“I’d never eat out alone.” Countless women–and men–have voiced this one, implying that if they had a magic wand they’d never have to shovel pasta alone again. Eating lunch with my daughter, we overheard the man at the next table lamenting, “It’s just awful. I can handle lunch alone, but dinner . . . ”
The underlying assumption is “I must be some poor, lonely loser if I can’t find someone with whom to have lunch/dinner.” Maybe you flash back to the lunch table, ousted by the mean girls. There was a time in our culture when single diners, especially women, were treated poorly by restaurant staff. Stereotypically shuttled to the worst table, where they would be banged in the head by the swinging kitchen door.
One of my greatest ways to refuel is to take my current book and eat on a patio in pleasant weather. I rather like my own company, people watching or enjoying a good story. Eating alone says nothing more about me than that I am eating alone. It’s all a state of mind. No need for self-talk that eating alone is pitiful; reframe it as the quiet time you desperately desire.
While we’re addressing expectations, you might want to add Eat Chocolate Naked Week to your list to celebrate. Are you sick of the conventional definition of beauty, and shamed into hiding because of some perceived lack in your appearance or size? This looks like a wonderful opportunity to redefine beauty in a way that works for you.