Ladyguide: Going to a Party By Yourself

In the course of a lady’s life, there may come a point where she will need to attend a party by herself. This may be a wedding to which you were not allowed a plus-one, or perhaps your wing-woman got the flu and cannot go with you. Should you stay home and watch Mr. Darcy dive into the lake for the thousandth time? No! I say, hitch up your BAMF-pants and go by yourself. You’ll have a good time. I promise.

Getting Out The Door

The biggest hindrance to going to a party by yourself is getting out the door. Much like giving a big speech, your brain will devise a million scenarios about how wrong it can all go. What if people think you’re weird for going by yourself? What if you have nothing to talk about? What if they don’t like you? In my time of going to parties by myself, I’ve learned that everyone has these thoughts, even if they have a date. Bank on the fact that everyone feels self-conscious most of the time and that everyone else is having similar thoughts.

If you are really worried about everything going wrong, tell yourself that you must go for at least one hour and if at the end of one hour you are still feeling awful, leave. Pretend you are just so popular and could only stop by for a bit before rushing off to some other engagement.


The second most nerve-wracking thing is making your entrance. The best way is to just go in, find the host, and give them whatever libations you have brought with you. A good host will introduce you around, but if she doesn’t, find the drinks table, pour yourself something saucy, and introduce yourself. The best opening line is, “How do you know the host?”

Making Small Talk

There are few in this world who are actually good at small talk. I promise you that if you think you are bad, everyone else thinks they are bad, too. There are only two people in my life who are genuinely good at small talk.

The line I suggested earlier is a great opener and will hopefully lead to other paths of conversation. If it doesn’t, other goood questions are to ask if they watch a popular show, or have seen a particular movie. Asking what they do is always safe. I have relied on The Dinner Party Download and it has come through for me on several occasions.

If you have worked yourself into a conversation with someone who is just terrible (either boring or offensive or overly flirtatious), use one of my favorite lines from one of my favorite books, Cold Comfort Farm, and say, “If you’ll excuse me, I’ve seen someone I absolutely must talk to!” Make a beeline for the host and tell them you are LOVING the party and insert yourself into their conversation. You’ll get an automatic introduction.

On Drinking

I do not suggest getting drunk if you are on your own, both for your own safety (you do need to drive home at some point) and because you don’t want to be that girl. Getting a bit buzzed at the beginning of the party to shake off the nerves is usually worthwhile, but I aim for sober after my first two drinks.

On Leaving

The best thing about going to a party by yourself is you get to leave when you like. There is no waiting for your date to finish their drink and if you want to stay longer, you are free to do so. If you’re having a good time, stay, be merry! If at your self-imposed hour deadline you see the party as dead or you just aren’t feeling it, find the host, say, “Thank you so much for inviting me, but I have another thing I have to get to!” and then toddle off even if all you have to get to is Hot, Hot, Helo on Battlestar Galactica.

I have been happy I went to a party by myself each time I’ve done it. I’ve always met cool people and everyone is usually really nice and totally impressed by the fact that I do not need a stinkin’ date to go to a party.

By [E] Sally Lawton

My food groups are cheese, bacon, and hot tea. I like studying cities and playing with my cat, Buffy.

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