Why A Night At The Movies Can Ruin A First Date

Trying to find love in the age of dating apps can feel impossible. Whether you're swiping left and right to find your perfect match, or you're wandering the farmer's market every Sunday hoping for a rom-com meet-cute, dating is hard for everyone. And after you manage to weed through the crowd and find someone worthy enough of a first date, there's the big question: what should we do?


Most people would opt for the classic dinner and a movie date. It's simple, reasonably priced, and everyone loves movies, right? However, film critic Mary Pols challenges the idea that movies are the perfect first date, saying, "It's both too intimate, sitting silently next to someone you don't really know, and too limiting; you can't get to know them better" (via CNN). Even the biggest movie buffs have to admit, that she definitely has a point. While going to the movies might be a great date for couples, it might actually be one of the worst first dates.

Watching a movie on the first date could make things awkward

Let's be real: first dates are awkward. No matter how perfectly planned they are, there is just something about, "So... how many siblings do you have?" that makes us want to run and hide. Seeing a movie seems like a good option to avoid the inevitable lulls in conversation. But Mary Pols gives us a different perspective: "I find movies fairly draining — the last thing I want to do is process in front of someone who might be judging as to whether I'm second or third date-worthy" (via CNN). It's definitely worth noting that we might not be our most intriguing selves while watching a movie, and any hope you two have of connecting might not happen while sitting silently in the dark.


On the downsides of first dates at the movies, Pols continues, "Let's say that during your pre-movie activity you realize that you're not connecting, then suddenly you're stuck sitting next to this person in the dark for two hours." Again, she has a point. Movie blogger Aaron Dobbs agrees with Pols, who told CNN, "No matter how well you both may enjoy the performance, you're not learning whether or not you'll enjoy each other." Luckily, a night at the movies isn't the only first date activity. 

The movie you choose can make or break your first date

If you're still set on your dinner and a movie plan, don't worry. There are actually lots of ways to subtly connect with someone during a movie. Leaning in to see if they'll stretch far enough to put their arm around you, or accidentally-on-purpose touching hands in the popcorn can make for a very exciting first date. But the game of will-they-won't-they movie cuddles usually depends on the movie you're watching.


If you're watching a movie with too much romance, "the date might have a hard time measuring up to it," Mary Pols told CNN, while a tragic drama might show a little more vulnerability than you're comfortable with on your first date. A comedy is usually a safe bet until you realize you and your date have a totally opposite sense of humor. 

Moral of the story: It might be hard to find a movie that can satisfy both of you if you don't yet know what each other's interests are — and maybe stick to dinner and drinks for the first date, and plan your movie night for date number two.