I can’t say I was ever “lost” as an individual, but being alone was always something I never wanted to admit. During the past few months, I embraced my independence and started going solo. At first, asking for a table for one was incredibly scary and intimidating, but after a few times, I got used to it.
My advice for everyone reading this post, regardless of your relationship status, age, gender, anxiety issues, or whatever else on your list that could be holding you back: take yourself on a date. Here are my three main tips to be successful and comfortable in my self-dating world.
1. Plan it out. My very first date with myself, I decided to go to on an art walk, and then to a coffee shop. This is a simple outing, obviously, but for an anxiety-ridden and self conscious girl, it was a relatively big deal. I planned which galleries I was going to visit, and at which times I needed to get to the next venue. I planned what time I needed to arrive at the coffee shop, what I was going to order, and backup plans in case it was too full. My date was very structured, but it helped me stay comfortable.
2. Bring Entertainment. This doesn’t necessarily mean to make sure your phone is charged before you get to the restaurant. (I’m not saying your phone can’t be entertainment, but utilize this time to really branch out.) For example, going to dinner gives me an opportunity to read. I can read magazines, the newspaper, or a book that I’ve been wanting to. I will bring homework. I will bring my laptop, and whether I’m on Tumblr or writing an essay is no one’s business but my own.
3. Don’t Justify Yourself. Being alone in public is hard enough, and sometimes weird. The thing is, it’s not as big of a deal as it seems. Don’t make up some big story about how someone bailed on you last second (unless you like playing those games, then you do you, baby), just be truthful. If you’re out for dinner, or shopping, or at a concert, just say you’re there by yourself. No justification needed. No one needs to know, and the sad truth is, no one really cares. Just be an individual!
I hope even if the tips are shaky, you can get an idea of being confident, and getting out there to explore the world unaccompanied by anyone but yourself. Yes, it may seem daunting, but at the same time, it’s really freeing to know that you are okay and having a great time spending time with yourself.