Being single can be fun when you don’t consider it to be a burden. Having dinners, going to movies, or music gigs can be equally enjoyable alone but it takes time to get comfortable doing it this way. If you are going to do something by yourself, here is some advice on how you can make it a great experience.
Going Out Solo Is An Acquired Taste
The biggest mistake people make is that they approach going out solo the same way as they would with another person. Using a tennis analogy both doubles and singles games use the same tennis balls, racquets and court dimensions. However, the strategies and pace of these two styles are completely different.
If you have been going to the movies with another person most of your life it will feel a little unusual when you go by yourself. Once the initial awkwardness wears away you then start finding parts of it that you enjoy. You will also find that there is less inner resistance to going out by yourself and it will take less mental preparation.
This adaptation may take some time before you get used to it. But with enough evidence that going out alone does not suck it will become a pleasant experience. Some of my friends continued with this tradition from time to time even after they were no longer single. It is understandable so as our relationship with the self is the most important one.
See It As Going On A Date With A Movie
Some bookstores use a concept of a “blind date with a book” where popular titles are sold in a brown paper wrapper without disclosing their name. The idea behind it is that just like we spend time with another person to get to know them you can equally spend time with a book learning its story. Similarly seeing a movie alone is a way of getting to learn a new story, the director’s vision of an idea and the actors’ performance. Using this frame of mind you aren’t going on the date by yourself but you have a date with a favourite band, cuisine from another culture or an awesome story told by a paper companion.
Do Not Worry About What Others Think
Our insecurities come from the idea that everybody’s attention is on us. In reality, most of us are busy with our own life. If you need proof check out how this lady walked around the streets of Hong Kong naked with a pair of pants painted on her with body paint. She even wore a t-shirt saying “No pants are the best pants” and not a single person noticed.
Whether you are alone or with someone else while having the best evening ever in a restaurant most people do not care. They are there for their own enjoyment.
If you feel like an odd duck let me share some facts with you. Almost 50% of the population in the United States is single. That is about 122 million people just like you. Do you think that all 122 million are staying home because they have nobody to go out with?
For one of my recent events, I took a small group to a “Paint and Sip” experience. This was an event where I and other aspiring Picassos had our attempt at recreating art classics with a help of an instructor and BYO wine.
I expected that this would be either group or date activity but found a couple of painters having a great time by themselves. What was even more enjoyable to see those solo adventures socialising with others and making friends.
Just because you go out alone does not mean that you will have to spend the whole evening by yourself. Going out by yourself is also a great way to meet new people.
Choose The Right Place For Solo Outing
Not every place or activity is solo-friendly. Just like hanging out by yourself with a group of married couples with kids, it could be an awkward party. Small bars with friendly staff and a cool ambience are a better choice than loud crowded clubs.
Choose small intimate restaurants with good reviews that cater for small groups of people. Read the reviews and check the venue photos. Once you have been to a couple of those you will know exactly what to look for.
What Activities Can You Do By Yourself
Almost everything you can do with others is suitable for a single person unless it physically requires two or more people. Movies, music gigs, sports events, festivals, art galleries, dining, hikes and travelling.
Some less traditional but equally great events to consider: – whiskey and wine tours, adventure activities like sky diving, kayaking and paragliding, crime and ghost tours, cooking and cocktail-making experiences, and speed dating events.
If you are stuck and can’t come up with ideas use websites like “What’s on” in your city for inspiration.
How To Enjoy Going To Movies Alone
The trick here is to choose a movie that you are dying to see and not just to fill your day with stuff. Humans are driven by motivation towards and away. Building anticipation is an example of towards motivation when you are excited about something and want to put effort to make it happen. The excitement about the upcoming day will encourage you to leave the house and make it to the movies.
Motivation away would be you spontaneously buying a ticket to a movie that could not care less about and seeing putting clothes on and getting to the cinema as drudgery. Create excitement by watching movie trailers and speaking to your friends or people at work about it.
When you finally make it to the cinema do all the things you would normally do. Buy some popcorn maybe have a glass of vino before getting into your seat. I find opera and theatre are very similar to the movies in how suitable they are for going out by yourself.
To reflect on your experience you can write a review on Facebook, IMDB or RottenTomatoes. You can also share your opinion on how great or terrible the movie was as a conversation starter in the office or on a video call if you work remotely.
How To Have Fun At Music Concerts Alone
The same approach with the movies can be used for any type of music gig from Jazz to Metallica. Pick a band that you are curious about or dreamt to see live. Gigs are more engaging especially if you like to dance or sing. It gets easier once you are in a crowd to start tapping your feet or showing off the cool moves that you practised dancing in the kitchen.
When you go out to the gigs alone it also offers the opportunity to get close to the stage and see your favourite artist playing in front of you. I saw a girl pulled by a hand to dance on a stage with Morcheeba just because she was making eye contact and waving at the singer.
Going out to gigs solo is a great opportunity to see and interact with a band that you love from a very close distance without paying for a premium experience. Small and medium size venues often have the same price tickets with the best spots next to the stage available on a first-come-best-dressed basis. Because you are not constrained by your date preferences and arrival time you can come a bit earlier and get a spot right next to the stage.
How To Enjoy Dining Alone
Dining out is another activity that you can enjoy without needing a date. I regularly see people at restaurants having dinner by themselves and looking very happy.
There is an abundance of restaurant review sites for you to choose from. Don’t get duped by highly-ranked reviews from one source. Internet history teaches us that anything can be easily manipulated with people leaving glowing reviews for being fed instant noodles and ready meals. Trust your gut instincts, look at food photos and read reviews from different sites before making a reservation.
Typically you will get more attention from the staff at smaller venues. To avoid crowds and long waits check out deals on reservation apps like The Fork. Restaurants don’t make money off empty tables and offer 20%-40% discounts on a la carte menus during off-peak times. It is the same great-tasting food only cheaper.
Capture the moment of your dining experience with a few Instagram images and tag the place they will love you for it. This may become your favourite thing to do. Images also serve as anchors bringing back memories of great times. Lastly, if you enjoy the place leave a review and mention that it was a solo visit. It will help other solo connoisseurs find a great place for dining alone.
Another Great Option – Travelling Solo
Technically not going out but it is worth including on this list. Travelling is probably one of the most popular activities that you can do solo. At a high level, it comes down to these points.
Pick a country that is safe for solo travellers and is not advised against travelling to on government websites such as Smart Traveler for Australia or Travel.State.Gov for the US. Please refer to the government website specific to your country.
Consider going on a tour with a small group using travel agencies like Intrepid Travel or G-adventure. Do not confuse small group tours with overcrowded buses driving tourists from one place to another with a guide mumbling easy-to-forget facts in between.
These are more intimate experiences where you can choose your tours and activities while accompanied by a local tour leader. You will also have a group of people you can reflect on your experiences and make new friends along the way. This is by far the best and safest way to travel by yourself.
If you decide to visit a country without joining a travel group search for local tours. Airbnb is known for its cheaper homestyle accommodation however, they also have unique trips and experiences with locals that you can only book on their website.
For instance, the street art tour of Paris is one of a kind and run by a local enthusiast. You will see unique parts of this city that are not in the guidebooks. Other websites offer more traditional local tours like Tripadvisor or Expedia.
I hope you enjoyed this reading and got a couple of ideas from this post. Please subscribe to my weekly newsletter and drop me a line if you are interested in any of the topics that I cover.