Let’s face it: dating can be horrible. Some might even say that dating is a horror in itself. The endless parade of repeated failed relationships, the perpetually dashed hopes, the awful ways people hurt each other.
My dating life was thankfully brief, though still plenty traumatic. Now, as a spectator to several friends who are currently navigating the single and dating scene, I can say it is not unlike watching a horror movie. Disturbing yet I cannot turn away.
Here are 10 ways dating can be like a horror movie.
There will be at least one corny line. Probably more.
From “Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?” to “How’s this for a wet dream?”, whether in a horror movie or on your first date, someone is going to say something painful stupid. You might smile; you might roll your eyes. Either way, you cannot avoid the cheesy one-liners. And the worse the date or movie, the more corny lines you are going to endure.
Someone always turns into a monster; the suspense is finding out who that is.
In the beginning, it is all sunshine and roses. This person could be THE ONE. This camp on Crystal Lake could be a delightful summer pastime. My boyfriend isn’t possessive; he just really loves me (is that one horror movie or dating? or both?) Yet as the euphoria and infatuation wanes and reality creeps back in, the characters start to show their true colors. We all sit on the edge of our seats, waiting to see if that person turns out to be a douchebag or a serial killer.
The sequel is never good as the original; in most cases, no one even wants a sequel.
Nothing compares to the original. Everything else is a just a faded copy of the first love, the first date, the first movie in a franchise. Try as we might, we just cannot duplicate the magic of the first. Yet we just keep trying. And the more we push and claw to cling to the same characters, the more disappointing they become.
When it is bad, it goes on much longer than it should.
It might just be perception distortion, but whether it is awkward date or painful horror movie, it seems like when it is bad, it never ends. Suddenly, you are trapped in a time warp that drags out every excruciating detail. You are counting the seconds through every uncomfortable conversation or every poorly composed scene. Sure, you could get up from the table and leave the crappy dinner or pick up the remote and flip off that lackluster scene. In both cases, you probably just suffer to the bitter end, later telling your friends how awful it was.
There are times you do not want to look but you just cannot help yourself.
The messier things get, the less we seem to be able to turn away. We may date someone just for the thrill of the drama, or we may watch entire horror movie franchises just for the death scenes (*cough, cough!* Final Destination, what?). In both cases, we might be cringing and covering our eyes, but, just like when it is awful, we do not leave. Instead, we keep coming back.
There is always blood.
In the dating world, we can hope that there is not literal blood involved; however, there is always carnage. Whether it is the physical bleeding from being stabbed in the chest with a butcher knife or the emotional damage of having your metaphorical heart ripped out, there is always pain and “blood.” In the end, the thrill of that pain and that blood is probably what keeps us coming back for more.
The less you sin, the more likely you are to survive; if you sin big, it is over.
In old school horror, particularly the slasher variety, the more moral infractions you incurred, the more you guaranteed your own demise. Have sex, you die. Do drugs, you die. Commit enough dating sins, especially of the deal-breaker variety like infidelity, and you have ensured the untimely death of the relationship.
The slut always loses.
This vintage horror concept piggybacks on the sin convention. And by the same regard, while the slut may get laid with ease, in the old horror movie, she ends up dead. In the dating realm, she may be doomed to be uncommitted (especially in the era that parallels when this horror convention applied). In our modern times, we can hope for sexual liberation and equality, but that really just depends on who you are dating.
There is just something special about the virgin.
I do not understand it personally, but serial killers and men in general seem to have a unique attraction to virgins. There is just something special about a virgin, as if she has it tattooed on her untouched forehead. Maybe it is something about unexplored territory. I am not quite sure why sexual inexperience attracts more interest and makes you smart enough to be the final girl, yet there it is.
You have to go through a lot of victims to find the final survivor.
These poor serial killers just spend movie after movie, franchise after franchise cutting and carving their way through incompatible victims. None of them were “the one.” So the killing continues, frame after frame, until they meet their match, that clever survivor that just seems to complete them. So too do we date and date, on a quest to find that one worth of “'til death do us part.”