If You Really Want To Drink Alone At A Bar…Do This

Laugh, and the contagion spreads like wildfire. Cry, and you cry alone. Drink alone, and the universe assumes you’re crying and pokes fun at you for the distinct lack of a drinking buddy.

But…how is that acceptable? Is society so uncomfortable with the idea of drinking independently in the face of societal crowd mentality that the simple act of drinking solo is not only stigmatized but even at times, looked down upon? Eating solo hardly carries the same stigma, and some places are arranged to suit a party of one.

Stumble into any particular bar in Kuala Lumpur right now and there’s a good chance you’ll encounter someone in there, absent company – as intentionally designed. Let it be on record: There’s nothing inherently wrong with going at it alone. In fact, you may find it to be a soul-searching experience. Who knows. But like courting a female who’s way out of your league, there’s a right way of doing it and a wrong way of doing it.

Without further ado, here are the best ways to tackle a bar experience alone, without sacrificing your privacy – and without dampening the drinking experience of the people in the immediate vicinity. But it does require finesse to pull it off to a T.

The Foundation:

  • Since bars are generally more of a nighttime activity, the earlier it is, the easier it is to drink alone.
  • This one’s a no-brainer but the fewer people there are, the less likely you’ll come into the crosshairs of an eager chit chatter.
  • Whatever you do, don’t draw attention to yourself – especially the negative kind. If you’re unsure of what negative attention entails, you’re exactly the type of person who attracts it.
  • Don’t be fidgety! Don’t give off the “I’m waiting for someone to approach me” look. Remember to be calm and composed as this solo adventure was by your design.
  • Drink enough to still feel in control but never beyond the point where your personality spills into the touchy-feely realm.

Now that that’s out of the way, sally forth.

Getting lost in a good book

Like practicing how to kiss in front of a mirror, seeing a psychiatrist, and resting on your deathbed, reading is something best accomplished alone. So if you have every intention of drinking alone, what better way to complement that than getting lost in a really great book(Emphasis on great). The person sidled up at the corner of the bar reading To Kill A Mockingbird isn’t a loser(not in the conventional sense but that’s a debate for another time)…

They’re the one percent, the mysterious type that you can’t quite put a finger on. If you’re reading Twilight, that’s another story. I hope someone disturbs your reading time – for the sake of humanity itself.

Working at a bar… but not necessarily for a bar

Not necessarily applicable to each and every bar… and be mindful of the basic, foundational guidelines as mentioned above(because let’s face it: no one wants some random guy occupying prime real estate on a Friday evening). But with the right framework, camping at a cozy spot with your trusty computer and doing work (or watching the latest episode of Black Mirror) is perfect over a beer or three. If you got some unfinished work, let it be done over a good drink rather than four walls that seem to inch closer by the minute. What gives cafes an edge for working over a bar… aside from being way more crowded, and more importantly, way less fun? For some odd reason, it also feels more authentic than fiddling with your phone the entire time.

Doing not a thing in a bar(aka existing)

This strategy strays away from digital devices and all distractions by submitting to the greatest escape there is: being one with your thoughts. In a world where silence is drowned out by information, existing in a state of bliss is hard to come by. Even our bathroom breaks are an excuse to further glue our attention to the screen, at the expense of our physical and mental well being. So if you ever get a chance to just… be. To do…nothing. Take it. The lesson here is that we need to carve some time out for ourselves just to be alone. Liberation from screens. Liberation from people. Liberation from all the white noise except the sanctuary of our thoughts.

Engaging in a phone conversation in a bar

Hold your horses. I know exactly what you’re thinking. If doing work at a BAR wasn’t obnoxious enough – bordering on terrible social finesse – engaging in a full-on conversation must be the expired cherry on top. Sure, but think of it this way: Why would speaking with someone on a phone(quietly at a spot where my pleasure won’t be at the expense of someone else’s) be worse than speaking with someone seated next to you? What the harm in having a heartfelt conversation with my grandma? Are you really going to raise your pitchfork in protest in my attempt to have a heart to heart with my gramps? Oh and keep this in mind: Do not ask that the music be turned down. Or anyone else to tone it down for that matter. You’re just asking to be thrown out.

Watching a football game in a bar

I challenge you to think of a single activity that rides the perfect line between having alone time and expertly being able to weave in and out of casual flick-of-the-moment conversations with fellow bar-goers.  In this case, it would be perfectly within your right to hijack a mid-conversation to inject a hot opinion about the ref’s lack of good judgment, and more often than not, to break the ice uniting over a unanimous agreement that some team sucks. Definitely, don’t draw any attention to yourself by screaming at the TV like it owes you money.

Eating with yourself, alone

We all gotta eat. And sometimes, the subject of your current cravings happen to be in a bar. Just pretend you got a rendezvous with a longtime friend. Then again, food has been an intimate partner since inception. If you’re feeling a little adventurous, have at the food while engaging in any of the aforementioned methods. With the exception of the phone call. Mom said to never talk with your mouth full. Or chew with your mouth agape. That’s just uncouth – and dangerous.

Drinking alone need not carry a burden of shame. Be comfortable in your own skin. Be that person that drinks in solitude – and stop caring about what others think of you. Because if you think about it, no one knows or cares more about you as much as you do. By extension, that makes you the best drinking partner there is, right?


If you’re up for a solo bar experience of a lifetime, I know an app that’ll be just the perfect guide: right here




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