For many, going to the movies on a first date might seem too basic, or too cliché, but it’s a go-to for a good reason – it’s almost foolproof. Even if I’m all for watching movies on a first date, I think it only works if it’s done in a way so that it is only part of the date plan. Let’s explore its pros and cons.
Most people like watching movies, there are probably few who absolutely hate it. It’s important to talk to your date to see if they’re even interested in movies. If they’re not, ditch the idea immediately and think of a date plan that would be more suitable for you and them. It goes without saying that it is important to consider how much you know about this person. If you’ve only met and spoken to them briefly online before suggesting going on a date, try to figure out what kind of movies they like or even directly asking them what movies they haven’t seen yet that they’d like to see. This makes for good communication in general and shows that you care about their preferences.
It’s good to do some research and have a few movie ideas in mind in case your date is interested in movies, but doesn’t really know what they’re playing at the theaters, or they simply might prefer you to take the lead in planning a date. Either way, it’s always good to do some research. The movie genre you pick is actually not so important, because it really depends on the kind of movie you and your date are interested in. Some people might think horror or serious movies are a terrible idea, but personally, I’m into those movies and I like people who have a similar interest, so I’ve watched those on first dates with no problems. Any movie will work as long as you’re both interested in trying it. Of course, doing prior research into a relatively new movie that already has a good rating will help a lot. This is crucial because this is what makes movie dates work – it creates a common topic for conversation and discussion. Bad movies would work if you already knew the person well and you don’t particularly need the movie to give you conversation ideas.
Now, whether to watch the movie before or after a meal depends on the movie and your relationship with your date. Watching it after lunch or dinner will allow you some time to get to know your date better and to establish some form of connection before you head into the movie. However, this will usually mean you probably won’t get any concession at the theater and therefore lower your chance to offer to buy snacks or drinks for them, or accidentally reaching for popcorn at the same time, and so on. If it’s after dinner, make sure it’s not too late so that there’s a little bit of time to grab some dessert or a quick drink together if the mood is good. If it’s after lunch, usually the movie will end at the perfect time for some tea or coffee at a café to chat some more.
Now, how can a movie fail on a first date? I think it can only really fail if it is the only thing you have planned for the date, and you haven’t spoken to the person much before the date. This is a problem because you can’t talk during the movie, and you also don’t get to look at them much. If your date really only has time for the movie, maybe ask to meet them a bit earlier to get some snacks before the movie and chat before and after you get seated. However, it’s already a bit late to pick a movie together, so you can only hope that they like the movie you picked.
Nevertheless, movies create a common point of interest and many movies have plots or scenes that you can base discussions off of to better understand your date. It only requires minimal effort and cost for it to be fun date, so why not?
cliché (noun) – a phrase or an idea that has been used so often that it no longer has much meaning and is not interesting
go-to (noun) – something that is regularly or repeatedly chosen for reliably good results
foolproof (adjective) – very well designed and easy to use so that it cannot fail
ditch (verb) – to get rid of something or someone that is no longer wanted
concession (noun) – a small business that can sell food, goods, or services in a public space
nevertheless (adverb) – despite something that you have just mentioned