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let’s discuss: dinner for one…

Oh Joy Flower

Oh Joy Flower

Last month, I took a quick 36-hour work trip to New York. I had a packed schedule and didn't make any plans to see friends because I didn't know how my days would go and how tired I would be after my day-long meetings. So, one night I needed to eat and went to a nice restaurant for dinner…by myself. I used to dread eating by myself in public and would opt to just stay home instead. I worried people would think I was on a blind date that never showed. Or that I wouldn't know what to do with myself with no one to talk to. But after 39 years on this planet, I just didn't care anymore. I had a lovely dinner out by myself. I people watched…I thought about life. It gave me a chance to really savor the food and know that I didn't have to stay in my hotel room just because I didn't have any social plans with others. And it felt great.

Do you guys go out to dinner by yourself? Would you?

Oh, and PS. Have a great long weekend! We'll see you back here on Tuesday!

{Photo by Lily Glass}

23 comments

  1. Such a lovely post Joy! I admire your bravery in eating out alone, and it’s an interesting topic to discuss. I find it really inspiring when I hear about people who can do it, and it makes me think maybe I can too! Thanks for sharing. 🙂 xx
    Helen | Helen’s Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

  2. Eating out alone used to be a hard no for me – there was so much anxiety built up around it. And then on my 26th birthday I decided to embrace the fear of all the ‘what ifs’ and I took myself out to breakfast. It was uncomfortable for a bit, but soon enough it felt more empowering than scary.
    I now dine out alone regularly and love having the confidence to fly solo.

  3. Yes, I love eating alone! Initially I was hesitant but once I tried it I loved it. I used to be a waitress and people would often dine alone and bring a book and take their time. It helps me focus on savoring the food without feeling pressured to maintain a conversation or take care of my son (if he’s with me). Now that it’s rare for me to get alone time as a mom, I treasure this time of quiet and me time more! Also, I’ve started watching movies solo since I got MoviePass as my alone time break. People always ask me who I go with, and I say no one! It’s nice to just focus on the movie and be lost in my thoughts.

  4. Ohhhh right now, eating alone seems like a treat!! Ha ha. As a mom of 2 little ones, I sometimes dream of having a quiet meal out somewhere by myself. But the reality of it would probably be quite different! I remember it used to feel a bit strange. But you’re right. In the end, all that matters isn’t what other people think – it’s enjoying your meal and the experience itself.

  5. I am single and live in a town without any friends. I realized along time ago, that I need to get over that fear of eating out alone because I wouldn’t experience new things / restaurant.

  6. I would totally go to dinner by myself!
    BK (before kids) I have gone to the movies an actually on vacation by myself you might think is sad, but I really enjoyed and now with two boys I really miss time by myself

  7. I love doing things by myself! I have friends, I’m married and my mom and sister live close but I still do things on my own. Not all the time, but every once in a while it’s really nice. Movies, concerts even, a meal. Don’t laugh…but I have been on 2 New Kids On The Block cruises by myself and had the best time ever! Yup I still love me some NKOTB ?

  8. Hi Joy
    Like you, I’m a natural introvert. In the past (for most of my life) I was dreadfully self-conscious. I’m 39 this year too, and travel a lot for work, and it isn’t usually possible to arrange for dining companions. But the smartphone has definitely made it a LOT easier to eat out alone! You can read whatever you like, eat whatever you like, and talk to whomever you feel like. It’s a kind of freedom that I (and no one else) denied myself for so many years. Over a late solo dinner in London recently, I had an absolutely delicious dinner at a cool restaurant, chatted (when I felt like it) with a mum and daughter on holiday next to me, and left feeling like I’d done myself a favour.

  9. I like to go to the movies by myself! I don’t have to share my popcorn! I’ve gone to restaurants alone too. I never worried what other people thought, except when I’m staring at them subconsciously lol.

  10. I started eating at restaurants by myself ‘by accident’. When I was a teen with a part time job, I really wanted some real food one lunch break (not a grab and go sandwich!). My boss thought it was really crazy and brave that I did that… I didn’t see the fuss… I was just SO hungry it surpassed any feeling awkward.
    Since then it’s something I enjoy and look forward to, as a treat to myself now and then 😀

  11. I rarely eat alone in public, but when I do, I only feel anxious when I have nothing with me to keep me “busy” like a book to read or laptop with me to do work on. I’m going to be traveling/vacationing solo this summer for a few weeks in Europe and it’s my first time doing an international solo trip and ironically enough, eating my meals alone is what I’m most anxious about! I love getting to chat with a friend over a me; it’s one of my most favorite things to do. Looks like I’ll need to bring a couple of good books along with me! Or it’ll be a good time to just face my fears and anxiety head on. Your blog post definitely helped. 🙂 Thanks, Joy!

  12. Wow, I must say I am surprised to learn that you have never done this solo. I just presumed in your line of work you would have done this plenty. 🙂 I mostly get my creative ideas when I am alone. I am in my late twenties, and I have eaten solo, traveled solo, and done a lot of stuff solo, just because I want to. Mostly because I dont enjoy people’s company ALL the time and love having moments to myself to be able to do the things I want at my own pace, and in my own peace. My husband and my friends think I am a little bit peculiar for doing so. I normally tend to get anxious when I am around people than when I am solo. It helps me re-energize myself and then take on my social life again. 🙂

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