Today, I had lunch on my own. This isn’t anything new. I do it quite often. In fact, I do many things on my own. No, I’m not really awkward or sociophobic. I just enjoy doing certain things on my own. Like going to the movies or getting my hair done.
Don’t get me wrong, I love having lunch or a day out with friends, but I don’t mind doing things on my own.
So, when the woman at the next table asked me “Are you okay over there all on your own?, I was a bit shocked. Eventually, I said “yes, thanks”, before going back to my book and milkshake.
I also remember once talking to a friend who wanted to go see a movie, but neither I nor any of her other friends were available. “Why don’t you just go on your own?” I suggested to her. She began to laugh and when she realised I was serious, she said: “No way. I could never go watch a movie on my own.” When I asked her why not, she said: “I don’t want to look like a loser with no friends.”
Is this why the
nosey kind lady in the restaurant asked me if I was okay? She thought I had no friends? That I might just burst out crying and have my own personal Dr Phil moment right there? No wonder people think doing things on their own is weird.
I think taking yourself on regular dates is extremely important.
Not only does it require less effort than going on a first date (we’ve all experienced those awkward silences), but it also helps you build your self confidence. Plus, going to the movies on your own is bloody brilliant.
If you’re a talker, like me, then you can comment to you heart’s content on the improbability of the leading lady wearing heels to a fucking picnic. Or, if you’re a serious movie buff, like my friend Lauren, and you hate when people talk, going alone is the perfect option. “I prefer going on my own because then I don't have to deal with chatter, people looking at their cell phones, etc. I can put all my focus on the film,” she says.
As much as many of you probably won’t understand why I like doing things on my own, I’ve never understood why people feel the need to always be with others. So, I asked around. “ It depends on what mindset I'm in, but, most of the time, I wouldn’t do it.
"It feels too lonely not having someone to talk to or having someone next to you in the movies to laugh or cry with,” says Geraldine, a single mother of two.
I also had a very interesting discussion with a male acquaintance about the difference between loneliness and being alone. “I know a lot of lonely people. They always do everything on their own. Like you,” he said.
I was very quick to correct him; “I’m not lonely. Not all the time, anyway. I just like doing things on my own. That doesn’t mean that I don’t miss my friends or want to see my family.”
So, is this why people are afraid to do things on their own? They’re afraid they’ll be alone forever? Or is it the fear of looking like a psychopath? I’d really like to know.
Do you like to do things alone? Or are you afraid to? Tell us your thoughts in the box below.