Is eating alone in a restaurant now a big taboo?

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Leon_Trotsky
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04 Dec 2019, 7:30 pm

BenderRodriguez wrote:

Well, good luck and best wishes to you :)

Given your other threads about being targeted for being a virgin and all that, I think you'll fare much better over here. My take: it would be best for you to go to cities (not small towns) in continental Europe. I'm speaking as someone who knew a couple of people in similar situations to yours who's lives changes dramatically after a change in scenery.


I have heard on TV plus personally in countries like Spain about how so-and-so is a loser because he is a virgin at 18 still. I am surprised that some in the younger generation are thinking similar to people here. What would they think of me, age 30...

Right now I am trying for Italy. I could try for many countries since I already know the language. But I also love eating alone there and being treated like an actual human being. Sometimes I feel like here it is hard to just get respect as a person, instead of like dirt on the bottom of someone's shoe.



kraftiekortie
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04 Dec 2019, 7:31 pm

Just don't advertise that you're a virgin----and you'll be okay.



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04 Dec 2019, 7:36 pm

Leon_Trotsky wrote:
BenderRodriguez wrote:

Well, good luck and best wishes to you :)

Given your other threads about being targeted for being a virgin and all that, I think you'll fare much better over here. My take: it would be best for you to go to cities (not small towns) in continental Europe. I'm speaking as someone who knew a couple of people in similar situations to yours who's lives changes dramatically after a change in scenery.


I have heard on TV plus personally in countries like Spain about how so-and-so is a loser because he is a virgin at 18 still. I am surprised that some in the younger generation are thinking similar to people here. What would they think of me, age 30...

Right now I am trying for Italy. I could try for many countries since I already know the language. But I also love eating alone there and being treated like an actual human being. Sometimes I feel like here it is hard to just get respect as a person, instead of like dirt on the bottom of someone's shoe.


Yeah, I hear you.

What I meant was, that the chances of actually being asked by a stranger if you're a virgin are going to be much lower. There's still some stigma, admittedly - but around here people would be open about sexual issues but still respect boundaries and (normally) won't ask you something like that.


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Leon_Trotsky
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04 Dec 2019, 10:31 pm

That is true. I studied in the UK and never had anyone ask me about the virgin thing. In addition to eating alone in restaurants, I also used to eat alone in the university canteen and in the residence halls, yet no one really gave me hell for it.

Often I eat at places in the city centre here where I live. The restaurants usually are crowded, often with queues of people waiting to get a table. And many in the queue are couples. You should see their faces when I finally get my turn and ask, "table for one". Everyone behind in the queue looks at me. All those boyfriend/girlfriend couples often give me looks. I wonder what the hell they must be thinking about me.



PseudointellectualHorse
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04 Dec 2019, 10:33 pm

I'm thinking of opening a new franchise of restaurants for single people who eat alone. So instead of tables, the dining hall will just have a bunch of sinks for people to hold their food over while they eat. Anyone wanna invest?



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04 Dec 2019, 11:10 pm

Leon_Trotsky wrote:
Eating alone seems to garner a lot of staring in my experience. It were as if people wanted to say to me, "Ew, what are you doing, loser?". Other diners give you the eye, some even like The Rock and his "eye" gesture. People do not really mind their own business here. It seems like if someone else does something that they dislike, even if s/he is minding own business, people will shame that person.

I was in California in September, and I had no such experience. I took a city bus from my hotel to a Mexican restaurant that served fish tacos. I ate there alone. The bus girls gave me a little bit of hassle, but it was for taking pictures out the windows, not being by myself. The waitress was super-friendly, and liked it I told her I knew Spanish, since her English wasn't good. Other than trying one of the best fish tacos, my dinner was totally uneventful. I slightly expected to be treated badly for eating dinner alone. But I wanted to eat an authentic California meal, rather than banal fast food near my hotel. None of it happened; other patrons pretty much ignored me. On the bus ride back, no one talked to me, either, other than the driver saying "good evening".

Do you recall what exactly you were doing that night? I can imagine people reacting strangely if you ate your food an unusual way, or ordered something most people don't eat, like crawfish or frog legs? (These foods are totally normal in New Orleans, but weird pretty much anywhere else.) I do wonder if age has anything to do with it, since older men, like me, often get ignored for things that younger men get scrutinized for.

I strongly recommend that you try a solo cruise. I'm pretty sure California has many cruise ports. I cruised solo 3 times already, and never had anyone react negatively. On my last cruise in particular, when one woman found out I was by myself, she reacted like I told her I drove a motorcycle or jumped out of airplanes. In other words, extremely well.



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04 Dec 2019, 11:23 pm

Leon_Trotsky wrote:
That is true. I studied in the UK and never had anyone ask me about the virgin thing. In addition to eating alone in restaurants, I also used to eat alone in the university canteen and in the residence halls, yet no one really gave me hell for it. Often I eat at places in the city centre here where I live. The restaurants usually are crowded, often with queues of people waiting to get a table. And many in the queue are couples. You should see their faces when I finally get my turn and ask, "table for one". Everyone behind in the queue looks at me. All those boyfriend/girlfriend couples often give me looks. I wonder what the hell they must be thinking about me.

why pay them any mind? :scratch:



Leon_Trotsky
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05 Dec 2019, 4:02 am

Aspie1 wrote:
I was in California in September, and I had no such experience. I took a city bus from my hotel to a Mexican restaurant that served fish tacos. I ate there alone. The bus girls gave me a little bit of hassle, but it was for taking pictures out the windows, not being by myself. The waitress was super-friendly, and liked it I told her I knew Spanish, since her English wasn't good. Other than trying one of the best fish tacos, my dinner was totally uneventful. I slightly expected to be treated badly for eating dinner alone. But I wanted to eat an authentic California meal, rather than banal fast food near my hotel. None of it happened; other patrons pretty much ignored me. On the bus ride back, no one talked to me, either, other than the driver saying "good evening".

