2008-04-11

After the Flirtation: Getting some Action at the Movies

There has been some talk around here lately about flirting. Seems some of you are comfortable flirting, some of you have issues with flirting and some of you don't know you're being flirted with until someone plants a wet one on your lips.

I, of course, am an expert on flirtation, but rather than share my expertise with you people at no charge, I am holding out for a government contract. As you've no doubt heard, the government of Singapore has introduced a university course on flirtation. In a year or two, they will need someone to lead their graduate-level classes and they'll be looking to hire me. Either that, or our own government will realize that Canada is falling behind in the love-gap and bring me in to straighten things out.

Still I have some advice for you developmentally-delayed daters. Here it is:

Movies are for First Dates!

I can hear you already! "Are you crazy, Dwarf? You don't go to a movie on the first date! You can't talk at the movies. You can't learn more about the person."

I say, "exactly!" You can't talk at the movies. The more you talk with someone, the more likely you are to find out things about each other that will turn you off. There is plenty of evidence that the time you spend before the movie is more than enough time for two people to become attracted to each other and things you believe are turn-offs and turn-ons for you, probably aren't. [e.g. News or Journal].

And if you don't know each other, after the movie you will have a shared experience to talk about.

Then there's the situation where the date is with someone you know really well. Maybe for years. Had lunch together every work day for months. Helped each other buy clothes. Let's face it, if you're in this situation another opportunity for talking is not going to help you get on base. Go to a movie.

You're in the dark, you can't talk, but you can smooch. If the movie is awful, smooching will improve it; if the movie is wonderful, smooching will add to the emotion.

Tips for Action

  1. Sit in the back row. So you won't feel observed.
  2. Wear a shirt with buttons. If you're wearing a boy shirt, sit on the right, your date's hand will more easily slip inside; sit on the left if you're wearing a girl shirt.
  3. If you're holding the popcorn, accidentally move it when your date goes for it, gently place their hand where you think it should be.
  4. If your date is holding the popcorn, accidentally miss the box, let it stay there longer than necessary.
  5. Ostentatiously yawn, stretch your arms, and let your arm fall over your date's shoulder. Smile to show that you're being funny and know that you're using the oldest move in the book. But leave your arm there.
  6. Your hand may just happen to fallen over a breast.
  7. And unconsciously squeeze at a moment of comedy, tension or drama.
  8. If something scary happens, grab your date's arm or leg.
  9. Or if something funny happens.
  10. Allow yourself to find things funnier or scarier than you would normally.
  11. You can't talk, but you can whisper.
  12. Whisper things like "that outfit would look good on you" or "I bet you'd deal with a bad guy the same way".
  13. While whispering, your lips might accidentally touch your date's ear. Pretend it didn't happen and keep whispering.
  14. Or acknowledge that it happened and just start kissing.

If at any point in this process your move is rebuffed, just say, "sorry, I get affectionate at the movies" and go back to being just friends. If they go to a movie with you again, you'll know you are in there. If they don't, maybe you'll move on and stop wasting your time with a hopeless unrequited passion.

Other resources:


29 comments:

zoom said...

Are you crazy, Dwarf? You don't go to a movie on the first date!

Milan said...

I rarely see such excellent advice online.

Many thanks.

coyote said...

Zoom, his craziness is a given. It seems to work for him.

Milan, I think these useful tips of his may fail to fully account for individual nuances of approach. Savoir faire, subtlety, and stuff like that. Some seduce with an intimate twitch of an eyebrow in broad daylight. And some grope for popcorn in the dark. Ya gotta find your own style...

zoom said...

Milan, just be careful out there...these are pretty advanced first date tips and individual results might vary. Coyote's right, ya gotta find your own style. (That said, #5 has withstood the test of time and will almost always work unless she just flat out doesn't like you. But as 4D points out, she wouldn't even know that yet, since you've managed to avoid the dreaded first conversation.)

Aggie said...

I'm really hoping Audrey will weigh in on this one...

Woodsy said...

Hey, Ms Army Pants, do you want to go to a movie sometime?

Aggie said...

I like Coyote and Zoom's warnings to Milan. But look at him: he is adorable as anything. Beautiful smile and eyes. And, he is smart! I'm a fan of #13.

4th Dwarf said...

Coyote and Zoom, you've gone and shown the problem with this whole web 2.0 thing where everyone gets to throw their two cents into the ring. "find your own style" "Be careful out there"

Do I butt in when you're giving chocolate selection advice, Coyote?

Zoom, do I tell your readers how to knit?

