Table For One Please

 The last few weeks I’ve been indulging in an activity that some of my friends have found astounding. I’ve had comments ranging from ‘you’re really brave to do that’ and to ‘I wouldn’t ever consider doing that myself’. So what is it I’ve been doing that’s caused such a stir? Well… I’ve been having meals out at restaurants and cafes on my own.

This trend started in London when I had no choice to venture out and seek subsistence on my own in a restaurant unless I wanted to brave a cold Gregg’s or feel completely unfabulous munching on a takeaway in my hotel room. I mean, I was making the effort to travel to a different city, why waste my time there by not enjoying myself? As I entered my chosen venue in London and asked the staff member greeting me for a table for one I did feel a bit uncomfortable but my shyness was soon put aside once I was seated and handed a menu. Apart from the lack of someone else sitting across from me, this was a completely normal activity that I’d indulged in countless times before.

Bored, lonely or feeling awkward? I had no time for these as I quickly popped my Mum a call to catch up rather than sit there feeling like a loner surrounded by scores of people chattering and laughing away together. In fact, by the time I’d finished my meal I didn’t feel too bad at all, fair enough I’d spent a lot of time messing around on Facebook and Twitter but I didn’t want to hurry back under the covers of the bed in my room and hide from shame.

Okay, so you’re probably thinking ‘so this girl went out for a meal on her own, what’s the big deal?’.

Let me break it down for you: I was in a relationship with someone for over five years and for two of those we lived together. Before and during that time I never had the opportunity to go out by myself for a meal, to grab a coffee or even just out for a walk. In my life so far I’ve pretty much always had someone to go out and do something with, wether that be a friend or partner. Unfortunately, when you find yourself single after such a long time you have to accept that there will be a large chunk of your time now free to spend with yourself, and yourself only – even if you’re surrounded by good friends.

So I’ve been trying something new. Once a week when I have a day off of work I treat myself to some time out of the house by myself catching lunch, reading a book in a cafe or shopping all on my own. This is perhaps my fifth or sixth week doing such and it’s actually really helped me to wind down. I work near enough full time so having a day where the morning starts with a lie in and ends with a pamper session of lotion and potions helps me to feel better in myself during the working week. Especially when in the middle of all such a day I’ve gotten dressed, gone out and had a nice meal just for me.

So I don’t have someone to curl up with on those cold winter nights anymore, who cares! I get to have pudding all to myself now instead.

Have you ever ventured out by yourself to a restaurant or cafe on your own? How have you found the experience?