Do you recall what exactly you were doing that night? I can imagine people reacting strangely if you ate your food an unusual way, or ordered something most people don't eat, like crawfish or frog legs? (These foods are totally normal in New Orleans, but weird pretty much anywhere else.) I do wonder if age has anything to do with it, since older men, like me, often get ignored for things that younger men get scrutinized for.

I strongly recommend that you try a solo cruise. I'm pretty sure California has many cruise ports. I cruised solo 3 times already, and never had anyone react negatively. On my last cruise in particular, when one woman found out I was by myself, she reacted like I told her I drove a motorcycle or jumped out of airplanes. In other words, extremely well.


Where in California were you? San Francisco and Los Angeles have their own separate cultures that are vastly different from everywhere else in California, and much more different than anywhere else in the country. I would say that San Francisco and Los Angeles are almost like separate countries relative to the rest of California. The difference is much starker than the difference between New York City and for example, upstate New York. You do one thing in San Francisco, something that I encounter a lot such as going around asking people about their sex lives and that you have not had a f*ck in a long time, and people will find it normal; you do this in Eureka, Fresno, San Diego, Monterey or South Lake Tahoe and people will think that you are insane. And vice versa, of course.

That night, like other nights, I was in an Italian restaurant. I ordered nothing out of the ordinary. Glass of white wine and seafood risotto. I was reading my language textbook whilst eating.

I would say though that the restaurant was Downtown, and most people Downtown are young. The restaurant was filled with people in their 20s and 30s, some in their 40s. But mostly people under 40, I would estimate. I find that many people in their 20s and 30s stare at me, and not in a good way. But in restaurants when I eat alone, the stares are a lot more in number and more intense.



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05 Dec 2019, 4:30 am

Ignore them as it seems they are bored or have nothing better to do. Surprising they aren't all too busy texting on their phones to even talk to their wives or partners. I've seen images like that, where they're ignoring each other's existence as social media is more fascinating to them!


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kraftiekortie
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05 Dec 2019, 6:32 am

That’s precisely what they do in New York.



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05 Dec 2019, 6:33 am

Could a part of the problem be that you were reading while you ate? That's bad manners (at least here.) Not that people don't ever do it here, but it should be avoided.



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05 Dec 2019, 6:34 am

It’s not bad manners in New York. It’s considered normal for people to read at their tables in restaurants.



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05 Dec 2019, 6:49 am

Leon_Trotsky wrote:
Where in California were you? San Francisco and Los Angeles... (truncated)
...
That night, like other nights, I was in an Italian restaurant. I ordered nothing out of the ordinary. Glass of white wine and seafood risotto. I was reading my language textbook whilst eating.

I would say though that the restaurant was Downtown, and most people Downtown are young. The restaurant was filled with people in their 20s and 30s, some in their 40s. But mostly people under 40, I would estimate. I find that many people in their 20s and 30s stare at me, and not in a good way. But in restaurants when I eat alone, the stares are a lot more in number and more intense.
I was in Los Angeles. My hotel was just outside the airport, the fish taco place was a few miles away, and I took Uber to the cruise port next morning.

I was actually a bit surprised to see young attractive women (the ones I talked to) on a bus in Los Angeles. It always struck me as a very car-centric city, with the only people taking a bus being the very poor and the criminal elements. Maybe the car culture weakened in the last several years. Millennials are allegedly becoming anti-car, from what I heard.

Your food was more "normal" than my food. I had 3 fish tacos, pinto beans, rice, and a Pacifico beer. Also flan and a shot of tequila for dessert. Not cheap, but I was celebrating my first cruise in 6 years, and I hadn't had a proper meal since breakfast. The waitress checked up on me more than I was accustomed to back home, but I attributed it to the local culture, rather than me being alone. I fiddled with my phone while I ate. Other people in the restaurant totally ignored me.

The bus ride back to the hotel was uneventful. It was already dark out, so taking pictures was out of the question. Plus, the alcohol made me relaxed and spaced out. As a result, no one talked to me or looked at me.



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05 Dec 2019, 9:00 am

Outside of major metropolitan areas, a car is about 99% a must.



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06 Dec 2019, 4:50 am

Joe90 wrote:
if you're eating alone at a table, it means you're a lonely schmuck who has no friends. So people eating alone usually sit at a bar, where such a thing is far better tolerated.


Again, pure marketing. It's a mindset deliberately cultivated by the hospitality industry so that people dining alone don't take up a table, even a small one, which could have up to four profit sources - er, I mean valued patrons, of course - seated at it instead.



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06 Dec 2019, 11:21 am

Dial1194 wrote:
Again, pure marketing. It's a mindset deliberately cultivated by the hospitality industry so that people dining alone don't take up a table, even a small one, which could have up to four profit sources - er, I mean valued patrons, of course - seated at it instead.
This makes a lot of sense. With sheeple being sheeple, they buy into the marketing, and shame solo diners. And having difficulty making friends, we aspies suffer for it.

It also explains why there's no shame or stigma with eating alone on a cruise ship. When you go on a cruise, all regular meals and most snacks are included in your fare, and waitstaff are paid a token wage plus tips. So whether one person or ten people sit at a table, there's no revenue difference to the cruise line: they already got their money. In fact, solo diners are "cheaper", since they have to feed only one person at that meal, rather than two or more.



Last edited by Aspie1 on 06 Dec 2019, 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.