“Table for one please”, I say to the hostess who didn’t greet me. “Oh, I’m sorry! Did you want two menus while you wait for the rest of your party to come?”. “No, it’s just me, so one is just fine”. The restaurant was pretty packed with only one open booth available. “Would you mind sitting at the bar?”, the hostess asked as a couple came in behind me. “Sure, I guess”, I said reluctantly. I prefer sitting at a booth so that I can be confined to my own space, but what the who, I’ll do the bar and spare that fine couple behind me a twenty minute wait. When I get there, it’s loud and jam packed with people. It’s one thing to come to a restaurant by yourself but it’s another to sit at a bar during happy hour full of people looking to network, gossip, mingle, hookup, and/or drown all things life. I immediately sit down in efforts to let it be known that I want to be by myself. I make zero eye contact and whip out my iPad to catch up on some blogs and ezines. But just as I click “go” on my Safari and wait for the wifi on life support to breathe up enough oxygen to blow life into a web page, I overhear two women next to me: “aww, she’s by herself”, “poor thing”, “maybe she didn’t have anyone to come with”, “I don’t understand why.. she’s pretty”, “yeah but you know men now adays, a good one is hard to find”. At this point everyone else is drinking and drowning while I’m looking at the menu for a double shot of “DJ how loud can you play Gagnum Style so that I can drown out this false prophecy taking place in my left ear”. “Should I say something to her?”, the lady finally said as they stared at me as if I was the last hamhock in a pot of collard greens. “Yeah, I think you should”. At this point, my mind is going crazy, “please don’t speak to me, please don’t speak to me”, I say frantically as the sounds of techno faintly plays behind the laughter of the business men to my right. “Hey, what’s your name”. Noooooo, I just want to eat in peace, I actually enjoy being by myself. Why is that so hard for people to get? “Hey, my name is.. Brittany”.

Now don’t judge me for the name change, I watch too much First 48 to be set up and I’m still disturbed by the injustice of our judicial system (i.e. little Caylee Anthony & Trayvon Martin) — I’m not about to put myself in a situation to “get got”. The two then continued to speak to me the entire time as if I came with them. Don’t get me wrong, I get it, they were just being nice — and I appreciate that. I just wish, however, that people wouldn’t see soloism as a form of loneliness. You don’t have to be with someone in order to be happy and unfortunately that is what our society truly believes. We’re all so consumed with being with someone that we can’t find beauty in being with ourselves. To say that being with someone is beautiful would mean that being alone is ugly, right?

First, let’s be clear — that there is a huge difference between loneliness and being alone. Let’s explore their definitions

lone·ly [lohn-lee]adjective, lone·li·er, lone·li·est.
1. affected with, characterized by, or causing a depressing feeling of being alone; lonesome.
2. destitute of sympathetic or friendly companionship, intercourse, support, etc.: a lonely exile.
3. lone; solitary; without company; companionless.
4. remote from places of human habitation; desolate; unfrequented; bleak: a lonely road.
5. standing apart; isolated: a lonely tower.

a·lone [uh-lohn]adjective
1. separate, apart, or isolated from others: I want to be alone.
2. to the exclusion of all others or all else: One cannot live by bread alone.
3. solitarily; solely: She prefers to live alone.
4. only; exclusively.
5. without aid or help: The baby let go of the side of the crib and stood alone.

Clearly, loneliness is involuntary and a negative emotion, whereas, being alone is voluntary and an impartial state of being.

And as much as I wanted to insert a few social psychology studies in here to further back up the ideology of solo dating, I found close to none while doing some research. I did, however, come across many articles, but none worth really sharing. In fact, all of the articles only stated the obvious: declarations that, “I’d never do it”, with emphasis on “the never”. And others stating how dining alone encourages poor eating habits, which is understandable, because when you eat alone you eat what you want, when you want, how you want. And lastly, some articles stated that eating alone was a sign of being secure with self. Oh and of course there were tons of articles from match.com and christian mingle guaranteeing that my solo dining days could be over with just $30 a month.

My point isn’t to be accepted as a solo dater, if you will ;], but it is to show the subconscious societal standards that we have unknowingly put into place and blindly chosen to live by. I love solo dating, and I do it once a week — although, I need to cut back. If you ask any of my friends they’ll tell you that when they call me, I’m at the movies, at a gallery, shopping, at the beach, at barnes and nobles, or in a restaurant by le self. Now this isn’t to say that you should go walking alone on nature trails , (disclaimer: kimberlyluxe.com is not responsible for missing persons), however it is to encourage you to find confidence within yourself by first getting to know yourself. Because in the end, no matter who you date or marry, the objective won’t be for them to only complete you but it will first be for them to compliment you. Because as they say, love is the only thing that takes two wholes in order to work, not two halves. Solo dating is great way to learn, discover, and experience a lot from within and it will result in you being able to bring so much more to the plate (pun, intended).

Expand your horizons by first expanding the depths from within. Cheers to the solo daters around the world. And “welcome” to those coming along for the ride. Plan to take yourself on a date before the year ends, she’ll be glad you did.

Honest thoughts? Leave them above.