Going Out Alone

Going Out Alone

Applause for those single people who have learned how to attend parties, dinners, travel adventures, even weddings without the need to bring a plus one.

Going Out Alone

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A few weeks ago, I hosted two pop-up dinners in my new home in a historic district of Los Angeles. Finally, a big enough space for a dinner party! Friday was for my neighbors, and Saturday was for SingularCity.

The Friday night dinner was the one I was most anxious about. People I’d never met before — fellow old house restorers — would be coming to my home for the first time since I moved in last fall. About 20 people RSVP’d via the neighborhood community website.

On the night before the dinner, I received a phone call from a woman who wanted to know if there were still seats available for Friday. She thought it sounded wonderful and was very enthusiastic about attending.

“So you’d like to RSVP then?” I asked.

“I’ll have to let you know,” she replied, “tomorrow.”

She was so excited about coming. Why didn’t she commit?

The next day I received an email from her that read: Dear Kim. I so wanted to go but my date doesn’t want to. Sorry, I can’t make it.

“Say what?” I thought. “Your date doesn’t want to do something you really want to do, and which only happens once, and instead of attending yourself, you’re not coming? Why can’t you come by yourself and go on a date with him another night?”

That was my initial reaction — not voiced aloud, of course. And once again, I was provided with an example that despite how far single people have come with shedding those old negative ideas about being single, many still feel awkward about moving through the world as a party of one.

Then I realized I used to do the exact same thing — not wanting to attend a social engagement unless I had a date or a friend by my side. I’ve learned how to do it, and at times I still feel some resistance. It’s harder to meet new people when you can chat with someone you already know. But then you spend the whole night talking to your date or your friend, and don’t connect with anyone new.

That thought was followed with admiration for those single people (particularly single women, because it can be even more challenging for them) who walk through their fear and show up at a party alone, a wedding alone, or any social event alone — even though they know it may feel awkward.

We had a fabulous dinner that Friday night. People connected over their mutual interest in old houses and developing the neighborhood. The food was great and my home positively glowed with happy guests. But not there to enjoy it was that woman who so wanted to attend, but couldn’t, wouldn’t, because her date didn’t want to. I wondered how many others might have come if they had the courage to walk through the front door without an escort by their side.

So this week I congratulate those single women — dating or not, in a relationship or not — who have found the courage to walk through the fear of “it will be uncomfortable if I go alone,” “who will I talk to?” “everyone else will part of a couple,” and instead, put on their best smile and knock on the door, ready to experience the adventure of life on their own.

Copyright © 2015 Kim Calvert/Singular Communications, LLC

Kim Calvert is the editor of Singular magazine and the founder of the SingularCity social networking community. An outspoken champion of people who are living their lives as a “me” instead of a “we,” Kim oversees the creative direction and editorial content of the magazine and online social networking community. She secures contributors and is responsible for maintaining the fun, upbeat, inspirational and often-humorous tone of Singular, a lifestyle guide for successful single living.

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11 thoughts on “Going Out Alone

  1. Yeah! And yes, it does take courage for those of us who are shy. The most adventurous, go it alone, event I ever went to was a Yankees game at old Yankee field.

    When I called to purchase a ticket the person said, ‘excuse me for asking, but aren’t you a woman?’

    Last I checked, yes, I am.

    However I was in New York and no one else wanted to go see baseball. Lost opportunity is exactly that… lost.

    I got an upgrade ticket for being brave enough to go alone and had one of the funnest days I can remember. Hurray for being brave enough to go it alone :-)

  2. Just because you are in the single business and have an agenda doesn’t mean this women did not attend your party because she did not want to go alone. She could of already had plans with her date and he wanted her all to himself, maybe he had hard to get reservations, or other plans for their date. What is she supposed to do, say sorry, I’ve got a better offer? Maybe they both are too busy to come up with a mutual night to get together and changing it meant not seeing each other for another week or so. Maybe he was having a bad week and really did not want to deal with a bunch of strangers. Maybe their date should include something they both want to do. It’s not as cut and dry as you think so cut us singles some slack, and not assume we all fall into the same cookie cutter mold you preach against. I have no issues with going out to events alone, but I’m not going to break plans with someone just because I got a better offer.

    1. Dawn, the woman that didn’t come to the dinner party provided the means to talk about the issue of going out on your own. The article is not about her, it’s about how difficult it can be to be single and attend events solo. I have great admiration for the people, and particularly the women, who come to SingularCity events (or other events), for the first time, not knowing anyone in the room. I think that takes a lot of courage and I applaud them for doing that. Of course, it doesn’t take long for them to connect with people, but that first time in a new situation with people you’ve never met is a big step for most people.

  3. I began going to movies alone even when I was a teenager, and continued all through my adulthood. The only time it got weird was when some random creepazoid tried to feel me up in a theater in Manhattan. I got over the skeevies pretty quickly, though, and still go alone most of the time. I enjoy just watching the movie, without the pressure of feeling the need to accommodate another person in my space.

    And sometimes it’s nice to go as a group, with none of the “couple” pressures.

    There is still a great deal of pressure to do things in pairs, and it is nice to share experiences, but the social *obligation* to always be coupled is definitely onerous!

    1. Even while being in a relationship now, I still enjoy going out alone. There’s something very freeing about doing exacty what you want, when you want, without having to compromise for someone else’s preferences or desires. My boyfriend and I enjoy each other’s company but also respect each other’s independence and give each other space when needed (and think that’s why we work out well). Sometimes I want company with him, friends and/or family. At other times I like to enjoy a meal, movie or other activity alone (or, I want to go to something but no one else is available to go with me–what am I supposed to do, forfeit all outside activity until someone can accompany me?) I’m the same person in either scenario, alone or with company. I don’t even care if anyone judges me negatively for that because they don’t personally know me and aren’t operating with full information, so their judgment isn’t a really accurate reflection of who I am.

  4. Many men have the same problem. It may be that it’s not a fear of being alone, as much as it is a fear of people seeing that you’re alone. Alone, unworthy, unwanted, etc., etc., etc, ,,,,,,,,,,,

  5. I used to miss out on a lot of things because I wouldn’t go by myself. That changed about a year ago. Totally agree with you Kim and it’s something you have to practice doing. Someone I knew called it “taking contrary action.”

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