What do you do if none of your friends are available, but you really want a fun night out, or go to a concert or movie you’ve been eagerly awaiting?
At first glance the choices don’t seem very appealing either way. You either miss out on the fun by staying at home, or you go out alone at the bar, club, concert or movie and try not to feel awkward.
Or maybe you do have friends available, but you just want to go out by yourself and see what the experience is like solo and what adventures you can expect.
If you never gone out alone until now, or you did but haven’t had the best experiences, then this article contains a few tips and tricks to help you navigate the experience, have fun and how to stay safe while doing so.
What to expect when going out alone
Perhaps the biggest thing you should know about going out alone to bars, clubs, concerts etc. is that your brain reeeeally won’t like it when you put yourself in a very social environment all by yourself.
As a result, your mind will do everything possible to make you feel awkward and unwanted so you can just leave already.
Ignore these feelings. You’re only experiencing them because you’re stepping out of the comfort zone.
Once you get into the flow of things and figure out how to enjoy yourself when going out alone, the feelings of discomfort will go away and your comfort zone will be big enough to enjoy the good stuff.
And there’s a lot of good stuff!
You aren’t tied to the schedule and wishes of your friends. You can go to any bar or location you want, whenever you want without worrying about people complaining.
You don’t have to worry what your friends might think if you start a conversation with someone, you can leave whenever you want, etc.
Once you get used to going out alone, going out with others will start to feel a bit frustrating since you’ll have to accommodate them so much.
Ultimately, going out alone to bars, clubs, concerts and anywhere is all about learning how to make your own fun and having adventures and experiences you couldn’t have otherwise.
How do I go out by myself? I just find something I’m interested in, buy the ticket and go. Travel, movies, concerts, musicals, restaurants, doesn’t matter. All solo. You know what’s fantastic? Being able to go at the drop of a hat with no one complaining, or having to compromise, or waiting for others. I can spend as much as I want without worrying if the other person can afford it, I can see things that interest me, and I can spend as much time as I want without worrying about someone else’s timetable.
Also here’s the 100% truth – no one will care. Not a single person. Any weirdness you may feel is all in your head.
You can live your life denying yourself these pleasures waiting for your +1 to arrive but that’s a sure fire way to miss out. Like they say: you can get busy living or get busy dying. That’s goddamn right!– Hasty Reader blog reader
General tips when going out alone to bars, concerts, movies and anywhere else
Tip nr. 1: People are too focused on themselves and their friend group to notice somebody is solo. Even if they do notice, they don’t care so they won’t judge.
Tip nr. 2: People will almost never ask why you’re alone. If you’re still concerned they might ask though, just give a ready-made line. Something such as “None of my friends were available to go out tonight, and I didn’t feel like staying in. So here I am.” will be sufficient to answer the question and keep you in a good light.
Tip nr. 3: Be on the lookout for solo friendy events such as board game nights, book discussions, networking events etc. The activities at such events are extremely good as icebreakers. You can find these on Facebook Events, Meetup.org, etc.
Going to a club/bar alone is way more fun when there’s something happening there. Try to go when there’s an event: watch UFC/Football/etc, go to bar trivia, comedy clubs, love music or duelin piano bar, etc. Something besides people watching.– Hasty Reader blog reader
Tip nr. 4: If you want to socialize, try not to stay in your own head. Build up some social energy and momentum (for you and people around you) by chit chatting and just being a pleasant presence. If people aren’t receptive, don’t force the interaction any further. If they’re into it, build on the momentum and see where it goes.
Tip nr. 5: If you don’t want to socialize, then stay in your head as much as you want. Some people reconnect with themselves by going on solitary walks through parks, others do so by going out alone at a bar or concert. The energy and and atmosphere of a busy bar or concert is special and wanting to quietly enjoy it by yourself is totally fine.
Tip nr. 7: Passing comments and observations are the best conversation starters. A simple “the band seems to be on a roll tonight” is super harmless and people who want to chat back will immediatelly pick up on the invitation.
Tip nr. 8: Don’t worry if you say something embarassing, since you’ll likely never meet that person ever again.
Tip nr. 9: Make the conversation about the other person. A good rule of thumb is that people’s favorite conversation subjects revolve around their own life. Keep questions vague and not personal, but know that if you leave the conversational door open, most people will seize the chance to talk about themselves, even deeply personal subjects. Being a good listener is huge part of charisma after all.
Tip nr. 10: Try to stay safe. Don’t leave your drink unnattended. Keep an eye on exits or where the bouncer is. Tell somebody you’re going out as a safety contact.
8 tips on how to go to bars and clubs alone
Tip nr. 11: Don’t wander around. Find a spot with lots of traffic (ex: sit on a chair right at the bar where drinks are made) and just sit there. Spark a conversation with people coming to and fro.
If your goal is to talk to girls, pick a spot in the bar or club and STAY THERE. Avoid the temptation to wander. Sitting at the bar is the best spot because there’s a constant flow of new people to engage, not just girls. This is also where the guys who go out by themselves usually end up, and they’ll be more than willing to talk to you instead of watching the WNBA game behind the bar.– Hasty Reader blog reader
Girl here but I often go out alone so I’ll answer. I like going to pubs with live music and lots of regulars – Irish pubs are great for this! I usually sit at the bar with a pint and a book and then as the night goes on I strike up a conversation with whoever else is sitting at the bar. People sitting at the bar are often alone or in small groups so they are great to talk to and if that fails strike up a conversation with a person coming to the bar to order a drink. Usually after an hour or so people are drunk and start to dance which is fun to join in on.
