Your Say: Are you comfortable eating alone?

by Paris B on · 115 comments

in Discussions,Musings

eating alone

Good food becomes great food when shared :)

But sometimes, you may be out and about on your own and want a bite, or just don’t have company for lunch or dinner and yet want to have a nice one. What do you do? Are you comfortable eating alone or do you prefer to just pack a takeaway and take it home to enjoy instead?

Some foods don’t translate well to a takeaway as they taste better made fresh for you. Like soupy noodles for instance. So, what do you do? 😀

I generally dislike eating alone. Its boring, to start, and if you are at a hawker stall or local coffee shop, you may have to end up sharing a table with strangers, which doesn’t quite make it better. It stresses me out more.

So on days when I don’t have company for lunch, I pack my lunches and eat at my desk. Helps me get some work done or I can spend a little time reading stuff online. However, although I used to be quite uncomfortable eating alone, I’ve learned to do it.

I’ve found that some places are more conducive to having solo meals. Sandwich bars or cafes are one, and Japanese restaurants are another, because you can sit at the sushi bar for a quick bite and not feel too uncomfortable about it. It is in fact quite common in Japan I believe, so the sushi bars are a great way to have a nice hot solo meal.

When I eat alone, I don’t gobble down my meal and run. Why should I? I should just enjoy it as I would if I were with a friend. So I have with me a newspaper or my iPad so I can read while I eat. I’ve learned to enjoy that little me time where you don’t have to contend with conversation or watching how quickly or slowly you eat. It also gives you time to people watch which is great fun 😀

Are you comfortable eating alone? Or would you rather just do a takeaway than eat alone?

Whilst I don’t eat solo very often, I can if I have to. Its quite relaxing sometimes, but don’t try it in a busy hawker place or coffee shop because then it can get stressful, especially if you have to share tables with a bunch of noisy strangers.

Paris B

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[ 115 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

Reese December 11, 2012 at 9:47 am

sometimes I like to eat alone, but…preferably with a magazine otherwise I will be playing with my phone.

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Me too. I prefer to have something to read at hand too.

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xin
Twitter:
December 11, 2012 at 9:49 am

I occasionally eat alone, and when I do, I usually eat my favorite and make sure that it’s not a place where I need to table share. I hate sharing with strangers esp when I’m alone
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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Ugh table sharing, especially if a big group of noisy people come and see you eating alone and want to share >.< Urgh!

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Victoria December 11, 2012 at 9:54 am

If I do eat alone, it is usually at a big food court like at KLCC or Mid Valley. This happens when I need to do some shopping after work and do not want to drag my husband along. But I would not eat by myself during lunch at my workplace since it would be too obvious to my colleagues that I am alone. I rather pack my food and eat it at my office cubicle. The problem with this of course is that I tend to eat my food at a faster rate than normal. I take a longer time to finish my food when I am with company since we would be talking and eating in between pauses.

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 4:08 pm

I sometimes find it hard to eat alone at big busy food courts, because its so hard to find a space while carrying a tray of hot soup! LOL But those are also one of the easiest places to eat alone without looking too conspicuous

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KS December 11, 2012 at 9:59 am

I enjoy the solitude of eating alone actually. I call it my “Me” time. I usually find a nice cafe or casual dining place, grab something light (usually not a hot item which is best enjoyed hot) and sit down with a book that I am reading now, or my phone. :) It’s difficult to eat alone in food courts though, cuz it’s difficult to carry a tray of food while looking for a seat.

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 4:10 pm

I find it hard with a tray of food in a food court too. So I too prefer a place where I can have a sandwich usually, or maybe a bowl of soup. Its a good time to catch up on some reading too!

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Rin December 11, 2012 at 9:59 am

I am very comfortable eating alone. I don’t mind sitting at a table alone but prefer not to share with stangers. I mean, if I am eating alone at a table, I am surrounded by strangers anyway but to share a table with… Seems awkward XD

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 4:10 pm

I know exactly what you mean, especially when said strangers are a group of friends, then you feel like the lamppost LOL!

