I was taking a hot bubble bath last night, and I was mind-traveling back to my time in Florence, Italy. Every night, after a dinner of the freshest produce, pasta that can barely be described it tasted so wonderful, and a glass of wine, I would venture back to the streets and walk for hours. In Signora Piazza I would listen to the flute music as I sat by the statue of Perseus or on the steps of the Uffizi. I'd walk along the Arno watching the way the streetlamps' light reflected in the moving water. I'd stop for chocolate at my favorite coffee shop, and walk to Michelangelo's Piazza high above the city to stare at the beauty of Firenze's lights. Many beautiful, Italian men would walk with me, complimenting me trying to win my affection for the night. The funny part is that Italian men love their fancy shoes and many couldn't keep up with my long walks because their feet hurt. You would think I would be sad to walk through this romantic city without my beau, but I loved it. It was a peaceful time where I took in life at my own pace with only my needs in mind. When I first began traveling I hated the night. During the day I could enjoy the sights and museums, but at night loneliness crept in as I was afraid to enter a restaurant solo. Everyone seemed to have someone to converse with or share a drink with. I felt pathetic and lonely.
I've changed drastically since then. Now I love dinners for one. Don't get me wrong, fancy meals or even Thai food with a friend or a boyfriend are lovely, but there is something special and unique about dining alone in a restaurant. My favorite place in Florence is a little candlelit restaurant that was right by my apartment. It had only six tables and though I dined alone, the waiter never rushed me. I sat for over an hour, taking my time to savor each bite. Instead of focusing on conversation I let the decadence of the food roll over my taste buds. I focused on the complexity of my wine and how it changed with different foods. I read a delicious book between courses. It was an experience of stopping and tasting life.
We have this idea that being alone is sad. We see the solo person in the movie theater or restaurant and wonder why they don't have friends. I think everyone married, single, or otherwise involved, should take themselves out on a date. It's a time to spoil yourself - to treat yourself with love and self-worth, to find out what makes you feel decadent, happy, and relaxed. It might be strange at first, but I promise once you get past the worry of being solo you might fall in love with your own company.
Have a great romantic weekend whether your madly in love, married for a long time, or flying solo.