Going to the movies is a great idea for a date night. Maybe you stop for dinner beforehand; maybe you go afterwards; maybe you walk around town afterwards; but in terms of the date itself, a movie night is a pretty safe bet.
A lot of people, and even myself to a degree, aren’t big on going to the movies for a first date because the date primarily consists of sitting in silence in front of a giant screen for approximately two hours. Then again, sitting in silence with someone for two hours can also tell you an awful lot.
Here are some positives about going on a first date at the movies:
1. Silence is golden
Silence is, in my opinion, vastly overrated. There’s a lot going on in the world around us throughout much of our day that when two people can just sit and enjoy each other’s company, it’s pretty special. Plus, you can still make comments to each other throughout the movie like who you think the killer is, or pointing out a plothole, or just some random factoid.
2. I can tell by your body language
One of the things that make face-to-face interactions so vital to any relationship — business, romantic, platonic, etc. — is the ability to read and express body language. People don’t realize how much they say — sometimes without saying a word — just by their demeanor. It’s cliché, but actions do speak louder than words.
Are they sitting comfortably? Do they look engaged? Are they falling asleep?
Holding hands is a great comfort-level indicator; any kind of arm-around-the-shoulder pseudo cuddle going on is a level up; and it doesn’t take Sigmund Freud to figure out that kissing (do people still make out in the movies?) should tell you both that you’re obviously more into each other than the movie.
3. The check test
Whether you want to admit it or not, money is a big factor in many relationships. For some, this could start on the very first date you go out. Some women think it is a man’s responsibility to pay for the date; some women want to ball and shot-call and flip the status quo by paying for the date; some want to split the bill.
Personally, I have no problem with splitting the bill, but I have a thing about first dates where I like to pay, that’s just how I was raised; but I, as I’m sure many guys in my situation do, watch to see how the woman handles the situation.
Does she just say, “Thanks,” and take the ticket? Does she offer to pay her end? Is she adamant about it? I was raised by an independent single woman who was proud of the money she earned and didn’t need a man to buy dinners (or anything) for her, and I admired that.
But, there’s always compromise. Let me get the tickets — you can get the popcorn.
4. Inside jokes
Whether it’s a movie quote or scene from the flick, there’s usually at least one thing you can take away from the movie that you two can share going forward.
Maybe it’s doing the electric slide whenever you hear “I Will Survive” because you remember the jailhouse seen in The Replacements (great scene, by the way), or maybe you make nicknames for each other off of characters in the movies; whatever the case may be, an inside joke is an excellent building block to a successful relationship.
5. Make a memory
For whatever reason, I can remember almost every single first movie date I’ve gone on. From my first “real” date in sixth grade (Charlie’s Angels) at the Clearview Cinema in New City, to the one-and-done date with a cheerleader in high school (Stick It) at the Palisades Mall, to what was one of the worst first date choices I have ever encountered (500 Days of Summer — her choice, not mine), they’re still in my mind.
To this day, whenever I see those movies, I think of the person I went with; and I usually remember whatever my experience with them was going forward. If things work out well for the two of you, maybe you can use that movie as an at-home date night down the road one day.
The ticket stubs are obvious. Whether you collect them just for the memory of going to the movies — be it with your friends, a date, or whomever — stubs are a great way of flashing back to a point in time.
Is a movie the best choice for a first date? Probably not, but just because you do something interactive doesn’t ensure that the date will be a smash. It also doesn’t mean that your movie date can’t go exceptionally well.
You can sit in an awkward silence together for two hours, or you hold hands and feel a connection to them. First dates, like many situations in your life, are what you make them.