Why Netflix and Chill is better than a movie theater date
It’s the painfully millennial euphemism which is guaranteed to elicit groans and furious derision from our elders whenever it is muttered out loud. “Netflix and chill”, the dating mantra of a whole generation of cash-strapped Gen X-ers, has fast become the prime romantic activity of choice for young people across America and beyond.
For the uninitiated, a classic “Netflix and chill” (NAC for the purpose of conciseness) session refers to heading over to your potential or long-time love interest’s home to watch some movies on the popular streaming platform Netflix, with the implicit promise of romance to follow. No-one is quite sure where exactly the term originated, but Business Insider managed to trace its origins to the murky waters of the Twitter meme-galaxy sometime in the summer of 2014. Since then, the phrase has become part and parcel of the linguistics of modern dating, with the activity itself supplanting plenty of other more traditional dating activities to become one of the most popular ways for lovestruck youngsters to date.
One of the most prominent dating activities being replaced by NAC is the time-honoured tradition of taking a date to the movies. Rather than shelling out $30 on tickets and stale popcorn, it seems that the appeal of bringing the experience to your home thanks to the glories of streaming platforms and microwavable snacks has trumped this age-old activity once and for all. As a committed and diehard advocate of the NAC approach to dating, here’s a round-up of all the reasons why doing so is a better alternative to a traditional date at the movie theatre.
This is probably the most obvious factor in all of this. Whether you’re the kind of person that insists on paying for everything on a first date or would rather go for the more contemporary 50/50 split, there’s no denying that it’s much less painful on your bank balance to opt for a date in. These days, the average cost of a trip to the movies for a couple in America is pushing $60, for one movie! The fact that more couples than ever are opting to just kick back at home and enjoy the latest releases for the humble cost of a monthly subscription fee is certainly a no-brainer.
As well as saving on ticket costs, at least one of you will also save big bucks on transportation, and more importantly, you won’t have to pay those triple-percentage figure markup prices for movie theatre food. You’ll also have more food options on your date, meaning you can maybe opt for something that’s a little more of an aphrodisiac than Mild Duds, Big Gulps and Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups (although this writer would not recommend bringing a platter of oysters to your NAC date). Given that millennials are by far and away the most frequent users of online streaming platforms like Netflix, as well as being one of the most financially hard-pressed generations in recent history, there’s a lot to be said for the benefits of going on a date that won’t cripple your finances.
This is a multi-dimensional argument. On an immediate level, the fact that you’re not just limited to whatever title your local film theatre happens to be screening that week is always going to be a good thing, as you and your beau are more likely to find some viewing that you’ll both enjoy. Moreover, rather than watching a film, you can opt for binge-watching an addictive TV show with your date, which also happens to be a great way to bond if you’re both equally as enthusiastic about the runway looks on RuPaul’s Drag Race or the latest twists in Orange Is the New Black.
One major drawback of the sometimes overwhelming levels of choice that Netflix and similar platforms like Hulu and Prime offer is that you might not be able to decide what to watch at all, and the impetus for the date kind of becomes a little bit weakened. You’re also more likely to get into a fight with your love interest over what to watch, or just fight about your respective inabilities to actually sit down and just choose a title, which is probably the least-sexy way to start a date in history. Such is life.
On the bright side, opting for Netflix over a trip to the movies may also expand your options for finding a partner. Thanks to dating apps like Badoo, we in the United States have more choice than ever when it comes to finding love or making friends and, with that choice, you need some flexibility. This kind of date goes hand-in-hand with the staggering amount of choices we’re faced with in the world of modern dating, in a way that makes an old-fashioned trip to the movies seem limiting and inconvenient.
A better dating experience
One of the most powerful arguments for opting for some NAC is that you’ll probably simply have a better date and will be more likely to make a connection with your love interest. One of the worst things about choosing to go to the movies for a first date is that it’s a barrier to actually getting to know someone. You won’t be able to talk to each other for the entire duration of the movie, and you’re essentially agreeing to meet someone you find attractive just to sit next to them in a dark room in silence for two hours.
With NAC, you can chat, see the inside of their home, find out about each other’s film and food tastes, and most importantly, your chances of getting a second date are significantly increased in this intimate setting than they are in the chilly confines of a packed movie theatre. While some people enjoy deriding Netflix and chill as a millennial nothing-phrase which is simply a thinly veiled cover for meaningless hookup culture, detractors may find that it’s actually a great way to have an intimate conversation with someone in a safe setting, and can be a lot more fun and lighthearted than more traditional dating activities.
If you have any tips for how to coordinate the perfect Netflix and chill date, let us know in the comments!