So you’ve found yourself alone on a Friday night wondering what to do. You’ve scrolled through your contacts on your phone, Facebook, and Twitter, and everyone else has plans. You’ve run out of friends to call, and you’re flying solo.
Sure, you’d rather be spending the evening with people, but unless you’re due one good night of takeout and tv watching (limit 1 per month), put down the egg rolls and the remote control, consider these options, and dang it, live a little! Or, at least do some things you’ve not made time for.
1. Go on a date with yourself
Brandon is a self-professed expert in dating himself. Check out his advice, but maybe choose your cuisine a little more wisely than he does—unless you think it’s frugal to save some barbecue sauce for later. Or if going on a date with yourself doesn’t sound fun, here’s a little trick to test drive eHarmony for free any weekend of the year.
2. Cook something new
Thanks to Pinterest we now have access to a million new recipes we never knew existed. The sheer number of Nutella recipes alone could keep you practicing your culinary prowess for the entire weekend. But know when to say when. Nutella’s good stuff, but it’s not worth passing out from a sugar coma.
3. Call/Hang out with family
Some of us don’t have an issue with keeping up with dear old Mom and Dad. Others of us have to be held at gunpoint. Consider this your threat. Call your mom. Mother’s Day is Sunday, but call her tonight, too. Just because. And while you’re at it, call your grandparents, siblings, and your aunts and uncles. Or, even better, go see a family member. Of course they drive you crazy, but you don’t have anywhere else to be tonight, so you can deal with your emotional upheaval later in the privacy of your own home.
4. Find a new coffee shop and people watch
No, Starbucks doesn’t count. It has Target locations for crying out loud. Find a different coffee shop that you’ve never been to or a diner—some place that people gather to hang out. Bring a book to read or to pretend you’re reading. Note: If you’re not an expert at people watching, and you don’t know how to observe other humans on the sly, then don’t choose this option. Leering or making eye contact is not acceptable and is grounds for dismissal from all future people watching endeavors.
5. Skype or FaceTime with friends in another city, time zone, or continent
You’ve been putting friends off because you’re too busy. Well, now you have a free night. Who cares if it’s Friday? Note: This only works if you have a Skype account or an Apple product and people in other geographical locations. If everyone you’ve ever known is in your town, then this does not apply to you. Move along.
6. Hang out with your married friends
Some of us are bad about losing touch with our friends once they get married. Sure, they have a lot of obligations–a spouse, kids, work–but some of them would really love to see us more and would enjoy meeting us for dessert or coffee after they help their spouse put the kids to bed. So what if it’s 8 or 9 o’clock before you meet them? What else have you got to do? Go to bed early?
7. Browse a bookstore and don’t buy anything (or do)
Get a bunch of magazines you never have time to read or Steve Jobs’ biography that you have no intention of buying or conduct research in the travel section for your summer vacation. Take a stack of books to a table in the coffee shop and enjoy having time to do something you’ve been putting off for a while. There’s no coffee shop in your bookstore? Good for you for not contributing to the Monster, but that also means you’ll need to support a small business and buy something. At that point, you’re ready to refer back to #4.
8. Road trip
This idea is not for the faint of heart, those on a tight budget, nor those of you who hate spontaneity. Choose a nearby city/town you enjoy visiting. If you’re in Dallas, go to Fort Worth; Minneapolis, go to St. Paul; Nashville, go to Chattanooga; London, go to Oxford. Take a risk and book a cheap hotel room on Hotwire, and go explore for the evening and morning.
Bonus: Spend time with Jesus
Yes, we totally just played the “Jesus card.” But come on, an entire evening alone? Don’t waste it.
What other ideas would you recommend? Share them with us in the comments below!
*Photo credit: bingbing