10 Sweat pants
This magazine is crammed with ideas about going out and enjoying the best things to do in the city. What we’ve neglected to say, until now, is that if you stay in, it will probably involve wearing sweat pants. And that is never a good look. Your version of comfort clothes might be food-stained pyjamas, fuzzy bathrobes or a band T-shirt you’ve had since high school. Stay in and fashion gives way to function. You might feel relaxed, but there is every chance you’ll look like a sleeping bag filled with custard. And on the off-chance you have a surprise visitor, that is an image they’ll never forget.
9 Lost time
Kid yourself into thinking you’ll have just as much fun if you stay in, if you like, but surely you know that you will end up horizontal for six hours binge-watching TV and eating a family-sized tub of ice cream. Tell yourself it’s the Golden Age of Television if you want. As long as you can justify that to your future self when they realise you spent the best years of your life watching zombie dramas, sitcom repeats and anything with Gordon Ramsay in it.
8 No mates
Social media conversations with people in the same city don’t count as real chats. The great thing about being out is that you never know who you’re going to bump into. Of course, that could mean your boss, your grumpy work clients and friends who didn’t invite you out. But nobody ever made a new best friend sitting at home alone. Your takeaway driver doesn’t count.
7 Food deliveries
Stay in and you’re away from temptation. That would be true if you lived at the top of a mountain or in a submarine. With a kitchen drawer full of takeaway menus and a phone, however, there is every chance you’ll be even greedier. So pleased will you be that you have not splurged money on a fancy restaurant that you’ll go for the calorific one-two, and have one meal immediately after another. Chinese food delivered, and while you’re eating that, you’ll dial for pizza and it’ll be there faster than you can slurp down your spicy noodles and say “eat your feelings”.
6 Nodding off
There’s a certain feeling that’s hard to name. It’s pretty easy enough to explain, though. It’s the feeling you get when you wake up on a couch a bit dazed, not knowing where you are. As you wipe drool off your face and off your cushions, and then peel a slice of pizza off your forehead, you check your phone and realise that you haven’t actually slept right through the night and that it is, in fact, still only 10.17pm. That’s a feeling somewhere between regret, confusion, loneliness and boredom. Just call it a power nap and then head out. You could still be in a club by 11pm.
5 Money saved
Nights out are when memorable moments happen. That’s just a fact. But stay in once in a while, and you can save serious cash. Which means you can have more expensive nights out later. Hurrah!
The fear of missing out is not a myth made up by club owners and restaurateurs to trick you into going out seven nights a week. If you stay in, you won’t miss a single thing that can’t be explained in 140 characters or less. Apart from all the hundreds of times when you did stay in and are still listening to the stories of those legendary evenings.
3 The love of home
Home is your space. You get to be DJ, promoter, chef, decorator, stylist and master of your own domain. Unfortunately, you probably don’t have the best sound system, culinary skills or duplex apartment of your dreams.
2 Important things
Don’t go out and you may be forced to do all that life admin you’ve been delaying for months. Or go out and sing karaoke until 3am and do it some other time.
The more you stay in, the more you’ll appreciate it when you go out. Forget work/life balance, it’s the boredom/entertainment balance that has the biggest effect on how much happier you’ll be.
Will Milner is a contributing editor. He’s never at home.