Sex + Dating

In Defense of the Movie Date

in defense of a movie date
Jason Hoffman/Thrillist

Most people would say going to the movies is a boring and cliche date option.

And I get it: A movie date conjures images of middle-schoolers taking their first excursion out on the town without a chaperone. Two lovers "accidentally" bumping fingers in the popcorn bucket. Couples with nothing left to talk about.

How can something so quaint and tame compete with all the modern-day activities 2017 has to offer, you might ask? Easy. Here's every reason going to the movies is a perfect idea for your next date.

Knowing what you're watching ahead of time totally sidesteps the Netflix selection process

Let's be honest with ourselves: A substantial number of modern dates involve movies (Netflix and chill, anyone?). They just generally take place in the comfort of our own home. This has its benefits, like being able to have takeout delivered and also not wear pants.

But there are disadvantages, too; such as the selection process, which often threatens to last longer than the movie itself. This discussion may grow caustic, but more often involves severe apathy from both parties. "Fine, sure," someone always says. "We can watch that. I don't care."

Watching movies at home can be great, but can also murder the honeymoon phase. It doesn't make you feel like your date has put forth any effort. You're free to snooze during the slow parts. And you're not likely to shower beforehand... or really do anything to get ready.

Going to the theater is pretty low-level -- but you're also getting out of the house, (probably) putting on pants, and possibly even combing your hair out.

At home, the halfhearted movie-watching experience begins with viewers free to check their phones without fear of getting popcorn thrown at them by an angry stranger. Two hours later, the credits roll and you have to confront the tough decision of whether to move from the couch or throw on another B-movie.

Not the epitome of romance.

Sitting in the dark with a love interest is hot

Going to the movies requires a little ceremony. You're about to spend a whopping $13 each and then be at least shoulder to shoulder for several hours. This is serious stuff. You can choose the latest popular flick that you've seen 400 commercials for, or you can find some indie documentary to impress your co-workers with on Monday.

Whatever the result, you have to pick something in advance, decide on the theater, and determine what time to go.

This leaves room for you to get excited. Will it be good? Are you going to hold hands? Put your arms around each other? Anticipation is such an important aspect of fun (and dating). Movie theaters build on all these points; which are just about nonexistent with the Netflix movie experience.

And once in the dark, you've got all kinds of other things to think about even if the movie sucks. Especially if you're in a renovated theater with reclining seats and armrests that go up.

The food is way more fun than at a restaurant

One of the best aspects of going to the movies (and of life in general) is the food. And by food, I mean snacks!

Movie theaters exist to fill every gluttonous, guilty pleasure you have: oversized plastic cups filled with multiple liters of soda, processed sugars of every shape and color, dangerously high sodium contents and fake butter and nearly artificial cheese everywhere you look.

So go ahead: Treat yourself to an ICEE, a box of peanut M&M's, Twizzlers, a "medium" Coke, and classic buttery popcorn. Student loans can wait.

Going to the movies is the epitome of quiet quality time

The best part about going to the movies is the extended amount of time you spend sitting next to your date in silence. Silence, because you are both kind individuals who would never ruin another person's movie outing. But you are also experiencing something together; escaping to the same place. You may find yourself laughing in unison, or sheepishly wiping away tears at the same moment. Reactions to movies are great markers of compatibility.

And during those 90-plus minutes, you're building up excitement for what to talk about later. The moment you hit the bright lights of the cinema hallways, conversation will flow freely. You can share curiosities about the movie plot, complaints about the terrible aging makeup -- even theories about the couple who managed to fool around in the row in front of you the entire time. With so much to talk about there won't be a dull moment for the rest of your date night. Movies might mean silence at first, but they lead to discussion later.

Going to the movies is always memorable

Don't let the conveniences of streaming video prevent you from the wonders of real cinema. Get out of the house, enjoy some overpriced snacks, and truly focus on what you're watching. Unlike the hundreds of Netflix movies that you've watched on autopilot, you might actually remember the plot of this one. And most importantly, you will remember the date.

And as an added bonus, if you brave the world to go to the movies, you've fulfilled your public social obligation. You can now stay inside for the rest of the year. Or, at least the winter.

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Jane Garfinkel is a DC writer who totally chooses to pay for movie tickets instead of watching Netflix on someone else's account. Follow her on Twitter @JaneGarfinkel.