What Can I Do On A Friday Night By Myself? 7 Reasons To Go Out Alone, Even If You're In A Relationship

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Even though I'm in a relationship, I'm a huge fan of going out alone. I love to travel alone, and even when I'm in the same place as my partner, I often spend the evening by myself. Since this is some of my most valuable time, I think there needs to be less stigma against people going out by themselves.

"The thought of going out to eat, catching a movie, going to a museum, exploring a nearby neighborhood, or traveling alone may seem odd, intimidating, or scary," practicing psychologist and Harvard lecturer Holly Parker, PhD, author of If We're Together, Why Do I Feel So Alone?, tells Bustle. "But as is true in so many facets of life, not everything that seems odd, intimating, or scary needs to be avoided. And if we give ourselves permission to approach it, we might even realize how much we enjoy it, along with a range of other possible benefits." Research has actually shown, for example, that people who travel alone enjoy the freedom, the opportunity to reflect, and the ability to practice self-reliance.

Here are a few reasons I love going out by myself and think everyone should try it once in a while.

1You'll Overcome Shyness

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If you're shy and you go out with friends, you'll likely stick to them the whole night. But if you're alone, you'll have more of an incentive to talk to new people, even if it makes you uncomfortable. Once you see it's not so big a deal, you'll feel more comfortable reaching out to new people in the future, whether you're alone or not.

2You'll Meet New People

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You come off more approachable when you're by yourself than when you're in a group of people or engrossed in conversation with your partner. People will talk to you who may not have otherwise, which could lead to some exciting new friendships.

3You'll Let Loose

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Being around other people can be an energy drain, especially if you're an introvert or a people-pleaser. When you're alone, you don't have to worry about doing what another person wants to do, entertaining them with conversation, or listening to them whether or not their words are interesting. You get to do exactly what you — and only you — want.

4You Can Be Spontaneous

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You don't need to check in with anyone about your plans when you're the only one involved in them. You can run as early or late as you want. You can stay for as short or long as you want. You can arrive at a bar, decide you don't like the look of it, and leave. You can go wherever the night takes you.

5You Have Time To Reflect

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Thinking is a fruitful activity we don't always get to practice uninterrupted. When there's no input entering your brain, you get to really sit with what's there and figure out your own life. It may feel like you're just sitting there doing nothing, but the mind is rarely idle.

6You Don't Have To Compromise

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When we're always with other people, it's rare that we get to do exactly what we want. But when we're by ourselves, there's nobody pressuring us to do anything that's not our top choice.

7You Get To Know Yourself

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Dating yourself has an effect similar to dating someone else: You get to know your likes, dislikes, thoughts, and feelings. If you want to understand yourself better, try spending some time alone without any distractions.

It may be nerve-wrecking to go out alone, but you have a lot to gain by overcoming those nerves.