Since clubs, bars and everything nightlife-related gave us the on-and-off treatment for longer than a toxic beau ever will, it’s only natural that group clubbing feels like a godlike revelation. But what’s there left to do when Peggy Gou is in town and no member from your clubbing group chat seems eager to devour her set?
You’re itching to dust off your dancing sneakers, get your feet on the floor and soak every heart-racing beat drop. This trio might be a sign from the mighty nightlife gods to take a break from the pack and cross out the calendar for your incoming clubbing date – with yourself.
Saying goodbye to your clubbing gang for the weekend
Before you write off the idea of solo clubbing, envision your average night unfolding without group-induced restrictions. The night kicks off whenever you give the green light, not when your pals finally decide to leave that dodgy pre-drinking session.
Nobody will drag you in the seemingly endless smoke breaks.
You can call it a night whenever you feel like it, not when your clubbing partner gets booted out for accidentally dropping his ketamine baggie right before the security crew’s eyes.
There are no friends to search for in the club’s sweaty euphoria.
You can forget about the no-show Uber charges you used to get when your bestie was busy vomiting her last shots in a bathroom cubicle.
Yep, the days you were the lucky winner of a one-star rating can become history.
These are not the perks that made Izzie, 26, go on her first solo clubbing adventure, but they are the reasons she stayed in the game.
“One of my favorite DJs was in town, but none of my friends were up for it,” Izzie says.
“The last thing I wanted was to miss it, but the thought of clubbing alone scared me to death.”
But every true reveller knows that seeing your beloved artist perform in flesh and bones feels like finding your religion.
Since Izzie labels herself as a party animal, she gave herself a pat on the back, researched some solo clubbing tips and ordered a taxi.
“I missed the whole pre-drinking and getting ready with the girls ritual – but the relief of not having to wait around was worth it,” Izzie affirms.
No, solo clubbing is not like having egg on your face
When you decide to cherish the self-emancipation streaming from your CEO of the night duty, the stirring stigma shrouding solo clubbing will tag along. There is a universal assumption that a lone figure in the restaurant lacks too many social skills to find a pasta-eating partner.
The saddest thing is how this arbitrary rule of thumb applies to every socially-vibrant environment – from clubs and bars to pubs and cafes.
“As soon as I entered the club, I felt like all eyes were on me,” Izzie recalls. “At the beginning, I wasn’t brave enough to look around and see if I was right – but I felt like ‘I’m a loser who is solo clubbing tonight’ was written on my forehead.”
And Izzie is not the only collateral victim of this Placebo effect. Judgemental glares, muffled giggles, and people talking behind our backs have separated us from the art of flâneuring for decades. But psychology demonstrates that everything is happening in our heads.
We’re a generation of party animal overthinkers, that give too much of a damn about what people think.
Whenever we cringe up in a ball following that marvellous faux pas we committed five seconds ago, we believe everyone noticed, cackled with laughter, and will probably remember it five decades from now. That’s when the spotlight effect takes over the stage.
This thinking distortion might feel blazing and paralyzing – but it is far from matching reality. According to this psychological theory, people don’t give a tinker’s damn about our unflattering behavior, clumsy manners, or anything else that makes us wish the ground would open up to swallow us.
While clubbing culture ranked the homo sapiens clubicus concept as a default group hustle, the spotlight effect can hint at how the only social stigma attached to rolling solo is the one we fabricate in our heads.
Nothing is more liberating than clubbing the way you want
No party animal would waste precious minutes of his clubbing session to talk crap about the lonely guy twinging with gripping anxiety. We’re not on the Mean Girls set. A short “Oh, his friends must be at the bar” is the maximum attention a solo clubber will get.
Of course, nobody would sacrifice the giddy euphoria of sharing this craze-fuelled playground with their clubbing gang. But night-time solo-cialising can be surprisingly liberating. Need a wee? Go. Need a cigarette? Puff one. Feeling thirsty? Kick off your bar jaunt in zen mode because there won’t be any “Where the fuck did my friends vanish” headache included in the package.
As you can tell, the initial anxiety of going on a clubbing self-date is a price we need to pay for freedom.
If we listen to Izzie, it’s all worth it. “It can feel lonely in the beginning. And that’s perfectly fine – not many people are brave enough to go solo clubbing,” says Izzie.
“You’ll spend your first hour focusing on the cons of being alone in the club, like not being able to skip the bar queue. But soon enough, you’ll let the pros sink in.”
You’re the CEO of the night
You’re free to do whatever you want, where you want, for however long you want – you got the idea. Nothing is more liberating than spending your solo clubbing night on your own terms. If you don’t trust us, trust British producer Route 94. His My Love music video follows a clubber during his solo nightlife session through a thermal camera. And let us tell you one thing – the guy has a blast every time you press the play button.
As an epitome of the lusted-after ‘a night spent the right way’ concept, solo clubbing is like eating alone. You can eat your favorite chicken stir fry and let the sauce drip down your face because nobody will notice it. There are no distractions, compromises, or sticking points keeping you from feeling yourself.
When Mark Twain came up with the iconic “Dance like nobody’s watching” quote, he was probably on his solo clubbing pursuit. At the end of the night, clubbing solo means unleashing your rawest version on the dancefloor. Who knows, the night you decide to take a break from the pack might be your best clubbing session yet.