We were created for community, so anytime we do something alone it’s seen as a little bit weird. Right?
Eating alone is one of those things that some people just can’t get with but if you debunk the myths, you may just find a simple, relaxing activity to add to your self-care regiment.
Are There Any Disadvantages to Eating Alone?
There are situations where eating alone may not be in the best interest of a person.
Those that struggle with mental health issues such as depression and eating disorders, for example, may bring further injury to themselves by participating in this activity.
Eating alone could cause increase disconnection for those who already lack social skills. Likewise anyone needing accountability for their eating habits could use this time to support hiding their food selections.
If you fall into any of these areas, it is best to consult your doctor, therapist, or accountability source to determine if this is a healthy habit to embark upon.
Is it Normal to Like Eating Alone?
If you’re able to partake, the advantages of eating alone are numerous. And yes, it’s absolutely normal.
Some people eat alone because it’s a part of their regular routine.
Individuals that travel for work may choose to eat out while away. Singles may find themselves eating alone at home, and so eating out may be a natural gravitation.
But we’re not talking about those people, we’re talking about those who make the choice to.
Choosing to Eat Alone
There is a group of people that choose moments to dine alone and they’ve got a so many reasons for it.
I’m one of those people. At first I started, because I didn’t always have anyone available to dine out with. I got tired of missing out on experiences, so one day I showed up at a restaurant and requested a table for one. The rest is history.
I quickly discovered the peace of taking a moment to yourself. I was able to people watch, which is one of my favorite things to do. You learn a lot about humanity just by watching their interactions in life and with each other.
Other things you can do while dining alone include reading a book, planning, reflecting, etc.
A Restaurant Experience of Eating Alone
One day while taking a much needed break, I went for a drive to the beach and decided to get a bite seaside.
Here’s a funny little interaction that I had with the hostess…
Me: “Just 1.”
Hostess begins to look around at seating chart as if this is going to be a feat.
Hostess picks up mic and requests runners because this party of 1 and a family of 3 needed to be seated.
At this point I’m humored.
Hostess: “Take that.” (Hands over menu.)
I’m hoping “that” is the menu and not a reference to me….
I follow the runner who is struggling even more as to where to sit me.
I point to a table with two seats right by the rail with a great view.
Runner: I was trying to figure it out, because there’s no one in that area. (Referring to most of the clientele sitting in another area)
That was the point. A peaceful meal alone. (Smile).
I Like Eating Alone
As crazy as it sounds, I like eating alone. Not all the time, but I see it as a one-two punch.
You’ve got to eat and self-care can be a part of soul care. We all need that space where we do something to relieve stress. It can also be preventive in helping to reduce overwhelm.
Why Eating Alone is Good for the Soul
Soul care is mind care. At times we only want to feed our soul spiritual food, which is absolutely necessary and should be first. But we forget that our minds need a release too.
Some people wait for those big moments like vacations to exhale. This small activity allows you to do it frequent and as often as you like.
You may be thinking that you need to save up, but you can do it on a budget. Simply plan a time at home where you can steal away.
5 Things to Keep in Mind When Eating Alone
1. DON’T BE AFRAID
People are going to look at you whether you’re in a group or not. You’re just that fabulous!
If you have a special place that you enjoy or just want a moment to self, take it.
You likely don’t want to be sitting there with nothing to entertain yourself, unless you have great views like I did at the beach.
Take your Bible, a book, or something that will keep you occupied in between courses.
3. EXPECT SYMPATHY
I’ve dined alone a number of years. The servers and people are apathetic towards you, because they think you are lonely.
Although that may be the case for some, that couldn’t be further from the truth for others.
That sympathy translates to nice attitudes throughout your meal.
4. SAVOR THE MOMENT
You’ve gotten dressed, chosen your spot, and sat in for the duration. Enjoy every moment of it.
This is the benefit of not having another person with you. No other schedules. If you’re a quiet person, no fishing for conversation.
Shape also offers that you don’t miss out on experiences.
5. SHARE WITH OTHERS (There are those in my life that are now wiling to dine alone, because I’ve shared my experience.)
The takeaway? Enjoy life! Enjoy even if some of your experiences are alone.
I’m not encouraging anyone to be a loner, but learning to enjoy oneself makes you enjoyable to others.
If you just can’t fathom “party of 1”, there usually are a few others like you in the vicinity and willing to chat.