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The best date I ever had was in 2021. It was in the early phase of the pandemic, before the vaccines, and we decided to meet outside and go for a walk even though it was February and freezing in New York. As we walked and talked, I thought about how well the date was going and wondered if she felt the same. I looked for those subtle clues of interest: arm touches, personal stories, a hand on my shoulder while we shared a laugh. When my dog would pull me slightly toward the grass, my date would go off course with us and keep close. When we’d approach a puddle of slush, we’d walk around it on the same side instead of splitting the obstacle.

We ended up walking for several hours with my dog, who was happy for the longest walk of her life. We wandered through Riverside Park. We walked along the Hudson River. We stopped at a bookstore on the Upper West Side. And we talked the whole time.

At one point, we talked about the date itself and how well it was going, and she described our romantic phase in a way that I don’t think I’ll ever forget: She called it the “Look, a bird” phase. It’s when a date is going so well that you don’t want the conversation to end, so you’re willing to fill the silence with just about anything to keep it going, including the bird that just flew by. The bird doesn’t have to be beautiful. It just has to be there, to exist, to help you extend the moment a bit longer and bridge the gap between one conversation topic and the next.

Look at that bird. Oh, that reminds me …

The new Netflix movie Entergalactic captures that feeling. I didn’t want its date scenes to ever end. I didn’t want the movie itself to end.

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