I definitely recommend going out alone and I always meet really interesting people! 80 year old Irish guys, men on business trips, girls on bachelorette pub crawls, etc. I feel like pubs attract all kinds of people and I love listening to live music so I’m also ok with just spending the night by myself.– Hasty Reader blog reader
Tip nr. 12: Be friendly to bartenders, casually chat with them and leave a good tip. Part of a bartender’s job description is to act as icebreakers between clients so they’ll introduce you with greater warmth if they like you. They basically become a social matchmaker (like Tinder, but without the parts that makes Tinder a bad dating app for many people).
Also, bartenders tend to be super busy on weekend nights so try not to take too much of their time.
Tip nr. 13: Consider coffee shop libraries. Nowadays many privately-owned libraries have integrated a coffee shop alongside their regular book store. Asking someone what they think about a certain book, or just sitting down alone to read a bit is as good as an open invitation.
Tip nr. 14: If you’re a guy and want to chat someone up, then do it that very moment or else you’ll get approach anxiety, which will really get inside your head.
Approach anxiety will kill any good mood you may have. The brunette you noticed? You should have gone to talk to her immediately. I’ve noticed that the first approach is the hardest of the night. Get that out of the way as quickly as possible and you’ll have a better time. Sometimes, as you found out, finding another guy out by himself helps too. You can do this really early in the night and hang together until the bars close.
Tip nr. 15: Try out activity bars with games / sports such as pool tables, darts or coworking spaces. Depending on the vibe of the location, it might be easier to spark a conversation there compared to regular bars.
Tip nr. 16: Don’t wear earphones. The unspoken assumption of earphones is that the person wears them as a way of “separating” themselves from the rest of the world.
Tip nr. 17: If possible, try to be a regular. Over time you’ll get to know who is who at that particulare establishment. Once you know the other regulars you’ll always have someone to chat with, and it will be easier to draw others in your conversations.
Tip nr. 18: The best time to go to a bar or club are Friday and Saturday nights, at around 10-11 PM depending on how early your chosen venue fills up. If there are bars near your workplace, consider hanging out there during your lunch breaks since you’re likely to meet other professionals during their daily work break.
5 tips on how to go to concerts alone
Tip nr. 19: Enjoy the music and the fact that you decided to come at the concert. Not really a tip, but it’s best to appreciate yourself for choosing to watch a band or singer you like (even if you might feel awkward), instead of staying home and missing out on it. It’s the type of decision you’ll be happy to make.
I did not go [to a concert] because I didn’t want to be alone. I regret not going. At times I feel like it’s one of those times where I didn’t stand up for myself against a bully or whatever. Except the bully was me. If that makes any sense.
Despite all the rambling, I’d go. If you get there and hate it, you can always leave. It doesn’t work the other way.– Hasty Reader blog reader
Tip nr. 20: Know that crowds at concerts are usually pretty friendly. This is especially true for “niche” bands who have more of a cult following and devoted fanbase. This makes it easy to make friends and chat with people.
I go to concerts by myself all the time. A big reason for that is my friends don’t share a lot of my taste in music, and also because I find crowds at concerts tend to be very friendly in themselves. At least the shows I go to they’re the easiest place to make new friends. Edit: But make smart choices for yourself, I’m a male so things are different for me.– Hasty Reader blog reader
Tip nr. 21: Come early and get familiar with people and the location. This will give you the time to get your bearings and shake off the awkwardness. If you’re interested in socializing, chit chat a bit with people or staff. It shouldn’t be an in-depth conversation, but enough to snowball you into a talkative and social mood.
Tip nr. 22: If you want to socialize, stay near places with lots of traffic, such as the food & drink stands, the bar etc.
Tip nr. 23: Use the band or singer as an icebreaker. One of the best parts about concerts is that you and everybody else there have at least one, obvious subject in common to talk about.
3 tips on how to go to movies alone
Going to the movies alone is something every film lover will end up doing on a semi-frequent basis. Casual film goers usually only go to the cinema once a month to the big blockbuster.
If you really, really like movies once a month probably isn’t going to be enough. But since your friends aren’t as much into movies as you are, you’re left with either waiting for the film to come on streaming services or going to see them alone, by yourself.
Fortunately, going to the movies by yourself is far more straightforward. Nonetheless, below are some tips if you’re worried the experience might be awkward:
Tip nr. 24: You aren’t the only person to go solo to the movies. Next you go the cinema, go a bit early and check out how many people come by themselves and sit by themselves. You’ll probably be surprised to see how many solo movie goers you’ll see.
Tip nr. 25: The staff doesn’t care you’re alone. Working at a movie theater can be pretty demanding at times, so staff will be too busy to care you’ve come alone. Even if they do notice, they’ll probably be happy you came alone since single people cause way less hassle and are easier to cleanup afterwards.
Tip nr. 26: Movies aren’t really social activities anyway. Other than the 20 minutes before and after the movie, films aren’t really social activities. You mostly live the experience in silence after all.