Attending Events: No Partner? No Problem!

Just because one is single, doesn’t mean staying home and becoming the proverbial wallflower.  Here are a few tips to help you feel more comfortable to get out and about, attending events from medieval festivals, to the cinema, even to going to dinner by yourself.


Strike up Conversation with Those Near You


When I recently attended a performance of the Spanish Dancing Horses in Vienna, I noticed that the people sitting next to me had American accents.  At a suitable moment, I excused myself and asked if they were in Austria from the States on holidays?  This began the loveliest experience where I ended up with friends for the day.  Yes, it can be uncomfortable getting out of one’s comfort zone and approaching a complete stranger, but when they are sitting only an inch or two from your elbow, my suggestion is to make the effort.  The rewards can sometimes be surprisingly lovely.


Dress the Part


Last weekend I attended a medieval jousting tournament.  I had ordered a fabulous medieval-style dress on Amazon (that looked expensive but wasn’t).  OK, I can already hear some people saying they would have challenges going to an event alone, let alone dressing up and attending by themselves!  The interesting fact about dressing the part, however, is that people tend to gravitate to you – and smile!  Yes, it did feel a little odd when I realised I needed to stop for gas on the way (so had to get out in the twenty-first century service station looking like I belonged in the fifteenth century), but again, people smiled…  One person asked me where I was going, and that lead to a lovely conversation…  At the event, more smiles, more impromptu discussions such as one woman who said she loved my dress and asked me for the name of my dressmaker!  She was surprised when I told her it was Mr Amazon; and even more surprised when I shared with her the price.


Look for Other Single People


One of my dearest friends for many, many years now is someone I met at a cinema.  We were both there alone and for her, it was her very first time going by herself.  We struck up a conversation after the movie and, as there was a very nice bar near the cinema, decided to go for a drink… and the rest, as they say, is history.


A book can be your best friend


On occasion if I want to go to dinner by myself but do not really want to engage with anyone, I will take a book (although please be mindful and respectful of the establishment at which you are dining – it may not be appropriate in some surroundings).  While I focus on enjoying the food when it arrives, between courses, I happily immerse myself in my book and completely forget I am there alone.


~ Bella St John aka