Five Ways to Enjoy Spending Time Alone

I was talking to one of my coworkers (seriously, that’s such a weird thing to say) friends about how different people have different personalities. Well, that much is obvious. She was saying how her boyfriend loves to be alone and how she loves to spend time with friends (and how they’re a perfect match that way). I definitely fall into the “I need a lot of alone time” category.
I love to be alone and do things alone. 
Of course, I love spending time with friends though too!!! And, while I tend to go to an event alone at least once a week, I still get a little nervous. I wish I had the confidence to walk into an event without a sidekick, but maybe that will come eventually (?).
I often get scoffed at when I mention that I go to dinner alone or the movies alone. Even if it’s not your thing, it’s definitely something I recommend you trying at least once. Maybe twice to really get the hang of it. I love it because you can do a lot of thinking and completely unwind. 
[Side note: One thing that’s on my doesn’t-actually-exist-except-for-in-my-head bucket list is to travel abroad alone. I think it would be really fun! And I’d totally ask other tourists to take pictures of me. HA.]
If you want to give it a try, here are my Five Ways to Enjoy Spending Time Alone:
1) Bring a book (or people watch) | I personally like to people watch. If anything, I’ll write some lists of upcoming things. Sometimes, rarely though, I read. Having a book, even if you’re not planning on reading, serves as a security blanket of sorts. It’s nice to know that you have something to keep yourself occupied should you get bored (or maybe lonely).
2) Completely unplug and disconnect | If you’re refreshing your Twitter feed constantly… you’re not really experiencing the whole point of going out alone! I swear, just doing this will make your outing feel more rejuvenating than a trip to the spa. (Constantly being “connected” is exhausting… this is the perfect excuse for a little break.)
3) Wear something chic and cute | I love wearing fun little outfits. I always feel so much more confident! Walking into a room alone, or dining alone, feels a little better when you’ve got some killer shoes on.
4) Take yourself on the perfect date | Don’t wait for a significant other to take you on the date of your dreams. Have you been dying to try a new popup restaurant and can’t convince any of your friends to go? What about that movie your S.O. is refusing to see? Make a date of it.
5) Wear lipstick and smile at strangers | One side effect of going out alone is that sometimes people may feel “sorry” for you for being alone. (Confession, I do feel a little sad when I see people eating alone… even though I do this ALL. THE. TIME.) You don’t have to wear lipstick (remember me?) but it’s definitely a good reminder to SMILE!!!
Do you spend time alone? Have you ever gone to dinner or a restaurant for dinner alone?

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Oh my god, it is so weird that you posted this today of all days! Tomorrow, I'll be travelling alone to Norway for ten days and I'm simultaneously excited and a little nervous. Mainly excited though! I'll probably write a more detailed explanation of the motivations behind and plans for the trip on my blog while I'm on the plane tomorrow, but let me just thank you for this extra lift. I'd love it if you could stop by and read, maybe have a look on Sunday – it should be up by then! Either that or treat yourself to a fancy Italian – meal, that is! 😉 xxx F

The Yuppie Files

I've gone to a couple of movies alone & people think its weird. But it's not like you're talking to people during the movie anyways! I don't think I'd do good traveling by myself but enjoy doing the little things.


I love my alone time as well! When I tell people that, they assume that I'm just staying at home like a hermit, but in reality, I'm constantly taking myself out for lunch/dinner, going to theater performances, etc. I agree – it's rejuvenating. I especially enjoy not having to talk to anyone during a meal so that I can really, truly savor every bite!


I couldn't agree with all of this anymore! I definitely am someone that needs to be alone sometimes and these are perfect ideas. Thanks for sharing!

Doloris van der Bergh

I totally agree with you! Sometimes it is better to do things alone. I really enjoy shopping alone, because if you need an opinion you can ask the shop assistant (and I always tell them "please be honest!If I don't buy this I will buy sth else")
YOu should definately go alone on vacation but with a travel group. So you won't feel lonely.
xo dVb

Katherine Diane

I love spending time alone and with people. I feel like I'm kind of in the middle… I don't get upset being alone, but I love socializing! I love spending alone time at the gym or walking to class, I put my iPod on and get in the zone, it's so refreshing.

I love all your tips and top 5's. You're so insightful Carly!