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Juan
Twitter:
December 11, 2012 at 10:06 am

I think with my tablet and humungous phone, being anti-social is easy. With the gadgets, i don’t mind eating alone at all 😉
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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 4:11 pm

haha! Indeed, thank goodness for gadgets for helping us be more comfortable being anti-social? 😉

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Esther December 11, 2012 at 10:14 am

I hate eating alone if the restaurant/cafe is empty – I get terribly uncomfortable when the staff watches me like a hawk. It’s alright if I have a companion, but alone? Yeack.

Still, I’d go solo over eating with someone I don’t know particularly well. C:

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Oh yes! I don’t really want to have a meal with people I don’t know well or people I feel uncomfortable with. Been on more than a few of those meals and its just so awkward 😛 Unless its a cafe, I dont’ eat alone at restaurants. Never quite got the hang of it 😛

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Janie December 11, 2012 at 10:14 am

I am a slow eater and I always eat alone wherever I go.

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 4:12 pm

I’m a slow eater too! But I think most people I eat with have accepted it by now 😀

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Evan Chang
Twitter:
December 11, 2012 at 10:19 am

I eat alone all the time, I don’t find it weird at all. =S

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 4:12 pm

That’s good to know! :)

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synical
Twitter:
December 11, 2012 at 10:22 am

Eat alone all the time; I use that time to catch up on podcasts. Hard to do that when you’re with other people.

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 4:14 pm

I usually take that time to catch up on the news 😀

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Catherine December 11, 2012 at 10:29 am

If I eat alone I play with my iPad/iPhone or magazine. Anyway theres no rule, very often me and my boyfriend take away 😛

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Sometimes I prefer to take away too, if only so I can eat in peace at home 😀

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Ting December 11, 2012 at 11:06 am

Yeah sure! Why not? It give me time to think about my stuff too. In my student days I was alone for a few years and those were great times because I had so much time to think about my life. Everything was moving in slow motion compared to now. I even watched movies alone, cooked alone, ate alone, went to the library alone. Fantastic times! Even 2 kids later, I enjoy my loner time even more. :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Haha you reminded me of me as a student. I loved going on long walks around campus or into the nearby town. Didn’t feel too funny eating alone then. Don’t know how it became funny as I got older but now I”m back to not caring again 😀

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shusheshe
Twitter:
December 11, 2012 at 1:49 pm

I eat alone all the time, especially back when I was a university student. I just whip out my handy phone and start browsing the ‘net or play a flash game!

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Haha when I was a student and had to eat alone, it was always a book for company. Nice and quiet times, or just sitting in the park.

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Sze Ling December 11, 2012 at 1:59 pm

I don’t have a problem with eating alone at all. But if I were to eat alone, I’d usually avoid local coffee shops and hawker centers. Like you said, sharing a table stresses me out too. Just can’t get to really enjoy the food.

The best part of eating alone is, I can take all the time I want. As short or as long as I want to. 😀 And I love people watching. Hehe.
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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Precisely. If its a hawker stall or coffee shop, chances are someone would ask to share your table and its so awkward.

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fanny December 11, 2012 at 2:04 pm

I am comfortable eating alone, usually carry a book and it also would not waste time in waiting my colleagues ready to go out together/finish eating or making up decision on what to eat today.

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 4:51 pm

That’s very useful, if there’s a place to go nearby. Part of the fun eating in a group is the variety if opting for a restaurant style meal, which is also fun 😀

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Kay December 11, 2012 at 2:17 pm

I have no problem eating alone, enjoying the solitude and my food. I also often people watch and/or listen to conversations when people talk loudly nearby. It’s interesting but you have to do it politely and not be obvious. On occasion, I’ve engaged in conversations with another person also eating alone and they have been pretty interesting. My husband, on the other hand, refuses to dine alone.

