I’m not talking about being single here. I’m talking about spending time alone, no matter what your relationship status. Some people are more comfortable alone than others. I used to be self-conscious about what people would think if they saw me out by myself. I made a conscious effort to change that and I’ve learned over the years to be comfortable with my own company.
Don’t wait until you have to be alone, as I have had to for the past few years. Get used to it while you have a choice. Truthfully, my education in solitude began many years ago when I had to travel for business. When you’re a couple of thousand miles from home, it’s not always easy to find company for dinner.
At first, when I traveled alone, I spent the evening in my hotel room, maybe even had dinner in my room, and watched TV. Then one night I thought, why no go out? It was downright frightening. All I could think was: what are people going to think of that loser with no friends and no man to keep her company?
That was a long time ago. I got used to going out alone, I became comfortable with going to restaurants, to movies, and just about anywhere I could go with my husband and family, or friends, I could do by myself and have a wonderful time. There was nothing to feel uncomfortable about. All the people whose pity I feared were busier enjoying themselves than noticing me.
Going out alone you are more likely to meet new people. A person alone is far more approachable than a person who is part of a group. Next time you’re alone and thinking of calling a friend to go out, consider going alone instead.
Of course, with the current state of the world, you may not be able to go out much anyway, but we’ll get back to normal eventually so keep my suggestions in mind. Oh, and while you’re out and about remember that this is the perfect time to learn how to find inspiration everywhere you look.
Consider the following activities to get you started:
Shop Until You Drop
If you’ve never gone out alone before, hit the shops. Nobody will be tapping their feet, waiting for you to just finish already. If there’s nothing you need to buy, just do a bit of window shopping. I can literally spend hours wandering through a bookstore alone. I love the fact that I don’t have to worry that someone who doesn’t love to read as much as I do is going to be tapping his toe, checking his watch, and telling me for the umpteenth time that there is a limit to how many books will fit in our house.
If clothes are your vice then take your time. Try on as many things as you’d like. Just don’t expect an unbiased opinion from the sales clerks.
Take Yourself to the Movies
Consider going to see a movie. Pick a movie you’ve been dying to see. You can comfort yourself that nobody is likely to notice that you are alone. Get yourself a big bucket of pop corn and a pack of Twizzlers or Red Vines and enjoy yourself.
And there are more advantages too. You can watch the movie uninterrupted by your companion’s comments. You’ll also have the pleasure of having the snacks all to yourself. Enjoy!
Treat Yourself to Dinner After the Movie
After you’ve seen your movie, if you’re still feeling brave, take yourself to dinner. Table for one? Don’t worry that it will look lonely or pathetic. Like I said before, nobody notices you because they’re too busy with themselves.
Well, nobody will notice you but that cute guy over there. And if you’re single, that could be a definite advantage.
Got to a nice restaurant and sit at the bar. Even if you don’t drink alcohol, order from the bar menu and then–well, listen. Writers know that one of the best ways to improve your dialog skills is by eaves–um, listening to the people around you. And that’s hard to do if you’re will people yourself.
You never now what you might hear or who you might meet.
How About a Spa Day?
Stressed? Treat yourself to a day at the local spa. You might think that you should always take friends to the spa with you, but a day at the spa alone lets you relax and pamper yourself with a mani/pedi or a facial. Then again, how about a nice massage? You can choose whether you would like to converse with the spa employees or spend your time looking into yourself. Just don’t be rude.
Go to the Beach or Park
If you’re not afraid of getting too much sun, or have a bottle of good sunblock, make a trip to the park or to the beach. Take along a stack of books, and your phone and you’re good for the day. Relax. I know I keep tell you that, but it’s really important. Relaxing is something that we all tend to forget these days.
Enjoy the sun, enjoy the alone time. You can read or watch the people around you. It’s another place where you can overhear interesting conversations. Oh, and don’t forget that cute guy! He looks even better in the sunshine than he did in that dark bar the other night.
Explore Your Surroundings
Explore the sights where you live. Ask the average person who lives in New York City how often they visit the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, or the Empire State Building. The answer is probably never. Take the time. Nowhere you live in the world, there is likely to be something near by that the rest of the world visits constantly. Find out what the fuss is all about!
Pretend you’re a visitor from out of town. Do a little research and find out what there is to see. A friend of mine discovered that there was a glass blowing factory near her home that offered tours, that she could do a wine tasting a vineyards all over the area, and that she could find a place where it is possible to stand in three states all at once. Sure it doesn’t sound as exciting as going to the top of a very tall building but you never know.
Take a Vacation Trip
This one takes a bit more courage than the rest. Once you’ve become comfortable with going about alone, take the biggest step and go on a vacation.
Use some common sense, of course, and don’t go wandering off into dark places or bad neighborhoods alone. Beyond that? Have fun. Go shopping, see the sights, and maybe spend a bit of time at the beach or the pool with a good book and one of those drinks with a parasol.
Wherever you decide to go, remember to take lots of pictures and have a great time!
Oh… and I almost forgot! Tell me about it in the comments below. I’d love to hear your stories.
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