If you’re single, I needn’t remind you we’re hurtling towards winter. Before you know it, everyone will pack it in and partner up ‘till spring. Searching for someone to cosy up with in this pre-winter window (cuffing season, as the kids call it) is like musical chairs but way more effort. Unless you take a hike back to your ex when the music stops, the only way to find someone new is to suck it up and go on some dates.
But who in their right mind wants to go through that debacle right now? Leaving the house is a nightmare. The days are colder, the nights are darker, and a lot of the country is still getting pelted with rain.
Movie nights are the ultimate solution. They’re warm, cheap and low-effort. When done right, they’re a damn delight.
But, if it’s your first or second date, it’s a risky play. There’s a delicate art to pitching the movie night. (Unless you’re both fully looking to hook up, then be free my pretties. Throw it out there in the most thinly veiled way you can.) But if you’re wanting to do an actual date and avoid looking like a creep, read on.
1. Don’t lead with it
For the love of Mickey, don’t make it the first thing you say. As a gal who’s often the “funny one” if you know what I mean, I’m still regularly creeped out by messages suggesting I come over now or “watch a movie” right out of the gates. You’ll scare the other person off if you’re too hell-bent on a movie date straight away. Please start with some nice and polite stuff.
2. Choose your movie wisely
Not to be dramatic, but your movie choice can make or break things. If you want to ensure your date doesn’t get bored out of their mind, try a fun musical or action movie. Go for the likes of West Side Story or The King’s Man to start with. If you’re settling in for a second movie and feeling comfy, I give you permission to choose a thriller like Nightmare Alley or Death On The Nile to get cosier.
3. Gauge the vibe
Something to remember in all dating scenarios TBH – but especially in this one. If someone’s looking for a serious relationship, they may baulk at a movie night for a first date. These days, most of the apps tend to have a spot where people can put what they’re looking for in their profile. Suss that out before you take a wrong step.
Reading the room also goes for gauging their reaction. If they shut it down, take the bloody hint.
4. Go for a natural lead-in
Chucking out a rogue, “you free this Thursday? Wanna come to my place and watch Fresh,” with no warning, will most likely send ’em running. Chat about movies. If you’re already organically talking about your fave flicks, suggesting you watch one together feels like a much smaller leap than that other Knievel-level jump.
5. Don’t make a firm call on where
I would always prefer to go to a date’s place so they don’t know where I live. Some of my friends feel very differently. Honestly, whatever makes you feel safer. So, if you’re the one bringing it up, leave the destination open-ended. Even if you feel fine and dandy, you might not know if they have a preference. Your date can then make it clear if they’d rather go to your place or vice versa. It’s even open enough for them to jimmy it into a cinema date if they want to avoid houses altogether. Voila, you’re not sounding creepy whatsoever – provided you go with the flow.
6. Be honest
If someone gave it to me straight and said, “It’s blowing a bloody gale outside, I’m not doing this to try and ‘chill’, I really just wanna watch Dodgeball,” that would seem low on the creepy scale. I get it. Everyone’s in the same boat. And self-awareness is sexy.
So, go forth, my single friends. I have faith you. And remember, if you ever get worried you’re coming off creepy, the simple trick is to put the ball in their court. Location? Let them decide. Time of day? They can make a call. Movie? Hell, just hand over your Disney+ and let them pick. Maybe they’ll go for something safe and nostalgic like The Simpsons Movie, or maybe they’ll select a more sexy number like Black Swan – whatever they’re comfortable with.
Godspeed my cuffing season comrades!Image: 500 Days of Summer