Eating by yourself. What Does it Mean?

If you feel too awkward to go out and have a meal by yourself at a restaurant then you are basically saying you need to have people in your life forever or that you don’t mind not ever eating out again.  I think subconsciously people fear being alone in life because it equates to never being able to go out again.

If you can’t enjoy going out by yourself then people will always own you.  You will let them get away with treating you poorly because you think you need them in order to live.  As long as they can sense that then they will continue to treat you poorly.

I go out by myself a lot and eat at restaurants alone.  Once in a while I will bump into someone I know and they will give me a perplexed look and ask me who I’m waiting for.  I tell them ‘no one’ and they don’t know what to say.  It’s like I just told them I came back from trying on woman’s underwear or something.

What’s the difference between eating alone at home and eating alone at a restaurant?  The only difference is that there are people there at a restaurant.  If that makes you feel uncomfortable then it means you think they are judging you.

Another weird thing about eating alone is that some people will do it if they think they have a legitimate reason like it’s their lunch break.  As long as it’s socially acceptable people won’t feel so ashamed.  But if it’s a Saturday and you’re not working then you have no excuse and that alone makes people feel insecure about being out alone.

To be honest, a lot of people will judge you poorly when they see you eating alone, going to the movies alone or anything for that matter.  They think this because they assume if you are alone it means that you are incapable of finding someone to be with you.  Of course this might be the truth sometimes but other times it just means that you’re not ashamed of being in public places alone.

I used to feel kind of awkward eating out alone but now I feel more awkward for the people sitting close to me.  When someone is eating alone at the table next to you, you can’t help but have those moments where you think that person is staring at you.  When that time comes, I am thankful that smartphones are available.  If I’m looking at my phone at least everyone else will feel more comfortable.


14 comments on “Eating by yourself. What Does it Mean?

  1. cctyker says:

    You make reference to people judging you for eating out alone. So what’s new? Lots of times people around me are no more to me than moving objects I try to avoid colliding with. And if they do collide with me, I usually think they are pick pockets.

    I seriously don’t give a dam what people think of me. Keep to your own, mind your own.

    Liked by 2 people

    • MrJohnson says:

      I think the idea is, if you’re going to eat alone then you might as well do it at home. I guess they also think you’re kind of weird for having the balls/ovaries to put yourself out there alone. It does feel weird though when you’re waiting for your food and you got no one to talk to or nothing to read. You can only look at people and the wall for so long without looking like a creep.

      Liked by 3 people

    • nakedshade says:

      Ur right…i eat alone too sometimes and i don bother people looking at me


  2. Wanda says:

    This is an interesting topic to me because I hate eating in public alone. Hate it! For various reasons. I’ve never felt shame, but it is true that people stare at you inappropriately when you go into a restaurant by yourself. Why? Why do they do that? Also, as a woman, it can sometimes invite unwanted attention. And then if someone asks to join you, and you say no thank you, then you’re a bitch because you didn’t want their uninvited company. There has never been peace for me when trying to eat alone in public, so I just never do it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • MrJohnson says:

      Ya and it’s never the kind of stare where it’s, “holy crap, that person is so cool for eating alone.” Maybe they are just in awe of something they could never do. But probably they are just thinking you are weird. Guys are losers…haha. When we see an opportunity we go for it because society tells us that we are pansies if we don’t. It’s definitely not that comfortable or safe for some women to go to certain places alone.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The only time I felt self-conscious when eating alone — which had been rare instances — was in my teen years, as I felt everyone was staring at me. But the real joy of doing it started around my twenties. Now, except for bonding with family and friends that requires conversation, I prefer lone dining. Why? I can hardly taste the food when I am talking or listening to my meal companions.

    I don’t know, do people still have hang-ups when they practise solitary dining? It’s no longer a big deal, imo, because I see all kinds of people doing it everywhere.

    I watch movies alone, too. No big deal here as well, especially when you’re older. Although I used to enjoy that activity with my son.

    Liked by 1 person

    • MrJohnson says:

      It doesn’t seem to cool to dine alone here in your 20’s or 30’s. I don’t know anyone who does. It might be a bit different over in Asia. I did get that sense when I was living in Hong Kong and when I visited Tokyo. A lot of the restaurants are so small I think it’s inconvenient to dine with other people. Plus the restaurants are more suited to the culture of eating quickly and leaving. Is Manila similar? I just looked up the population and it’s quite big. Estimated 12 million!

      Going to the movies alone is nice. It’s also less awkward because it’s dark and you got something to look at. I pay good attention to the lonesome movie goers and they are always at least in their 40’s. I’m always the coolest loner in there.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m surprised to learn that about Canada which is a neighboring country of the USA where anything is possible or allowed. Here in the Philippines, it’s become more and more acceptable and the feeling of self-consciousness from eating alone is hardly felt.

        Yes, you mentioned in a post before that only people in their 40s go to the movies by themselves. Men here, even in their 20s have always done that. For women, it’s a bit awkward, but it’s still fine. It’s really a revelation to me — learning such things about Canada. I’ve always thought it’s an extension of the USA in just about everything. 🙂


        • MrJohnson says:

          I haven’t stayed in the USA long enough to have a say on how things go there but I think it would be similar to Canada. I see a lot of old ladies watching movies alone too. Usually matinees though when it’s not busy. But someone in their 20’s…never or almost never.

          I might see young people eating alone at a fast food restaurant like McDonald’s but it’s those proper sit down restaurants with menus and servers that don’t get a lot of lonely young patrons.


          • “It’s those proper sit down restaurants with menus and servers that don’t get a lot of lonely young patrons.”
            You’re right. It’s true to this day, even here in our country.


  4. “If you can’t enjoy going out by yourself then people will always own you. You will let them get away with treating you poorly because you think you need them in order to live. As long as they can sense that then they will continue to treat you poorly.”

    I forgot to add how much I like your take on this. When people around you know you aren’t dependent on them for your well-being, they either leave you alone or they become challenged in trying to break your wall. Either way, they end up with a higher regard for you, even secretly.
    In my experience, the one or two colleagues who try to embarrass me for my preference for solitude are the (real) pathetic ones who rely too much on others for their self-esteem.

    Liked by 1 person

    • MrJohnson says:

      I agree that in some way other people will respect you more if they know you don’t really need them for anything. It’s the same old story of taking for granted what comes easily and respecting what doesn’t. There’s always going to be people who will at least look at you weird for admitting to a more solitary life. It’s just not very respected to be alone in most societies. It’s like the equivalent to failure in life.


      • I agree with you on that.
        “It’s just not very respected to be alone in most societies. It’s like the equivalent to failure in life.”
        But it’s been harsher in the past. At least, there’s a certain understanding, in these times, of people who may simply be natural loners and misfits.


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