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Walking And Talking – A Day at the Museum

I’m a (Museum of Modern Art) member, which means I pay an annual fee and can then go as often as I like and take guests for a nominal fee.  This works out to be a great deal for me, as I visit the museum about once a month, sometimes more.  I might pop in for an hour if I happen to be in the neigborhood, or spend a whole day there with a friend exploring some new exhibit.  The majority of those visits, however, are dates.

I love museum dates.  Love, love, love them.  For me, there’s no better 2nd or 3rd date with a guy I think I like but still have questions about than spending some time together at a museum.

There are so many reasons to go with a museum date. First, it’s always my treat, and I believe in the “I ask, I pay” school of paying for dates rather than going dutch.   I know, going in, there won’t be any awkward negotiations when the check comes, “this one’s on me,” “oh, no, let me get it”.  MOMA has a pretty high door price ($20) and frequently long lines.  I like that it’s my treat and we can just walk in ahead of the line.

But that’s really the least of it.   So many dates are sedentary.  Dinner and a movie – hours of sitting, dinner and drinks – more sitting, the theater – even more sitting.  And there’s nothing wrong with sitting.  But strolling through the museum together lets me find out small, subtle things about a guy.  Will he hang out near me or rush ahead if he’s bored?  How close to me is he going to stand when we stop and talk?  Will he walk obliviousy into other people’s line of sight or will he be aware of the people around him?

And that’s just the tip fo the iceburg.  We will, after all, be walking through a fabulous art museum.  Some guys get all hushed and serious and act like we’re in a church or give me mini-lectures on their favorite pieces, regurgitating what they learned in art appreciation class.  Some make fun of the things they don’t like, saying stuff like, “My 4 year old nephew paints better than that.”  Others make fun of me for the things I like, “I can’t believe you like that, his work is so derivative.”  The mocking, “how could you like that,” happens more than you’d think.  There are a lot of guys who are convinced that the best way to score points with a woman is to put her down.  Whatever.  Some guys are just plain – out bored, not interacting with the art or the space or me because they “just don’t get it”.  Or, perhaps most disappointing of all, some insist that they like everthing.  Absolutely everything.

Or maybe, just maybe, the guy could be cool.  It happens sometimes.  There are lots of ways a guy can be cool on a museum date (not doing any of the things in the previous paragraph would be a start).  I don’t need him to like what I like or agree with me or even be that into art.  I just need him to want to enjoy spending time together, to enjoy discovering new things, to be willing to be open.  The specifics aren’t really all that important.

Lots of guys have failed the museum date over the years, mostly because they’ve been insecure or cocky (which is usually the same thing, in my opinion).  They mock or lecture me about the art allthewhile forgetting why they’re there, because I like them a bit and want to get to know them better.

Really, isn’t that what every date is about, in the beginning?  You go to see a movie together so that you can talk about it and get to know one another better.  It’s not about seeing the movie.  You go out to dinner so that you can talk while you eat.  The restaurant matters, but much less than the conversation.  Spending some time at the museum together happens to be a great way to get to know more/different things about the person you’re interested in.

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15 to “Walking And Talking – A Day at the Museum”


  1. Alex Shalman says:

    I’ve been to the MOMA before, and it’s okay, but I’m still working on my art appreciation. Like you said, it doesn’t matter what the guy thinks about art, or if he talks about the art at all, as long as the attraction is building and he’s showing his value.

  2. Shannia says:

    i think the museum date is a great idea, wish i would’ve thought about it when i was dating. it’s a great way to observe.. i love it!!! i’ll keep it in mind,,,, if ever …….. ;-)

  3. PiscesInPurple says:

    I love museum dates, platonic or otherwise. I also like to wander around The Strand. You can get to know a lot about a person by visiting a bookstore together.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The body language insight is so good to know. Thanks.

  5. bobbyjensen says:

    I think the MOMA as well as other museums are a good way to get to know one another (assuming that both parties actually want to be there).-
    I know that dates are a test to a certain degree, but one of the reasons I don’t date (per se) is for that reason. I think I’ll write a post about what I mean in an effort to be clearer.

  6. Hypatia says:

    I agree. Museum dates cover all the good things on a date… and there’s no set ending time. So if it’s going well, you can keep going until the place closes, or if it’s a sucky date, you can finish your exhibit tour in a flash.

