The revelation that movie theaters were a horrible first date venue came to me about three years ago. I was on a date with a guy that I barely knew, and feelings of awkwardness and discomfort nagged me. I have since gone on two movie dates under similar circumstances because, well, I kinda had to test my theory. I now stand before you with concrete reasons (at least in my mind) as to why it's a bad idea to make a silver screen dating debut.
1) I don't know you...and apparently I never will. The purpose of a first date is to get to know the person you are with. Sitting in a dark movie theater for two hours detracts from natural socialization. A recent study shows that it takes an hour to make a good impression on a woman as opposed to fifteen minutes for a man. Hmmm...I guess men are just quicker (see what I did there). It's pretty difficult to make an impression at all when you're being shushed by other patrons. In addition, any subtle nuances that you would have otherwise picked up on in a more congenial atmosphere will be lost.
2) You're sitting in the dark with a complete stranger for two hours. Darkness connotes intimacy. A sense of familiarity and trust should be established first. Even having coffee or lunch a few times helps to pave the way for a movie date. Okay, I get it. It's not like you're heading to Vegas for an Elvis impersonator to marry you when the movie's over. But think about it this way - if you were entering a dark setting, would you want to be with someone you trust or Joe Schmoe who you really don't know much about?
3) You're getting too close! Many couples like to cuddle and handhold at the movies. Some brave souls like to do more. Being in the dark with someone you're attracted to (presumably) can make you feel a little adventurous. It's also possible that cupid's arrow might only strike one of you. An upward facing palm on the armrest or having your personal space invaded can be awkward and uncomfortable. Movie dates are a breeding ground for these occurrences.
4) Is it over yet? If the chemistry just isn't there, you have become a hostage for two hours of your precious life minutes that you cannot get back. Sure you can leave during the middle of the movie, or the previews, or whenever. However, most people try to be a good sport and stay the course. Give yourself a chance to make a smooth getaway if necessary and choose a venue where cutting the date short won't be so obvious.
Still not convinced that the movies aren't a good idea for first dates? Tell me why in the comments below.