Have you ever been to the cinema solo? Is it something that feels a bit odd but in reality, isn’t a big deal? Here’s a bit of my own experience, along with some top tips for your next self-care solo cinema date day.
When I was single and living alone, I enjoyed keeping busy and having things to do on the weekends. I’d get so frustrated when my friends and family weren’t free or didn’t fancy seeing the same movies as me. I’d end up doing nothing and miss out on things I wanted to do. I was desperate to see Fantastic Beasts at the time, so one Sunday afternoon without thinking too heavily about it…I just went. By myself. If I can go shopping or eat meals out by myself, then why was I so nervous to go to the cinema?
When I share my solo dates on Instagram, messages of curiosity come flooding in. People often say things like “I wish I had the confidence to do that” or “you’re so brave, I could never go alone!”. When we really think about it, what’s the big deal? We’re just sitting in the dark all looking at the same screen? Somehow, it feels a bit taboo to go alone.
I haven’t always been bold enough or confident to do things like this. I don’t suffer with anxiety and appreciate it’ll be different for some, so hopefully my tips below might help. Comfort zones need to be pushed from time to time in order to grow, and I often surprise myself with what I’m able to achieve.
Going to the cinema was something I knew I wanted to conquer, because I was determined I didn’t want to live a life waiting around or relying on others to do the things that bring me joy.
My partner Benji and I love going to the cinema regularly together too (we are Cineworld* Unlimited members!), but he often works away and there are plenty of films he’s happy to miss. Working from home by myself all day means the cinema is a great place to have a break and change of scenery for myself too.
If you’ve not been to the cinema solo before, here are some of my top tips and why you should give it a try.
Once you’ve done it once, you realise no one cares and it’s not that bad
I was eager during that first film for the trailers to finish and the lights to go down. I noticed myself checking to see if anyone was looking at me. Did people wonder why I was alone? Did anyone feel sorry for me? A scan around at the faces glued to the screen quickly reassured me that no one was looking or judging me. After that first trip, I realised it wasn’t as bad as I thought.
Book in advance
Although this goes against my first solo cinema day, I now find it easier to book a time and day in advance, otherwise it’s too easy to “see how I feel on the day” and prioritise something else. Having it booked means I’m less likely to cancel, and is a good way to block out time for YOU. Treat it like a date with yourself.
get there early or go during quieter times
If you’re nervous about people looking at you when you walk in, try getting there a bit earlier or go during quieter times. Early evenings on weekdays are good. If you can wait until a film has been out a few weeks, go when it’s only got 1 or 2 show times a day. Just before a film leaves the cinema, they’re often shown in smaller screenings, and I find this less intimidating. It’s easy to spot when you pick your seat booking online. I’ve even had the whole screen to myself before.
Feeling cosy during a film is important to me, especially when I’m by myself. If I’m comfortable, I’m more likely to relax. Dress and tights, or a pair of leggings and UGGs are my go-to. I always bring a BIG scarf that I can wrap around me like a blanket too. It’s comforting to me. (I have actually brought a proper blanket and hot water bottle before, but maybe build up to those!)
bring your own snacks
Pack some snacks and bring your own drink. It removes having to queue up alone and buy anything, just go straight in. The bonus of being by yourself, is that you don’t have to share those snacks with anyone either!
some movies are better on the big screen
People often miss out on great movies on a big screen because they don’t have someone to go with. I recently saw Disney’s Encanto and the colours were stunning. Some movies really deserve to be seen BIG (and that’s coming from someone who owns a projector and screen in their own home!), so don’t miss the chance.
it’s so good for your mental health and self-care
The cinema is genuinely one of the only chances I get to be phone-free for a few hours. Being completely absorbed and focusing on a story (with no distractions!) is amazing for me mentally. Spending quality time with yourself is an incredible form of self-care. It’s equally as important as time with others. Allow yourself time to disconnect and just BE.
it’ll help boost your confidence
Once you’ve proven you can do something that once seemed a bit scary, you’ll feel more inclined to go again. Confidence building takes time and looks different for everyone, but trying something new is a win. I certainly have felt more independence and freedom. Especially knowing I don’t need to rely on others to enjoy something as simple as the cinema.
What do you think? Are you going to give it a try? Chat to me on Instagram and let me know your solo cinema experiences.
*AD Previous Brand Partner but this is not a paid AD – Benji pays for his Unlimited Card and we’re big fans outside of my partnership with Cineworld.