Couple annoyed at a single woman for occupying a two-seater table in a restaurant

Aabha Gopan

Being single is frowned upon even today. In fact, a study conducted by Match found that 52 percent of the 1000 people surveyed experienced single-shaming. It also shared that the common shaming phrases were “you’ll find someone soon” and “you must be so lonely”.

Basically, single shaming arises from the deep-rooted belief that singles are boring. According to BBC, people think, “They must be sad and lonely for not having a partner; they’re actively looking for one, but haven’t found a match yet, and there must be something wrong with them that’s causing them to wind up alone.”

A recent Reddit post made in May 2022 addresses this issue and has received over 9000 upvotes and 2000 comments.

Is it wrong for a single person to have dinner alone?

The author is a 35-year-old female who enjoys dating activities, although she has stopped dating. She likes to go to movies, museums, and mini-golf by herself. Following this, she treats herself to lunch or dinner at restaurants she hasn’t been to.

On her last ‘self-date’, she found a nice Mediterranean place with only seven tables. She occupied the only two-seater table available when she got in. Just as she finished giving her order, a couple walked in and was heard whispering with the waiter, asking for her two-seater table. Even after the waiter pointed out that there were other empty tables, the couple was adamant about eating at her table.

After a minute, the man consoled the female that the author was alone and wouldn’t take much time to finish eating. Finally, they decided to stall at a nearby table.

As the author went all out on her self-dates, she had ordered an appetizer, soup/salad, and entrée - which the couple didn’t know. When the waiter delivered her appetizer, the man said that the author would leave soon. But as the other orders arrived, they got impatient and ordered food.

Is it wrong to enjoy ‘Me Time’ when single?

Keeping aside some time for oneself has been proved to help mentally in many ways. Spending time doing something enjoyable can restore emotional energy and help the body and mind reconnect.

Some may view it as ‘solitude’ - which has received bad press due to depression. On the contrary, a study has proved that solitude is essential for self and creative expression as well as spiritual renewal.

“These results increase our awareness that being alone can be restorative and a positive thing,” said the researcher.

As for the author, she resisted the temptation to order dessert because of the couple and left after having the entrée. While leaving, she caught the couple shifting their plates to the author’s table. When the author shared the story with her friends, they said she was insensitive for taking a dating spot.

Is the author wrong for enjoying her self-date and making the couple wait? Or should she have shifted to another table even though the couple didn't ask her to?

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