I don’t know why “Dinner and a movie some time?” has long been the standard invite when asking someone out on a first date… at least in the pre-Tinder universe when we didn’t have the protective shield of technology to give us the false sense of confidence necessary to outright ask for non-committal sex. But for those who don’t use their iPhones to source their next relationship or plans for the next two hours, dating the old-fashioned way requires asking someone you’ve had face-to-face contact with to join you in an activity that will, if all goes well, lead to some mouth-to-mouth libido resuscitation. The idea is so infused with nostalgia for simpler, less “sex with strangers in apartments that might not be theirs” times that even the normcore hipster set is doing it.
The problem is, as the product of a generation whose sex and dating confidence has been led astray by technological advances, we don’t really know what we’re doing. We’re resorting to old models of date night that never really worked in the first place. With TIFF 2014 about to close its final curtain, I’ve already been asked to see films with the suggestion of dinner after by a handful of guys who I assume have some kind of romantic intention (again, as the product of my generation, I’m never quite sure when I’m on a date or at a really late job interview). While the film festival definitely adds a respectable timely and cultural element to the movie-based first date, they’re still a terrible idea no matter what the circumstances. In honour of the last days of TIFF 2014 and the weekend plans you’re about to make, here are 4 reasons movies make the worst first dates…
It’s about as intimate for two people as sitting through a board meeting together
Let’s say you asked someone out from the office, someone you spend countless hours in close proximity to but never really get to know. Sure, you have kickass chats by the water-cooler about your mutual disgust for your fellow co-worker who seems to relish the taste of the ear wax he casually forages with his pinky finger. If you’re both the kind of people who observe and obsess about something that specific, imagine the things you could talk about if you had more than two minutes together! You could eviscerate every aspect of modern culture, or at least critique all of your other co-workers. Why would you ever risk cutting hours out of your first date to sit together in more silence at the movie theatre?
It says unintentional things about your financial situation and values
Take a person to cheap Tuesdays, and you may as well use a coupon for the dinner you’re having after because a first date based on inexpensive plans suggests you’re either: a) poor, or b) Great Depression-era frugal and unwilling to waste money on someone who hasn’t proved themselves worthy or at least put out yet. Take a person to the movies on a regular-priced night and you look stupid, wasteful, and unimaginative. Did you just spend $50 on two movie tickets, popcorn, and soda fountain drinks? Really? That’s the best plans you could come up with for $50? It’s a lose-lose situation.
It’s the entertainment version of someone ordering you’re food for you
Chances are you’ve pre-selected what it is you want to see before you decide to ask someone along with you. Hipsters never miss a chance to take someone to a Herzog documentary, and bros think everyone wants to see anything Hollywood throws together based on Marvel Comics. Whether it’s your art-house cred or access to opening day passes you want to impress with, unless you’ve discussed film in great detail with the person you’re about to ask out, inviting someone to a movie is a lot like ordering a meal on his or her behalf at the restaurant afterwards. Maybe your date is the film version of a vegan, and only watches animated films. It’s easy to assume a Lars von Trier movie isn’t for everyone, but neither is a James Cameron 3D blockbuster just because it’s intended for the masses. A movie is two hours (or three if Scorcese is involved) of someone’s life he or she won’t get back – don’t let your date resent you before he or she has actual reasons to.
You’ll be forced to discuss the movie after
You could find out each other’s back story, interests, and points of view instead, but if you hit the movies you’ll feel obliged discuss the cinematic moments that stood out to you, be it brilliant dialogue, outstanding acting performances, special effects, or perhaps the lack of plot points that seemed to be pasted together through a series of gun fights. Maybe you’ll disagree, maybe you’ll see eye-to-eye on why Sandra Bullock is perhaps the most overrated actress of our time. Like an unnecessary James Cameron gun fight scene, it’s a shot in the dark on a sinking ship. It’s way more fun to get to know a person and his or her points of view first before you involve movies to spice up the conversation.
What are some of your fave first date dos and don’ts? Comment below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe!