Don’t go to the movies!

couple watching a movie

Many people have the perception that asking someone out to a movie on a first date is the normal thing to do. You ask if they’d like to grab some dinner and see a movie. We have seen this take place in movies and television throughout the decades, and as such believe that this traditional method works well. It doesn’t. Don’t get me wrong, it will get you out on the first date, but the chances are that this date might not go as you had planned. The only time that you may want to take this approach and ask someone to the movies on a first date is if they are already a friend, or someone you have known for a long time. Think about what may be awkward about this situation.

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Still thinking? Well look at it this way, a first date can be awkward enough, and sitting at the dinner table trying to look dignified while eating and getting to know the other person better could take some effort. You have about an hour or so to determine if the two of you are compatible and if there should be another date. The dinner goes like this; a little conversation, a bit of food, a little more conversation, and then a bit more food. Now you are coming to the end of dinner, dessert is just a few bites from being completed and you find you still have a lot to learn about this person. Now it’s off to the movies where after a bit of soft chatter while the dancing snacks do their thing singing, “lets all go to the lobby” on the screen the movie begins, and then…silence.

When choosing a venue for a first date you must remember that you only get one opportunity to make a first impression, so instead of wasting it during the speech prohibited darkness of a movie theater, think about other venues that could carry over from pleasant dinner conversation. A museum or art gallery is always a good choice as not only are you constantly moving around, you have built in conversation starters. If you get stuck for things to say about yourself or questions to ask about the other person, you can always ask their opinion about a particular painting or exhibit. Not only does this keep the conversation going and show a willingness to listen to another persons opinion, it also may give you a good idea as to their personal tastes.

First dates don’t always have to involve sitting down to dinner. If both parties are outdoorsy a hike is a great way to get to know someone and test their endurance at the same time. You can always sneak a gourmet picnic or snacks into your backpack to show that you can be a bit romantic in any circumstances. Hikes also don’t necessarily need to take place in an out of the way woodsy area; many great hikes can take place within the city limits. A fun day of window-shopping is nothing more than a hike with frequent stops. Remember, the first date should be fun, yet give you ample opportunity to talk.

Dinner and a movie is outdated thinking. It may be time to think outside the box and tailor the first date to what you may already know about the other person. Throw traditional thinking out the window and go with what will be fun. You want to get to know this person, so sitting at dinner and a movie might do nothing more than place you in their vicinity for a while. If the person spends a lot of time cleaning their sporty car you may want to do lunch and then off to the local go-cart racing venue. Nothing says compatible more than some good-natured competition!

Writer and consultant for