The Art of Solo Movie Viewing

- Christopher Reilly

There's a movie that you've just got to see, on the big screen, with a big bag of popcorn and the full movie theatre experience. But there's a problem; no one is available to go with you. So what do you do? Wait until it comes out on DVD and watch it on the small screen, or suck it up and go by yourself? Copia Magazine: Movies

I'll tell you: you suck it up and go solo, and you'll find there are many benefits to solo movie viewing that you ever even imagined.

Terror in the Dark

Most people are not only hesitant to go to a movie by themselves, but downright terrified, but why? One reason is self-consciousness. It is a uniquely human trait to think everyone is paying attention to us, staring at us with a hyper-critical eye and scrutinizing everything we do. This isn't the case...unless you're George Clooney (you're not him, are you? Call me). Whenever we turn a critical eye on ourselves we'll be extra judgmental. This alone will impact our behavior and experience in a negative way. But ask yourself, do you pay constant attention to other people or to yourself? Others just aren't that interested in a total stranger.

Worse, you're afraid you'll feel like a loser or other people will look at you that way, as though you had a big red "L" branded on your forehead. You imagine the pitying looks, but they paid half a week's pay the same as you. They want to enjoy it too. If they are making negative judgments about you it's a sign of their shortcomings and phobias, not yours. Let it go.

The Inner Bliss

The are big benefits to solo movie attendance. For starters, you pick the movie you really want to see. Ladies can go see Tender Love without their significant other grousing the whole time about "chick flicks." And guys can finally go to the smash hit, Blow 'Em Up...Bigger! without their partner sticking their fingers in their ears and squeezing their eyes shut through the whole thing.Copia Magazine: Movies

Additionally, we tend to worry about what our friends are thinking about the film. Are they liking it? Hating it? Not a problem when you go by yourself. If the movie stinks, the onus is on you. And don't forget snacks. Eat that gallon of popcorn with extra butter and some candy. And don't forget the large soda, regular, not diet. You don't have to...I'm just sayin'.

On a more delicate subject, does your partner think they're the funniest thing since Groucho, always trying to say something witty about the film? Let them make you laugh somewhere else, like in the bedroom. And some people suddenly become hard of hearing. "What'd he say? What'd he say?" gets old very fast.

You can react to the movie naturally. Go ahead and laugh at that off-color joke. If you feel like crying, open the flood gates. There's nobody to judge you. At least nobody that matters.

Halfway to Paradise

You're convinced that going to a movie by yourself is nothing to be ashamed of, but you remain unsure. You're still filled with self-doubt. Fortunately, there are ways you can build your "going solo" confidence slowly. For starters, choose a movie time with traditionally lower attendance, like during the day or an evening during the week instead of Friday or Saturday nights. Or wait until after a movie has been out for a few weeks and the initial crowds have died down. You'll gradually lose your reticence and wonder what you were so afraid of in the first place.

If people do stare at you, it's probably because you're hot. Look back at them and smile casually, or wink, or raise your eyebrows up and down real fast, as if to say, "hubba hubba." You might get a few phone numbers, and some of those might actually belong to someone who's not totally...well...a loser. Going to a movie alone is peaceful and relaxing, and builds an overall confidence that will carry over into all aspects of your life. Lights, camera, action!

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