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 4:53 pm

LOL Listening in to conversations is fun teehee… I sometimes eat quietly and prick up my ears if there’s something interesting being discussed. Recently, I was in a restaurant at lunch, where there was an obnoxious person going on and on about local politics. It made me so uncomfortable, I requested for a change of table which the restaurant accommodated me with. I never do that, but some people really need to learn to keep their voices down and their opinions to themselves >.<

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Kay December 14, 2012 at 4:32 am

Good for you! I’ve only requested a change in tables when there is a smoker nearby totally oblivious to heavy smoke drifting my way. But I would totally change tables if there was a loud obnoxious inconsiderate person ruining my meal. Better to take preemptive action than be upset for the next hour.

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 14, 2012 at 10:09 am

Oh I can’t stand smokers too! I make sure I specify non-smoking with every dining reservation and if I can’t help it, I move. Some smokers are so inconsiderate. I’m fine with them trying to kill themselves but don’t kill me too!

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bita December 11, 2012 at 3:26 pm

I can eat alone when I have tablet or smart phone with me and the place is crowded. otherwise, I don’t like eating alone :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Its nice to be absorbed doing something else :) If I’m not meddling with a gadget i usually have a book or the newspaper to catch up on the news 😀

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Honey December 11, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Nope. No problem at all eating alone. Even in those days when we do not have our gadgets to keep us occupied, I never have problem eating alone. Call me anti-social. Actually I don’t think about it, if I need to eat, I just eat!

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Not antisocial, just very confident :) I would still arm myself with a book or magazine back in the days pre-gadgets 😀

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LeGeeque December 11, 2012 at 4:22 pm

I LOVE eating alone. It is a true luxury. I usually read or people watch. I think I am lucky because most places here don’t have the culture of sharing tables. I usually request for a quiet spot by the window and people watch over a glass of wine. Or entertain my thoughts (how I come up with my hare-brained schemes) it is so liberating to do what you want, when you want and for how long you want it for.

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 4:56 pm

I also think it takes great confidence to be able to eat alone and enjoy it :) I am getting there but only in cafes, rarely in restaurants where a table for 1 still gets you a pitying look

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kuri
Twitter:
December 11, 2012 at 4:25 pm

I like eating alone, because I can go to whatever restaurant I want, and order whatever food I want. But it is kind of lonely, so I like bringing a book or something. And indeed, some restaurants are conducive to solo dining, and others aren’t. In Tokyo it’s quite common to eat alone, so there are a lot of options, I find. Especially for soupy noodles! :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 5:02 pm

OH yes, I appreciated that in Tokyo when I was there. It was so easy to step up to the ramen counter and no one gives you a funny look. I think the bar style dining helps in this regard because its just less obvious than a solitary person at a table :)

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Claire December 11, 2012 at 5:47 pm

I am either at work or at university, a lot of people there, lol, so I prefer to eat alone, maybe I will read something. I like eating alone actually but when I have some days off, I prefer to eat with friends. It all depends.
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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Oh i know what you mean! When there’s too many people about, I prefer solitude but otherwise, I prefer having a good meal with friends :)

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Camy December 11, 2012 at 5:57 pm

i hate eating alone too!

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 5:03 pm

I think it takes a lot of guts to be able to do it comfortably 😀

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Lisa December 11, 2012 at 8:25 pm

I’m having to dine alone at a wedding this week.
I hate it but have to get through it. Other times, dining alone is ok as I do not have to make small talk. It’s in fact relaxing.

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Oh Lisa, having to be at a wedding table with 9 other strangers (Chinese banquet I’m assuming) is one of the worst things in the world to foist on anyone >.<

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lisa December 13, 2012 at 7:33 pm

It is the worst. I hope it’s my first and last time having to do this.

