Going to the movies often feels like one of the many activities that we’re conditioned into seeing as a group activity, like going to a restaurant, cosying up in a bar, going to a festival and traveling the world. Yet, just like the rest of these activities, there are so many joys that can come from going it alone.
Spending time on our own is important. We can enjoy our own company while giving our brains time to decompress. It gives us space to draw our own conclusions, perspectives and ideas. It helps us to know ourselves better, build empathy, creativity and allows us to build mental strength and plan our life.
If you feel a little nervous about spending time on your own in more public spaces, going to the cinema can be a great way to dip your toe in. It is, after all, quite a solitary experience filled with your own independent thoughts, while everyone focuses in on the same thing – a big screen. Here are some reasons for venturing to the movies solo.
Going to the movies solo can be really empowering
Alone time is important and precious so why compromise? Going to the movies on your own means no bargaining and, most importantly, no judgement. Your movie-going habits are yours to reveal as and when you choose. If you’re feeling nervous about going on your own, picking something you’re really excited about can help balance this out with active enthusiasm.
Going to the movies solo can feel like a scary concept if you’re not used to spending time alone, but it can be really empowering. There’s also an extra bonus beyond watching what you really want – having all the snacks to yourself.
There’s the added perk of being able to go during a quieter time
Some of the best rows in movie theaters are often scattered with single chairs that haven’t been filled. Going alone means you can be the peg that fills that hole. If it’s unallocated seating, getting to the theater earlier can help to ease anxiety – there’s no rush and you can immerse yourself without paying much attention to the seats filling up around you.
Not waiting on other people’s schedules can also give the added perk of being able to go during a quieter time. You can avoid school holidays or busy evenings by opting for a mid-week trip to get that extra dose of peace and quiet. And there are fewer people around which helps with easing yourself into solo time.
There’s more freedom to be as tearful or frightened as you want
We can all see activities as a way to provide different things: while some of us want to fully engage and concentrate on the movie, others might be interested in making the watching experience an ongoing conversation of commentary or questions.
Going solo takes removes this option and allows you to fully engage and concentrate on what’s going on. You can react how you want. There’s less pressure to laugh along to fit in with your group at a part you don’t find amusing, and there’s more freedom to be as quiet, loud, confused, tearful or frightened as you want.
You also get to focus on forming your own opinions without external influences. One of the joys of going to the movies alone is being able to leave in silence, giving yourself time to reflect and review with just your views whirring in your mind.
It’s an enforced digital detox – you don’t need to interact with anyone
You also get to disconnect on your own terms. There’s no fiddling around with availability and no qualms about an 11am showing because you’re not reliant on others. You can go when you want and as often as you want (with or without them).
But you also get to disconnect from the world – once you walk through the doors, you don’t need to interact with anyone. Even better than that, it’s an enforced digital detox. At anywhere from one to three hours, it’s the perfect period of time for trying this out and to see if it’s right for you.
Spending time alone is entirely normal and necessary
Getting out to do something because you want to, without waiting on others, can feel really empowering. And it can impact the way you interact socially, too. By doing the things we want, independent of relying on other people to join us, it can create space for us to actively opt in to social situations because we want to be around those people, rather than them being a means to eat at a restaurant or watch a film.
It’s a form of self care, doing something you want to do while also being relaxing and a means of recharging. More and more people are going to the cinema alone, but it’s not until you do it that you notice how many other people are on their own, too. Beyond this, spending time alone is entirely normal and necessary. By going to see that film alone, you’re helping to normalize it just that little bit more.
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