Overcoming My Anxiety Of Dining Out Alone

After years of prepping my life for possible scenarios depicted on Sex and the City, I feel excited about life after college. Maybe I’ll move to a new city and meet all new people, or maybe I’ll move in with a great guy, or maybe I’ll get my masters and spend a few more years in my college life bubble.

I feel powerful when I land an important job interview. I feel invincible when I crush an important job interview. I feel confident when I try something new on my own. I feel alive when I do something that scares me.

But something I could never seem to shake is the fear of eating alone.

I knew it was bound to happen.

I imagined that maybe one day I’d travel for business and find myself having to dine alone.


Or maybe I’d be stood up at a restaurant in typical Sex and the City style.

*double cringe*

Or maybe, just maybe, I’d be super freaking hungry and unable to wait for anyone.

*triple cringe, because very likely*

Whatever the situation may be, I’ve worried about it. And I don’t know why.

If I can conquer the real world on my own, why should I be scared of eating alone in a restaurant?

I’ve worried about the situation for years.

Until now.

Currently, I find myself dining solo.

Only me. Just me by myself. All alone with just me and my thoughts. (Hence this article’s existence)

And you know what? I feel pretty okay.

I’ve realized sitting here- alllll by myself- that my fear rationalizes around wondering if people think I’m lonely.

Do I look like a sad, lonely girl who can’t afford to entertain company?

Will my picture be viral on Twitter taken by someone who “hates when people eat alone?” Dear God, I hope not.

But I realized while sitting here – who really cares what anyone thinks?

If someone thinks I have no friends, let them think that. I know the truth. If someone thinks I’ve been stood up, let them think I have enough confidence to sit by myself and enjoy a meal. Whatever bystanders may or may not think, It doesn’t matter.

Odds are I’ll never see these people again, so their opinions have no barring on my life.

I know why I’m dining alone, and I’m okay with it.

I feel pretty adult-y sitting here by myself, ordering and paying by myself, and enjoying my company by myself.

I don’t need a bag of emergency “dining alone” distractions – thanks, Carrie Bradshaw – I have myself.

And myself is all I need. Well, besides pizza and diet coke of course.

Get to know yourself over a thin slice and cold soda alone in a crowded restaurant. It’s quite liberating.

Image via Kellyn Simpkins 

Image Art via Molly Longest

News Reporter

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