A Woman Eating Alone In A Restaurant


One of my most satisfying pleasures is to go to a favorite casual restaurant or coffeeshop and enjoy being there alone.

It continues to surprise me so many friends are too uncomfortable to take solace in this simple joy.

I know…we have these ancient imagined stories reeling in our heads like: “How pitiful to see her there without a dining companion”, or “Can’t she get a man?” or just “How sad…”.

The key take-away words are: ANCIENT, STORIES, IMAGINED.

It is 2017 girlfriends.

You know you are good company.

Take yourself to lunch!

Here’s how:

1. Pick a casual place you know..maybe off hours to start.
2. Bring a book..forget your phone.
3. Smile on entry as you are seated.
4. Ask for a different seat if you don’t like where you are put.
5. Be engaging with the wait person: “Do you like this wine?”
6. I always imagine wait people dislike seeing me sitting alone because their minds are on money..less $ for table of 1).
7. When I first started going out to eat alone I just had to fake it because it was too weird but I took my mind off the strangeness by appreciating how lovely it feels to be served, the clean and sparkling glassware, nobody to take care of as far as entertaining a dining companion, just a deep pause in a fast life just for me.
8. Try not to go too far down into your book to make it impossible to connect with other interesting people.
9. Relish your own interestingness.
10. Lately, I go to a hotel downtown with an outdoor patio open to the street. Very casual at happy hour. I sit with Emma and have a margarita…no phone..no book..I just people watch. In just a few visits I have met astoundingly interesting people. It feels super comfortable because it is a hotel and not terribly strange to see a woman alone.
11. I always tip VERY well and make the experience different than the waitperson expected. You will be treated like royalty next time you go! PROMISE!

a tidbit from OPRAH- click HERE.


6 Responses to “A Woman Eating Alone In A Restaurant”

  1. Carole Zoom on September 10th, 2017

    I will take myself out to lunch and imagine you 3000 miles away doing the same! Cheers. CaroleZoom

  2. Rita Kindl Myers on September 10th, 2017

    There have been times when I have felt more lonely in the company of others then when I am solitary and enjoying my surroundings… I guess, the difference is whether I’m ready to engage with the people around me.

  3. Becky Patterson on September 10th, 2017

    Boy did I need to hear that! My worst fear after a divorce 4 years ago is to eat alone in a Resturant. So
    I just skip the meal. I’m not wirth spending $ on. I’m too self conscious . I have to put on makeup for the public ( I live on a ranch ) . You. Have made it beautiful acknowledging all the senses. I’d wallow in self pity during the whole meal. You are one elegant , confident, woman big enough to live in the present Nd enjoying it. I’m gonna do this Cathy !????????

  4. Irene on September 10th, 2017

    It took me years to be able to go to the movies alone. Now you’ve inspired me to consider eating out alone.

  5. Ellen Fox on September 10th, 2017

    I love the way you do this. It’s inspiring. We women have so much conditioning to overcome. I used to relish my alone times – in cofee houses, museums, etc. Now as I age I am changing into wanting more companionship.. It’s intersting. Of course I work alone and live alone which so longer seems healthy or sustainable to me.

    I also just love the image.

  6. Brenda on March 20th, 2018

    Cathy, lovely meeting you tonight and a quick perusal of your art and blog is fantastic. I hope to catch up with you and Emma again. Soon. I remember specifically one of the first times I went out to eat alone with intention. At a conference in New Orleans. Great dress. It was a courageous feat. Great time and so many years ago but I still struggle with this small endeavor. One of my most difficult things in travel or even in my own community. You are elegant inspiration. Until we meet again. xxo

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