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The How-To Lounge: Eating out Alone

Have you ever had the urge to just go out to dinner by yourself? Or ever had to eat alone while traveling on business? Well, if you're not the kind of person that is comfortable with dining solo, here are some tips that might help.

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  • If you are eating out because you want to, ask to be seated at a quiet table with a view if possible
  • Order a glass of wine or two, but don't over do it. It's never a pretty site to see someone drunk in his or her lonesome
  • Even if you don't want to read or write, always bring a book, magazine, or notepad as a form of warding off potential conversationalists. If you don't want to be disturbed, you can always whip out your decoy to deter off potential buggers from coming over!
  • If you are only eating alone because you have to, bring reading material to keep yourself occupied. Magazines and newspapers are easier to maneuver while eating since they lay flat. Bring your date book and update your calendar or open up your laptop and get some work done, and if you're on vacation, browse through a guide book, but please, leave the cell phone on vibrate or silent. There is nothing more aggravating then someone gabbing on the phone next to you at a restaurant
  • If you're dining out alone for convenience or because you actually want to meet new people, ask to be seated at the bar or in the lounge area. This type of seating breeds conversation so you won't actually feel alone

Eating out alone can be quite an adventure, so even if you aren't fond of the idea, keep in mind that it's just a meal. If you have any other tips, please share them below!


