6 Reasons I Don't Regret Going to Prom Alone
There's so much pressure to have a date to prom that if you don't have a significant other or a single friend you can go with, you find yourself willing to do pretty much anything to find one. But I'm here to tell you that there's another option: You can go to prom alone.
I went to prom alone. Okay, full disclosure: I went to junior prom alone. For senior prom I had a date, which means I experienced both the pros and cons of each situation. And that means I am in the perfect position to tell you that if you do end up going solo, there's absolutely nothing wrong with it and you should actually embrace it.
1.There's less pressure to impress.
Of course, you want to look your best in photos, and you definitely want heads to turn when you walk into the dance. But when you're going to prom with a date, there's the extra pressure to impress him or her and even match (or at least not clash) with them.
When I went to junior prom alone, I didn't really worry about anything other than what I wanted. I loved my dress. I loved my makeup. I loved me. Boom. But when I had a date to senior prom, I'd be lying if I said I didn't wonder if he was going to like my dress or hair, or if his tie was actually going to match.
My prom date thought I looked great (at least, he said he did, *shrug*), but worrying about what he would think (even if I knew it ultimately didn't matter) still added a lot of pressure leading up to prom to look good. Pressure you won't have to worry about if you don't have a date.
2.You don't have to deal with the awkwardness of taking photos with a date.
As if looking good in photos by yourself isn't already hard enough, once you add a date into the equation, things get even harder to manage. How are you going to stand? Where are his hands going to go? Where do YOUR hands go? Ugh... there are so many variables involved.
When I went to junior prom alone, I didn't have to worry about any of that. Period. All I did was work my standard angle (head tilted, chin down, hooked arm, smeyes — smash it). But when I had a prom date my senior year, it was completely different because I HAD NO CLUE WHAT TO DO WITH MYSELF when we were taking photos together.
I stood next to my date looking super awks as my mom took photos of us. Sooner or later he came to the realization that we should probably be touching for our prom photos, and he hooked his arm in mine. Then my mom walked over (looking at me like I was a crazy, awkward zombie) and positioned us the way she wanted.
Now, it should be noted that not everyone is quite as awkward as me and wouldn't have nearly as much trouble figuring out what to do with themselves as I did (thank God my date was one year older and had done this prom thing already, haha). Still, it adds a level of nerves and awkwardness that wouldn't have been there otherwise. But if you don't have a date in the equation, you can just focus on you looking amazing.
3.You won't feel tied down.
When you go to prom with someone, you don't necessarily have to be attached at the hip all night, but you definitely feel an obligation to check up on your date and have them in your vicinity throughout the night. Sure, if that person is your crush or SO, you want to be by them all night, but it also means you may miss out on an awesome dance sesh with your girls or an impromptu selfie sesh with your girls in the bathroom.
But when you go to prom with someone just for the sake of having a date, they can end up feeling more like a ball and chain than a fun person to have beside you all night. You might want to just go off with your friends to have some fun, but then you start to worry about whether your date will feel like you blew them off. Even if your date genuinely wouldn't care either way (kind of like you), you still feel that pesky obligation to check up on them just in case.
Luckily, my date was a lifelong friend, so having him by my side all night was painless and enjoyable. But definitely don't settle for any date just for the sake of having one. Think about the dynamic going with the person you're considering bringing will create and if it's worth having to potentially hang out with them all night before taking the be-my-date plunge.
Going to prom with someone who isn't your boyfriend or bestie is a gamble. You might have one idea of how the night is going to go, and things can be really awkward and even hurtful if you're not on the same page. I never experienced this when I went with a date (like I said, I knew my date my whole life and he was super cool), but one of my best friends, Ashley, wasn't so lucky.
See, Ashley decided to go to prom with a friend of one of our other friends who went to another school. We'll call him Jake. Ashley and Jake began ~talking~ after our mutual friend set them up, and Ashley actually grew to like him a lot in the time leading up to prom. So when the big night came, Ashley was really excited to go with Jake and see how the night went. Everything was going so well in the beginning. He showed up on time, dressed to the nines. They talked and joked around in the limo and while we ate dinner, but things started to get weird when we all hit the dance floor. Jake danced with Ashley for a bit, but after a while, he moved away from our group. The next thing we all knew, he was off talking to another girl (a girl we all happened to know he had history with) and he stuck by her for much of the night. Then, to add insult to injury, he left the dance with another girl at the end of the night. Like, dude!
Ashley kept it cool and she ended up having a great night anyway (there was no way we were going to let stupid Jake ruin her night). But still, Jake blowing her off was a distraction, and it made her angry, sad, and annoyed — all feelings no one wants to feel on their prom night. I'll have to ask Ashley whether she regrets going to prom with Jake or not, but her experience should definitely make you think about whether the person you're thinking about going to prom with is on the same page as you and how that might make you feel once the big night comes, especially if things don't turn out the way you hoped.
5.No awkward slow dances.
At Junior Prom, when I was dateless, a slow jam coming on was simply an indicator for me to exit stage left and go touch up in the bathroom or sit down and rest my feet. I'm sure that for girls with actual significant others, a slow dance is no biggie. But if you go to prom with a friend or crush, slow dancing can be complicated.
Just because you're friends with someone, doesn't mean you're comfortable slow dancing with them, so when it's time for the DJ to play a slow song, you kind of look at each other and wonder, "Are we going to do this?" At least, that's what happened for me at my senior prom. I wasn't quite sure if my date and I were going to do the whole slow dance thing until the second the first slow song came on over the speakers. Luckily, he was a total gentleman and asked if I wanted to dance. Even though it was a little awkward at first, we just talked and laughed through the dance and it was harmless.
Sure, if you're crushing on your date, it's a perfect excuse to get ~cozy~, but worrying about not stepping on their feet, whether you smell after dancing up a storm, or if your crush feels as awk as you could make the moment far more stressful than romantic.
6.You can spend all your time with your girls.
This is the ultimate plus side to going to prom alone. You and your besties will have so much fun together! Even though you may be you're worried that all your friends having dates will mean you're the odd one out the whole night, it really won't.
Trust me: your girls are not going to leave you hanging all night. Almost 95% of the songs they play at prom will be Top 40 dance tracks that your friends won't even be thinking about their dates when they're jamming out to it with you on the dance floor. (Like, you really think your girls are going to be thinking about their date when "Single Ladies" starts blasting? Ummm, no.) And you're going to have so many amazing selfie opportunities too.
Bottom line: Whether you have a date lined up for prom or not, don't let it stress you out. If you end up going alone, you're still going to have an awesome time as long as you have cool people surrounding you. Trust me, looking back on my solo junior prom and my I-had-a-date prom night, both nights were equally amazing and memorable because I had awesome friends by my side at both (plus, I went to have a good time) and that's all that mattered.