As far as traditional dating goes, dinner and movie is probably the number one most popular activity. Dinner provides nourishment and a chance to talk; whereas, the movie provides an opportunity to be together without talking. Some consider movies a waste of time on a date, but I don’t think that has to be the case.
If your motivation for a movie is to avoid talking and encourage physical closeness (i.e., the kind of closeness married people enjoy in private), then a movie is not a good idea. However, if you go to a movie with someone you really like, it can simply be a fun activity to share without having to communicate with words.
Let’s talk about how to connect on a dinner and movie date. It can be done! ~smile~
Connecting During Dinner
Depending on how well you know someone, dinner can either be awkward or a lot of fun. Some people just hit it off and talking comes extremely naturally. The first time Eric and I had a meal together was on our college’s campus and Eric was trying to use up his meal points since the semester was drawing to a swift close and the points would not roll to the next semester. It wasn’t a date – and who does not love free food? ~smile~ Talking was not awkward then, if I recall, probably because we were not trying to impress each other.
So, let’s say your date is a date with someone you don’t know very well and dinner seems a bit uncomfortable. First of all, do not freak out when there is quiet. Five seconds of silence can cause people to speak without thinking. We can probably all think of a time we said something we wish we could take back.
Secondly, come prepared. Have some “getting to know you” questions mentally handy so you can think of topics to discuss when the conversation hits a lull. Don’t act like you are interviewing him or her, but be interested in hearing what your date has to say. We like it when people are interested in us! ~smile~ And, don’t be ashamed to excuse yourself to the bathroom for a few minutes if you need to take a break. Some people need a small time out to regroup.
Lastly, remember the point is to have fun. Breathe, relax, and remember that no one is making rush to the altar. Just sit back and enjoy the experience.
If you do know your date somewhat, still come prepared. You want to enjoy spending time together at dinner, but you also want to come away from each date knowing your sweetie (or friend) a little better. So think of a few items you want to ask him or her each time, and be genuinely interested in hearing the responses. Stay off of your cell phone or other technology as much as possible. Try to find a reason to compliment your date, and look for hobbies, life experiences, and family dynamics that are similar. We tend to bond more easily when we find similarities! ~smile~
“Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .”” – C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves
Connection During a Movie
Do you consider watching a movie together “quality time?” Eric does not, but I do! It depends on a few factors for me. If we are “watching” a movie together, but my movie-watching partner is not engaged in the movie, (e.g., playing on his phone or iPad, looking out the window, sleeping, etc.), then that does not feel like a quality time experience. However, if I am with someone who is laughing with me, looking at me with shock and awe during certain scenes, and deeply engaged in the story, movies do feel like bonding experiences for me.
Eric is probably not going to cry with me or look at me with shock and awe, but if he is engaged and enjoying the movie, I feel like we are enjoying time together (i.e., bonding). If you are going to a movie with your special someone, or even a first date, pick a movie that has the potential to foster discussion later. It does not have to be extremely serious or a tear jerker, but most movies do have a “life lesson” element. Well, *most* movies. ~smile~
During the movie, if you are at this stage in your dating relationship (definitely don’t rush it), it can be nice to hold hands or lightly snuggle. There are also non-verbal ways to communicate (e.g., body language, facial expressions, etc.). Even laughing together creates connection. Fun is so important in relationships. There will be enough serious situations to deal with once you are married, so make sure you do not waste time dating people with whom you have no fun. You may end up marrying one of them!
Connecting After a Movie
If you are not too tired, you may want to enjoy a post-movie dessert! This is a great time to talk about the movie. If you thought it had a great life lesson, share it. If it sparks other conversations, great!
If you are exclusively dating, end the evening with a “good night” phone call. This is not meant to be a long conversation. It is just a small “I had a great time, sweet dreams, see you soon” kind of phone call. This ends the evening nicely, and “tucks in” the date. (Guys, you should probably initiate this one.)
Three Specifics to Remember on Any Date
- Eye contact is very important. Make sure you do plenty of it (without being awkward ~smile~).
- Touch hands or shoulders when able to increase closeness and to keep your hands off of distracting technological devices. ~smile~
- Be quick to listen and show genuine interest in what your date has to say.
Dinner and a movie can seem cliché, but they do not have to be! You probably don’t want to get into a dinner and movie rut, but it is a great classic date. Choose your movies wisely! What you consider “entertaining” will also give your date clues about your character. ~smile~
Do you have a twist that will make dinner and movie a more deeply connecting experience? (If so, comment below!)