your thing? Then snuggle up with a good book. Just because it’s date night doesn’t mean you have to read a Mills and Boon but I can’t think of a better solo date than a glass of wine, candles and a fab read while Rod Stewart croons away in the background.

Studies have shown that reading is one of the most effective ways of beating stress – and when combined with other spoils you’re bound to feel the benefits.  Reading is also shown to encourage a good night’s sleep, so perfect TLC if you’re feeling rundown. My latest favourite is A Casual Vacancy, J.K Rowling’s village drama.

Pamper your date
If you’re the productive type, this is the perfect time to catch up on a little beauty maintenance. Something as simple as a face steam over a bowl of almost-boiling water and lemon wedges followed by a clay mask can do wonders for your complexion while helping you feel languid and lovely. Paint your nails, shape your brows, rub some fancy oils into your cuticles; do whatever that makes you feel divine.

And skip the guilt because it’s not all aesthetic benefits, studies have shown that taking care of yourself work to nurture your self esteem and sense of self, which beyond making you feel great, has positive effects on both stress levels and depression.

So for the best date ever, stay in with a super-hottie – you.

Kate Jones blogs about writing and pop culture at Calvicle Capitalism.