The first time you meet someone, you present the “cleaned up” version of yourself. We’re not talking about a shower, although we do hope you showered as well. You’re on your best behavior, and, the other person is too. Similar to arriving at a job interview wearing a suit and tie that you actually never wear -- it involves a lot of “presenting yourself in the best possible light.” The stakes are even higher for first dates. (Gasp!) You might actually end up marrying this person! The faster you can figure out how they “really are,” the better. You’ll be more informed on whether this person is fit for a long-term relationship (if that’s what you’re looking for). Here are some of the best reasons to make your first date a room escape!
1. See their true colors
Some dating experts will tell you to “see how they treat the waiter or waitress.” While treatment of wait staff is a great way to predict how your significant other will potentially treat you later on down the road, it’s fairly easy for one to behave for just one dinner. Then, surprise! After you’ve let your guard down, you find that you’re dating a non-tipping tantrum-throwing baby. Well, we hope not. So if you’re looking for an alternative to a restaurant outing, an escape room is the perfect situation for someone’s true colors to shine through. If they have not played the room before, your (potential) significant other (and you) will be transported into a new world-- both of you experiencing this real-life game in real-time. And, it’s much harder to disguise your true personality from shining through your armor, for better or for worse. Have you seen the first episode of Lost, where the airplane crashes on the island? When the main characters emerge from the wreckage, they are disoriented, and understandably distressed. They are looking for answers, clues, and eventually, resources to help them escape the island. Your “first date” room escape is sort of like that-- the first episode of Lost. After your plane crashes and you find yourself on an unknown island, you’re probably acting like your “true self,” and not wearing a mask. Only the most skilled sociopaths will be able to keep their mask on during this special adventure… (let’s hope you didn’t find THAT one on Tinder)
2. See how he/she reacts to a high stress situation.
Seeing a guy (or gal) for the first time? There’s no better way to gauge how they perform under pressure than to force him/her to solve puzzles with a 60-minute time constraint. Are they calm, cool, and collected? Or do they crack under pressure? Is that even important to you in a relationship? Well, maybe it should be. Relationships aren’t always on cloud 9. Sometimes, and often for some people-- relationships hit rocky roads. And, stress invariably creeps into the relationship. Maybe someone loses their job and the other person has to pay for everything. How would he/she handle that? Who knows? You will! After you play through an escape room, that is…
3. Impress her (or him) with your nerdy side
While this could also backfire on you if you get stuck, what better way to show off your high I.Q. than to blow through a 60-minute escape room game in just 30-minutes? Outside of going to the library (who does that anyways?), there aren’t many ways for the intellectually-blessed to show off. What are you supposed to do, show her your report card? Brag about how high your S.A.T score is? Casually mention your G.P.A.? If you do, you risk coming off as pretentious. Welcome to the wonderful world of escape rooms, where you can WOW her with your ability to work through logic puzzles. Plus, even if you don’t escape, you’re guaranteed to have fun; and, even better, you can get to know each other while you’re at it. It’s a win-win. You’ll get brownie points for being different too… because dinner and movie is so blahh, isn’t it? She’ll be like “escape room!? Oooh, what’s that? Sounds exciting!” Best case scenario: you find someone who loves gaming as much as you do.
4. Test your communication skills
Communication!? Who cares about that, you say? Isn’t communication ultimately what relationships boil down to? Sadly, some couples spend months or even years together before realizing that they have (mis)communication issues. Maybe you were initially attracted by looks only to find out later that you just totally cannot talk to the other person. Welcome to escape rooms, where you’re forced to communicate in order to escape. When one person finds a clue, it’s generally best practice to share that information with everyone else. In an escape room, a meaningless piece of information to one person might be the key to solving the puzzle for another. An escape room will test your ability to quickly find and share hidden meanings with a perfect stranger… what better way to find out if two people can get along? If you can’t do it in an hour, it’s unlikely you can communicate for a much longer time, like the rest of your life…
5. It’s a great ice breaker
Ever found yourself at a loss for words? First dates bring out all kinds of weird feelings, like anxiety and stress, that can get in the way of meaningful conversation. Or maybe you become so captivated by her beauty that your brain shuts down and you forget how to speak. The last thing you want to do is pepper the other person with generic questions they’ve heard a million times. So instead of asking a barrage of boring questions that are sure to put her to sleep, why not start off with something like “you start on that side of the room, I’ll start on this side, tell me if you find any clues.” Show her how you can take charge of a situation! An escape room game provides the opportunity for interaction without the awkwardness that often accompanies dinner. You will be forced to talk to each other in order to escape, unlike at the movies, where you don’t talk to each other at all. Yet, you won’t feel the obligation to keep talking non-stop. No more of those dreaded awkward silences. Your mutual goal is to escape the room, so already you both have something in common! You will also have something to talk about afterwards (like at dinner)-- “Hey, remember when you found the clue that helped us solve that puzzle? That was really awesome. Oh my gosh we made it out just in time!”
6. Are you dating a positive or negative person?
Find out how easily frustrated they become when things don’t go as planned. Did they misinterpret a clue? Do they stay optimistic or turn pessimistic when time starts running low? The other person’s general demeanor throughout the game can shed some light on whether they have a positive or negative outlook on life.
7. You know exactly how long it will last (1 hour)
Not only do you have 60-minutes to escape the room, you’ll also have 60-minutes to figure out whether or not you like each other. That should be more than enough time, since some studies show that your first impression of someone is cemented within the first few seconds of meeting. This way you can both focus on each other instead of worrying about how to bailout of a boring night out.
Having your first date at an escape room guarantees an unforgettable experience. Whether you want to get to know someone better, or simply figure out if they are outgoing or not, you will definitely both have a lot of fun. You’ll also come across as a unique person who’s willing to try new things!
If that all sounds good, you can…
p.s. "A.I." (Los Angeles & San Diego) is a great choice if you prefer an easier game-- you start off sitting next to each other on a couch; “An Hour to Kill” (Los Angeles) if you want something more challenging-- you both begin by being locked in handcuffs…