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MisSmall December 11, 2012 at 10:13 pm

It’s something that I’ve tried to master for a long period of time but still failed miserably at it. I’m not comfortable eating alone in the public at all. Having a drink, maybe, but not eating a full meal. Somehow, it just feels weird. I actually feel a little uneasy about having lunch alone at work too. Gosh, I’m terrible! ><

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 5:05 pm

You’re not terrible MisSmall :) Some of us just prefer being with others. I can’t eat a full meal at a restaurant by myself for example, but I don’t mind a quick bite at a cafe. It feels more comfortable than having people eye you up in a restaurant.

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Jyoan December 12, 2012 at 1:54 am

I am absolutely fine with it. In fact, I often go food hunting/checking out raved foods alone because I am the only one who is free (due to nature of my job). I enjoy eating a lot, enjoy looking at food as though it were an art, enjoy photo-taking, and then writing my thoughts in my food journal. So being alone doesn’t bothers me at all.

Moreover, I can’t shop with people. I like window shopping with friends, but I somehow will only stop, try, and spend when I am alone, so I always need to eat alone on my lone shopping trips.

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 5:09 pm

That’s cool, documenting the food you eat 😀 I prefer shopping by myself too! I can usually decide by myself if something looks good or works for me, so I prefer to shop alone than have to wait around when shopping with others.

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rinnah
Twitter:
December 12, 2012 at 9:24 am

I learned to eat alone over the past 2 years as living solo in a foreign country will do that to you. 😉 The first few months took some getting used to, but now I’m perfectly comfortable with dining alone. (Thank God for the invention of the smartphone!)

I prefer restaurants/cafes over food courts as it’s a hassle to hold your food and wait for a seat and I also don’t like to share a table with strangers. My one pet peeve though is that waitstaff in the local food industry act either incredulous or condescending that you are eating alone. >.<
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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Glad to know its a skill you’ve managed to pick up while abroad! Sometimes, being forced into the situation is the only way for us to grab the bull by the horns, as it were :) I’m with you on the funny looks given by waiters. The only place I don’t get funny looks is a basic cafe, or a Japanese restaurant with a sushi bar.

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Mrs Top Monkey December 12, 2012 at 9:54 am

I love eating alone. It means Me Time without my 4yo. As much as I love him, I need some Me Time where I can actually eat what I want as I usually have to share his meal when eating out with him as most places don’t do kid portions.

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 5:35 pm

I can imagine. Sis is quite glad to go back to work and probably to the company of other adults 😀

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fireangel December 12, 2012 at 9:54 am

I’m okay eating alone. picked it up when I was seconded overseas to work. It’s just easier. If I get bored, I bring something to read. Stares don’t bother me.

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 5:35 pm

I think most of us are now ok with it due to necessity :) I have noticed many people eating alone these days. Guess more and more people are comfortable doing it.

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Nikki December 12, 2012 at 10:34 am

To be honest, I’m not comfortable eating alone given how we Filipinos love to eat and chat with friends. But I’ve tried it and I know I can survive it! It’s not just the most comfortable thing in this world but I won’t die eating alone you know what I mean? 😀

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Haha Indeed, we can do it but its not half as much fun eating alone as it is sharing food with friends right? 😀

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plue
Twitter:
December 12, 2012 at 11:58 am

i hate eating alone! if i have to eat alone, most probably i will just skip that meal. food doesn’t taste as good when you don’t have people to eat with you.

if i really have to, then i’ll go to some quiet cafe, whip out the phone, plug on the mp3 player and be anti social for a while or the next thing to do is, take away the food, but normally i’ll just skip my meal
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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Wow ok you’re more drastic than I am lol. I would pack a takeaway but I won’t skip a meal. Need my 3 square meals a day 😀

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PeiQing December 12, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Yes, I eat alone, because I can! :)
There’s no choice sometimes, because of time constraints between appointments and I can really wait or travel to another place to dine with a friend. (That’s working life! :( )
I can and am happily prepared to eat alone, also because I am single and am prepared to stay (self-entertained) single.

