Guide to looking cool while eating alone, as told through GIFs

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Hey there, big shot. Not to step on your ego or anything, but we saw you eating alone outside the Golden Bear Cafe the other day, and to be honest, you looked pitiful. Fact: Dining companionless does happen, but it does not need to tarnish your cool reputation. If you need to get your grub on solo but don’t want to come across as a complete loner, you need to use some time-tested tricks. Employ these techniques, and you’ll make solitude seem like the new black.

Dress to impress

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They say the eyes are the window to the soul, and if anyone could see into your soul right now, they would detect rejection and pain. Just kidding! But seriously, wear some dark sunglasses — you’ll instantly bump up your style and make people think you are the mysterious, artsy type. After all, it’s what’s on the outside that counts.

Kill a tree, save a social life

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Bury your nose behind a book, and no one will suspect anything. Words on a sheet of paper can be your saving grace when you are looking friendless. Don’t have any writing on hand? If you are in a serious state of desperation, a blank sheet of paper will do. Just make sure to hold it up close enough to your face so that no actually sees that there is nothing written on it.

Phone an imaginary friend

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Faking a phone call is an art. There are three steps to the process:

1. Stage a ring: Pretend your phone is buzzing, and make a really big deal out of it — throw up your arms, dig around your purse — it should be clear to others that someone very much wants to reach you and that you very much want to pick up.

2. Establish a relationship: There are two ways to go about this — will you stage an argument with your ex or an enthusiastic chat with a friend?

3) Make random sounds: You don’t actually need to say anything to have the conversation come across as legit — an occasional hum or mumble will suffice.

Be on the lookout

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If you pretend to be waiting for someone to arrive, your solitary occupation of a table won’t seem so pathetic. Turn your head in various directions, squint as if searching diligently and maybe even wave at a empty space.

Become one with the laptop 

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As soon as your laptop screen lights up, you might as well be in a different universe. Shut out the rest of society and glue yourself to cyberspace. Spectators will pass you off as a diligent student, Facebook-obsessed social networker or email devotee — all of which are better reputations than hungry loner.

Set a place for ‘Elijah’

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Grab an extra plate, and position it adjacent to you. You could even get fancy and place some of your food on the plate to further add to the veneer. This will give off the impression that you do indeed have a friend eating with you, he or she is just absent at the moment. No one will ever know that, like a delusional schizophrenic, you actually set up a plate of food for no one.

Suck the life out of that iPhone keypad

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Type, tap, swipe, fondle. As long as you appear engrossed in your smartphone, everyone will think you have a social life.

Pretend to be friends with the person next to you

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Sit close to them. Move your mouth so it looks like you two are talking. Maybe even initiate eye contact. However, if at any point you feel like they are onto your plan — bolt!

GIF sources: GIF 1, GIF 2, GIF 3, GIF 4, GIF 5, GIF 6, GIF 7, GIF 8

Contact Daniela Grinblatt at [email protected].