The First Time You Feel Comfortable Eating In A Restaurant Alone, You Learn These 5 Things

There's a lot to be said for doing some things in life alone. At first, the idea of grocery shopping, going to a dentist appointment, or hanging out in a coffee shop without your best friend might sound totally cringe-worthy. But, having these experiences all by yourself can actually be really rewarding. Picking out your own bag of chips or handling complicated documents at the receptionist's desk makes you feel more confident, and teaches you a ton about the "real world." When you feel comfortable eating alone in a restaurant for the first time, in particular, you learn a few things about yourself and your surroundings that you couldn't otherwise.

Right now, you can't quite picture yourself walking into your favorite restaurant and saying, "Table for one, please!" You'd rather have a cute dinner date at home, and pair your pasta with your favorite sitcom on Netflix. Hear me out, though.

Eating alone in a restaurant allows you to enjoy time where you can just "be" instead of "do." You get to people-watch, notice the details in your food, and not worry about making conversation along the way. Truth is, as amazing and social as going to a restaurant with your besties may be — it can take you away from parts of the experience that you can only have by yourself. And when you do ask for that table for one, you end up learning these five things.

You Don't Need To Always Be On Your Phone
Nabi Tang/Stocksy

When you sit down at your table the first time you eat at a restaurant alone, you may feel a little lonely or out of sorts. You're so used to having your best friends by your side, and immediately pick up your phone and start texting them pictures of the menu.

They give their two cents on what you should order, and you tell them about the cute couple sitting at the table nearby. Before you know it, you become totally entranced in people-watching that you forget to check your screen for that next notification.

You come to a quick realization that you don't need to always be on your phone. Sure, it's a great distraction, but, the world is full of things to see and do, and you truly enjoy taking it all in. Sorry, besties — talk soon!

You Can Trust Your Own Gut And Intuition
Javier Pardina/Stocksy

Eating alone also means that you don't have anyone to double-check your decisions — where to eat, what to order from the menu, and whether you want to sit in the lounge or dining room. You have to trust your own gut and intuition, and not run through the should have, could have, and would haves in your head.

The first time you eat alone in a restaurant, you may take a few extra minutes to browse the menu and confidently choose mashed potatoes as your side instead of French fries. But, after making those decisions and following your inner compass, you realize that you're unstoppable.

Asking Questions And Speaking Up Is Essential

In addition to trusting yourself, you learn to be bold with questions and what's on your mind the first time you eat alone in a restaurant. You learn that to get what you want out of life or any experience, you can't be afraid to speak up and create action. Here's how.

First things first: You don't have your best friend who's a Leo or Taurus by your side. She may normally deal with asking the tough questions and speaking up when you get something that you didn't order. So, when the barista puts sugar in your coffee by accident or you don't know what a certain ingredient is, it's up to you to raise your hand and start a conversation.

There's A Lot That Goes Into Making Your Food
Nadine Greeff/Stocksy

Until the first time you eat alone, you may never notice the work or intricate number of ingredients that goes into making your food. You're lost in the social aspect of going out to a restaurant or your phone screen, and might not notice how the apple slices were cut on your salad, or the notes of cinnamon in your freshly-brewed, seasonal lemonade. But, you learn.

Eating alone heightens all of your other senses, and makes you aware of your surroundings and the plate in front of you. You start to appreciate the thought behind each menu item and wonder how you can recreate it at home. You take note of the baby arugula and ask about the goat cheese. Truth is, there's so much more happening behind-the-scenes than you originally thought.

You're Pretty Comfortable Doing Other Things Alone
Marija Savic/Stocksy

For some of us, eating can really be a social affair. You love to go out to different restaurants with your best friends, or cook group dinners with your roommates at home. So, having this experience all by yourself is definitely a game-changer. But, it also makes you realize that you're capable of doing so many other things alone.

Once you sit in a coffee shop with your cappuccino for an hour, or take yourself out to lunch, you feel like you can conquer the world. Your brain has had some time to refresh and relax, and you may automatically feel more confident.

You may decide to go to the gym alone, or take a solo trip somewhere. The opportunities to do things alone become endless, and you welcome them with open arms — and maybe a spoon.