Make It Stop: “My BF Loves Going To The Movies, But I Hate It!”

I’ve been dating “Ivan” for five months and so far, it’s been perfect. The only area of concern is that he loves going to the movies. He went to film school and has friends in the film business, so he loves supporting their projects. The problem is I get irrationally angry at people who text or talk during a movie. It takes all my self-control to not grab their phone and smash it on the ground. I’m usually easygoing and I don’t want Ivan to see this angry side of me. How do I be zen about the annoyances in movie theaters so I don’t scare him off?

Boy, do I sympathize with you. Modern day movie-going audiences are supremely shitty. They show so little regard for other people’s comfort it’s a joke. I’ll never understand why someone would pay upwards of $10 to sit around and not pay attention to the action on the screen. You can check your phone literally anywhere else on the planet. Why go through the hassle to come to a theater and pay the pricey ticket just to fiddle with your iPhone? Why not just stay home?

David Edelstein, the film critic for New York magazine, wrote about his exasperation at movie disruptors for Vulture. I think you’ll find yourself nodding along while you read it.

It’s especially annoying because, for some people, movie theaters are a refuge, the one place they can escape the daily grind and immerse themselves in a story. No phone calls. No texts. It’s truly a vacation for a few hours. For people to intrude on that experience and check their phones and act like the theater is their own personal man cave, what can I say? It’s disrespectful.

Last time I went to the movies, which was last week to see the new “Mission Impossible,” they had no less than three PSAs reminding people to not check their phones and the asshole next to me still decided to whip out his phone every 10 minutes, totally taking me out of the action on screen every single time.

Sure, sometimes rowdy audiences are part of the fun of going to the movies. Opening nights for an anticipated flick — the “Harry Potter,” “Batman” and “Star Wars” of the world — will see superfans who seek out a communal experience. But if it’s “Trainwreck” in its second month out, you’d expect the audience to be a little more composed.

Maybe it’ll help if you pick theaters in suburbs that are more likely to have an older audience. And matinees showings are perfect for those who prefer smaller crowds. It might be worth the hike so your inner Hulk doesn’t jump out of your skin.

As for Ivan, just come clean about your quirk. “Funny story: when people check their phone at the movies, I lose my mind. I know it’s stupid, but just to be on the safe side, let’s pick a theater and a time when there’s less likely to be a crowd.” See what he says. Maybe he’ll be cool about it. Maybe he’ll be cool about it for blockbuster films but will still expect you to be his date when his buddy’s film plays at the arthouse on Friday night.

You’re an adult. Life is riddled with opportunities to make us angry. You choose whether to take the bait. Is it worth it to lose your cool over a random you’ll never see again? A large part of being in a relationship is compromising. Tolerating the occasional phone-checker is the price for dating a cinematically inclined stud. Next time, when you see a human shit stain whip out his Galaxy 5 to check up on his Twitterfeed while Tom Cruise is in a car chase scene, squeeze Ivan’s hand. Choose to be a good girlfriend over being a seething maniac. Do it for you, so you don’t raise your blood pressure. Do it for him, so he can feel comfortable having you by his side wherever you go.

Besides, you can always re-watch the movie when it’s available on demand.

Make It Stop is a weekly column in which Anna Goldfarb — author of “Clearly, I Didn’t Think This Through” and the blogger behind the blog, Shmitten Kitten — tells you what’s up. Want a fresh take on a stinky dilemma? Email [email protected] with the subject “Make It Stop.” She’ll make it all better, or at least make you laugh. Girl Scout’s honor.