And Milan, go for it, lad.

You too, Woodsy.

coyote said...

Au contraire, dudelet. Two of the big problems with Webs 1.0 through 2.0 are the deplorable plethora of self-proclaimed experts who got no credentials or credibility, and all the undiscriminating smurfers who read 'em.

Or as my favourite New Yorker cartoon warns...

But hey. It's a cyber-living.

Audrey said...

I agree with Zoom. Movies on the first date? Absolutely not.

The first date should be a dinner date. Preferably, the man asks the woman to dinner at a cosy Italian or Indian restaurant. And, he pays for the meal, drinks, tip. (I find that whenever I've split the dinner bill on the first date it has been because I'm no longer attracted to my date. Those men have never seemed to notice that the fact that I am paying part of the meal is actually a bad sign.)

A movie date can be the second date. I don't grope my date or kiss in the theatre, I just lean towards him and we hold hands.

zoom said...

Oh that's interesting Audrey. Why do you link attraction with not paying? And what happens if both people are attracted to each other and therefore don't want to pay their share?

Audrey said...

I'm not sure why I think that way, Zoom. I think that what happens is that I offer to pay my share and some men take me up on it.

I've just always been surprised that men will ask me out to dinner on a first date and then not be generous. I never order the expensive meals/drinks. When I ask a man out on a first date, I certainly always pay for his meal/drinks.

I once went on a date with a man who paid for my meal and had me pay for my beer! I think he was using his credit card from his work, so he made sure he talked shop during our meal!

Is this so different from your experience, Zoom?

4th Dwarf said...

It's good to have another expert like Audrey weigh in on this topic.

We have a professional difference of opinion on the movie as a first date, but I think it is worth mentioning that Audrey does not date her friends. (Much as some may have tried.)

Also, I would suggest that the scenario she recommends here, of a man asking her to dinner on a first date, is her ideal scenario, but that she might be willing to accept other outings as first dates, perhaps even one that involves seeing a movie, as long as she doesn't find herself across a table from a fellow eating chicken wings and watching sports on TV.

Woodsy said...

Once upon a time - a long, long time ago... I dated a fella and on the...

1st date he insisted on paying for both our meals...

2nd date I insisted on paying for both our meals...

3d date we each payed for our own meals... He claimed that if he payed for both of us again, I would have to sleep with him!

Hey girls, is that true? Would I have been obliged to sleep with him?

Aggie said...

My solution is not to "date". I just have "human interactions". If I'm having a "human interaction" with a friend, the movies would be a fine outing.
I may not appreciate getting groped by buttery popcorn fingers by my "friend". If I'm having a "human interaction with sexual possibility", I would agree with Audrey that the eating and drinking thing is the better way to go. If I pay, I expect my date to sleep with me.

Woodsy said...

OK then Aggie, next time a "human interacter" pays for my meal, I will sleep with them... I am not always sure about these human ways... you know, being a nymph and all...

zoom said...

I'm with Aggie. Dating's way too complicated for me.

But while I was walking to work in the middle of the night, I was thinking over what Audrey said. Specifically, I was thinking about why a lack of interest might result in splitting the bill. Maybe it's because you already know there won't be a second date, so you won't be able to take turns paying?

Audrey said...

I'm not sure if that is true, Zoom. I usually only go on dinner dates with men who I am really interested in. I guess that, even if a man is a charming dinner companion, I am always hoping that he is a gentleman in his deeds, too.

If I'm really attracted to a man and he asks me to dinner, I get confused when we have a lovely meal and then when the bill comes it is clear that he expects me to pay my share. Isn't he supposed to be sweeping me off my feet? Does he date so many women that he no longer treats women to dinner? Is he very naive about women? I always assume that the man must be very naive about women. And, as 4th Dwarf knows, I like men who are very confident. I love it when on his way to the restrooms the man secretly pays the bill. Charming!

zoom said...

Does this only apply to the first date, or is the man always expected to pay, except maybe on his birthday?

4th Dwarf said...

What is wrong with you people?

It's all well and good to worry about economic matters when you're contemplating marriage, but not when you're contemplating mixing it up.

At the movies, don't think about who paid for the popcorn, think about that soft kissable place just below the ear where the jawline meets the neck.

Manny Blue said...

Hey gals, I have met many men who are sweet, charming, and paid for everything when I was dating them. Then, when I lived with them, they expected me to wash their dirty undies, cook for them, and suddenly they were splitting every cost right down the middle to the penny!

