There’s a lot of stigma around going out for dinner on your own. I’m not talking grabbing a Brötchen (bread roll) or quickly having some chips at a take-away style place. I mean actively choosing to go to a restaurant to sit on your own and enjoy a meal.
People tend to feel sorry for you; they think you’ve been stood up or assume you have no friends. But the truth is that I was new to a city that I wanted to explore. Yes, sometimes I had no one to go with, but there are also times when I couldn’t be bothered to wait around for others.
Eating out is strongly associated with socialising, which is why I often get that look of pity when people realise I went for a solo meal. It’s weird, almost awkward because I actually end up reassuring the person that “It’s fine, I don’t mind eating on my own.” Hopefully that way they feel better and are no longer feeling concerned (?) about me. However, going out to eat alone does not mean you are having a crisis.
As an expat, I spend a lot of time on my phone catching up with friends and family and it is so easy to spend your entire ‘alone meal’ doing exactly that. But for me, this defeats the entire point. I am already not a fan of using my phone at the dinner table, and although I am not spending time with others, I am spending the time with myself. So I prefer to observe my surroundings, read or write. Sometimes it’s just nice to think.
As I wrap up this post, there is still one thing that I haven’t mentioned: the actual food! This is the main reason that you eat in restuarants after all. There’s no reason not to go out and have that meal you’ve been craving all week just because you can’t find anyone to join you. It will still be delicious 🙂
So next time you’re really fancy that meal or want to go to that restaurant you’ve heard loads about, why not just try it on your own? This stigma needs to go.