I started with concerts. There’s always someone coming to town that I’m dying to see and rarely can I find a concert-buddy. I started with big arena/theatre type shows, where I have a designated seat and can show up just in time for the band to start and have a book or my iphone to amuse me if there is an intermission. Then I graduated to bar shows. This was trickier but I found that if I sat at the bar, there’s a steady stream of people coming by to try and strike up a conversation with or even some friendly bartenders to amuse when things are slow. And once the band starts, standing up in the crowd with a bunch of fans singing along or dancing, lost in the music, you’re no longer alone.
Going to lunch/dinner alone can feel embarrassing. You feel like all the couples and friends and families are watching you wondering why you couldn’t find anyone to even share a meal with. Like you should be at home where lonely people belong, eating a microwave dinner and watching TV with your twelve cats. Or is it just me that feels like that? Either way, eating in a restaurant alone is rarely much fun. So from my recent experience, I offer the following suggestions:
- Bring a good book. If you’re lost in a world of characters, drama and adventure, you won’t notice anything else. And people will probably be trying to spy the cover to see what’s so interesting.
- Sit by the window. Who doesn’t love to people watch? Make a game out of finding the most awkward couple in the restaurant. You’ll probably be having a way better time than them.
- If you’re at a pub, sit at the bar. Most often you’ll find someone else alone or a friendly bartender to share a laugh with.
- Lose yourself in thought, order something you love and forget about everyone else. Cause no one is really looking at you anyway, they are all lost in their own thoughts.
There are lots of activities out there that don’t require a partner or group to share them with. Go to the movies - When the lights go down, no one is going to notice one more person sitting in the crowd. Go to a museum - You can spend as long as you want on a painting you love or an exhibit that interests you without having to worry about if someone else is bored or what they want to see. Go for a walk or hike - Enjoy the outdoors, get some exercise, listen to your headphones or just lose yourself in thought. Go shopping - Spend all the time you want in the change room and try on something silly or extravagant. Take a class - Learn to dance, to cook, or to create something beautiful. You may even find some new single friends while you're at it.
I think what’s hardest to remember when you’re doing any activity alone is that no one is watching, no one cares, no one notices. Everyone is wrapped up in their own lives and relationships, they aren’t judging you for eating alone or having a good time alone. In fact, the people who do notice you, will probably do so because they are jealous.
There is a singer/songwriter/poet from Nova Scotia named Tanya Davis who I think gives the best advice on the subject...
What do you like to do alone?