Going out alone, or flying solo, was never a thing I considered doing, for a long time. It meant letting strangers know you were alone and having to initiate a conversation with a stranger. A few of my closest friends would routinely go out alone and they were very shocked that it was something I chose not to do. When I lived in DC and tried having conversations with strangers they would all ask the same questions: “Where do you live?” or “What do you do for a living?” The more I heard those questions, the more I began to realize that most were on a “fact finding mission” and the way I answered those questions determined if the conversation continued. So after experiencing a few of those “fact finding conversation starters,” I decided I was better off staying at home.
As time progressed and my closest friends started dating (when I was not dating) or could not go out with me due to scheduling conflicts or work, I had to make a change. I started out slowly by going to the movies. That was an easy one because it did not require me talking to strangers. I just had to get my popcorn and find a seat in a dark theatre, so it was perfect! But I knew I would have to break out of my shell and take the next step because it’s all about upward progression and positive growth.
The next phase of my “flying solo growth” consisted of going to a bar, lunch or dinner alone. In my opinion, flying solo to those places meant I was single (and looking) and I didn’t have any friends to go out with me– just sad on both counts. I must admit the first few times I went out on my own, it felt really weird. But the more I did it, the more comfortable I became and then I began noticing something happening that I didn’t expect would result from all this: I really began enjoying spending time with ME.
If you are at that place in your life where I used to be here, here are a few tips that can help you get over that hump:
– Start out slow with a movie, a small café or restaurant.
– Take a book, magazine or newspaper with you so you won’t be staring at others or looking dazed, confused or lonely.
– Make a list of conversation starters and roleplay with your friends for feedback.
And if those don’t motivate you, here are just a few benefits of flying solo, to keep in mind:
– Flying solo means you go wherever you want and leave whenever you want.
– It can definitely help develop interpersonal skills/social skills (practice makes perfect).
– You may start to find that it may be easier to meet new people alone rather than with friends.
– It sets you apart and can show that you are confident enough to go out alone.
– You will realize that people are not really focused on you. Most people are focused on their own agendas.
– You stop missing events that you like to do because you have no one to go with.
– It is a way to develop new hobbies.
– Flying solo builds confidence.
– It gives YOU time to become better acquainted with YOU.
A few weeks ago, I was on Facebook and I saw Diana Ross was going to be in concert close by. I have always been a fan of Diana Ross and saw her ten years ago in Washington, D.C. I quickly searched for seats and saw that only single seats were available. I thought about it for a quick minute and said, “What the heck!” and I purchased my ticket. I told several friends I was going to the concert alone and they were shocked. I will no longer delay doing things that I like because of being single or not having my people/friends who do not share my interest. I had the time of my life at the Diana Ross concert. I was sitting beside sisters and we instantly connected. We sang and danced to every song like we were longtime friends. I had a blast!!! I continue to realize that flying solo is not that bad!
Life is too short to live with regrets! I will enjoy life because my happiness starts with ME!