We’ve all been there. Friends find new relationships, family holidays crop up or plans get cancelled. Either way, you’re left to fly solo for some time over the summer. But, like Justin Timberlake and Robbie Williams, you can have more fun without your band mates.
Eating in a restaurant
Eating alone. What’s the etiquette? Do you make awkward conversation with the waiter? Do you smile at the people around you? Or do you just pull up a pew at some randomer’s table and help yourself to their fries? If you want a nice meal but you’re worried about the reactions you’ll get, we have some tips so you can enjoy it, without the worry.
A manager once told me to ‘fake it ‘til you make it’. If you say or do something confidently enough, people will follow. So, dear reader, shoulders back, head high and request that table for one confidently. When I say ‘confidently’ I don’t mean you should bellow it to the whole restaurant, of course. Following your host to your required table brings us nicely onto number two.
2. Table Choice
Choose a table near a window and if you can, sit with your back to the restaurant. You can then look outside and not make any awkward eye contact. If that feels too standoffish, sit next to the window so you’re not craning your neck when you need to catch the waiter’s eye.
3. Take a book
Or a paper or a magazine, even an iPad or a Kindle. Something to look at while you wait for your food to come.
Going to the pub
Many people find it hard to go to the pub on their own. With friends it’s fine, but alone seems to be a social stumbling block. But, if you find you want to meet new people, or you just fancy getting out of the house, here are my tips.
1. Take a book
As before, take some reading material to read at the bar. It means you’re not awkwardly looking around to talk to someone, but there’s also a conversation topic if someone decides to speak to you. Try this option rather than staring into a smartphone, as that doesn’t offer any conversation openings should the opportunity arise.
2. Head straight to the bar
Conversations start at the bar. Walk into the pub confidently, head to the bar and get a drink. You might even start chatting to the bar staff. Read your book or newspaper and see what’s going on around you. You might get chatting to someone or you might just hear some interesting conversations!
Going on holiday
The single holiday market is growing. One in four people have said they will travel solo this year whilst Google has reported an increase in the search term ‘solo travel’. In case you were wondering, the most popular solo travel destination is Australia. I’m not suggesting you should travel to Australia. You may prefer a staycation. Whatever your travel plans, here’s how to travel for less, alone.
1) Book with a specialist solo travel company
Often solo travellers face extra expense; either paying double for a room to yourself or sharing a room with some random dude. Booking with a specialist means you don’t incur these extra costs plus you may meet like-minded people. Your journey is tailored for single travellers so the awkwardness should be at a minimum.
Plan what you want to see and do. Firstly so you can get excited about your trip but secondly so you already know what you want to do and you're not stuck with nothing to do.
3) Be sociable
Plenty of people travel alone, be prepared to make friends and chat to anyone. You might not make deep and meaningful connections but having pleasant company on your travel adventure isn’t a bad thing.
4) Take things to do
During your down time, have books to read or games you can play to avoid being stuck.
5) Plan your activities for earlier in the day.
In a foreign city, you may not want to head out onto unknown streets alone at night time. So go out for an early meal and/or drink, and enjoy your time in the hotel as it gets later. This also gets you up earlier the next morning, to make even more of the daylight hours.
Still not convinced?
Maybe it’s time to meet new friends? We’ve listed three apps below which help you meet new people in your area.
Meet Up- find people in the same city as you with the same interests as you. According to the app 'People talk, help, mentor and support each other- all in pursuit of moving their lives forward.' Apple | Android