“What do you want to watch tonight?” “I don’t know, what do you want to watch tonight?” “I don’t know….” For most couples, the question of which movie to watch will come up from time to time.
Some people love all kinds of movies. When you go to a movie with my friend Robin, she usually likes any genre that is playing. She can watch chainsaws in action for two hours and then turn around and watch an animated, girly love story. I, on the other hand, have more limited tastes in my movie selections. In short, I prefer to be uplifted in some way by watching a movie. I either want to be crying for joy or laughing at the end. Most of my favorite movies are animated – and those that are not usually involve a boy and a girl falling in love, breaking up, and then falling in love again.
Interestingly, my favorite movies of all time are Back to the Future I, II & III, which is strange considering they’re neither animated nor romantic comedies. When Eric and I were dating, he bought me the trilogy for my birthday (my parents had banned its play in their home due to my repetition of playing it). At the time, it didn’t matter to him because he didn’t have to live in the same house with “the trilogy,” but after we were married, he began to wonder if he had made a terrible mistake.
Shortly after marrying me, he discovered that my movie watching method is to watch the same movie repeatedly before putting in another movie. I may not even be watching it, but I love the comfort of having it playing in the background. It is not an exaggeration to say that the same movie may play more than thirty to fifty times in a row before I move onto the next selection.
One day, Eric walked into the room where I was watching one of the Back to the Future movies and politely asked me to pick another movie before he kidnapped the series and hid them from me… for a very long time. Eric’s movie watching method is to watch a movie once – and if it was extremely good… to watch it again in a year or two. Eric is not especially impressed with romantic comedies unless they are light on the romance and heavy on the comedy. Eric is more likely to enjoy a movie that teaches him something, is character building, or is a coming-of-age story.
It may not shock you to hear that picking movies together has not always been rosy for Eric and me… and it still isn’t easy at times. Yet, I’m thankful to report that we have learned to be more giving to each other in this area. Additionally, we also find watching buddies for movies we know each other will not likely enjoy. For instance, when it comes to a science fiction movie (e.g., Tron, Star Wars, Transformers, etc.), he finds a friend to watch it with, instead of dragging me there, and I am grateful. For super girly love movies, I have girly watching buddies and Eric is happy to send me out the door to the dollar theatre where I can get my romantic comedy fix.
Does this seem to you like a shallow topic? My purpose in writing this is to help save some of your future date nights from turning sour. Just like picking a restaurant can get a husband and wife in a bad mood before the evening begins – if they are being indecisive – picking a movie can do the same! When you are single, it doesn’t matter if all of your friends like your type of movies or not… you can always find someone to go with you who will appreciate your tastes. But, when you are married, you will, more than likely, be watching movies with your spouse. My advice to you… from time to time, watch a movie of your beloved’s choice – and take turns. There are some movies Eric picked out that I desperately did not want to see; however, after watching them, I loved them! In the same way, Eric has enjoyed movies he would have never watched on his own. Since we’ve been married, we’ve taken the time to really learn what each other will like and won’t like and we try to be understanding when the other simply does not want to see our movie pick.
If there is nothing at the theater – or if you’re just trying to save some money – you can make it a Red Box or Blockbuster night instead of being at the movies. Their selection will be bigger and the cost will be cheaper than the theater. If trying to agree on the same movie is getting both of you nowhere, consider doing something else. Choosing a movie both of you are not open to watching is not worth ruining a good night together – and believe me, it can ruin your night if you allow your frustration with each other to rise.
Until you know each other’s tastes well, I recommend taking turns. One way to learn each other’s tastes and interests quickly is to plan a movie marathon. Both of you pick out your three favorite movies and on a particularly slow weekend, plan a movie marathon. This might reveal interesting facts about the other person you never knew (especially when you discuss why they picked those particular movies)!
The purpose of the exercise is to have fun, to support each other, and to learn about each other. Hopefully the experience will be pleasant; however, if you find that you morally oppose your boyfriend or girlfriend’s selection of movies, then you will want to calmly address that. If he or she has no problem watching things you believe to be wrong and/or sinful to watch, such viewing will likely be a consistent battle – in dating, in engagement, in marriage. And after you both have children, such entertainment standards can become an even bigger battle between you both if you are not on the same page (or, at least, genuinely agree to be).
You may end up spending a good amount of time in your marriage viewing your future spouse’s movie selections. So, spend a little time picking out your favorites movies, pop some popcorn (I recommend plain air-popped with Tabasco sauce over it… yum!), and invite some friends over for a movie marathon! Have fun!
What types and genres of movies do you and your boyfriend/girlfriend like to watch? What, if anything, does it reveal about your preferences and life decisions?
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