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Table For One, Please: How Dining Out Alone Taught Me How To Enjoy My Own Company

Go ahead and romanticize spending time alone and eating a delicious dish while you're at it.
Why You Should Try Dining Out Alone
PHOTO: Shisuka
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I've been enjoying my solo dates since I was in college. At first, it felt awkward to dine out alone, especially when you see couples or families together in a restaurant. But when I finally experienced it, my hunger won over my awkwardness.

Since I was running on a student budget, I went to a fast-food chain. I remember my only worry was if I could get a table after ordering at the counter. I found a seat and just focused on finishing my food. When I was done eating, I realized that I could do it. I didn't need to message a classmate to accompany me or call a friend on the phone while finishing a cheeseburger just so I wouldn't feel alone. It was liberating.

This habit went on until I became an adult. Whether I was single or in a relationship, I visited restaurants and cafes when I wanted to try something new. During the lockdown season, I treated myself to a yummy meal after a grocery trip. I also plotted weekend dates with myself. It was delightful to discover new places without waiting for someone to align their schedule with yours. Trying out new dishes and desserts became part of my self-care routine.

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I admit that I sometimes imagined I was a main character in a movie just living her life. Dining out alone romanticized my "boring" life, and it provided a break from my busy workweek. Before I would people-watch, read books, or watch silent vlogs during my solo dates, but I realized the experience was so much better when I was enjoying every bite. I can go at my own pace, take my time with each dish, and really savor the experience. I didn't have to worry about anyone else's schedule or preferences. I lived in the moment.

Enjoying your time alone is a power move. You are in control of your life. You are the one who'll pick the date, the outfit, the restaurant, the food, and even the tip you'll give to the server. I believe this habit helped me build my confidence.

If you're single and looking to meet someone new, knowing well that you can survive a solo date will make you less vulnerable or clingy to new acquaintances. If they flake on you or ghost you, you wouldn't have a problem because your calendar is filled with me-time. You'll just move on and live your life.

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And if you're in a relationship, it wouldn't be a big issue if your beau couldn't accompany you to eat out. You'll be okay devouring your favorite pasta dish, and probs send them a food pic to make them jealz.

Being comfortable with your own company is an important skill. The more you spend time with yourself, the more you'll get to know yourself better. It's really like dating yourself. When you're alone with your thoughts, you can better understand your, emotions and behaviors without external distractions or influences. You will develop a greater sense of self-awareness and improve how you'll deal with others.

Dining out alone may seem scary at first, but I assure you that it can be a rewarding experience.  The more you do it, the more you become empowered to spend time alone. When you are not dependent on others for entertainment or companionship, you can make your own decisions and pursue your interests without needing validation or approval from others.

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