The Savvy Gal's Guide To Doing Anything Alone

While people who need people may be the luckiest people in the world (thanks, Babs!), we say, there's nothing sexier than an independent man or woman. But, if the thought of bellying up to the bar or catching a concert by yourself has your stomach in knots, help is on the way.
We asked Dr. Kristina Taylor, life and executive coach and founder of Enlightened Solutions Consulting, for advice on how to handle (and enjoy!) six major life scenarios, from the wedding that doesn't allow a plus-one to living alone and traveling solo. Single status never felt so boss.
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Dining Out
Some restaurants offer added incentives like a free paper to bait solo diners into their establishment. But, reality check: Eating alone really shouldn't be that big of a deal. "The truth is, we don’t know what others are thinking, and any negative assumptions we hold are coming from our own insecurities," says Taylor. "Don’t allow others the power to ruin your experience and bring you down. You are in control. Make it positive!" So, order up a big bowl of pasta and a glass of vino and enjoy the moment.

Taylor's Tips:
1. Not up for sitting in the middle of the room? Park yourself at the bar if it makes it you feel more comfortable.

2. If you really feel the need for some form of entertainment, bring a book to enjoy while having a leisurely meal — especially if it’s a nice day and you can dine outside.

3. Simply enjoy your surroundings and your time to your self. Without the distraction of talk, you will be able to more fully enjoy the sensory experience of your meal — which is not always the case.
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Traveling
You don't need to jet off for a Julia Roberts Eat, Pray, Love experience to feel liberated. "Once you feel confident in your ability to enjoy yourself, you will find traveling alone empowering, fun, and a great way to meet other travelers who you probably wouldn’t have talked to if with a friend or partner," says Taylor. So, stop wasting those vacation days and get out and see the world!

Taylor's Tips:
1. Stay busy. Go somewhere with a lot of attractions you are interested in checking out. Full days and nights will keep you occupied and entertained (wine and cheese sesh, anyone?).

2. Sit back and watch people approach you! When others see your confidence, they will be intrigued and will assume you are brave and daring as a solo traveler.

3. Become an observer and take interest in new things. Remember there is no boring person or situation. If you get bored, that means you are not paying enough attention to your surroundings and inner-thoughts.

4. Take time to learn about yourself and reflect on what you really want from life. Time alone is precious, and you can use it to critically evaluate and reflect on your life. We can only find the true answers to life’s important questions when we take some quiet time to think and figure them out, so dream big!

5. Make sure to give your travel plans to a friend or family member so someone knows where you are. Otherwise, traveling alone is no more dangerous than traveling in a group or pair.
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Entertainment
Whether it's a movie, play, cooking class, or concert, there's no need to have a plus-one to have a good time — life is too short! "Think of solo social situations as opportunities to showcase who you really are," says Taylor. "This is a time when your best attributes can shine without someone else overshadowing you or dimming your glow."

Taylor's Tips:
1. If you are apprehensive, start small with a movie or sitting at a coffee shop. Once you truly appreciate activities by yourself, it will be even easier and more enjoyable to share them with someone else — if that's even what you want! Remember that you are more approachable when alone versus part of a group.

2. There's no better way to meet others who share similar values and interests (and without the pressure of making conversation) than by volunteering. And, who knows who you'll meet along the way?

3. If you haven’t looked into the social networking site Meetup yet, you need to. Absolutely anything you are interested in is available to do. Even better, there are thousands of other single people like you looking to try new things and meet new people.

4. Join a league, such as bowling, volleyball, or any other sport/activity you enjoy. Leagues are another great way to get out and be active. It is easy to sign up as a single person and you will get to expand your social circles. It's time to start practicing that set attack for summer!
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Living
While you may envy your pals who have a permanent roomie, give yourself permission to enjoy the moments of solitude. "We are constantly distracted by news, gossip, screens, and general noise," says Taylor. "Living alone is a prime opportunity to cherish your solitary time, focus on you, and figure what you want and need to be happy and to get to the place in your life you want to be." Who can argue with that?

Taylor's Tips:
1. Make smaller meals or freeze leftovers for later when you don’t have time to cook.

2. Should you feel the need to cuddle, get a body pillow or a puppy. If not, enjoy sprawling out fully on the bed, not having to share the covers, and no one snoring next to you or waking you up in the middle of the night — score!

3. Make your space your own. Decorate, arrange, and organize in a way that inspires you and brings you joy and comfort. That way, you will always be happy to be home.
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Hitting a Wedding
A wedding is a perfect opportunity to be proud of being alone, so own it! "Choosing to go solo is maintaining a very high standard for yourself, as not everyone is worthy of your company," says Taylor. "There is no need to feel upset if you don’t have a date to take to a wedding. You will have fun if you choose to."

Taylor's Tips:
1. Dance with a group of friends or even strangers. Everyone is sociable on the dance floor — especially if there's an electric slide in the house.

2. View this as an occasion to network and make new personal and professional connections.

3. If you don’t know anyone else, hang out with the bridal party and see if you can join in their festivities. You know they will be having fun!

4. Resist distracting yourself from your feelings of discomfort by mindlessly scrolling through Facebook or drinking way too much. Not only will you look antisocial (or risk making a foolish decision), you will also be preventing yourself from dealing with and accepting your feelings. The only way to start feeling good about being alone is to face how you feel, accept it, and then let go of the negative as you learn to enjoy time with yourself. This may be uncomfortable, but you will be happier camper when you do.
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Handling the Holidays
Although relationship specific holidays like Valentine's Day can be tough for some single folks, other holidays can be equally challenging for various reasons. "Seeing couples together and dealing with questions from 'caring' relatives can make you feel insecure," says Taylor. "It's important to never lose sight of your worth and all the great things you have going for you."

Taylor's Tips:
1. Treat yourself (hit the gym, have a nice dinner, relish a decadent desert, go on a mini shopping spree, or splurge on an item or experience). You are worth it!

2. Don’t get hung up about being alone or not in a relationship. Worrying about a relationship will not help make it happen. In fact, it could hinder it.
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