It is Saturday, and right on cue I had a craving for Hong Kong noodle soup. I had no one to go with, but I couldn’t deny my body the opportunity to give it what it wanted. I needed the soup.
I decided to dine out alone. Now I have dined out before alone, but usually at restaurants that catered to solo diners. This time I was planning to go to a place that is normally occupied by couple and family diners. I would most definitely stand out.
It took some time contemplating my options, and a phone call with my mom to finally make the trip inside.
Now why does it take all this to get me to go inside a restaurant and eat alone?
I feel as though there is this assumption made that if you dine alone that you maybe are lonely and have no friends or no significant other. You are so alone you are forced to do social things you wish to do solo.
As I walked into the restaurant, I immediately tried not to feel awkward but I did. I felt uncomfortable, so I am sure I sounded as I felt.
Once I was seated, I spent a lot of the time on my phone partially to look busy and partially to keep myself entertained. After a bit, I put my phone down and enjoyed my time sitting and eating. By the end of the meal I walked out more confident about eating alone. I actually really enjoyed it.
There is a particular stigma that eating out alone holds, especially when it comes to sit down restaurants. After overcoming my awkwardness, I think it is something I might start doing more often. I think next time I may ditch the technology and bring a book or a notebook. It seems like it could be a new form of self-care and a way of becoming centered, especially during a stressful week.
What are your feelings on eating out alone?