The Case Against Dinner and a Movie

Submitted by SharpMan Editorial Team on Thursday 14th October 2010
In this article
  • Why a "safe" first date is a problem.
  • What a first date should be about.
  • Better options for a first date.

Finally! You met someone interesting enough to ask out. You plan to make the call tonight. Nothing complicated, a dinner-and-a-movie kind of thing, i.e., a "safe" first date.

Our advice? Don’t do it.

Read on for the SharpDating case against "just dinner and a movie." We believe this advice can make the difference between a great date and a one-hit wonder:

What’s wrong with dinner and a movie? Sure, you think it’s "safe," because you and your date don’t have to talk to one another, and therefore, may not learn that you’re incompatible. But is that a perk or a problem? First dates are designed to separate the wheat from the chaff. You have to talk to your date — otherwise, how will you determine whether or not she’s a psychopath undeserving of your attentions??? On the flip side, if she’s great, your boring ol’ "dinner and a movie" itinerary may not give her enough of a reason to agree to see you again. After all, "He seemed OK; we watched a movie" is not exactly a ringing endorsement.

But hey, you say, there’s dinner. That’s when we’ll do the requisite talking.

Nice try. Face it, when a date consists of dinner-and-a-movie, the movie becomes the focus of the evening. You are captives to show times and the hidden time costs of parking the car and standing in the ticket and popcorn lines (not to mention sitting through twenty minutes of trailers). Dinner is inevitably a rushed affair.

Better choices for first dates. Opt for dinner only. This takes away the pressure of having to eat fast in order to catch the movie. A long dinner is also a perfect opportunity to get an idea about whether or not your date is crazy. If dinner goes well, extend the itinerary to include a walk. Stroll to a coffee house, or during these warmer summer months, take your date to an after-dinner spot where you can enjoy dessert outside.

If you are determined to include some form of play-acting entertainment in your first date plan, pick a play over a movie. Unlike movie trailers, plays don’t wrangle you in only to waste valuable date time by plugging other plays. In addition, plays do have intermissions, which typically encourage conversation. Having said all this, remember that we aren’t necessarily endorsing plays for the first date, since they still require that rushing-through-dinner thing.

Need information on creative and romantic great date ideas? See SharpDating’s Great Dates.

This article last updated on Thursday 14th October 2010
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