Some Good Tips For Flying Solo This Summer When You Suddenly Find Yourself Single
Esther Pipoly has some good tips for going on an “Eat, Pray, Love” adventure this summer when you are suddenly single or simply still haven’t worked up the nerve!
“It takes time to get used to doing alone the things you used to enjoy doing as a couple.” – Esther Cardenas, Founder Loss of Life Advocates (LOLA)
“Table for one?” For many people, these three words can provoke serious anxiety. But for people who have lost a spouse or loved one, they hold even more meaning.
Going from a party of two to a party of one is a big adjustment—and not just when it comes to dining. Things that used to be enjoyable like traveling, or socializing with other couples, can feel heavy or awkward.
“It takes time to get used to doing alone the things that you used to do together,” explains Esther Pipoly who, after losing her husband to cancer, launched Loss of Life Advocates (LOLA). LOLA serves as a type of concierge service for those preparing for or dealing with loss of life by providing a wide variety of guidance options, services, and referrals for individuals and corporations. Below, she offers some good tips on how to return to life after death.
What is the first hurdle you must overcome before journeying out on your own?
The first hurdle you must overcome is yourself. You have to reimagine yourself and consider taking new risks. Suffering a loss or a divorce can be paralyzing and make you want to crawl into a hole. With time, you realize you must make some adjustments to find happiness again. It is possible to get back to doing the things you love—you simply have to go about them a little differently. I had to grow braver and even try new things before tackling the old things that brought me so much joy in my prior “couple life.” While I leaned heavily on old friends, I also made new friends that didn’t look at me as Esther the widow but instead, Esther the athlete from gym class or Esther the xenophile from the wine tour… Once you take these baby steps to gain your courage, you can move onto bigger things.
One of those “bigger things” is dining alone, which many people find intimidating. How can you make it less awkward?
Initially, the thought of eating out alone seemed sad to me. I felt like people would see me and feel badly for me. But while dining alone can be a daunting experience, the hardest part is making it from the car to inside the restaurant. Once you are inside and seated in a place where you feel comfortable, the experience can be good. The first step is not to apologize for being a party of one. Tell the hostess confidently that you are here alone, and ask for a quiet table with some privacy. The more confidant and friendly you are, the more at ease everyone around you will be. If the thought of sitting alone in a crowded dining room is still too much for you to face, try sitting at the bar. Many restaurants offer full menu service at the bar, and it doesn’t hurt to ask the bartender what he or she recommends. Getting to know the hostess, servers, and staff makes a return visit more pleasant.
What are some steps you can take to feel safer when traveling alone?
My late husband and I used to enjoy traveling together, but it wasn’t until he was gone that I realized how much I depended on him during our adventures. To make sure that I don’t overlook any details, I plan an itinerary well in advance. I also try to book only direct flights to avoid any missed connections. In hotels, I request a room on the lower floors and I make sure to identify the emergency exits. I call down to the front desk for a wake up call, not only to ensure that I don’t oversleep, but also as a way for the hotel staff to check on me. Group tours are a good option, especially if you are in a foreign country. Not only is it safer than wandering around on your own, you may even make some new friends!
How can you stay connected with your couple friends when you are no longer a couple?
This can be tricky. It’s easy to feel like the third wheel, not to mention that your couple friends might not know what to say. To alleviate the awkwardness, try hosting your friends at your home. You might be more comfortable on your own turf. And don’t be afraid to mention your spouse or recall fun memories all of you have shared together. Setting the tone by addressing the elephant in the room in a positive way can make everyone else feel at ease.
All these and more are some good tips for getting out and living again even if you are single.
About Loss of Life Advocates
LOLA offers both individual and corporate packages for helping people deal with or prepare for loss. A LOLA Advocate can provide you with guidance and direction, allowing you to find peace and let the healing begin. For more information or a complimentary consultation, visit lossoflifeadvocates.com or call 888-488-LOLA (5652)