The Worst Movie Choices for a Date with a New Love Interest

a couple in the cinemaWhen 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 🙂

14 comments

      • I don’t think anyone ever has had a really good time watching his movies. Being appreciative or moved or depressed because of it, sure. But actually enjoying it? I don’t know a person who does!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Right! And movies like his certainly have their place: a quiet, contemplative viewing in a dark room with a group of your more pretentious friends. There’s a big difference between date movies and movies that set your brain on fire. Date movies, like a lot of the examples you gave, just give you a positive emotional reaction whereas artistic films require you to be engaged with the entire time. I think that’s why a lot of people don’t like movies such as Pi or M, they don’t know how to watch them. They were probably raised on movies like Top Gun and Dirty Dancing and think that the Hollywood formula for films is all that there is.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think what people watch has a lot to do with what they have access to. When I lived in Europe I would see a lot of alternative stuff. There are film festivals from all over the world organised… It’s a different vibe. In South Africa even if there’s a European movie available it has to be something that won a major award during the Cannes festival or went viral for another reason. We mostly get American movies – some good and even great ones, of course but also a lot of pulp. Not sure how it looks like in the US but especially with the development of TV on demand there’s so much great content there to watch that it’s tough to find time for everything even if someone knew other stuff existed.

        People also prefer to watch things that are easy and it’s somewhat understandable – you’re tired after work, you just want to chill and not ponder on the problems you saw in a movie about abortion in Romania in the 1980s (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days – if you do feel you want to think about it ;)). I do feel it’s important to sometimes think about something deeper as well but I rarely manage to find the crowd for that apart from my immediate comfort zone.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s a great point, more people might be willing to watch more independent or “arthouse” movies if they were readily available. You’re always more positive about the human condition than I am, haha.

        If you look at streaming services, even they have stopped offering the more adventurous films. Netflix, at least in the US, has become mostly reality TV and superhero series’. I have a really difficult time trying to find something to watch there.

        Amazon Prime is a bit better because they have a rotating stock of very diverse titles, but they’re still mainly Hollywood blockbusters.

        You have to really go out of your way to watch something out of the ordinary, and most people just don’t have the time to do that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Somewhat positive. I sometimes despair and lament the state of humanity too 😀

        In SA the Netflix catalogue is a bit limited because of licensing issues but big titles like “Dark” or “Stranger Things” still make it here. I supplement what I don’t find with “Showmax” and “Amazon Prime” cancelling subscriptions as required 😉 I’ve recently found the new version of “Suspiria” on the latter. I try to look out for movies/series I want to watch, in general, and then I find the streaming/rental service that can give them to me. Sometimes, especially with movies, I just buy DVDs because they’re often cheaper than once-off on demand rentals. Go figure.

        Yes, well, when I lived in Europe I had no idea how spoilt I was!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. So, I have a general rule that I won’t go to the cinema on a first date – Who wants to be a dark room with some guy they hardly know.

    Once upon a time I agreed to watch an action movie (totally not me) on a first date. So I broke my own rule because a) he was hot so I wasn’t averse to being in the dark with him and b) we’d be introduced by a mutual friend so I figured it was unlikely he was a pervert or serial killer. Anyway, first date was a comedy of errors and we didn’t end up watching any movie. Eventually though, on our third date (2 days later – do the maths!) we did end up watching his choice of movie, I gave him the condition I’d only watch it in the fancy cinema. Basically, all I can tell you about that movie was that it involved Matthew MoConaughey as broke ass con artist. Between make-out sessions and me falling asleep on the comfy chairs, I didn’t really care what was on the screen.

    So just a tip …. if you choose an awkward, bad, scary, horrible movie just make sure you watch it in the fancy cinema so your date can at least snooze comfortably!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, I think in general first date at the cinema isn’t a great idea but I’m talking more broadly about the first couple of dates.

      That sounds like my teenage experiences with going to the movies with guys. I don’t remember much of the movies I saw, which is a bit of a shame because my choice was always an arty kind of movie.

      I think a VIP cinema is actually a cool date idea when you’re cozy. It’s perfect for cuddling on these lazy boys.

      Liked by 1 person

    • That’s my rule as well; also dinner on a first date is a no-no for me! For one thing, I’ve been told my a lot of women that I’ve dated that they don’t feel comfortable eating in front of someone they barely know, which hadn’t occurred to me. Then there’s the fact that once you are at dinner with someone, you are COMMITTED to being there for at least an hour regardless of how the date is going. I don’t know about anybody else but I don’t have the guts to just bail on a date mid-dinner!

      Coffee or tea is much more preferable to me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m secretly averse to coffee dates, because they feel very much live interviews.

        In this age of Tinder, I don’t think you have much scope for doing anything too exciting on a first date. I mean one guy saw on my profile that I like hiking and offered to take me for a cool hike, I’d never been on. But let’s be real I’m not going on a hike with any guy from the internet.

        Second, third, fourth dates – I think you’ve got more to play with.

        I think first dates should usually be drinks. It doesn’t have to take too long. You can literally have one and call it a night, share a bottle if the convo is going well or whatever. Although, I’ve had those really great dates where one drink leads to another, and another and then dinner and then…..HOME. Because I’m a good girl. LOL :_

        Liked by 1 person

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