Jewish Journal

Going Solo

by Tamara Shayne Kagel

December 10, 2010 | 9:30 am

One of the best things about being single, is that you can show up to things alone.  I know some girls complain about not having an auto-date for every function, but they just need to get over their insecurities and realize what they’re missing out on.

This week has already been a whirlwind of holiday parties for me but for each one, I have the option of showing up sans un beau.  And for the right type of party, there is no better way to enjoy then to show up alone.  It forces you to meet people in a different way and at a function like a holiday party, people want to mingle.  Plus, somehow everyone just intuits that you are more approachable.  It gives you the option to flirt in a Bill Clinton sort of way with everyone, men, women, young, old.  Even if you both have no romantic interests in each other whatsoever, there’s still something a little sinister about having a flirty conversation with an older man when you have a boyfriend.  But no one looks twice, when you’re unattached. 

Granted at times, being alone can bring some unwanted attention, but conversation is a skill that must be practiced and if you haven’t figured out by now how to worm your way out of a conversation with a fifty year old man about his body-hair waxing, there’s nothing I can tell you.  In one evening this week, I met girls who gave me some insider secrets about my favorite designer, made friends with some awesome guys who I’m hoping to start a business venture with, and met a guy who takes the same yoga class I do.  None of this would have happened if I had shown up with a date and it’s at least less likely if I had brought a girlfriend or two.  Your conversation just goes a little further and a little longer when you don’t have anyone to return to.  And yes, there are certain types of parties, where you’ll need to secure a date.  For instance, if you work for a lot of women and you’re attending a work function, a date is a really good idea to protect against introducing your boss to some guy you just met at the bar. 

But still, there’s something about being able to show up to a social function alone that will just open your world up to so many new experiences.  A friend of mine whose identity I’m sworn to never reveal, started a social experiment last year to delve into this subject.  She writes a fantastic blog called Girl At a Bar where she goes to a number of different bars every month, alone with no plans to meet up with anyone and she’s not allowed to be on her cellphone.  She’s had some incredible experiences and all because she’s confident enough to simply be by herself.  Her blog has actually inspired me to at times stop looking down at my iPhone and instead interact with the people next to me.  I’m always shocked by people’s reactions when they hear about my friend’s experiment.  The girls especially, react like she’s b.a.s.e. jumping and Girl At a Bar herself, writes about how when she goes out, people always pump her for reasons about why she’s there alone.  But when you read her stories, you’ll see that having the courage to be alone has opened up her life to these incredible experiences.  I can’t wait to see what the rest of December has in store for both of us!

Check out Girl At a Bar at www.girlatabar.com

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Tamara Shayne Kagel is a twenty-something fixture on the Los Angeles scene currently living in Santa Monica.  Currently, Tamara is a successful freelance writer (just ask her...

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