This was a really interesting read. I too once hated eating alone in restaurants (in my 20s). I saw a friend eating alone in a restaurant and said, “Why didn’t you ask me to come with you! You know I would have!”
Turned out, she said she sometimes preferred eating alone, especially since me and our other girlfriends would tease her about her meal choices (always the same thing, completely plain hamburger- no lettuce, no onions, no tomatoes…not even ketchup or mustard!)
But she got me thinking…perhaps it was okay to eat alone…and, I don’t know when I started doing it, but now I don’t even give it a second thought. I eat alone a lot. It’s very relaxing, peaceful.
But then too, I eat with people a lot as well. Being alone, and being lonely are two different things. Then feeling if you aren’t whole if your aren’t in a relationship is something I think a lot of people, men and women alike, struggle with.
With men, the fear of losing a partner, often results in tragically violent scenarios. It’s very dangerous for some women to leave a certain type of man dealing with that fear.
With women, that desperate clinging can and probably most often does, drive a partner away.
As for me, having been in a pretty healthy monogamous relationship for years, I’ve learned that even under the best of conditions, that relationship requires constant maintenance and work, and I think the benefits are great, once you’ve really worked it out between you, but sadly it doesn’t come easy-and so a lot of people these days are 1. Uninterested in even trying or 2. Stick to the sad, unhealthy, broken relationships they know, even if they are in and out of them, back to backing them…
But I agree with you…after a bad breakup, the last thing anyone needs to do is jump right back in…they need to take time, reflect and figure out what went wrong in the prior relationship so that the next one, maybe, has a chance of going right.