You put your favourite outfit on, go outside, find a nice looking restaurant and peruse the menu hanging in the window making sure that you can actually afford it. Once this has been established all you need to do is head in, sit yourself down, order and eat. Then you pay the bill and leave.
So if the routine is that simple, why then is it that hard to go out to dinner by yourself? Is it the stigma that people who eat alone do so because they are lonely and don't have anyone to keep them company? Is it because in our minds eating out is always something you do on a date or with friends?
But what about if you aren't dating or aren't in a relationship? What if your friends are busy on a night when you really fancy just getting out of the house and treating yourself to something you haven't had to cook for once? Should you hide away in the house missing out on doing something you want to do?
The answer is no.
For some reason it just is hard forcing yourself out of the house and making yourself enjoy your own company, so start with baby steps.
The easiest start is putting your comfiest shoes on, grabbing your headphones and getting a coffee or takeaway drink. Head to your favourite park and just walk around. Listen to music/a podcast/audiobook and enjoy being out in the fresh air. If that was a success next time try going for a coffee in your favourite local coffee shop. Bring a book or magazine as a security blanket, but people watching tends to be more fun anyway.
The next logical step is having lunch somewhere by yourself or breakfast before you run your weekend errands. It's all about slowly working yourself up to feeling confident enough to not overthink being somewhere by yourself.
In the end doing things alone makes you feel less self-conscious, in the end no one is really watching you and feeling sorry for you. Eating alone doesn't mean you're lonely, it just means that you care enough about yourself to just go out and do something you want to do. You shouldn't need to depend on friends and other halves to get you out of the house. Being able to do things by yourself is incredibly liberating, and also you never know who you might bump into!
“If you are never alone, you cannot know yourself.”