Yesterday afternoon I went to a movie alone. By myself. No one else. I didn’t even try to find someone to join me. And it was great!
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Early this summer I made a list of 10 things I wanted to do:
One was to attend an afternoon movie all by myself. Yesterday morning when I realized that our local theater was doing a special 25th anniversary showing of Thelma and Louise I knew I had found my opportunity. Not only do I love the movie but it brings back memories of a fun road trip with my friend, Roz. Minus the whole “driving off a cliff and dying” part.
So despite a lengthy to-do list I decided to go. I did the absolute essentials – the rest could wait. It was a 2 p.m. showing so I skipped lunch at home and enjoyed my favorite theater treats – Raisinettes and buttery popcorn instead. I love the combination of sweet chocolate and salty popcorn. Yum!
This was the first time I’d ever done this but it won’t be my last. I had a wonderful time! I wasn’t sure if I’d feel awkward going to a movie alone but I didn’t. There were very few people there in the afternoon now that school is back in session. And there were only three other people watching Thelma and Louise. It was awesome! No one kicking the back of my seat. Nobody in front blocking my view (I seem to attract the tallest person in the place to the seat in front of me for every movie, concert, ballet, musical, etc.).
I’ve recently done a few other things alone that aren’t usually thought of as solitary pursuits.
- I went to the Matisse exhibit at the OKC Museum of Art. This was actually the third time I’ve gone to the museum alone in the past year. I bought myself an annual pass so I would feel free to stop by whenever I’m in the city for something else. I’ve come to love being alone to view art at my own pace.
- Instead of grabbing fast food in the car on my way home from a conference in the city, I went to a sit-down restaurant. I ordered delicious fish tacos and a side salad which I enjoyed so much more than a drive-thru burger.
- I had a drink in a hotel bar alone. While in the city for the aforementioned conference, I decided to go downstairs to the hotel bar for a drink. I could have taken it to my room but I’ve been trying to get outside my comfort zone lately so I sat at the bar instead. It was a Monday night and there were only a couple of other people there. The television was tuned to the Olympics so it really wasn’t that uncomfortable to just sip my drink and watch the diving events.
Now, I’m sure some of you are thinking these things are no big deal. But according to my research, a LOT of people are uncomfortable doing social things alone. In fact, there’s even a research study on this topic:
The researchers found that people tend to overestimate how much their enjoyment of an activity depends upon whether or not they have a companion with them.
I found a number of interesting articles about going to the movies (or other activities) alone:
21 Reasons Going To The Movies Alone Is The ***ing Greatest (strong language warning)
The upshot seems to be that while we may worry that others will think we are “losers” for doing these things alone, most people aren’t paying any attention to us one way or the other. And more importantly, it really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.
The obvious takeaway:
If you want to see a movie don’t miss out just because you don’t have someone to go with you.
The less obvious lesson:
But what about doing these things alone occasionally even when you DO have a spouse or partner who would go if you asked? In some ways I think that might be even more important. In a longterm, committed relationship it’s all too easy to get in the habit of doing all social activities with one’s partner and start to lose sight of who you are as an individual.
There’s something to be said for maintaining your own private life. I think David was a little surprised last night when I told him what I had done. After 40 years together, that’s a good thing. A bit of mystery can add a healthy bit of spark to a relationship.
Do you go to the movies alone? What about to a restaurant or other activities we usually consider social? Are you comfortable alone or does it make you feel awkward? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
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