When you’re in a relationship for a while, you can pretty much watch anything with your partner. You also have the licence to drag them to movies you want to watch but they’re not so excited about (like I did by dragging my husband to watch “Yesterday“).
Things are very different for people who’ve just started dating, though. Maybe it’s the first time you’re going with someone to the cinema, hoping to hold hands and smooch. Perhaps it’s your first date in and you’ve already DONE it but you’re still not that established. In any case, the movie choice is still pretty important at that stage. It may save you from awkward conversations you don’t want to have or thinking there’s more between you and your beau than there really is.
Here’s a number of worst movie choices for a date early on:
1. Sexually explicit movies
It may be difficult to avoid sex scenes or at least some making out on screen entirely but that’s just the way it is. What you should avoid are sexually explicit movies where sex is all over the screen.
Particularly when you haven’t had sex with you new love interest yet, it can be very awkward to discuss what you’ve just witnessed on screen afterwards. Even early on you expect sex to happen at some point but you don’t necessarily want to have a full on discussion about it before the time is right.
Someone’s strong reaction to a sexually explicit movie could also lead you to a conclusion that they’re sexually inexperienced, while in reality they may be just easily embarrassed OR just embarrassed to watch it with you. From new cinema releases I assure you that Midsommar isn’t a good choice unless you really want to see how open-minded your new flame is.
The only good thing that could come out of such an experience would be dodging a bullet thanks to it. Your date getting overly excited about some on-screen kink you don’t share is just an example.
Personal experience: I remember watching a documentary about prostitution with a male friend. I was pretty sure we weren’t vibing but to see people fornicating together and to have a conversation about it afterwards was still pretty damn awkward. I was really happy I wasn’t on an actual date because I struggled not to blush.
Another story is about a girlfriend of mine who decided with a male friend that they weren’t going to pursue a relationship. Unfortunately during their first not-date they inadvertently attended a documentary screening that turned out to be about… fisting. A good lesson in being an adult, for sure!
2. A Horror Movie
I’m sure a lot of guys think that it’s a perfect choice because a woman would be all over them during a horror movie. In fact, science says you should take dates to horror movies as it’ll land you a second date. Mashable also has published an article about how seeing a horror movie is the perfect first date. Both of these article have their points: misattributed arousal will make you both feel stronger about one another, you’ll bond very quickly, you’ll share an intense moment or two and have something to remember… All these things are true and will work perfectly for a person looking for sex or a fling. If this is your goal by all means go and watch a horror movie.
You should remember, though, that this is basically a way of cheating to artificially create intense feelings for one another. Long-term relationships need more than that and by watching a horror flick you could potentially set a relationship that shouldn’t be in motion. The authors of those articles may have missed the memo that intensity isn’t always a good thing. It’s much better to watch a good movie that doesn’t cause extreme emotions and see what your new love interest has to say about what they’ve seen, rather than have them so freaked out they will be over you for comfort.
Personal experience: I’ve never seen a horror movie with a guy in early days. That’s because I’ve always been too freaked out by horror movies (especially the ones about ghosts and demonic possessions) to watch one, if I wasn’t sure that this person was sleeping in my bed that night! I saw Robin Hood (the one with Russel Crowe) during my weirdest dating experience and the guy was really freaked out during action scenes, squeezing my hand, and covering his eyes. I wish I had interpreted it as one of many red flags!
3. An Emotionally Intense Movie
Emotionally intense movies about social issues are very important to watch with your friends or established partners. Unless you’re a passionate activist and couldn’t date someone who doesn’t feel strongly about veganism, feminism or some other social issue, you may want to save this one for later.
It’s not that you should hide your views from your new love interest. In fact, I think that underplaying your beliefs in a relationship and related sins can turn out to be devastating later on. Still, when you don’t know the person yet you want to learn more about them and not necessarily hear (or give) a half an hour long speech after the movie about how strongly they (or you) feel about the state of natural environment and co.
Personal experience: When Netflix and chill already felt like a good idea in the early days of my relationship with my husband, I invited him over to watch a Polish movie I was emotional about, “Aftermath“.
Like in many nationalistic countries, in Poland you’re going to be strongly criticised, if you speak about about a negative behavior of some (even if fictional!) Polish people. This is why the movie was banned in some cinemas and strongly criticised by the right wing media. I don’t think anything should be exempt from criticism and treating some ideas as “sacred” is detrimental (if you want a good analysis of this problem, I recommend you read “Mistakes Were Made. But Not By Me.”)…
Can you notice how I’m getting all excited about it and carried away? Well, exactly. My now husband listened to me explaining the movie and all the related issues patiently and he was even engaged in the conversation. Still, the mood after discussing it was not immediately romantic. In hindsight I would have preferred to watch something simply entertaining with a person I just wanted to know more about! Instead of that I just spoke a lot about something I knew a lot about, which just isn’t a priority with a new flame.
I hope this list will be helpful to you when choosing a movie NOT to watch when you’ve been dating someone for a short time. There’s also one director that makes movies that usually manage to land in all three categories: Lars von Trier.
So what should you watch? I would suggest an action movie, a romcom or any entertaining movie of your liking. If you’re heading in a good direction, there will be plenty of time later on to watch horrors, movies with a lot of bedroom acrobatics and 3+ hour long movies about Important Issues.
Anything to add to the list, Dear Rinser? What was your worst movie choice for a date? Do tell 🙂