China Youth Daily Social Research Center recently conducted a poll among 1,991 respondents aged from 18 to 35. Of those, 25 percent said they are single, 21 percent are dating, and almost 53 percent are married.
Some 67.6 percent of respondents said they are embarrassed to eat out alone, and 70.6 percent of women and 64.5 percent of men respondents said they would actually feel awkward.
In such situations, 48.5 percent said they would choose to finish their meals quickly; 37.1 percent would pick a corner seat at a restaurant; and, 36 percent said they do not know how to order appropriately.
Moreover, 30.2 percent of respondents say they hate being labeled as a "single eater" when buying their meal. 12.9 percent believe they have less appetite when eating alone.
The fear of loneliness is cited as the core reason preventing people from enjoying eating alone. Some 94.2 percent said they would drop going-out plans if their companion is unavailable.
Zhang Lingling, a sophomore of a university in north China's Hebei Province, says she always wants someone to accompany her during mealtimes. Otherwise, she would prefer to get food delivered and eat alone.
One employee who regularly goes on business trips says he picks a corner seat and finishes his dishes quickly so as not to get any disturbance from the restaurant waitresses.
To deal with this problem, 71.5 percent of people polled suggest setting up a private area for personal eaters to attract food consumers.
Other suggestions focused on how to get used to solitude. They include putting a focus on appreciating surroundings; relaxing and enjoying stress-free time; and, having a strong mind to be comfortable alone.
(Source: cyol.com/Translated and edited by Women of China)
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