Dining Alone: Getting Past the Discomfort

4091977889_b668d78072_zHere’s a picture I never thought I’d see: me, alone, at a nice restaurant, happy. By this I mean really alone. Without a book or device.

Dining alone is almost a sport for me because of the challenge it presents. As a major introvert, I can assure you that when I walk into a restaurant without reading material and with a commitment not to pull out my phone, I feel uncomfortable. While I’ll admit to the novice tactic of choosing a bar within a restaurant if possible, I’m beginning to get the hang of it. It’s easy to chat with the bartender. And s/he’s always doing a little something you can watch. Plus, you’re in good company with a few other lone souls, shoulder-to-shoulder–no eye contact required.

The initial discomfort pays off, I’ve found, with some stimulating conversation and being slowed down enough to really enjoy a lovely meal.

I wrote about this more extensively, with some tips, last week at TravelSkills.com. Check it out.

For now, my solo-dining expeditions occur when I travel. Who knows, though, maybe at some point I’ll try it when I’m not away from home and it’s totally optional.

How do you feel about dining alone? Do you go for it, or avoid it?

P.S. To be clear, that is not me in the photo above. No selfie sticks allowed at dinner for one.

Photo: Flickr/Alpha