The 10-Minute Rule for Watching Movies with a Partner

During the 3+ years we’ve been together, Megan and I have watched hundreds of movies. It’s one of our favorite weekend-evening activities.

Typically, if Megan is curious about a movie that I’m not familiar with, I’ll look into it and let her know if it’s something I’d enjoy watching or if she could just watch it on her own.

If I’m curious about a movie, I’ll pitch it to Megan, and sometimes she’ll veto it outright. But sometimes there are films that could go either way, and for them, we have a 10-minute rule: Within the first 10 minutes of a movie, either of us can decide that it just isn’t a good fit for us, and we’ll switch to something else.

We’ve only used the 10-minute rule around a dozen times, but I’ve found it incredibly helpful, as watching a movie with someone who isn’t anywhere close to being as into it as I am can significantly detract from the experience. Plus, I don’t want to drag Megan into anything she doesn’t want to do.

I was thinking about this because we watched a movie recently that Megan probably could have used the 10-minute rule on, as it’s one that I thought was quite moving and beautiful, and she thought it was weird. The movie was Marcel the Shell with Shoes On. It’s a film about a sentient shell, and I found it quirky, funny, and endearing. It’s also deeply about loss (abandonment, breakups, and death). It was absolutely the right movie for me to watch a year after my father’s death, while it probably just wasn’t the right fit for Megan. It was a good reminder to me that the 10-minute rule works best if I pause the movie 10 minutes in to check in with Megan and see if she would prefer to watch something else.

Do you have a rule like this to ensure that you and your partner are on the same page during quality time together?

1 thought on “The 10-Minute Rule for Watching Movies with a Partner”

  1. We just call it out if we’re not feeling something, but I appreciate the idea behind your rule! Also, I loooooved the Marcel movie and now need to watch it again. I’ve been a fan of the character and creators for years and the movie was their best work yet.


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