  7. ZJapan says:

    Museum dates are wonderful and you can learn a lot about a person. They don’t have to agree with you all the time but it does give you a sense of their styles/tastes. Much like finding out what kind of music they like. You are supposed to be quiet too so you can have wonderfully whispered conversations!

  8. SINgleGIRL says:

    -Alex Shalman
    The MOMA isn’t to everyone’s taste. Maybe you’re more of a Met guy (go with a plan – as you’re going up the steps talk to your date about which wing/area you’re going to view – it’s too damn big to just wander) or a Frick guy. Not everyone likes the same thing. I HATE the Frick but if a guy wanted to take me there I’d go because I’d want to spend time with him.
    -Shannia
    Glad I could add something to your future arsenal, in case you ever need it.
    -Anonymous
    YES. Body language is so important.
    -PiscesinPurple
    Yes, the Strand is another good one, although I find myself sneezing a lot in the more dusty aisles and that is not sexy.
    -bobbyjensen,
    Well, I’ve said it before and yeah it kinda sucks but the first few dates are really a test. The good news is that once a guy passes then the test is over. It’s either that or arranged marriage (which, btw, I am planning on writing about soon).
    -Hypatia
    Excellent point. The unset time is another reason to love museum dates. There is nothing worse than feeling trapped at a table with a guy you realize you don’t like.
    -ZJapan,
    Yes, I love the opportunity for leaning in close to whisper. A smart guy takes advantage of that.

  9. SeanD says:

    I have to agree, museum dates are great. A while ago I discovered, purely by accident while on a date as it happened, that one of the major art museums has live classical music in one of the gallery halls. This added something else to the evening to talk about in the bar afterwards, and I still don’t think that many people know about this.

    I haven’t had an opportunity to go back in a while, but it’s definitely on my list of favourite places to take a date.

    Your comments into body language, etc. are very insightful. There’s a lot to be said of subconscious behaviour and it’s nice to see that simple courtesies are picked up and appreciated.

  10. SINgleGIRL says:

    -SeanD
    Oh yes, MOMA does music in the summer as do most of the museums in NYC (at some point of the year at least one day of the week). Those days tend to be a bit more crowded and so I don’t usually use them for dates but I do love them. And yes, simple courtesies are always picked up and appreciated by me and most women. Remember, we tend to me a bit more observant than the average guy.

  11. recklessstudio says:

    I’ve never been to MOMA but I would agree that going to museum would be a great date. In fact, mostly anything that requires some type of action would be a better date than a stationary dinner date. There are a lot of things involved in such a date, as you described above. I also think that because you are inviting them to something like this that they should realize that this is something that you enjoy and is somewhat important to you. Any guy should acknowledge that and act accordingly.

    The museum is one of those places where you get to learn about someone in an alternative social environment.

  12. Alex Shalman says:

    @SingleGirl – Maybe I’m just not an art guy. Maybe I can just take her to starbucks, pull out my MacBookPro, and we can watch each other’s twitter feeds and discuss what’s going on in our respective twitterverse… you know… or not.

  13. SINgleGIRL says:

    -recklessstudio,
    Yes. I mention the MOMA because that’s “my” place, but it could be any museum. It’s about the dynamic.
    -Alex Shalman
    You don’t have to be an art guy, and you know not every woman is into art either. There are plenty of alternative activities that have the same kind of dynamic. I’m sure you can do better than hanging in a Starbucks reading your twitter feed. I HOPE you can.

  14. jenmata says:

    I love museum dates. I love museums period. And the MoMA is one of my favorite ones. I’m also there about once a month and think you’re right, guys sometimes forget why they are there in the first place. Although I have to say the museum dates I’ve had have gone pretty well in the past, I think it’s because for me it’s more about the art than the date ; )

  15. Veka says:

    A museum date is a great idea for many reasons, all of which have already been noted. I, personally, am an artist myself. Some of my dates will know ahead of time and some won’t. What I’m looking for on a museum date is whether they can bring their own opinions to the table or not. Even if he isn’t really a fan of art, I’d like to know what he thinks of certain pieces. Like, “This painting really amazes me because…” Or, “I’m not really a fan of this sculpture because…” This can tell you a lot about someone. It also shows that they can actually form their own opinions and they won’t just say things that they think I want to hear or try to impress me. Their taste in art isn’t a deal maker or breaker for me, it’s their conversation skills.