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 5:39 pm

Love your confidence, PeiQing 😀

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Ellone December 12, 2012 at 12:57 pm

I love eating alone while im at work. Can play iphone, do some blog reading happily with my own sweet time. But i hate it if im outside, so i rather tapao and enjoy it at home ! Now eating alone is alot better with ipad and smartphone etc. Last time eat alone outside got nothing to do except to look at people…haha !

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Well back in the day, there was always newspapers or books :) I still go the books/newspapers route because I rarely carry my ipad with me and there’s only so much digital time I need or want 😉 But it does make life easier having something to do while dining.

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michelle December 12, 2012 at 3:10 pm

food is great with company, but eating alone is completely underrated. a solitary lunch is one of life’s greatest pleasures

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 5:41 pm

Very poetic and very true! 😀

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May December 12, 2012 at 4:45 pm

I always do that. People watching while enjoying my meal is my favourite hobby, hehe…I would like to explore new makan place after checking food blogs and enjoys the precious “just me” time :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Haha food blogs are dangerous. I always want to go and try all the new places talked about! Its quite interesting watching people isn’t it? Entertaining too 😉

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Issa December 12, 2012 at 5:42 pm

yes, i am very much comfortable eating alone because I do this often. I can even watch a movie alone if I really want to see that particular movie, hehe. I just make sure that I have great food to munch on… Am I a loser or what? :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Not a loser, Issa just confident in your own company :) I have watched movies alone too and it too is underrated. Why shouldn’t we watch a movie alone when in a cinema, we aren’t supposed to be talking to anyone else anyway? We might as well be alone 😀 The only thing I do miss is not being able to discuss the movie with someone immediately after that 😀

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Jacqueline December 12, 2012 at 6:47 pm

I just had lunch by myself a few days ago! :) I love doing it. In the past I could not bring myself to eat alone because I feel that everyone is looking at me. But now it is a time for me to enjoy me time.

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Its interesting how we perceive things as we grow, right? A few years ago I’d never eat alone either. These days, I’m like heck! I need to eat!

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Callie December 12, 2012 at 7:12 pm

I don’t mind eating alone or sharing the table with strangers. Well, I’m just there to fill up my tummy. The rest don’t matter. Having said that, you don’t expect to be eating steamboat alone. I’ve no qualms doing things alone. I just went to watch a movie – Life of PI alone and I very much enjoyed myself all the same… ^^
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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 5:45 pm

LOL at the steamboat! You know, there’s this restaurant here where you can have steamboat but it comes in an individual pot so everyone has their own portion. Now, you can dine alone with steamboat too! 😀

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Allison
Twitter:
December 12, 2012 at 7:50 pm

Only at non crowded restaurant usually for brunch where I could relax and read… else would just takeway
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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 5:49 pm

I feel in crowded or popular restaurants, they try to stick you as far away in a corner as you can, if you are on your own so they can free up tables for others. I dislike that!

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Becca
Twitter:
December 12, 2012 at 7:52 pm

I don’t mind eating alone if I’m someplace like school, but I would never go out and just eat by myself. If I were on a lunch break and didn’t bring a lunch, I would just buy food to go and bring it back to the office or eat in my car. If it’s a fairly small cafe or something, I wouldn’t mind terribly sitting outside and reading while I ate though
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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Haha you make me think of me! Sometimes I’m out and about, and don’t really want to sit to eat, so if I pack something like sushi, I sometimes just finish it up in the car on my way home. Saves time eh? 😀

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Tammy December 12, 2012 at 9:32 pm

I do sometimes. Strangely though on in Asia! 😉 Really not liking eating on my own in London. I guess there are more choices of cheap and nice food/ street food in Asia so it makes eating on my own much easier and more enjoyable.

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 6:02 pm

I found it easier in Europe because of all the lovely little cafes that you have. Its less intimidating, but ultimately also a little pricey. It was hardest trying to eat alone in a Chinese restaurant in London so I always did takeaway then LOL!

