Your Say: Are you comfortable eating alone?

by Paris B on · 115 comments

in Discussions,Musings

eatingalone Your Say: Are you comfortable eating alone?

Good food becomes great food when shared icon smile Your Say: Are you comfortable eating alone?

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? icon biggrin Your Say: Are you comfortable eating alone?

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 icon biggrin Your Say: Are you comfortable eating alone?

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 :P Unless its a cafe, I dont’ eat alone at restaurants. Never quite got the hang of it :P

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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 :D

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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 :D

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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 :P

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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 :D

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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 :D

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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. :D And I love people watching. Hehe.
Sze Ling recently blogged…Honey Wheat Pound CakeMy Profile

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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 :D

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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 :D

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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 :D

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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.
Claire recently blogged…Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupté #22 Prune ExquiseMy Profile

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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 :D

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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 :D 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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