A little l’amour de soi is always a good thing.

Solo dating is when you do anything enjoyable on your own, in a social setting. This includes going to the cinema, mall, or on one those Groupon deals on your own. Be in a social setting to call it a date, otherwise you’re just alone.

I have a friend who loves to go to restaurants on his own. He often has lunch or dinner at a spot that he’s never been to before, to enjoy a meal and watch people nearby – not in a creepy stalker way, but to observe culture. Then there’s Brooke Saward, a blogger whom I follow on Instagram. She’s been travelling the world solo, and sharing her experiences with the world. Now that takes chutzpah. Try being seen in public alone and then not feeling awkward about it.
One time at Ratanga Junction, I was standing in the line to go on the Cobra rollercoaster, where passengers are loaded in pairs. The park assistant stood at the top of the staircase leading to the ride, and shouted for anyone who came to ride alone to step forward. She wanted to fill the empty seats and ensured that all could hear her. Then as you would skip the queue she’d ask you again just to be sure. “Are you single m’am?!” Like seeing me standing here alone doesn’t tell you enough.

Here’s what you learn from solo dates:

1.  No one cares that you’re going solo.

Seriously, no one cares. And even if they did, what are they going to do? Stand up and shout,” Hey, look so-and-so came to the movies alone!” No shit, Sherlock – you have perfect vision.

2. The food tastes better.

Breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner socials are easy ways to train your body unconscious eating. So you walk into a restaurant, bring along good company, touch on a good topic, and get lost in conversation. That’s a good social, and in the interim you ate your meal without really savouring the taste and enjoying it. When you’re alone, you tend to enjoy your meals more.

3. You meet new people.

Surrounding yourself with strangers is the easiest way to make new friends. And you become more approachable to others when you’re on your own.

4. You get to know yourself.

In the most intimate way. You learn what you like without the influence of your friends, discover what you don’t like, and what you could potentially enjoy in future.

5. You gain confidence.

Practice makes perfect as sure as it is a cliché. You become independent and sure of who you want to be.

6. It’s hassle free.

I enjoy going on dates and doing outdoorsy things. It’s effortless when someone shares similar interests as you do but it becomes a hassle when you find yourself delaying what you really want to do because someone can’t make it, or wants to wait until the end of the month.

7. It’s cost effective.

You just said: “I’m only spending ___ money tonight!”. Then one of your friends suggests a new plan for the nights events and you reluctantly mouth off, “okay, but can we stop at an ATM first?” You’d be more diligent with your spending on a solo date and less conscious of your appearance. If you feel the urge for a “fuck-it-I-deserve-this” shopping splurge, make sure that you keep your receipt, in case regret follows.

8. You waste less time.

You do more of what you love, entertain conversations that interest you, and begin to spend time with people whom you value. Anything less is wasteful.

9. Everything doesn’t need to be shared.

There was a picture message on Instagram that read, “the best moments of my life doesn’t make it to the internet”. And that’s such a difficult task for a cyber crazy generation. We’re already accustomed to posting whatever we experience. Perhaps you will document more of what you learn, but you will become selective of what you share.

10. You become more observant.

One night I’d walked a stretch of roads in a foreign place, on my own. I’d walked the path several times during the day with a relative who lived nearby, but when I had to walk the same road alone that night, I became a bit frightened because I hadn’t taken enough notice of where I was going. I’d relied on my relative’s familiarity and not my own observations. I could’ve gotten lost. Suddenly, I saw things that I hadn’t noticed before like the fact that the roads were perfectly clean, there were hardly any cars and there weren’t any trees or grass – things that hadn’t crossed my mind before I’d passed through alone.

Do you ever go out on your own? What else would you add to the list? Post a comment in the section below or send me an email to robyn@bewhole.co.za.

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Author: Robyn

5 Comments

  1. Janet Sunderland February 4, 2015 at 3:05 am

    Well. You’re fun to read. And I agree wholeheartedly with your above piece. I solo dated for years. And had a fine time.

    Thanks for following. I’m going to enjoy you. And South Africa! One of my first introductions to South Africa was Doris Lessing, years and years ago. I’ve read all her work. Which led to curiosity and J.M. Coetzee and Fugard and Lawrence van der Post and and and. But I think I only know the White writers. Suggest me something, Book Sniffer….. J.

    Reply
    1. Robyn - Site Author February 4, 2015 at 9:37 pm

      Doris Lessing ♥, God rest her soul. Janet, you’ve made my day. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I’m glad that you’ve enjoyed this post. To be honest, you’ve alarmed me a little because I haven’t read any books by black South African writers either, other than ones about race. I’ll do us both a favour and get myself acquainted.

      Reply
      1. Janet Sunderland February 4, 2015 at 11:19 pm

        Thanks! Please pass along any you think I might like.

        Reply
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