Recently, I came across an article about why everyone should go to a techno night by themselves at least once in their lives. The initial headline automatically drew me in simply because it seemed so unusual. For me, nights out are a completely social thing; you invite your friends round for pre drinks, get the tube to the club together and spend the whole night dancing and drinking as a group (minus the obvious one liability who seems to always go missing).
Instead, the article advocated going to a techno night completely alone. Scary, right? Imagine queuing to get into the club whilst everyone around you is chatting away and laughing with their mates. Who would you talk to whilst waiting to go in? In a crowd filled with groups of friends, who would you dance with?
But honestly, the article convinced me and now I would love to go and see a DJ set alone. Whilst techno isn’t my usual cup of tea, I still think it would be a great experience. The article listed several benefits; your own complete jurisdiction of the night, being able to leave when you want to, and a pure appreciation of the music undisturbed by your friends nagging you. Plus, you’d save heaps of money which would have been spent on rounds. But the argument which I found most persuasive was that it simply isn’t a bad thing to do things solo by having some “me time”.
It’s like the classic cinema conundrum; to see a film alone or to not see a film alone? Seeing a movie at the cinema is universally recognised as a standard dating activity, implying that everyone attending will be accompanied by at least one other person. Because of this, through what seems like my entire life I’ve had friends say to me: “I really want to see this movie, but no one will go with me”.
Well here’s an idea- go alone! Ultimately, what is the worst thing that will happen? At the end of the day, going to the cinema isn’t the most socially engaging activity; you spend around two hours sat in silence watching a movie. Having a friend or date with you therefore isn’t as crucial to your experience as it would be in, say, a game of tennis. People watch movies alone in their rooms all the time. Why does that change in the cinema?
I think it boils down to not wanting to seem lonely in public. There’s a stigma to it; people are inherently social creatures and to be alone is to appear outcast. But I think there’s something pretty badass about doing things alone and not caring what people think. At my job, people come in alone all the time, order loads of food and cocktails and spend an hour dining solo. And why shouldn’t they? Learning to be comfortable in your own company is probably one of the best skills you can gain in life; it sets you up for dramatic changes in your future which leave you temporarily alone, but also opens up a new avenue of fun in which you only have to worry about doing what you want, rather than catering to your friend’s desires. Solo travelling is becoming very popular for that latter reason- being able to travel through a country doing only what you want to do, without compromise, sounds like an absolute dream.
Of course it’s nice to have company and friends to share experiences with. But ultimately, being alone shouldn’t stop you from enjoying things that can definitely be enjoyed solo. Start by dining alone, or attending the cinema by yourself. Having some quality “me time” isn’t something to fear because, to be as bleak as possible, in life you only really have yourself as a constant. Embrace your solitude, become comfortable in your own company and start doing more things solo.