And we’re back with another edition of Ask Max Mondays. This week we have a question from a woman trying to navigate life in a new city. Read her question and my response and weigh in with your advice in the comments.
I recently moved to a bigger more metropolitan city that has a really great night life. I don’t know many people here outside of a few cousins. The one cousin I am closest to is my age and likes to party but is a complete and total flake. I like to go out and explore different things and occasionally go clubbing. My question is, is it ever cool for a woman to go out by herself to a night club, without looking, for lack of a better word “thirsty” or lame? I’ve gone out by myself before but have always felt extra awkward, like everyone was staring and knew I was out by myself. What is your take on a woman taking herself out dancing, or clubbing or just to the bar alone?
I like this question. And before I answer it I’m going to tell you a story about myself.
As many of you know I am really close to my little sister. I moved to Toronto to be close to her and for the first few years she was basically the epicentre of my social life. She’s a lot more friendly than I (and a lot less awkward) and she’s always been a social butterfly with tonnes of friends. So when she and I were living together I didn’t have to make friends because I just made friends with hers and voila – instant social circle.
A few years ago my sister moved back to our hometown. At the time I was in an unrelationship but that was dissolving and with the departure of those two people from my life, my social life dried up. Once they were both gone I looked around and realized I really didn’t have any real friends.
We all know that it’s extremely hard to make new friends as an adult – especially for women. By the time you hit your twenties, most of the people you meet have long-established circles of friends and have no real reason or inclination to expand them. And if you’re weird and awkward as I am, finding people to hang with is more than a notion.
But as much as I am awkward and solitary, I also go stir-crazy if I stay home too long. So in those “dark days” when I had no road dog I had no choice but to fly solo. I went everywhere alone; shopping, dinner, concerts, and yes clubs and over time I learned to love it. I came when I wanted, stood where I wanted. Danced if I wanted to, talked only to the people I wanted to talk to, and most importantly, I bounced when I wanted. Gone were the days when I was slumped on a couch in the corner of some wack party waiting for my girl to finish getting her grind on with the dude she met that night. No longer did I have to wait around for a ride, or because someone wanted to see if the party was going to get better, or for someone else to finish their drink. I no longer had to see movies I didn’t want to see, listen to DJ’s I didn’t like, or really do anything I didn’ t want to do because I had nobody’s feelings but my own to consider.
All of which is to say I see absolutely nothing wrong with you going clubbing alone. One thing that I think is essential about adulthood is learning how to fend for yourself and if you want to be out, be out. Unless there is some compelling reason for you to have company – you need a wingwoman or you fear being jumped by your ex’s new girl – the only barometer for whether you should go somewhere should be whether you want to be there. Anyone who rolls with you should just be gravy.
I do understand the feeling that everyone is watching you. I’ve had acquaintances exclaim incredulously “you came ALONE?!?” when they find out I’m flying solo. It’s not a commonly-done thing and yes, people do react to it. But don’t you let that make you feel weird because guess what? Those people fucking wish they had the balls to go out alone like you do. They fucking wish they did. And even if they don’t, just tell yourself they do and strut around there like the self-sufficient lone wolf you are knowing that 90% of the chicks in the party would never have the ovaries to go out alone.
At the end of the day, men roll solo to parties all the time and no one says anything. So I advise you to take a page out of your homeboy’s book and stop thinking of going out alone as something weird or even remarkable and just look at it like the thing you do when you want to go out and you don’t have a companion handy.
And I’ll tell you something else in case this helps you: I never met more men in my life than I did in the years I went everywhere alone. It’s a lot easier for a man to initiate conversation with a woman when she’s not surrounded by squawking birds, you feel me?
But what say you guys? Ladies are you okay with going out alone or do you need a travel companion? Men do you judge a woman when you see her at a party by herself? Give Elle your advice in the comments.