I would like to table an idea that I have been quietly circulating that I think will revolutionize the dating world.
Everyone is familiar with the paradigm of "Dinner and a movie", whereby a fledgling couple (mayhap a blind date) goes to dinner, and then will see a movie? I believe dinner and a movie has its flaws. Dinners make people sleepy. People get stressed making sure they get out quick. Seating in the theatre is everything. Some people don't like crowds. These issues can make it so that you're not putting your best foot forward. People who are visibly stressed can react differently then they'd like to on a First Date.
Ergo, I offer this for the world: Movie And A Dinner.
Simple in its intricacies, seeing the movie before eating dinner is a great idea. Assuming you get off work at 4ish, you meet at the movie theatre box office, aiming to see the 5:30pm show. There are a lot fewer crowds, because prime movie-going time is closer to 7-9pm. More seats will be available. You may be hungry, but there is popcorn and soft drinks.
By 7:30-8pm (roughly 2-2.5 hours after the start of the 5:30pm movie), dinner rush at restaurants is dying down. You ate your popcorn at the start of the movie, so you're hungry again, but not so much so that you'll eat like a pig in front of your date. You're not worrying about needing to get out the restaurant quickly. You can stay and have drinks at the bar, if you're having a good time, are so inclined, are not driving, and are of age.
Another two important factors are:
1- If you are having trouble breaking the ice, you now have a perfectly good topic to discuss over dinner: the movie you just saw. That topic is enough to fully break the ice and could lead to any discussions. Maybe that movie reminded you of your childhood. And GO!
2- If you really think the person is a dud, you will know by the end of the movie. Maybe it's shallow, but first impressions go a long way. After the movie, you have a reasonable Out. Maybe you're not feeling well. Maybe the popcorn filled you up and you're not up for dinner. There are any number of believable excuses (used sincerely or not) that can be invoked to end the date after the movie, which is not as easy to do when the movie is following the dinner.
So what say you all of "Movie and a dinner"?
As a married man, I have no further need of it (it's more important for First Dates or Early Dates), but I could have used it as a young man. I've had dates ruined because of Dinner and a Movie. Missed the movie. Got sick from the dinner (lol, both those were with the same girl, if memory serves; one who "saw me as a friend")
Like Barney Stinson said about his dating lemon law: "It's gonna be a thing!"