When I got divorced, I never realized how much the world is geared toward couples, groups, and families. Everything seems to be in pairs. When you want to go to an event you’re offered to purchase tickets in pairs. When you go to a restaurant, tables are typically set up for pairs of people. Even when I tried out a dinner delivery service, I had the option to either purchase meals for 2 people or the family box which included meals for 4. One indeed is the loneliest number. But just because you’re single doesn’t mean you don’t need a plan for self-care.
For a long time, I bought into it. If I couldn’t find a friend to come with me or it wasn’t something for the kids, I simply stayed home. I then felt doubly bad.
First, that I was missing out on something that I truly would enjoy and second, that I was now single. Talk about depressing. It took me a long time to head out to an event on my own (I took myself to a movie) and it was such a liberating experience. I think everyone (even if you’re married) should take yourself out on a date.
Don’t feel like you have to take yourself on a weekend getaway along (although with kids who really has time for that?) Go out to your local Starbucks and grab a cup of coffee. Then just sit for a while and people watch. If you still feel self-conscious, take your laptop and “work” as you watch the world go by.
Coffee shops are typically places where people might come by themselves and work. It’ll get you used to the idea of not having someone siting across the table from you, without feeling out of place.
TAKE YOURSELF TO DINNER
It doesn’t have to be Ruth’s Chris or even a sitdown type of restaurant to start. Grab yourself a #3 at McDonald’s and sit inside. For me, I learned that I loved the peace of sitting and having a meal all to myself. No need to talk and I could eat as slowly as you want to. If you go out by yourself, you’re more likely to meet new people and isn’t that part of the fun?
LIBERATING AND BUILDS CONFIDENCE
For me, going out to places alone has helped to build my confidence. For me, when I go out I feel I’m actually more likely to talk to new people than I would if I went with people I know. It takes a lot for me to do it as I’m naturally an introvert, so talking to people I don’t know has always been something I’ve had to work at. I’ve made several friends when I’ve been out around town on my won. That confidence builds on itself and makes me feel better. When I’m having a bad day, I find that going out and “people watching” can help to get me back on track. Maybe it’s a human connection. Who knows.
SHOULD NOT FEEL YOU HAVE TO MISS OUT RATHER THAN GOING BY YOURSELF
Believe me, I’ve been there. Since my divorce, there have been countless moves I’ve wanted to see and restaurants that I’ve wanted to try, but didn’t simply because I didn’t want to go alone. I think for single women, that can be a part of the cycle of loneliness. You don’t have anyone to go with, so you don’t go out which only makes you feel more lonely. I have been there. I’m not saying that your goal in going out should be to find someone else. Quite the opposite. You should go out because you can. Because there is something out in the world that you want to do or see and the fact that another person is not available to go with you will do nothing to stop you.
Being single doesn’t mean that you have to turn into a hermit. I’ve decided that I’m going to own it. I’m going to go out and start enjoying events that I like even if that means going by myself.
Where’s the last place you went alone? Where did you go?