Credit Felipe Bustillo on Unsplash

First dates at the cinema: Don’t do it

By Charlotte Adams

Is the kind of popcorn they eat the only thing you want to learn about your date?

Let me set the scene: you’ve been chatting to someone on Tinder for a couple of weeks, and eventually you take the plunge and ask whether they want to meet up. They reply with the dreaded question: “Sure, what should we do?” Now, I get it. Finding a good first date idea can be difficult; we’ve all been there googling “the most romantic bars in Glasgow.” However, whatever you do, do not suggest that your first date take place in the cinema.

While going to the cinema might seem like a safe bet, low pressure and relatively cheap, the whole purpose of going on a date is to get to know the other person better. The best way to do this is not, funnily enough, to sit side by side in a dark room and not talk to them for two and a half hours. Now, those in favour of cinema dates would probably say: ‘Well, you can get to know them after the film, and at least that way you have something to talk about.’ Whilst admittedly there is something rather appealing about a date with no awkward silences, or indeed a date where you have something to talk about other than rock climbing (personal experience), a film followed by a drink, or even dinner, is effectively two dates in one. Now this is all well and good if you like the person, but if, during the film, you discover that they clap when the film ends or worse, like sweet popcorn, you can do nothing but slowly come to the realisation that you have to spend the next three hours with them (at least).

If you have decided to ignore my advice and choose to go to the cinema anyway, there is another pressing question to be answered : what do you watch? You could suggest a horror film in an attempt to seem cool (even though you secretly find Harry Potter scary), but small yelps and sweaty palms might not be the best look for a date. Alternatively, you could try to set the scene with a rom-com, however, this does run the risk of Ryan Gosling setting the bar just a little too high. Given that the film you choose may be the only indication they have of your personality, since you can’t talk to them during the film (unless you are one of those people, in which case, red flag), choosing the right film is an important, and treacherous, decision, and dare I say it, one that could have been avoided if you hadn’t chosen to go to the cinema in the first place.

I get it, awkward conversations are a nightmare, but going to the cinema on a first date will not spare you from the inevitable discomfort of a second and third date (if you liked the person) and it can even prolong contact with someone you will realise you have no interest in dating. While the cinema date might postpone uncomfortable silences, they are almost impossible to avoid if you really want to get to know someone, so stop hiding from it and tear off the plaster!! Cinema dates are far more enjoyable once you have gotten to know the person you are dating, and you are sure that you can pick a film you will both enjoy and are excited to talk about afterwards over a couple of drinks.


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