to think it should be ok to do things alone

(48 Posts)
homebakedflapjack Thu 29-Aug-13 16:05:12

I went on holiday alone for 10 days. I couldn't afford anything fancy so only went to Wales but thought it would be nice to get some change of scenery. I obviously wanted to do what most people do on holiday.

I went on a boat tour but when I booked the tickets the woman said "ONE?" in an incredulous tone and I felt so lonely as everyone else exclaimed over the islands and birds and sea.

I ate in a restaurant once but it was such a miserable experience - the lady behind the counter kept saying "it's a table for one you want? you are dining alone?" in a polite but surprised tone. I ended up with takeaways the rest of the holiday.

I just sat on the beach mostly but I did notice I was the only person alone - it made me feel a bit of a freak. I am now wondering if people who are single just don't go on holidays or days out?

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 29-Aug-13 16:07:40

Well it IS difficult alone...which is why many people try to go with a friend or relative. If you have none, you could try to look for singles holidays which aren't geared towards romance? There are some....

IKnewHouseworkWasDangerous Thu 29-Aug-13 16:10:18

I am married but I enjoy some time alone. I would love to go to a restaurant or the cinema etc alone but I just cant face the look of pity on other peoples faces.

Jan49 Thu 29-Aug-13 16:11:59

I love going away on my own. I only get to go for an occasional weekend as I'm a single parent, but I'd be happy to go for longer. However, I confess I wouldn't eat out alone for dinner as I feel a bit uncomfortable. I just buy something to eat in a supermarket and eat it where I'm staying.

I think a lot of people who are single arrange to go with someone else. It's nice to have someone to be with for some of the time (such as mealtimes). But if you mainly enjoy being away on your own, then it's worth it.

homebakedflapjack Thu 29-Aug-13 16:12:16

IKnew yes that was how I felt. Don't fancy a singles holiday - it was nice just to do things I wanted to do, ok ideally I'd have done them with a partner or friend but since I couldn't, well.

Cinema's usually OK though cause its dark. My brother goes to the cinema a lot on his own.

Hiphopopotamus Thu 29-Aug-13 16:16:18

I think sometimes you see what you want or expect to see. I love doing things alone, and frequently take myself out for dinner, or go to the theatre alone. The only times I've been aware of other peoples pity is when I've been feeling a little self conscious myself. I don't think the pity is even really there, but if I feel it, I see it. To be honest, I don't think other people even notice or care who is with who in restaurants or trips. If you are confident to do it, just do it!

(actually there was one time I did look a little out of place - I accidentally once booked myself a single ticket to go see a west end musical on valentines night. I just didn't click the date. I think I genuinely was the only solo person there, surrounded by a sea of couples buying roses and champagne for each other! Haha but I just shrugged my shoulders and enjoyed the musical - what else can you do?)

Grumpywino Thu 29-Aug-13 16:17:02

I'm single and love it, I'll never do all that marriage lark. I love nights out/day trips/weekends away/holidays whether with friends or on my own. I prefer to keep dates to meals/evenings in, and save my money and time for my alone time or with friends. I treasure my freedom and independence and always feel a burst of pride when I go away on my own....and no one to spoil it for me!!! I can't say I have been treated badly but then I don't go looking for peoples reaction, meh, I don't give a f**k. I pity the arguing couples and families, they look miserable.

ILoveDolly Thu 29-Aug-13 16:18:26

Cinema on your own is great. My mum, now single, nearly plunged herself into a severe depression going on a holiday alone. Take a friend!

I went to Italy alone about 10 years ago. I had a fab time, but stayed in youth hostels, so did do things with people I met along the way, usually in the evenings.

Beeyump Thu 29-Aug-13 16:21:14

I just cannot understand the problem some people have with going to the cinema alone - it's hardly a sociable experience, is it?? Alone in the dark, just you and the story...aahh, bliss. People can stuff their pity grin

A holiday alone is a bit different, but could still be fun I think.

Beeyump Thu 29-Aug-13 16:22:01

Reeeally fancying an afternoon cinema trip now.

liquidstate Thu 29-Aug-13 16:23:31

I have been on holiday alone! I just take a book into restaurants so am not sitting there looking lost.

But then I can be a bit of a loner...

EstelleGetty Thu 29-Aug-13 16:24:33

It is a pain when you attract looks of curiosity pity for dining or going to the cinema alone!

I had never been to a restaurant on my own until last year. I went to California for work on my tod. I wandered into a Mexican restaurant and ordered a burrito. The waiter seemed pretty surprised I just wanted a table for one, but he was very nice and said if I got lonely just to give him a holler! I figured I might never get to visit that part of the world again, and didn't want to sit in my hotel (motel) room with a carry out. I actually really enjoyed some aspects of being there alone - I could spend ages wandering around all the vintage shops and not having to worry about dragging any unwilling persons with me.