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Jyuanneth December 12, 2012 at 10:21 pm

I am personally love eating alone (especially when it comes to cakes, a tub of ice cream or chocolate :P)

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 6:02 pm

Haha! More for you to savour and enjoy right? 😉

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Simply Fem December 13, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Totally agree with you!! Those kinds of food are not to be shared (evil laugh) hahaha

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Irene December 12, 2012 at 11:00 pm

I love shopping alone and enjoy eating alone. I can eat all the stuff my bf won’t let me. Desserts, cream pasta ~ ^M^

But I pick carefully of the places I must eat. I avoid the places with “low-level guys” as they like to stare rudely and make ugly noises while you’re eating. I even had one waiter who walked to my table and put his elbows on my table while pretending to look at the tv while shouting to his collegues in the kitchen (wth..crazy!)

Usually, I would take this chance to sample expensive or exotic restaurants as those usually have more well-mannered staff and patrons (or at least they try to act classier and not stare so blatantly :P).

Actually, if it wasn’t for the few cases of random people trying to get too friendly and the usual staring I love eating alone. No need to mind my manners and act ladylike. 😀

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Whaaat? That was such an uncomfortable and rude experience you had with that waiter! I pick and choose places I’d eat at alone too. Some are just less conducive, no matter how wonderful their food is.

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Amanda December 12, 2012 at 11:49 pm

I enjoy eating alone. I can be on conference calls and in meetings all day and I appreciate some quiet time by myself 😉

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 6:03 pm

A perfect time to collect your thoughts after all the noise of the day eh? :)

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HapaGirl December 13, 2012 at 12:02 am

You know what’s funny? Here in the US I almost never eat alone – I’d rather do take-away or cook at home, and hang out with my cat or watch TV. But when I was in Malaysia, I was there to do “social” research, so I ate alone all the time, almost every time I went out to eat without my host family or friends. I would people watch, write notes, and read books. KL especially seems quite conducive to eating alone because it’s a big city and few people notice you – even if you are a foreigner who kind of sticks out. Even in hawker stalls and while sharing tables, it was never a big deal to have a relaxed meal alone and take the time to jot down thoughts and ideas. One of the many reasons why I love Malaysia. :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 6:06 pm

I love seeing my country through the eyes of someone else because you notice different things that I do, especially things I take for granted 😀 I don’t know its like in the USA (still haven’t made plans to visit) but I always thought it would be easier to eat alone there than it is here where everyone is so all encompassing 😀 I’m glad you enjoyed your time here !

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HapaGirl December 14, 2012 at 12:31 am

This thought just came to me, too: when you’re surrounded by stimulation like other people and smartphones/tablets, it’s exciting and fun, but it can also be a distraction to “checking in with yourself.” Without all that stuff, you’re forced to ask yourself, “How am I doing? Am I having a good day? What am I worried about? What can I do something about? What do I need to let go of?” These mini conversations you have with yourself are super important because they allow you to put things in perspective. When I eat alone, yes, it’s a bit boring because I don’t always have that stimulation, but I do have the opportunity to check in with myself. It’s kind of nice, actually.

And in the US, I’d say most places outside of urban lunch areas don’t have many solo diners. People here in California often eat lunch in their CARS, with the air conditioning on! I’ve seen a lot of that. I don’t mind going to a cafe to do work, but to have a full-on, sit down meal by myself – well that’s a bit more unusual.

Anyhow, sorry for the rambling, but thanks for posing this question, Paris! You are thoughtful and sweet as always. :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 14, 2012 at 10:11 am

That was thought provoking! 😀 You are absolutely right. We need time to reconnect or lose ourselves to the hubbub and the digital noise out there >.< I found it amusing that people would eat lunch in their cars LOL!! Some day, I’m going to have to go and see this for myself. Its so intriguing 😀 I’m glad a simple question has given a lot of food for thought 😉

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Charlotte December 13, 2012 at 7:36 am

Haha! I’m eatin alone as I’m reading this! I don’t mind eating alone once in awhile. It’s nice to eat at my own pace, read some magazines or just fiddling with phone as long as I like; my own me-time :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 6:07 pm

LOL what a coincidence! Eating alone means its ok to play with a gadget because otherwise you’d have to make conversation LOL!

