Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Are You A "Loser" for Eating Alone?

I saw this short article on Straits Times regarding eating alone.

In Singapore culture, it is deemed embarrassing to be seen eating alone. In fact, I think most people would rather skip their meals if they have to eat alone.

Is it true?

Based on my personal experience, I have certainly felt that way before. In the past, when I was still working in an office, we would all go and eat lunch together at the cafeteria nearby. Sometimes, due to work committments, my usual lunch kakis would be out of office and I was left alone. It was really "embarrassing" in a sense to be seen eating alone in the cafeteria where there were many other acquaintances / colleagues around. These are of course the people that you don't usually mix around with because they are from different branches and departments.

Many times, I found that I resorted to packing my lunch and eating at my desk rather than be seen eating alone.

Nowadays, I have overcomed that fear. Perhaps it is because I no longer work in an office. I certainly don't mind eating alone. But there is still that nagging fear that I might meet someone I know and it might be an "embarrassing" situation.

Do you dare to eat alone?


  1. Hi FF,

    I never have problems eating alone. Actually I prefer eating alone. But there's a difference between dining and feeding. If I eat alone, I'm feeding. If I'm eating with a group, I'm dining.

    Dining involves talking and it's a social event. Feeding is just putting food into your body for energy.

  2. Not problem eating alone. Especially where the weather is so hot and many flu bugs going around these days, it's better to pack and eat in office with comfort.

  3. Eating alone is eat to live.
    Eating with your family or buddies is live to eat.

    So you live to eat or eat to live?

  4. Yes, I agree with the comments that eating alone can be eat to live/just feeding. But I think eating lunch alone can also be a form of retreat from people - a relaxing and restful activity. Sometimes, there is just too much talk about work or petty politics over lunch.

  5. Yeah. Eating alone sometimes can be relaxing. It is just eating and feeding oneself.

    Eating with others is really dining. It is more than just the food, it is the company.

  6. Hi FF,

    Like you, I used to fear eating alone. So sometimes I resorted to 'hiding' at that further away, corner kopi tiam so that although eating alone, I know that normally my colleagues will not go that way.

    Nowadays, it's not so much of an issue. Like you, being self employed gives me more flexibility in terms of when to eat and where to eat. I actually enjoy eating alone now because it gives me some good 'self' time to think independantly in investments.


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