Social Question

GeorgeGee's avatar

Do you have any advice for living happily alone?

Asked by GeorgeGee (4925points) September 6th, 2010

How can single people feel proud and complete and not feel like they have to sneak into restaurants and hide in a dark corner because they’re eating alone?

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26 Answers

TexasDude's avatar

Keep your head held high. Nobody knows your situation and they don’t have to.

Go about your business boldly and proudly and care not what others may think.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I have lived alone for many years and found that when I was giving back to my community in some way was when I was the happiest. For example, I volunteered at my local library’s literacy center until it closed. Getting outside myself and giving to the community helped me to feel fulfilled and whole.

ucme's avatar

Enjoy, you’ll miss it when it’s gone. At least some of the time. Ahh peace & quiet :¬)

Trillian's avatar

Huh, wow. I never thought about it that way. I live alone and have been alone for a year now. After being with people all my life, I find that I enjoy the solitude quite cheerfully. I plan to go to a movie tonight. Alone. I have some friends with whom I go to movies, dinner, or lunch; sometimes we hang out at Starbucks for coffee on Sunday mornings.
Why would you think I needed to “sneak” or “hide” anywhere?
Do you really think that you’re so important that people notice you when you go anywhere and keep a log of whether or not you’re with someone else? Honestly, people have their own shit goig on in their lives, and unless they’re in junior highschool, they couldn’t care less about you.

muppetish's avatar

I love going to the movies alone and often dine alone (especially between courses on campus.) I used to have to keep myself occupied (music, a newspaper) but now I just go about my business without thinking about what other people in the room are thinking. The only way to be happy is to be happy. Find some inner peace wherever you go.

Austinlad's avatar

Embrace it proudly, as I do. I never look at somebody sitting alone in a restaurant, for example, and think, Oh, that poor lonely person. What I do think is that she or she is being their own person, which I admire. I think there are a lot of advantages to living alone.

BoBo1946's avatar

Look at the glass half full….no one to tell you what to do or not to do. Spend your money anyway you wish. Go and come anytime you wish. What is not to like about that…also, get you a good dog.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

Tip: Bring a book to restaurants. That way you can occupy your time, and you won’t end up staring blankly at the four walls of the restaurant while you wait for your food to arrive.

Akua's avatar

I’m married and STILL love to be alone. I go to movies by myself a lot and prefer it that way. I like the peace and solitude of the house when I’m alone. Enjoy it and never feel like you have to hide and sneak. You are your own best friend.

Cruiser's avatar

I enjoy the peace and quiet of business trips where there are times I can sit and relax and not have to worry about anything or anyone. Relish in that ability that others may actually envy.

BarnacleBill's avatar

I usually tell the maitre d’ or hostess that if another single comes in, I wouldn’t mind sharing. That sometimes leads to interesting conversations. I love eating with people, but I really enjoy solitude.

MissAnthrope's avatar

I’ve been in and out of relationships for the past 14 years or so. I also have had my share of roommates. In pretty much every instance, I discovered that living with other people slowly drives me insane. Granted, I’m hoping there’s one person out there who I mesh with and doesn’t drive me crazy, but generally, I find I am much happier and at ease when I don’t have to deal with picking up after someone else, or whether they need attention right now while I’m in the middle of something, or have them nagging me, or whatever else. I am pretty free to do whatever I like at whatever time I like. I can walk around naked if I feel like it, I can sleep in and play loud music, and take a shower at 2 am if I feel like it.

I also relish my quiet alone time and when I’m in a relationship, I feel like I need it on a daily basis, but that is rarely acknowledged or granted. So, I say own it and love it! It’s a kind of freedom that doesn’t exist if you’re not living alone or if you’re in a relationship with someone. You can fill any lonely feelings with friends or activities and I think it opens you up more to meeting new people.

My friends and I were recently discussing this, actually. Not everyone is comfortable enough with themself to dine, see movies, or travel alone. The three of us all enjoy solitude and we commiserated over enjoying the freedom that comes from it, and also kind of laughed about how people see a single in a restaurant/movie theater and automatically pity that person for being alone or whatever. What these pitiers don’t get is that some of us like doing these things and we are alone by choice.

aprilsimnel's avatar

@GeorgeGee – Be careful that you’re not projecting your own feelings about being alone onto others. You have no idea what they’re actually thinking, or if they’re even paying attention to you at all. Chances are they’re probably not. And if, for whatever reason, some boorish, rude person tut-tuts you for being by yourself in a public place, well, you’re free to ignore them.