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Tine
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 8:15 am

I’m with Geek; I love eating alone. I do it very often during the week.

I still remember the first time I ate alone. This was back in the UK. I was at a shopping centre, came out of WH Smith with a mag, was very hungry and decided to grab a bite to eat next door. It felt really strange as I’ve never eaten alone before. The magazine was my safety net.

Years passed and with practice, I now love it. I can even say I don’t need a safety net any more. No magazines, no books, no iPad, and sometimes, even no phone. It’s nice to just sit back and watch people. This is usually when good ideas come in :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Haha I learnt to eat alone from student days too! I always felt more comfortable eating alone there than I do here. But you’re right – it does need practice especially to shake that “Are they staring at me?” feeling. These days I don’t really care anymore but there was a time when I did. Glad I’ve outgrown that phase 😀

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Jesz December 13, 2012 at 10:35 am

I used to feel awkward eating alone, but no more ever since separated with my hubby (yes, broken marriage…). Learning to eat alone, shop alone & watching movies alone is entirely brand new experience, i love to do this alone now sometimes. Of course I’m not anti-social, best if we got a company be it family, friends or colleagues, if not, going alone does not bother me anymore. Sometimes, eating alone let me have more ‘leisure’ time observing the surrounding, peoples, things, food, it kinna interesting. If I’m with company, I often stick to my company for conversation & do not really bother about the surrounding. Oh ya, I can eat anywhere alone, strangers that tag along at coffee shop does not bother me at all, some could even start conversation with me out of no where, kind of weird but sometimes the conversation get interesting too. However, I’ll normally bring along a book just in case I would like to spend more time at a cafe sipping my coffee/tea.

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Sorry to hear that, Jesz. I don’t think being alone makes us anti-social. I find its a lot harder to get used to being alone than it is to being with a group of people or with someone else all the time. Its great to know you don’t feel uncomfortable sharing tables with strangers. I still do but spending time alone doesn’t bug me anymore. I think its all in the process of growing up 😀

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C December 13, 2012 at 5:22 pm

I am OK eating alone usually, although I do agree some places are better than others for it. I recently went alone to a restaurant and they only had tables of 6 or more! I’m not kidding. it made me feel so awkward. I appreciate it when restaurants have small tables for couples and singles – I loved how in Japan they often had these small tables and lots of other people would be chilling by themselves. I do admit a meal with someone has a different kinda feel but reading quietly whilst eating my meal is fine for me too. I just think that if you want to go somewhere then sometimes its the quickest, easiest option to go alone. waiting around for friends to be free can often mean nothing ever gets done! Not to mention often friends don’t want to go to the places. and I’m a slow, picky eater which makes me feel a bit anxious eating around others too. :/

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 13, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Only tables for 6! That’s not very nice of them. I do think its helpful for restaurants to have smaller tables too, unless of course they only expect big groups of people all the time. I have to agree with you about getting things done more quickly alone or by yourself. Sometimes, being in a big group or even with one other person can hold you back longer than you can imagine!

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Simply Fem December 13, 2012 at 7:17 pm

There are times when I totally prefer to be on my own and eat alone. Those are the times when I just want peace and quiet and room to think. Eating helps me relax and think straight. But most of the time, I like eating out with my husband or a close friend or with my family. Eating time has always been a great time to bond and talk over some stuff with the family, share experiences and even crack jokes.

I am a talkative person so it’s always good to have someone to talk to even when eating. Just imagine how insane i would look if I was talking to myself in a resto!

