There are people I know who will jump out of perfectly good airplanes or ski double black diamond slopes in Utah who are afraid to dine out alone in a nice restaurant. Afraid!
In this enjoyable story on dining solo, the writer describes it this way:
When chilling out at home with a bowl of popcorn gets old, I opt for the solo dining experience – the next best thing to a bubble bath, except you’re doing it in public.
I've often thought about how psychological this whole solo dining thing is. Think about when you're going to meet someone at a high-end restaurant. You walk in, they're not there yet. Maybe you go to the bar and order a drink. Perfectly relaxed.
Now think about going into that restaurant alone without anyone to meet. The stress emerges. Perhaps you wonder what people think about you or if anyone is noticing your lack of an "other."
Same activity. Only the emotions have changed.