Single and Dating

I have started to love going to movies all by myself

Overcoming awkwardness, shyness and fears… taking yourself out on movie dates is a great way to connect with your inner self
woman alone in theatre

Why I began to go for movies alone

It all really started when I had no one to hang out with. I was new in Canada. No friends. No job. And no confidence. And as a result… no fun. Yeah, I was having no fun at all. Sooner or later I knew that that needed to change. I had realised that having fun is human. Normal. Real.

For the longest time, I had simply clung on to the moments I’d had in India – just holding a friend’s hand while having a coffee or taking a little spin down India Gate or forcing my mom to Connaught Place’s Wenger’s just for a mutton patty.

But then those were just memories. Yes, they were precious but I couldn’t bring them over in my present.

So, being a new immigrant, coupled with lack of family and new job, left me with very little to explore and indulge outside.

I decided to take baby steps towards HAVING FUN. It was show time – quite literally! And one day, on an impulse I decided to shed my shyness and lights-camera-action into a movie hall. Ideally I should have settled for a self-help or life-changing sort of a movie, but I was so desperate to get out of the house and re-taste what “having fun” meant, I decided to settle for Akshay Kumar starrer Baby. And honestly I have no regrets. The movie was great. I had fun.

Related reading:20 fun things to do after a breakup!

I learnt the value of my own company

Years later today, I love going to movies all by myself and I am not going to trade that experience even if I end up having the entire neighbourhood as my best friend. Why? Because it taught me the value of being in my own company without feeling weird, awkward or lonely.

The first lone movie I watched, that evening will stay with me forever. Thankfully, life was kind and it chose to give me this experience in Canada. I’ll tell you why. It is because in Canada on any average day, including weekends, you’d not see more than 10 people in a movie hall. And this situation worked to my advantage. Here in Canada, doing things alone or being alone is so common that if you have steady kith and kin, you’d belong to the rare species! Also, in the city where I live (Edmonton) – spotting desis is a rarity.

By the way, prior to this experiential trip, I’d spent a good two hours just deciding what I needed to wear for this me-date. Didn’t want to look too easy, too vulnerable, too old, too juvenile, too fat, too thin, too bold, too freakish… So after a two-hour introspection, I slipped into what I felt most comfy in – a pair of shorts and an easy peasy T!

girl deciding what to wear
Representative Image source

Cut to India, my first awkward moment came when I had to stand in the line alone. Desi couples – straight from Bhatinda with newly found love for fake Gucci – holding hands, away from papaji and mummyji’s gaze, looked at me as if I were growing a tail, right in front of them.

Related reading: “Single women are not leading their lives pining away for a man” – Author of the book Status Single

I need more hands!

My second borderline anxiety began when I had to enter the movie hall – equipped with popcorn, pop (Pepsi/Coke) and movie ticket – held between my fingers. It’s that moment where you realise you’re really all by yourself. Because you’ve to carefully manoeuvre all these objects with just two hands… and mind you, open the door to the hall too.

Canada had a few more challenges for the solo moviegoer too. The temperature. If it’s -40 degrees outside then I am wearing my big winter jacket that needs to be removed once I am inside the hall (it’s insulated). And managing your popcorn, drink, movie ticket/napkins and my colossal winter jacket comes with a lot of practice and patience. And not to forget, the one odd stare I’d occasionally get from ‘the’ couples, while I am still juggling with all this.

It would be an injustice to my cathartic journey if I didn’t share with you all that my Uber driver actually offered to accompany me for the movies – “only if he were available!” “My loss!” I told him.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

single and dating

Me-movie dates have set me free

I have repeated this experience every two weeks for three years and have become a pro at it. Practice doesn’t create perfection, it just creates permanence. In my case, the more I went out on movie dates with myself, the more I came closer to shedding my inhibitions, my awkwardness and my co-dependence on others.

This experience has been more than just about movies for me. In many ways, it has set me free.

This experience has been more than just about movies for me. In many ways, it has set me free.

People’s stares or the lack of friends here, doesn’t bother me as much. Yes, it’d be nice to have more company, but till the universe preps to send me that, I will continue to date ME for movies.

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4 Comments

  1. It took me 22 summers of my life to realize the paramount significance of self love. This i know for sure when you love yourself the way you always wanted to be loved, there’s no other feeling more empowering than that. I love hanging out alone. I love watching movies alone. In fact i enjoy it more when i am alone. So i can completely relate to this article.

  2. Yeah it can be so that you enjoy with your friends or family a lot but the moments spent with the company of only you matters a lot in life and it is a beautiful experiences. Life must be fill of experiences so why to leave this one?

  3. Going on a solo date for movie or just to treat yourself or going for shopping alone is actually awesome! I do have many friends but then at times I just want to go alone and spend some “me time”. It feels great!

    Solo dates actually taught me the value of two huge life lessons: what others think of you doesn’t mean a thing, and living in the present moment is immeasurable in its value.

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