5 Reasons Dining Alone Is Better Than Going Out With A Date

Growing up, you never wanted to eat alone at the school lunch table. It basically felt like you were telling the world you had no friends, and nobody wanted to be labeled the loner. Most students spend their childhood trying to avoid this fate. However, as you get older and become more confident in who you are, choosing to dine solo starts to feel like a rite of passage.

Instead of looking at it from a societal perspective and stressing about what others will think when they see you eating out alone, there's a shift toward inner peace and finding that sense of belonging within yourself. Ultimately, having a "me day" is a luxury because taking yourself out should feel like a treat.

Plus, learning to enjoy your company and not relying on someone else to go with you to a restaurant will open up your world to many more possibilities. In fact, you might even enjoy dining alone more than going out with a date!

1. Being alone doesn't mean you are lonely

One of the common fears about dining by yourself is that those around you will pity you for being alone. It's something that has been naturally assumed in our society for generations. However, when you actually sit back and think about it yourself, there is a good chance that you aren't lonely at all. Perhaps you simply wanted to try a meal at a specific restaurant or you needed an evening alone to detox from the excessive socializing you engaged in that week. There are plenty of reasons why being alone could actually be good for your brain health.

At the end of the day, you can feel lonely while surrounded by people or you can be physically alone but feel fully content in life. With solo dining rising tremendously in recent years, it's clearly becoming an activity that people enjoy, which removes much of the stigma. However, it's also hard to deny how enjoyable eating alone can be once you've experienced it, and with cities gaining incredible restaurants frequently, taking yourself out to try something new can be really nice.

2. Self-care requires time alone

Whether it's unwinding from a long day, reading a book, or simply sitting alone with your own thoughts, going to a restaurant and requesting a table for one is an act of self-love. You are taking yourself out on a solo date, which could be the self-care practice you need. It gives you a good chunk of uninterrupted time to invest in yourself. Part of caring for yourself is getting to know who you are on a deeper level and peeling back the layers of your own identity.

While it can sound overwhelming at first, being independent and doing your own thing becomes really empowering over time. When you really think about it, you hang out with friends or go on a date with someone because you enjoy their company. Taking yourself out to eat is simply an act of normalizing hanging out with yourself, which can help you evolve into someone you really like. If you struggle with being alone or listening to your own thoughts, this act of self-care will likely be beneficial for your growth and help you become the best version of yourself.

3. Being alone with your food is pretty nice

Sharing food together with friends and family is a joyous occasion, but it doesn't have to be the only way you approach eating. You've likely been to a dinner party that turns silent once the food arrives because everyone is completely overwhelmed by the taste of their meal. This feeling is only enhanced when you eat out alone because there is no expectation of conversation.

When solo diners go to specific restaurants, the chefs know it's because their food is good, not because they like the people they're with. Sometimes sitting down with a delicious meal requires solitude for it to be fully enjoyed. Instead of sneaking in bites between the casual small talk with your date, the food is the priority and gets all of your attention.

Since eating alone also minimizes distractions and makes you more present, all of your senses are enhanced as well, Mic reveals. The simple pleasures like embracing the view, smelling your food, or listening to the ambient sounds create a more peaceful experience.

4. No one is there to judge your food choices

There is so much food freedom that comes when you know you are in a judgment-free zone. Dining alone gives you the opportunity to indulge and really honor your cravings. Whether that looks like ordering a side of mac and cheese, getting a fancy appetizer, or adding on that tiramisu for dessert, the options are endless.

While going on a date with someone who judges what you order is a major red flag, to begin with, this also gives you an important opportunity to look inward. Many people question if intuitive eating really works and while the answer can seem complicated, it's all about trusting yourself. Eating alone and being mindful of your food choices can be really healing if you've struggled with your relationship with food in the past. If you constantly find yourself making judgments about what food you can order or how much of it you can have, taking yourself out alone allows you to practice intuitive eating. You can make observations about how your food is tasting and be more present with each bite.

5. You open yourself up to spontaneous meetings

You'd be surprised how many random strangers will spark up a conversation with you when you are dining alone simply because they are alone as well. Most people enjoy having the opportunity to talk about themselves and share their lives with people who know nothing about them. It's a refreshing way to connect and practice your interpersonal communication skills.

While the food or the restaurant can often be a conversation starter, people will actually start to open up and tell you about their lives quite quickly. Of course, if you are not in the mood to chat, most people will read your body language and keep it brief. However, if you embrace those random encounters, you will hear stories that are really impactful. It's easy to surround yourself with similar people or remain in a small social circle, but dining out alone creates an opportunity for you to meet people you otherwise never would have crossed paths with, and the stories you take away are usually pretty memorable.