Dani Fairbairn

I have traveled alone before and had an awesome time. It's a great chance to do exactly what you want without worrying about other people. Also if you do get lonely it is so easy to meet other travelers.


I'm just like you. I LOVE spending time alone. It's how I recharge. I feel like NYC is a perfect place for it, too. I take myself out to dinner, do work at coffee shops, read at the park, go for a run, or explore a new neighborhood. I also have wonderful friends, I swear.

Hope you had fun last night! Sorry that I missed you…but we'll plan for something soon.


Traveling abroad alone…make sure you master the international take my picture request. Look up, smile, point to your camera and hand it to them…So many people dont know what your asking but always know what you mean.


I agree that I need a lot of alone time. I cherish nights when all of my roommates are out and I can just do whatever I want… by myself! I think it shows our independence that we don't need to be around others all the time 🙂

Career Candy

Reminds me of one of the best books I've read this year:
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking
by Susan Cain.

Our inborn temperaments influence us a great deal. A significant part of who we are and how we operate is pre-ordained by our biological genes. Our natural personalities are like a rubber band at rest. Sure, we can stretch ourselves but only so far before it breaks.

So Introverts – take the time you need to be alone – no apologies!

Blake K.

I absolutely love doing things alone! I always take advantage of the times when my roommate is gone and I have our apartment to myself.

Julia D.

I love alone time. My big thing is day trips into the city by myself, but I'd also really love to travel alone at some point. Love these tips!

Nellie New

This is so SPOT ON! As much as I love going to events, I admit I always get nervous even just for little gatherings! I've yet to take myself out to a movie or dinner, but it's something I need to do for myself! Such a good post, Carly!

The Cardinal Planner

Oh I completely agree! I love spending time alone. I think that I spend so much time around other people during the day (meetings, study groups, etc.) that I just need some time alone to relax. I recently had lunch on the terrace of the second tallest building in Chicago alone and it was such an awesome (and peaceful!) experience. Traveling the world alone would also be amazing, but I think you'd have to be extra careful…


I love time alone, and really need it! Funny, because I had a post a while ago about this, where I had a picture of a quote about being alone, and it is still one of my top posts for people finding my blog!

Chelsea Kabelsy

I love time alone too, and I travelled alone to Europe on a study abroad trip – my first ever overseas trip. While I loved it, I will say that when I was standing underneath the Eiffel Tower and looking up, I would have loved to be able to turn to someone I know and say "Oh my gosh, this is amazing!" And I didn't trust other tourists lol, so the only pictures I have of myself are when I met my cousin in London. Still, an amazing experience and something that definitely builds independence and self confidence.


Great post! I completely agree with having necessary alone time! I have always been more of an introvert than an extrovert. You should read the book Quiet by Susan Cain. It's a very interesting read about this topic!

Anne N.

As an only child, I was always used to doing things alone. I absolutely love to go to the movies by myself. I've also never had a problem going out to eat alone. Now I am married with two children, so alone time is super precious!

Elyse RQ

I wasn't an only child, and I find me time lonely. Now I have a toddler, and my boyfriend (not the father) loves his alone time . I just don't get it, but I know it's healthy. I'm trying to learn to appreciate it myself. Any thoughts or advice on what I can do, and how I can teach myself to love it too? Thanks e


I studied abroad with a group of 15 people from my college, none of which I knew before. While I enjoyed getting to know them, I traveled by myself most of the time. Everything was at my pace, on my time, of my interest. I didn't have a worry in the world, not even something as little as whether we all were okay eating somewhere, because it was just me!

During those three months I also didn't have a phone. Just an IPod with internet connection, I would download maps or printed tours of my travels for the day/week and then be disconnected. It was amazing, and took me the longest time to accept my phone back when I got home.


I definitely encourage traveling abroad alone! A tip for the first time you do it: tack it onto a trip with friends! In college I had friends living abroad for the semester and decided to meet up with them for our spring break week in London. I arrived 3 days early, spent some quality me-time exploring the city, chatting with strangers, and taking myself on all sorts of solo dates before my two friends arrived and we spent a fantastic 5 days together galavanting around the city. Having both experiences in the same city one after the other was BRILLIANT and if given the opportunity I would definitely do it again!

Adrienne Child

I love my Me time 🙂 I go out to dinner all the time alone and you are right, it feels great! And I always have a book on hand 🙂 I seriously didn't know others did this and felt as good about it 🙂