Join The Conversation
Natalie-Love Natalie-Love 6 years
I tried it once and didn't like it much. Felt like I had nowhere to look. Looking down at the food is kinda boring, and around are people sitting in groups talking, and I don't want to be creepy and stare. I rather just eat at home if noone's up for going out with me.
Green Green 9 years
I think people who have a problem eating out alone are interesting. The co-dependency gets to be too much for me, sometimes I just want to be alone.
melda melda 9 years
i am very shy to eat out let alone being alone lol
PinkNC PinkNC 9 years
Yes I do it and I love it. I suggest every woman to do it. I think it's good to do it were no one espects you to be found. That way you can be in peace and reflect on a lot of personal things, without interruptions from people that really don't want to talk with anyway. Never tell anyone where you are really going when you want to be alone.
smp7328 smp7328 9 years
I am all for going out to eat by myself. I have done it many times. When i travel though, I tend to get food to go and take it back to the hotel and watch tv. But I will go out and eat by myself around my hometown. I usually do on Fridays. I people watch and my friend works at the place I eat at.
clarapl clarapl 9 years
I used to have to eat alone all the time when I was traveling for work, and although I didn't mind it, the restaurant staffs sure did! They just could NOT deal with it--sometimes I had to ask to be seated, and they'd say, "Oh we thought you must be waiting for someone..." then they'd act like I should be ashamed or something...uh, sorry I don't know anyone here in a town I've never been to, but I still need to eat! Maybe it's a Midwestern thing that it freaks people out so much.
Popeye Popeye 9 years
I've only eat alone a few times. I find it hard and awkward sometimes. Lately though since my girlfriend is not with me and we usually eat out together, I really don't have a hard time eating alone. I actually have a hard time eating with other people sometimes because i just don't feel the same. When I do eat alone I don't bring a book or newpaper... I usually people watch!! I find it fun and soothing.
minaminamina minaminamina 9 years
I love eating out alone, and I love when people go eat out alone. I waitress, so it's nice to have someone come out on their own... I noticed lone diners tend to be quite friendly, less demanding, and they make me WANT to wait on them! I guess it has something to do with the fact that if you're confident enough to eat out alone, then you must be comfortable in your skin enough not to make your waitress' life a living hell!
dior_show dior_show 9 years
I hate eating alone! I'm a really social person and can't really be alone for too long....something I need to get over I know!!
blackheartbaby blackheartbaby 9 years
I love eating alone. It's a great time to read! However, I've never tried it at a "nicer" restaurant. I would feel weird whipping out a book there. Movies alone are fun too. However, going to a concert alone -- not fun!
britracefan britracefan 9 years
great tips! thank you so much pop.. I was always so nervous about going out.. I'd pull out my cell phone and start texting.. and that wasn't healthy lol =) I'll try these! Thanks.
Amanda-La Amanda-La 9 years
I was so scared of it and so I made myself do it and I actually really enjoyed it. I walked to an indoor/outdoor cafe and they seated me on the corner of the front porch. I brought a book with me (essential) and ordered a big bowl of chopped fruit. No one stared at me and if they did I never would've known because I was reading. :)
amorefol amorefol 9 years
I've eaten alone a few times...and usually I read the paper or a book and listen to music.
artfashionmusic7 artfashionmusic7 9 years
i ♥♥♥ to eat alooone!!! plus wit some aweseome upbeat kinda music on! :D my fav!!! :D cuz wen im eating wit ppl they open ter mouths and u can see all the mashed up food in ter mouth and ter talking and then they spit, and ur likeing hoping ooo god i hope ter spit wont come in2 my food..and IT DOESSS!!! ughh! EWWWWWWWWWWW!! i sooo hate it!! and i just lose my appetite... -_- and then im like the last person 2 finish up eating...not coool. >:| and i just 2 think 2 myself...if i ate alone...i would have finished by now..ugh! besides eating by ur self is sooo much better, cuz ur alone wit the ur dinner or watever and u can take ur time and eat ur food..without having 2 eat fast 2 hang wit ur friends, or having 2 hav ur friends to wait on u. :P cuz ur a slow eater. :P lol.
KWM KWM 9 years
I actually really enjoy eating out alone - Good people watching, etc. The key is to look confident and not like you are lonely. Alone is not lonely is my motto.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
lol, no one i know would think that! every mom i know thinks it is the most wonderful thing to go out to eat ALONE. to order whatever you want without having to explain to your kids why mommy doesn't have to eat her veggies, not have anyone wanting to share what you are eating, not have to have anyone on your lap, get up a million times to go to the bathroom, eat in a rush because they are bored or acting up, etc. trust me, lonely is the farthest thing from it. i find that very funny though. i guess it's all in what you have going on in your life. someday you might rember this and it will give you a laugh. :)
Kazagirl Kazagirl 9 years
Plus why even put yourself through that when every restaurant offers take-out.
Kazagirl Kazagirl 9 years
I am sorry, that is the one thing I refuse to ever do. I am not talking about sitting alone at Starbucks or anything like that but there is no way in hell I would eat out alone in like a real restaurant. I just don't have the guts to do so because as much as you try to appear like you aren't some lonely sad person, everyone sitting around you will think so. Sorry just not my thing, call me insecure but I could never eat alone in a restaurant.
reese05 reese05 9 years
I hate eating out alone but sometimes I just have to..
theboyslover theboyslover 9 years
I'd eat alone at a cafe or something but not where people normally go on dates or out with friends.
ThePerfectScore ThePerfectScore 9 years
I recently ate alone at subway.... so i whipped out the Ipod
mandee013 mandee013 9 years
I usually HATE eating out alone and NEVER do it...but the one time I forced myself to do it out of boredom in a new city...I ended up meeting some great people and somehow managed getting a job from one of the guys I met! You never know what can happen!
Madinat Madinat 9 years
it's HARD to eat and read at the same time. i guess i'm just too clumsy or whatnot, but something ALWAYS gets in the book, whethere it's a greasy thumb, or condensation from my water glass when i pick it up that drops onto the pages. i dunno how you guys do it. now eating with my laptop (thankYOU panera for the FREE wifi) is a COMPLETELY different story. i guess since my comp is always pushed way back and the books stays right under my nose makes all the difference.
Tamma1387 Tamma1387 9 years
I love eating alone. Its relaxing and gives you time to think. I don't make a habit out of it though for the reasons in the comments above.
erinmarie erinmarie 9 years
i have been so afraid of eating alone ever since i was little! i don't really know why. maybe cuz i don't want poeple starting at me! but i know i am going to do it sometime cuz i travel alot more now! so these tips will really help me out!
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