Dining solo: Fun or awkward?

Everyone has their own ideas about dining solo, but the experience can be downright enjoyable when you get in the right mindset. We investigate what’s holding ladies back and how you can make the most of a dinner on your own.

woman eating in restaurant

Pro: Time to yourself

Many people feel they don’t get enough time to themselves. Relaxing and being alone with yourself are so important for your overall well-being, and going to a restaurant, where all you have to think about is enjoying the food in front of you, can be a welcome change. When you spend so much time thinking about others and worrying about what needs to get done, you don’t get a chance to appreciate the simple pleasures in life such as great food prepared just for you. Every once in a while, it’s healthier all around to say no to quick takeout or to your usual bland homemade dish and instead treat yourself to some quality grub.

Con: Not knowing what to do

Many women can’t imagine going out for dinner alone because they don’t know what they would do with themselves. In today’s world, we tend to get uncomfortable the second we aren’t sure what we’re doing. If a friend is late to meet us, we pull out our phones to make ourselves feel busy and show others we’re important. But the fact is, all those strangers sitting nearby in a restaurant simply don’t care. So cut yourself some slack! You don’t have to be doing something important every minute of the day. Instead, take the time to enjoy the quiet.

Pro: It’s easy to be entertained

Many people avoid dining alone because they think they’ll get bored, but that’s unlikely. Servers and bartenders spend most of their days hurriedly taking orders and saying as little as possible so as not to intrude on people’s conversations. So having someone actually acknowledge them and engage in conversation is a welcome change. There is a good chance you’ll have a meaningful talk with a new and interesting person. Or if you’d rather not socialize, you can always bring a book, newspaper or crossword you’ve been meaning to take a look at. And when in doubt, there’s always the good old standby: people-watching. Observing others as they engage can be very interesting, so seize the opportunity if you’re in the mood.

Con: Fear of looking silly

Let’s face it: Most people avoid going out for dinner alone because they wonder how others will look at them. The fear of being judged can be a powerful deterrent. But as in many other areas of life, succumbing to this fear is never beneficial in the long run, especially if it’s something you think might be fun or even if you’re just curious about it. We’re often far harder on ourselves than others are. Most diners at a restaurant are too caught up in their own lives to notice you sitting alone. And many others have either dined alone themselves or wish they had the courage to. When it comes down to it, all that matters is how you feel. Chances are good that you’ll never see any of the people around you again. So if you want to treat yourself to a meal, go ahead and do it.

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