a movie date night with myself

A movie date with myself can actually be fun

betty ming liu Inspiration 5 Comments

I just discovered that a movie date with myself can be fun. Getting out there reminded me that whether I’m single or in a relationship, I always, always have choices.

It was a little aha! moment packed with impact. It broke the cycle. Until I had a movie date with myself, I skulked around at movie theater matinees. My goal was to avoid date nights, when couples went out.

Whether I was single or in a relationship, seeing twosomes at the movies triggered my resentment and self-pity. Why me? Why did I have to be out there alone?

But on a recent Saturday night, I needed to get outta the house and celebrate something. Anything. And I wanted to keep things simple. Calling around for a friend to keep me company — forget about it. That felt like too much work and, fear. So, I just went.

I decided to check out the iPic Theater chain, which has one of its fancy, new multiplexes in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., near my home. As expected for a gorgeous Saturday night, couples were everywhere.

I kept breathing, and talked myself into going inside. It felt like walking into a nice hotel or club, complete with upscale restaurant, bar, and, prices to match.

Pro tips

The movie I wanted was about to start and nearly sold out. No more tickets for the $25 leather recliners, which include a pillow, blanket, unlimited popcorn and table service. The $16 upright seats, with no extras, were also gone.

a movie date night with myself

The only tickets left were for $16, front-row “chaise lounges.” They’re built for two, with tickets sold in pairs. But they let me buy one seat. I had a whole pod for a movie date with myself!

Me & a movie date with myself

Niiiice. I stretched out my legs and dived into $17 worth of treats — a bag of popcorn and a merlot, served in a real wine glass. The distance from the screen was surprisingly comfy. With no one in front of me, I was in my own, private screening room.

It was just me, my snacks and “Girls Trip,” a very funny, naughty chick flick.

From this happy space, I celebrated myself, and silently wished lots of love to all the date night couples in the audience.  Getting what I needed made me more than generous in spirit; I was human again.

Breaking the cycle

It’s been a few weeks since this movie adventure. In that time, I’ve realized a few freeing thoughts.

First of all, a movie date with myself has NOTHING to do with being single. How many times have I sat home, even when I was in relationships? If I couldn’t find a friend, lover or family member to keep me company, I gave up and put myself on a shelf.

But now, I know to stop the noise in my head. Breathe, and get outta the house!

a movie date night with myself

And, you?

Top-quality self-care recharges me. When I’m fortified, I can keep on giving in a healthy way, in an unhealthy world. Now, I’ve just added a date night with myself to the list of resources for laughter, escapism and inspiration.

Of course, I still dread solitary nature walks. But I like dining alone. And you know that I’m getting over the fear of traveling alone and the 9 things I learned in Bangkok.”

What are your fears and freedoms in going it alone? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Meantime, I hope you’ll do something nice for yourself this Saturday night. And, every night. :)

 

Comments 5

  1. yay! congrats, betty! you are so brave! i still don’t like eating dinner out by myself, even tho i learned a long time ago that it’s only me who notices if i might be alone–the rest of the peeps are too busy talking to each other. … one of the assignments julia cameron (“the artist’s way”) gives creatives to do each week is to go on a me-date–i think you get the gold star for your efforts & for inspiring the rest of us. … xo

    1. Post
      Author

      Jaimie, bravo to you for eating out! I’m impressed that the people in your world are busy talking. Around here, it seems like everyone is on their cell phones during mealtime.

      Btw, I first heard the concept of the me-date in that Cameron book! What a revelation for me. Thanks for bringing it up here, in case anyone reading this post wants to check out that book.

      It’s a great book (even though I found her subsequent memoirs rather blah) and definitely worth checking out. And thank you for the encouragement. Sometimes I think, really? Am I still doing this after all these years? But it feels good to keep growing — and getting happier.

  2. Post
    Author

    Jaimie, bravo to you for eating out! I’m impressed that the people in your world are busy talking. Around here, it seems like everyone is on their cell phones during mealtime.

    Btw, I first heard the concept of the me-date in that Cameron book! What a revelation for me. Thanks for bringing it up here, in case anyone reading this post wants to explore that book. It’s a great book, life-changing for me.(But note: I found her subsequent memoirs rather blah.)

    And Jaime, thank you for the encouragement. Sometimes I think, really? Am I still doing this after all these years? But it feels good to keep growing — and get happier.

  3. I love this! Completely love it!
    From the avoidance of couples to the lack of available seats to you enjoying yourself, your time and your freedom to discover–this is huge!

    I’ve gone to the movies alone many times when I used to get free tix for writing reviews. If nobody was available, I went alone. I didn’t think about it because it was “work.”

    I have been toying with a blog idea (has it been 2 years, already?) and I considered my first post (or one of the posts) being about a date I took myself on last winter. This was the first.
    It was great, and weird, and took awhile to get used to, but it left me with great memories. And questions about myself. I started thinking more about me. I appreciated that because it made me LIKE ME.

    Plus, I realized I had great taste:)

    Can’t wait to tell you about it! I’m sure I’ll write it out one of these days too.

    Thank you for sharing!

  4. I remember trying to go to a movie alone back in 1999 while my husband was back in Japan packing us out to come back here for taking care of his mother because his father was in Leahi with an active case of TB (which we never thought would happen to him or us). I decided to go to a movie by myself in Waikiki where they still had theaters which have since closed. There was this single older white guy (named Charlie) in line ahead of me and we talked briefly. When I got inside the theater, he said, “Do you mind if I sit with you?” I said, “No problem. Just choose where you want to sit.” We sat and talked briefly before the movie. He was from the Big Island and just visiting Oahu. After the movie, he asked me if I would like to go to the Royal Hawaiian and have a drink and listen to music. I said, “I’d love to” and we had a couple of drinks and talked. He never came out and told me he was “gay” but I kind of got the impression that he was but without a partner. He talked mostly about his father and their not having a good relationship and I told him about our situation at home. Then he walked me back to my car that was parked by Kapiolani Park and I gave him a hug and left. We were two strangers finding warmth and companionship for an evening. I wouldn’t usually do this (especially since I don’t trust just anyone usually–just ask my husband, lol!) but something about him told me that he was okay to sit with in a public space and that he meant me no harm nor I him. Of course, I have never told my husband about this night or anyone else before this. It is my special little secret that will go to my grave with me because I know everyone will think I was hallucinating and that Charlie didn’t really exist…and maybe he didn’t but I sure had a nice 4 or 5 hours conversation and comfort from some stranger!

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