Optimist1 Thu 29-Aug-13 16:27:20

When eating in a restaurant alone I find it's useful to take a newspaper (for reading or crossword) or my Kindle to read. Room service is always such a non-event.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Thu 29-Aug-13 16:30:18

I love the idea of going on holiday on my own. I don't have a problem with doing things or eating out alone anyway, though.

I suspect a city holiday might be easier than a small-town or country one, too. I reckon in cities restaurant staff etc are generally more used to people being alone than in small places, and don't raise an eyebrow.

Somethingyesterday Thu 29-Aug-13 16:33:06

It would never occur to me to look with pity on someone dining or holidaying alone - and I don't believe I'm exceptional in this.

Like most people I've experienced living alone and living as part of a couple / family. Both have their pros and cons. But I can tell you honestly nothing in life as a singleton could ever be as bad as the sheer heartbreaking misery of being half of an unhappy couple.

Since I've been on Mnet I'm far more acutely aware that the grass is not always greener. Most people are far too busy with their own lives to worry about why you are eating alone. If they do notice you - they're probably envious.

I was at the cinema alone the other night. I actually prefer going alone because I can go as early as I like (I hate the idea of being late but other people don't seem to mind it so I get anxious waiting for them) and I can just watch in peace. If I go with other people I always have comments that I want to pass on but then I don't want to disturb anyone else; if I'm alone I know there's no one to whisper to so it doesn't bother me as the temptation is removed, IYSWIM. You can always then discuss the film with other people who've seen it at a later date.

I'm going on holiday (to Wales, in fact) on my own in about a week and I am soooo looking forward to it. Nobody else's schedule or wants to fit in...bliss. But then I don't notice people outright staring at me half the time (which they do, I have been reliably informed by everyone else that ever goes out with me, due to my hair/piercings/clothing) so I'll be unlikely to notice any looks of pity. If someone exclaims at me in surprise then that's their problem, not mine. I'm doing what I want to do and their opinion is not important.

In general people will think you're weird for doing certain things alone (particularly eating, for some reason) but they can go hang.

meganorks Thu 29-Aug-13 16:43:56

People travel alone, but then usually stay places where you expect to find other lone travellers - ie hostels. Did you think of staying somewhere like that? You don't have to share a room if you don't want to as most have seperate rooms and a lot of them are really nice.

If you were away during the school holidays I can see why some people might find that odd though. If you are on your own without kids why would you go at the busiest and most expensive time?

bananananacoconuts Thu 29-Aug-13 16:44:12

Use it to your advantage. I was once locked out and Dh (now ex) was at work for the next 5 hours out of town. I went out to dinner by myself and had the pitying looks. When i explained i was locked out, I got my food for free! Was only a carvery but hey it was free!

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Thu 29-Aug-13 16:47:13

I work away from home for short bursts, and love going to the theatre or restaurants on my own. I usually take my Kindle to the restaurant and read as I eat. Bliss!

GrendelsMum Thu 29-Aug-13 16:48:44

I was gazing in envy at the woman who was on her own at the place DH and I were at on holiday - she just seemed to be having the most terrific time, reading the papers over dinner, sunbathing, having a glass of wine, whatever she wanted. In fact, she looked so happy that I really wanted to go and talk to her, to see if it would rub off onto me.

Ifancyashandy Thu 29-Aug-13 16:49:05

I've just come back from 2 weeks in Egypt on my own. Bloody marvellous. Beach, book, beer. I took a book to dinner the first night but to be honest, I was too busy people watching to read it!

Been to the Indian Ocean on my own too. Way I figure is, yes I'd rather go with a mate but if its a choice of going alone or NOT going, then I'll go.

And, as a friend once said, many of the people looking at you wish they were you.

Ifancyashandy Thu 29-Aug-13 16:49:58

See! Cross post with Grendles!

ResNullius Thu 29-Aug-13 16:57:03

Regularly stay away for work, alone.

Often holiday alone. From choice.
Total freedom. Love it.

Also a regular at a couple of my local restaurants, when I can't be bothered to cook, and if friends aren't free.
Usually take a book with me, but very happy to dine alone.

Its a confidence thing. The more you do OP, the better it gets smile

wowfudge Thu 29-Aug-13 17:01:18

I've been away on my own a few times. Some holidays have been better than others and sometimes you meet other people and get chatting and others you don't. I have never gone with any expectation. The one thing I wouldn't do is take a book to dinner: it creates a barrier; so unless you want to be left alone, leave the book in your room.

