The Joys Of Dining Alone


I’ve done lots of things alone. I’ve gone to the gym alone, gone shopping, and even gone out dancing solo. But what I did tonight was the ultimate in stepping out of my comfort zone.

Working through the loneliness of being single is a tricky thing. So one of my “assignments” to myself on my Breakup Bucket list was to have dinner alone. See, I am one of those social people who needs energy and movement and attention and conversation to thrive. Doing things alone that require stillness are not only intimidating, they are downright anxiety-inducing, causing me to avoid the intimacy of sitting and enjoying a meal alone at all costs!

I am the rare bird. I can gather myself and get pretty and go out dancing all night long. I can mix and mingle with the best of them. I can go to the mall and grab a latte and shop alone and enjoy every single moment. Because I am moving. Because I am constantly propelling myself towards something and away from the very thing that I refuse to acknowledge. I am alone.

Rather than embrace it, I flee. My escape comes in the form of social gatherings and penciling “appointments” into my busy schedule so that I don’t have to sit with myself and chew on the fact that for right now, I’m single. I’m it. I am the best I am going to get.

Until tonight.

I made the choice, on a whim, to take myself out to dinner. I had no idea where I would go. Really, I could go anywhere. But all of the usual spots would be like cheating, since I go there often with friends and the wait staff know me. NO. I needed to be random, incognito.

So I got in my car and I drove. I drove exactly 4 blocks. Then I pulled into the parking lot of a Spanish-Mediterranean place where I was sure no one would know me.

I was seated at a bright and cheerful table overlooking a mural of the Spanish coast. “This is it,” I thought, “My Eat, Pray, Love moment.” I wanted to feel every single moment of it. And luckily, after snapping a few photos of my food and the atmosphere, my phone died, so I truly was flying solo.

I ordered Pan Cantalan, house salad, and of course, wine. I ate slowly. I savored every. Single. Bite. I allowed the textures of the bread dance on my tongue as my taste buds absorbed the layers of the vegetable topping prepared especially for me.

I took my time. I closed my eyes and breathed deeply as I allowed my other senses to take over. Inhaling the energy around me, I sat in the moment. I was the moment.
In this experiment, I breathed in the meaning of being with myself. I slowed down and took my time. I felt every single neuron firing and flashing as I sat there alone, rousing wonder and controversy in those dining around me. I allowed myself to indulge, to smile, to comment to myself how amazing this moment was.

I treated myself the way I want to be treated. I showed myself that I am worthy of time and ambiance and the best that life has to give. I discovered that I am not just good company, but fucking amazing company.

I am worthy of love and attention and good food. I deserve to be treated well and to be given the very best of whomever I choose to spend time with. I will settle for nothing less. And yeah, I will probably date me again. Because I’m pretty damn awesome.