I think it is better to judge a man by his actions and words then by his charm. Instead of seeing if he pays the bill at the end of the date... notice how he treats the serving staff, if he tips well, if he listens when you speak, if you both adhere to the same basic set of beliefs... Does he speak positively about his friends and family?

But especially, notice if he smells good!!!

Dwarfie, are you free sometime? Your dating advice has left me intrigued about you.

Audrey said...

That has just not been my experience, Manny Blue. I've never had one of those boyfriends who "paid for everything". Typically I've found my boyfriends have paid for the first date, I've paid for the second, and we've paid for our own meals/movie tickets on the third date.

A man's charm is what leads me to say yes to going on a date with him. However, he should not think that his actions on that date won't be a factor in how I judge his appeal. I once went on a dinner date with a man who had 5 (alcoholic) drinks. Such a turn-off!

Zoom, I definitely only meant the first date, and only in situations where the man asked me out.

Manny Blue said...

Following is what I tell the young pups (are you listening Milan?) who ask me for advice (and they do)...

For many of us women, the way that you treat us during the courting period is how we will always expect to be treated. Call it imprinting, if you wish.

We never forget how sweet and charming you were in the beginning - if you paid for all our meals, brought us flowers, sweet talked us, we will expect that to always be a part of our life together.

Therefore, I always advise the young fellas (still with me Milan?) that they be true to their beloved and show their true character from the first date.

It's cute how many young fellas react by saying, "Oh Manny, that's what she meant when she said that I'm not the man she first met!" (Milan? any comments?)

zoom said...

I'm glad we got that who-pays stuff straightened out. And we already agreed about the movie, so that's cool.

I agree with Manny's advice to look at things like how he treats the server, how he tips, how attentive he is. Nothing worse than going on a date with someone who takes you to Hooters and then is distracted by the waitresses to the point where meaningful conversation becomes impossible.

Not that that's ever happened to me of course.

Sigh.

4th Dwarf said...

Yes, and I am glad that the comments to this post have soundly demonstrated why a lad should take a lass to a movie rather than to a dinner on the first date:

1) At a restaurant, she will be watching to see if he is friendly but not too friendly with the serving staff. At a movie, she will be watching the movie.

2) At a restaurant, he may drink too much alcohol. At a movie, he won't.

3) At a restaurant, there's tension throughout the meal about who will pay, how it will be interpreted, and whether to order the burger and fries or the surf and turf. At the movie, the paying happens at the beginning. And even a large popcorn and pop isn't likely to break the bank.

---------
So, now that we've sorted that out, I just noticed something back in one of Aggie's comments.

I may not appreciate getting groped by buttery popcorn fingers by my "friend".

What I'm wondering is: How would you feel about the buttery fingers if you actually welcomed the groping?

Should I add a note to the advice list to avoid butter on the popcorn?

Anonymous said...

I disagree with Aggie about dating. I think dating is good. Dating and courtship behaviour are good and fun. Yes, it can be nervewracking and confusing, and we're all supposed to be modern but then it turns out that underneath we're not so frightfully modern after all (woman waiting to see if a man will pay, man taking woman to a dark room so he can try to squeeze her breast with a minimum of prior conversation). But the 'human interaction' approach is far more confusing than 'dating'. Dating and how we handle the date situation is revealing. Bring back dating! (btw, I'm not talking only about exclusive dating, the 'we're dating' as code for 'hands off'.)

Aggie said...

Dwarfie: Yes, you might want to add a note about butter on popcorn.

Anonymous: Perhaps I should rethink dating. It's true, it does give a kind of "structure" in which to observe how people behave. I just find it to be a tired paradigm, though...Isn't there a better of way of doing it that doesn't transport us back to some fairy tale princess pre-feminist era?

zoom said...

If there is, someone should tell us about it, and if there isn't, someone should invent it. The world needs a Revolutionary New Dating Paradigm™.

Psychic Librarian said...

That is an interesting comment about fairy tales...

I agree with you both, maybe we have to stop thinking that relationships have to be like a Hollywood movie, or a happily ever after fairy tale.

Recently a date took me to see the play Into the Woods. The play follows a group of fairy tale characters beyond the "happily ever after".

The play made me realize that although I still wanted to be charmed by dating and all its happy, sappy, romantic moments, I also wanted to recognize and acknowledge that relationships do have their struggles during and beyond.

How a couple deals with the day to day struggles and conflicts in their lives is so much more telling than whether he/she pays for supper.

Hmmm... it occurs to me, during the play, my date leaned over a few times to comment on the story at which point our arms touched... and sometimes our legs... I thought it was all very innocent!