Bjorn Koch dining alone

Sometimes what we need most in the world is some peace and quiet. We often prefer quiet while we’re working, while we’re reading and while we’re relaxing. There are certain things that are just almost undebatably better to do alone. But, for whatever reason, there are certain other things that are seen as strange to do by yourself, among them going to the movies, going to see a concert or sporting event and, of course, eating.

It’s time to stand up against the stigma. Eating alone can, and often is, a fantastic experience.

Think about what your immediate musing are when you see a friend, coworker or acquaintance sitting alone at a table, whether it’s at an upscale restaurant or the cafeteria at work. Your first inclination is often to offer to sit with them on the grounds that no one should ever have to eat alone.

That right there might be your first mistake. There’s a chance that that person you’re currently taking pity on isn’t being forced to sit alone, he or she is doing it by choice. Sometimes, eating alone is far more enjoyable than eating with others depending on the person.

Dining out alone doesn’t have to be a sad, sultry or pathetic exercise in getting food and hiding behind the menu hoping that no one will spot you committing such an unfathomable act in public. Eating alone is relaxing. It takes the pressure off–this might be one of the relatively few times that you get to experience a silent evening enjoying a meal cooked for you.

There’s no pressure to make something everyone will enjoy, as if you were eating at home.

There’s no pressure to hold a conversation with someone who you may or may not be interested in (think “first date”).

There is no pressure. There is only you. And the waiter/ess. And your delicious food.

And perhaps, a book. Bringing along something to read is another one of life’s carnal pleasures–reading that thriller that you’ve been picking up every night before bed while you eat your dinner is the ultimate experience in solidarity.

There is no sense in being embarrassed or ashamed of eating alone–in fact, it’s something that everyone absolutely should experience at some point in their lives. Dining alone is liberating, stress-free and cheaper. It gives you time to unwind, whether it’s by reading a book or surfing the web on your phone. You can listen to music, catch up on a podcast or have a drink or two at the bar.

Really, you can do whatever you want, you’re alone, remember?