Other than eating, I also prefer to work alone. hen I have someone to talk to I can’t concetrate at all! :p

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Jennifer December 13, 2012 at 11:50 pm

I used to dread eating alone thinking people will think I have no friends hahahaha. I also disliked doing things alone. Then I grew up, figured that no one will always be available to accompany me so I took the courage to eat and shop alone. Now I am so comfortable doing that (except eating – still need to practise more). Food is the best company actually haha and I agree with you on noodles, but not eating alone at food court during peak hour, then your table gets snatched. Despite not very used to eating alone, but when I do, I like to savour my food at my pace and also dislike sharing tables. Smart phone is the next best buddy as well :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 14, 2012 at 10:08 am

I am like you 😀 I used to be a little uncomfortable doing things by myself because it looks lonely then I grew up and realised, its all in my head! I think some people are secretly jealous some of us get to spend time alone. Its the best way to regroup and get yourself together 😀

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Pinkelle December 14, 2012 at 8:53 am

I ate soup noodles alone yesterday and this pesky lady sat opposite me and insisted on striking up a conversation. She nosily peered at what I was eating, commented it was expensive and proceeded to tell me what value for money her meal was. If not for a crowded food court, I would have left for another table. People should learn to respect another’s personal space. Just because I’m eating alone, it doesn’t mean I’m desperate for conversation.

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 14, 2012 at 10:12 am

It sounds like she felt she needed the company more than you did! Next time, just tell her, thank you but no thank you and stick earphones in your ears!

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Jue December 14, 2012 at 9:57 am

I’m used to travel alone for work purpose that last for months and moving from a place to a place.

I can’t say I like it but I am used to it. Sometimes it feels lonely so I have a book at hand always and if not sunglass works best.

And time out by yourself, drinking coffee and eating extremely delicious food at a foreign place is a different experience.

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 14, 2012 at 10:14 am

I guess travelling for work, while eye opening isn’t exactly all that fun as its made out to be is it? :) I do have to agree with you with the bit about eating alone in a foreign land. Its one of the most interesting things I’ve ever done and you really get to have a sense of the people living in that city/town just by having a meal, or in my case, going to a grocery store or supermarket.

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Liz December 14, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Problem is, I live in a small town where everybody knows everybody so eating alone just makes me look sad and highlights my ‘single’ status. It gets really awkward when somebody who recognizes you would ask why you’re eating alone because the truth hurts. Almost all of my friends are married and pretty much don’t have time for me anymore. That’s why I’m always prepared with my “short break from work” excuse or I would only eat at times when most people won’t be eating just so I won’t run into anybody. =P If I walk into a restaurant and saw someone I know, I’ll immediately switch to take-away.

However, I don’t mind eating alone if I’m out of town.

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 16, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Oh darn, small towns are the worst. Everything has stigma 😛 After living in a small town, I truly appreciate the big faceless city. It can be very anonymous at times but at other times, liberating 😀

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Mari Ohira December 15, 2012 at 4:42 am

I don’t mind eating alone, but I’d rather eat with someone. In popular restaurants, it is not uncommon to share tables: just a quick greeting and a smile and you are done with the social etiquette. Whenever you feel like it, you can always try some talking with your neighbours, they usually appreciate that as long as you keep it short. I dislike doing anything either than eating/chatting at the table so I never check my iPhone or iPad… actually, showing off an iPad can be quite dangerous. o_O But I do enjoy taking pics of whatever I’m eating.

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 16, 2012 at 12:27 pm

It used to be that having an ipad out was a bit dangerous, depending on where you were. I still don’t take it out if I’m at more rough and ready places, but only do so in a cafe inside a mall. It doesn’t hurt to be a little careful :) However, I’ve noticed that so many people carry it these days, everywhere! I’m the odd one out for not doing so LOL!

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Sam
Twitter:
December 15, 2012 at 1:25 pm

I’m more than happy eating alone. In these days of technology, you can be entertained by your phone/tablet and look incredibly busy and important whilst reading social media 😉

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 16, 2012 at 12:28 pm

“look incredibly busy and important whilst reading social media ” HAHAHA! How true 😉

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