How to Go Out Alone and Love It

For some reason, going out alone is still a stigma. But that may soon change, now that solo hits have won the endorsement of the quirky model and prolific tweeter Chrissy Teigen .

As someone who is often alone and genuinely enjoys it, I sometimes forget that others are so repulsive in one of my favorite ways of learning about life. My guess is that they are afraid that other people will see them in private and judge them, believing that they are so pathetic or disgusting that no one will show up with them in public. In fact, however, no one notices or cares whether you are attending the Oyster Happy Hour alone or at a table full of rowdy companions.

I’m not suggesting that you avoid your friends, family, and coworkers in favor of living as a public recluse, but there are certain circumstances in which going out alone is truly the best option.

Don’t wait for other people

First, have you ever wanted to try a new restaurant or event, but ultimately never got to it because no one went with you? From now on, don’t miss any more opportunities: if there is something you want to do, do it – regardless of whether you find someone to come with you. Adopting this mindset is liberating.

And that’s more than conflicting schedules: Friends are great, but they don’t always share your interests. Sure, you can wait until you meet someone who is also involved with sides and fermented foods, but why wait to do what you enjoy regardless of whether the other person is involved?

Travel for one

This is especially true for travel. When you’re exploring new places with a group or even a partner, chances are, each person has a different idea of ​​what constitutes a perfect day. The beauty of traveling alone (or going on “dates with me”) is that every day is (potentially) the perfect day, because you can do what you want, whenever you want. No more misery on a river kayaking excursion when you really want to spend the day browsing the collection of the History Museum of Cookbooks.

If going outside alone is still daunting, it’s best to start small, like going to a cafe, grabbing yourself a drink, and sitting alone for 10-15 minutes sipping on it. Sure, you can bring a book or look on your phone, but also try just sitting with your thoughts or watching people for a while. It really isn’t that bad.

Solo Entertainment

Watching a movie or acting alone is another way to ease your way into this lifestyle, because whether you are a one-person company or a 17-person company, the entire audience (ideally) watches in silence. Also, how many times have you gone to a show with a friend and planned to go out for a drink and “talk about it,” but ended up either walking home because you were tired or completely forgetting to talk about what you just watched? Exactly. You could just as well skip all the scheduling challenges and go on your own.

Other solo walks can be completely therapeutic. Every few months I sign up for a local karaoke – one where there are separate rooms for rent. I always start with an hour, but end up staying two or three – alone, humming my favorite songs at full strength for a zero audience. You didn’t live to sing Poor Unfortunate Souls from the Little Mermaid soundtrack three times in a row to make sure the voice of Ursula the Sea Witch sounds right.

Get lost in the crowd

Another option is to participate in a large group event where you can (will?) Interact with others, but not stand out by being there alone. For example, a few months ago I attended an antique auction in a small town in upstate New York. I was only going to stay for an hour (I had never been to the auction until I got curious), but ended up eating homemade mac and cheese for dinner from their diner, befriending the auctioneer, and accidentally buying a baking cabinet from the store. 1830s for six hours. And it’s not just what I do when I travel: I regularly go to the local piano bar Showtunes, because when you stand shoulder to shoulder in a crowded basement and strangers shout out Rent’s introductory number , you are not. It doesn’t matter if you walked in the door alone.

How to behave with other people

Unfortunately, some people see the person alone and take it as an invitation to come up and talk to you, or worse, try to join you. My standard response to these usually benevolent strangers is “No thanks.” How in:

Stranger: “Want some company?”

Me: “No thanks.”


Stranger: “Hi, my name is Kevin!”

Me: “No thanks.”

Another of my regular steps is to put my bulky, most obvious menstrual product with me – usually one of those giant panty liners or super absorbent tampon – and place it on a table or counter next to me. To date, no one has ever approached me and bothered me using this strategy. Sure, it can be a little vagocentric, but there is nothing stopping non-menstruating people from carrying one or two products with them.

For the most part, however, I don’t need to resort to any of these tactics, because most people are too passionate about their own lives to notice that I am sitting there alone. And if you feel uncomfortable at any time during your date with me, you can always pick up the phone and walk away without feeling guilty – no excuses required.


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