5 First Date Ideas Better Than a Dinner and a Movie

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The dinner-and-a-movie first date still has a lot of currency in our society. It’s a go-to plan that conjures up images of Archie Andrews style romance.
 
After all, back before movies, they used to do dinner and the theatre. There’s a lot of precedence. So what’s the issue?

Quickly, what’s the purpose of the first date? If you answered, “Getting to know your date,” then the dinner-and-the-movie is a bit of a setback.
 
Don’t get me wrong: dinners are wonderful ways to break the ice and figure out just who the hell is sitting across from you. I am pro-dinner.

But a movie, well, not so much.

Take a look at the movies that are out right now. You’ve got your rom coms, your cerebral talkies, your award bait, your action films, your superhero movie, your horror movies. Now, you may not be sure what her tastes are. And let’s be honest: both of you are going to defer to what the other wants to see.

If you’re both into the same kind of flick, bonus, but here’s the thing:

Movies are often a social experience. Why do you think horror movies and b-films have gained such a community around them in the past thirty years? It’s fun to get together and watch a movie, talk about it, or make fun of it. That’s something you can’t do in the theatre. You can’t talk to your date, and you can’t talk about the movie, not until afterwards. It can turn into ninety minutes of semi-solitary film-watching in the middle of what is supposed to be a date.

There are other way to do the first date. Here are five of them.

1. Dinner and a Drink

Sometimes the best first dates are good conversation, good food, and good drink. A movie can muck up the works, and if the date goes south, hey, at least you got to have a drink with someone. It also takes some of the pressure off: a movie can be terrible, and there’s nothing you can do about that, but good conversation is up to you and her.

2. Dinner and a Concert

Gauge your date for this one. Probably not the thrash-metal show for the first date, unless you’re absolutely positive that that’s her thing.
 
Instead, catch a show that is a little low-key and mellow, like a singer-songwriter, which will give you the opportunity to talk with your date. Bonus points if the singer does “Embraceable You”, the patron saint theme song of all successful first dates. Remember, the key is to get to know the other person, in a setting that allows it.

3. Dinner and Ice-Skating

Actually, this could be any outdoor event that gets you moving around. Ice skating works because it’s fun, often free (if you own skates, and if you don’t, well, have you heard that many cities have outdoor rinks open to the community?), and doesn’t require too much of both of you — as opposed to, say, inviting her out for a game of hockey.

For best effect, this will require an outdoor rink during the winter. Moving your romantic evening to an indoor rink stopped working about the time you graduated high school. An outdoor rink gives the opportunity to unwind a little (no one can be totally at their best while they’re skating), and the city skyline will give everything the air of romance.

4. Dinner and a Ferry

People reveal their true nature when they embark on an adventure. People who live in cities also rarely think to take advantage of these kinds of attractions, that the opportunity to do so becomes kind of exotic. If you live near water, take a trip on a boat. It’ll keep you moving, and will give you something to talk about, or at least something to look at.

5. Dinner and A Game

Obviously, we love basketball at BALLnROLL, and there’s a reason for that: games are exciting, dramatic and wonderfully social. Taking a date to a game has all the pros of watching a movie — it’s a good time, often exhilarating, and an event — but none of the weaknesses. You can provide an commentary, talk about what’s happening, and still generally get to know the person sitting next to you.
 
And that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?
 
 

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