ResNullius Thu 29-Aug-13 17:01:35

People travel alone, but then usually stay places where you expect to find other lone travellers - ie hostels

Actually choked on brew when I read this meganorks. Don't make me laugh like that grin
I wouldn't be found dead in a hostel.
Upgrade don't downgrade OP....you lose the idiot maitre 'd who says "a table for one????" and gain smilingly perfect attention.

hackmum Thu 29-Aug-13 17:08:28

I used to go on holiday on my own quite a bit when I was single. I used to enjoy it (no need to worry about accommodating another person) but I agree, the problem is other people's attitudes, especially getting ignored in restaurants.

Then again, it was probably particularly difficult for you going somewhere like Wales - if you decide to do a week in Paris or Rome, say, people don't care as much because there are plenty of lone travellers.

Gubbins Thu 29-Aug-13 17:09:11

I'm married, but I love time on my own and can think of no better way to enjoy a meal than on my own in a restaurant with a book. I'm quite happy to sit in a pub on my own too, and on the off chance I do want someone to chat to, then I'll sit at the bar. It's never crossed my mind that people might pity me.

AndThatsWhatIThinkOfYou Thu 29-Aug-13 17:11:03

I often go to the cinema alone and love it!

farrowandbawl Thu 29-Aug-13 17:12:26

Going to the cinema alone is one of the best things I have ever done.

Take a book to the restaurant with you - if anyone asks, just say your boyfriend/husband has pissed you off and you refuse to cook. (I got a free glass of wine with that one)

Holidays I haven't done. I can't afford it.

I get sent to work away occasionally. One of the greatest joys (other than the peace) is eating in a naice restaurant with a good book.
DH is a food thief and can't keep his paws off my meal and DC irritate me by ordering half the menu and not eating the veg.

Chelvis Thu 29-Aug-13 17:15:10

I'm off out to dinner and cinema by myself this evening - I can't wait! No toddlers wrigling out of their highchair, no baby wanting feeding just as my main course arrives, no DH trying to ask me questions whilst I'm watching the film. HEAVEN! Roll on 7:30!!!

superstarheartbreaker Thu 29-Aug-13 17:16:18

I go alone with dd; absolutely love it and wouldn't have it any other way. I get chatted up, have had great holiday sex this way. The last holiday however I wasn't remotely interested in men and I was blissed out without having my (lovely) family around tbh.
I also like eating alone. Why not? Holidays are about relaxation imo and I don't always get that with dd but the amount of couples I saw bickering last time or having to compromise on every little thing put me off!

Ragwort Thu 29-Aug-13 17:17:34

I'll probably get flamed for saying this but it could be something about your destination, my parents have just holidayed in the same place but said they weren't always treated in a friendly manner.

I used to travel a lot for work and regularly ate alone in hotels and restaurants and have never experienced any sort of comment like that.

I have a DH & DS but still enjoy spending a lot of time alone, I am always treated courteously when I eat out or go to museums etc on my own.

superstarheartbreaker Thu 29-Aug-13 17:18:00

I ate out every night on holiday last year and pulled the waiter who also was studying the same thing as me at uni. We had a great holiday romance shagathonand said if we'd lived in the same country we'd have got it together properly! YANBU op!

Rainbowshine Thu 29-Aug-13 17:22:39

I've gone on several holidays alone and love it. I have also been at the receiving end of some looks and comments but I try to remind myself that it's their problem they can't compute that a person can cope with their own company. I love the freedom to choose exactly what I want to do. And it is less painful than having to watch DH mope and strop his way around museums, art galleries, shops etc which he hates and I love, and I don't have to go surfing/paragliding or some other mad activity that he wants but would scare me stupid and he'd laugh at me for being a worry wart.

quesadilla Thu 29-Aug-13 17:30:40

I totally agree OP and in fact some of my best holidays have been on my own: I went to Russia for a week on my own: it was quite nerve wracking at times but an incredible experience and wouldn't have been the same alone.

It saddens me that often people regard lone travellers - particularly women - as oddities.

homebakedflapjack Thu 29-Aug-13 17:36:03

yes, it was a shame. I did have my Kindle with me; that was all I did all week pretty much smile

People were friendly but in a patronising "oh poor you" way which was harder in a sense! Surprised so many people do stuff alone - I've really noticed it lately and hardly anyone ever is on their own.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Thu 29-Aug-13 17:37:20

quesadilla, Russia! Wow. I'm fascinated with the place but haven't been. How was it? (sorry to derail)

Broodzilla Thu 29-Aug-13 17:51:04

I've done a fair bit of solo-travelling, and have voluntarily dined alone / gone to the cinema / museums / galleries.

Eating alone in a restaurant is what bothered me most, but a good book and a half-bottle of wine made it bearable wink.

The actual travelling part, airports and planes etc. I'd much rather do alone. Travelling with other people (even DH, pre-DCs) stresses me out.