Ask yourself why it’s so important to you that other people not give you a hard time about being alone – and strangers at that.

Haleth's avatar

This is a nifty video about being alone. I’ve never lived alone before, but there are some solitary activities I really love, like biking or going for long walks on the awesome nature trails near my house. (I live right near a national park and a river.) That and painting outdoors or going to the coffeehouse with my laptop and writing are some of my favorite things to do. That’s the upside of being single, because when you’re in a relationship there’s never enough alone time. If you like alone time, a relationship can be claustrophobic.

As far as eating in restaurants, now that I think about it I’ve never eaten alone in a full-service restaurant before- I think it would give me that “hide in a corner” feeling. When I was a waitress there were always plenty of people who would eat alone, often at the outside tables because of the awesome people watching. I know I never felt any judgment or pity toward them.

Artistree's avatar

You have to be happy with yourself first. The rest is easy after that.

Frenchfry's avatar

When I first went out to eat I felt all eyes on me. I learned to pick up a newspaper and that help me look like I am was enjoying it . I have since then gotten used to the idea of eating alone, and eventually got comfortable with it. Just takes some getting used to. I sometimes yearn for those days that only happens once in awhile.

Aster's avatar

Pretend you,re on a business trip and it;s lunchtime. Really, people arent noticing you and making judgements like you imagine. And bring a small book.

syz's avatar

I always enjoyed eating out by myself and going to movies alone – I had complete autonomy. I certainly never hid in a dark corner.

YARNLADY's avatar

I am comfortable with my own choices, so it is easy to feel secure no matter where I am or who I am with or not, as the case may be.

However, I would like to convey this piece of advice. If you choose to spend you entire life as a single – and that is a valid choice – please take into consideration that you will be responsible for your own expenses when you are old.

I have been responsible for my parents and In-laws on several occasions, and I fully expect my sons and grandsons to take care of me if the need should arise.

A single person does not have that type of fall back plan. It is important to take care of yourself for all ages to come, as well as enjoy the freedom from being responsible to others now.

rovdog's avatar

@Haleth Thanks for posting that. That video was hilarious and amazing. I like “if you have an art that needs practicing stop neglecting it” the most.

Coloma's avatar

I have been single and living alone for the past 7.5 years and I love it!
I go to the movies or out to eat alone now & then, no biggy.
I’m perfectly confident in doing things by myself.
I think the inability to be alone, be self reliant, self entertaining, self fulfilled, is a far bigger problem.

I enjoy my friends but I LOVE my solitude and own company!


No disrespect intended but I think it is unfair to ‘expect’ anyone to take care of you. Kids can move away, partners die, we are all responsible for ourselves period.
I would never lay a caretaking trip on my daughter or grandchildren if I have them, and tell her I ‘expect’ to be cared for.

That’s a huge burden to saddle anyone with.
Everyone should have their own plan and if your kids WANT to step in that’s great, but it should be voluntarily, out of love, not obligation.
I think that sort of expectation is unfair.
I mean what if they don’t want to, or are not able, are you going to guilt trip them? That’s manipulative.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Coloma Yes, I am going to guilt trip them. I am currently supporting my youngest son and his family, two of my adult grandsons, and my Daughter-In-Law. I expect a return in spades when or if I need it.

Coloma's avatar


That’s a hefty burden certainly, but be careful, you could be setting yourself up for some major disappointment if they don’t return those spades. Better to ‘expect’ no return for a helping hand or don’t extend it.

Usually these situations leave people feeling martyred and used, I hope they come through for you but I wouldn’t count on it.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Coloma Thank you for your concern. I hope I have raised my sons and grandsons properly, and shown by example with my elders, but I do have a substantial savings invested to support myself.

zzc's avatar

Gosh, i had thought those days were pretty much gone. With so many men and women traveling alone with their job, or other reasons, I thought the stigma of doing things alone, was a thing of the past. I had to learn to do it, when it was really considered weird. for a woman. I got used to it. I can enjoy being alone. Now, if I’m in a restaurant alone, I find it fun to order something flaming, cooked at the table, provides a floor show of entertainment for yourself, besides usually delicious! And it may draw the attention of others, but it’s usually ‘cuz it looks like great fun. . . and it is!

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