Reclaiming fun for singles.

Reclaiming fun for singles.

This post will cause one of the following reactions:

1. Excitement
2. Repulsion
3. Pity

The reason is, this post discusses activities for those otherwise “unattached” that are usually reserved for couples. Here’s my thought. I like doing activities with friends, but as we’ve all gotten older, our friendships have changed. In high school and college we didn’t need a “reason” to get together, we just did. If there was free time, it was friend time. Now, we have responsibilities, spouses/significant others, and a life. Friend time is scheduled and limited. For those of us who are currently unattached, we are left with slightly more time to fill. So, rather than sitting home and twiddling our thumbs, here are some classic “couple” activities that singletons should reclaim:

1. Eating out at nice restaurants (“Friendly’s” or “take-out” does not count). For some reason, it seems like everything above McDonalds is reserved for couples, but it doesn’t need to be so! Get a little spiffied up and go have a nice meal. It doesn’t have to cost $50, but head to a restaurant with real tablecloths and enjoy yourself! Personally, I like to bring a book, but I’ve often brought cards to write out or my journal. These give you a sense of independence and productivity while allowing you to “people watch” in an inconspicuous way. Tip: Don’t bring a book whose plot or purpose you’d rather not or can’t quickly explained as for some reason a person eating alone invites conversation from those who are passing by. Hey, you might even find another independent dinner who asks for your company. Though, my personal experience with this has left somewhat to be desired.

2. Going to the movies. There are several benefits of going to the movies alone. You can go on your own time, perhaps hitting up a matinée which is cheaper, or if your a night owl, catch the midnight showing of a hot new release whose prime time slots will be sold out. You can get as much (or little)  butter on your popcorn as you like. Lastly, you can cry at all the mushy parts with absolutely no repercussions. I’m not sure why the movies became such a huge social event anyway, as it is ideally set up for going solo. It’s expensive, leaves no room for conversation (without being very rude), and takes up your whole evening. So unless you are keen on spending $30 to make out in public for 3 hours (which I don’t condone, can you say chapped lips?), catching the new flick solo is the way to go!

3. Shopping. Granted, I am not and never was a social shopper. When I shop, I go with something specific in mind, find it and leave. This is really the way to go. Shopping with others inevitable takes more time and invites the comments and critiques of your choices by your companions. Inevitably you will spend more money as you are dragged into stores you wouldn’t normally solicit. It is overall a tailor made solo activity. (No pun intended, but I’m leaving it there anyway.)

4. Day trips. Whether it be a farmers market, museum, day conference, or a fun little town, day trips are great to do on your own. Ideally they should be within a 2 hour radius of your house and make sure to plot out enough activities to keep you busy for a few hours. Save some money by packing a bag lunch and bringing a thermos of coffee or lemon-aid, then have a nice dinner as described in point #1. If you pick a sunny day, the drive is almost as fun as the destination. Tip: Pack light. A lightweight back pack or, if you’re a 80’s lover, fanny pack is a great way of keeping your stuff together and on your person without carrying around a bulky/heavy purse. Only bring necessities (license, cash, credit card, water bottle, small book for example) as you’ll be carrying around your pack all day.

5. A mini-break. Holidays and vacations are meant to be relaxing and rejuvenating, something that’s extremely difficult to do when you are coordinating several people’s schedules, accommodating their desires and wishes, and traveling with others in general. Taking, even an overnight trip or weekend away by yourself has SOOO many benefits I can’t possibly fit them all into this post. What I can say is that it’s definitely worth it and I highly encourage it.

There are just a few things I don’t suggest you do by yourself, mostly for safety reasons:

1. Go swimming at the ocean or other large body of water. I’m a huge fan of solo beach visits, but if you’re planning on taking a dip, bring along a friend. There is just too much that can happen out there and you’ll want someone looking out for you.

2. Hiking. I know a lot of guys who swear by solo hiking, and I’ve tried it a few times. While it is great to be out in the woods by yourself, I without exception always end up freaking myself out. Maybe it’s just how my mom raised me, but it’s better to have a buddy around in case you need them.

3. Traveling overseas. Again, I’m sure there are people who can successfully pull this one off, but personally, it just seems like a good idea to go with a friend. At very least, you’ll have someone who speaks the same language to talk with. At worst, if you end up in jail you’ll have someone call the American embassy to plead your case. All good things.

So there you are, there are plenty of activities to do on your own and if people think less of you for being independant then that’s their problem, not yours. Break free of co-dependence and have some fun!