About 10 years apart, once accidentally and once due to work-related travel, I've been to Paris and Venice alone. Had quite a few people commenting on how awful it must be to be alone in "the world's most romantic city" but I had a brilliant time in both. I met some amazing people. And the most romantic fling... grin

MesM Thu 29-Aug-13 17:54:38

Sorry those people made you uncomfortable - they sound v strange given you were a customer. Why should you miss out?

When I turned 30 I went to Asia by myself for a month - a big deal for me at the time. It was really amazing partly for the new experiences but also for improving my confidence. Would meet people (eg on excursion or doing a course like diving) and travel with them for a few days but often chose to be by myself. If you can get over feeling self conscious then I think being alone helps you focus on what you really enjoy and do more intensely. Still enjoy days out by myself now I'm married.

Pagwatch Thu 29-Aug-13 17:59:31

I go away on my own for long weekends. I go to the cinema and galleries etc alone. I have never been aware of pity.
I eat out, spend time sitting in the hotel bar on my own.
Last couple of times at spa hotel I have said 'yeah, I'm here on my own for a chill out - DH has the kids at home' the reaction has mostly been envy. Especially from the women.

The only time I felt embaressed was when they sat me in the restaurant opposite the pass and every time I looked up the waiter thought I wanted something.

quesadilla Thu 29-Aug-13 18:03:02

Clarice it was about 15 years ago so I dare say its changed a bit but at the time it was a weird mixture of old glamour, Soviet austerity and grimness. The thing that freaked me out most was meeting so many people who were clearly very well educated but who were destitute.

I remember going around some Tsar's palace and I had a woman tour guide who was fluent in English, German and French (as well as Russian, obviously) and knew everything about Russian history but at the end of the tour she discreetly asked all the people for money.

cardamomginger Thu 29-Aug-13 18:06:15

I used to go on holiday on my own before I met DH and I really enjoyed it. I still choose to do some things on my own, which I could, but have have decided not to, turn into a social experience.

There is nothing wrong with it at all. I agree with taking a book to dinner - even if you don't read it, it creates a barrier.

TooMuchRain Thu 29-Aug-13 18:10:32

I think it depends on the place and would agree that big cities are easier. If I am away for work I really enjoy having some time to explore on my own and never even thought that going to a gallery on my own might be unusual. I am happy going to the cinema too and see plenty of people on their own there -but I choose restaurants carefully because it can be awkward.

elfycat Thu 29-Aug-13 18:21:27

I've been going to cinema/ restaurants alone for over 2 decades. DH works away half of the time and if there's something I want to see and the DDs are in nursery then I go, and sometimes eat out while I'm there. I usually have a book or a notebook creative writer with me. Last time I bought a book I decided on eating out rather than going home, as I had housework to do at home.

The most annoying thing is when someone decides that you'd much rather their company than your own. Stupid man in the cinema who didn't think that my excuse of being married was real. As for the guy in a London restaurant who followed me down the road trying to get my number I asked a policeman to detain him for 30 seconds and I could disappear. I heard the policeman suggesting to the idiot that I probably did mean NO as I legged it to the underground station

DalmationDots Thu 29-Aug-13 22:06:46

I think it really depends on your personality and comfort.

I have a pretty hectic life term time as a headteacher, not so much now my DC are moved out/at uni/graduated, but when they were younger it was pretty stressful as a single mother juggling everything.

My parents would take the DC for a long weekend and I would just go away, sometimes just London or other times country hotels. It was so blissful peaceful and I had time to think. Not just think about work, DC, bills, housework, my school, but to think about life and all sorts. I love exporing places and just being able to enjoy them, see what I want when I want. Go into whatever shop/cafe/restaurant I want and never feel I have to make conversation for the sake of avoiding an awkward silence.

I love my DC and go on holidays with them too, but I need my 'me time'. I very much believe most people are both extroverts and introverts. I have my times I want to be surrounded by people, chatting away and need company. But I also have to balance this out with my own space, not having to talk or consider anyone else. When I am in this 'zone' I couldn't care less whether people judge me for being alone, it is not their problem.

exexpat Thu 29-Aug-13 22:14:55

I've always been happy doing stuff on my own, even when I was married - travelling, going to the theatre/cinema etc. I have to say I would probably avoid the kind of holiday normally taken by families/couples, e.g. sitting around on beaches, in favour of something more active and city-based, where it is easier to blend into the crowd, so I've been to places like Hong Kong by myself, but then I don't like sitting around on beaches much anyway.

I've also eaten out by myself loads, while travelling for fun or for work, but again, I would generally avoid formal restaurants where a lone diner really stands out - I tend to pick more casual, cafe-like places where you can eat at the counter or read a book while you eat, or the more friendly kind of pub.

You will always get some people who find it weird that you're on your own, but I just see that as their problem, not mine.

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