Talking while eating. It’s a good thing.

Image by Carolita Johnson

I love eating out.  Going with friends is always fun of course, but I quite often go to restaurants alone and, for those of you who have never tried it, I recommend it.  It’s quite a liberating experience being anonymous in a restaurant full of people.  Don’t worry what the other patrons might think: has she been stood up, oh look, a ‘billy no mates’ or is she crazy?  Just enjoy it for what it is: a delicious meal, away from home that doesn’t involve washing up or eating left overs for days on end.

As someone who has travelled a fair bit, eating alone often comes with the territory.  But if you’re confident it doesn’t have to be a negative experience. On a recent trip I was in a cafe enjoying a cold beer and a sublime Club sandwich.  On the next table a couple were playing cards. They were teasing each other and obviously having a good time. I knew the game and loved playing it so I lean’t over, asked if they wouldn’t mind a third player. They were an interesting couple from New Zealand and we played a couple of games (I lost – I didn’t say I was a good card player!) and chatted about travelling and the food.  It was a fun half an hour.  I wasn’t always this confident but once you’ve taken the plunge to speak to someone, most people are gracious about it.

Anyway, that’s not the point of this post. Eating alone is one thing but eating out with someone else and just sitting there as if both of you are alone at the table is quite something else. Have you ever noticed how many couples go out to eat and never talk?  I’ve witnessed this many times (people watching is inevitable) and idly wondered why. Did they have a row before they came out? Is it first date nerves? Is one of them having an affair and the other knows? Did they argue about which restaurant to go to? Had he or she burnt the dinner so they were forced to come out?  Is it an empty nester date? Have they been together so long that they have run out of things to talk about? All I can say is that watching couples out together who don’t chat, laugh and enjoy each other over a nice meal is sad to see.  That’s another benefit of eating alone – you can simply enjoy your own company for an hour or so.  And the food of course!

Have you ever been one of those couples?  Should eating out just be about the food?  Ever enjoyed a meal on your own?  I would love to hear your tales.


Categories: Just Plain Blog

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4 replies

  1. For me it’s all about the people I’m with. I want to hear everything. But unfortunately I have experienced the “silent couples” thing. I would rather enjoy the pleasure of my own company than be ignored!

  2. Love this post, for two reasons 1. because I’ve recently discovered the joys of eating alone and love it. 2. Because I’m also curious at how detached people are becoming from each other. I think even worse then the no talking dinners, I’m also blown away when I dine out with friends and they facebook, or twitter while I’m infront of them. I can’t imagine what is so important that can’t wait. People are so disconnected from real life.

    Also, I hope I get braver in the talking to strangers thing. I’m still quite shy when I’m on my own.

  3. In my younger years I was more of a loner than I am today, so I ate out a lot, alone. It was never a big deal to me.

    It’s funny, when I eat out with girlfriends, they talk so much more than I do, so I usually still have food on my plate, and they are finished already.

    My husband and I eat out a lot because we go on a lot of road trips. We always have a lot to say, but sometimes it’s nice to just be quiet and enjoy the meal. I don’t need constant chatter in my life. I also love going for long drives with my husband, just listening to music and holding hands.

    I have to be honest, people who talk constantly drain and irritate me. When dining out, I try to find tables near the quieter people 🙂

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one who enjoys eating alone! I know what you mean about being quiet and enjoying the meal but at least you and your husband still chat, some couples I’ve seen don’t say a word to each other. We’re all different I guess, I just prefer chatting! Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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