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Forty minutes into our first date, Chandler looked more nauseous than lovestruck. We'd been friends for three years by the time we decided to "go out" and I was certain a big screen viewing of David Lynch's Blue Velvet was the key to reeling him in. He loved movies and this was a great movie. With the blue light of the screen streaming down onto our seats, I braced myself as Dorothy Vallens cooed, "I have your disease in me now. My confidence that I would ace this round of girlfriend tryouts was waning fast.
Despite my fear that the movie I'd picked was like me a bit much, after the credits rolled, we somehow managed to have one of the best dates ever. A few weeks later and against all odds, Chandler turned from the boy I'd traumatized into my full-on boyfriend. What's the key to my success, you ask? Well, my glowing personality aside, it seems the horror of the night helped rather than hurt my second date chances.
I'm not recommending you shock your beloved into submission. Definitely avoid chain saw mazes and haunted hay rides for a while. But, there are a few things about seeing a horror movie on a first date that set up just the right circumstances for an amazing evening of ice breaking. The physical contact barrier goes right out the window. Nothing answers the "Should we hold hands?
Lots of people find touch comforting in times of panic and a horror movie is a great excuse to cuddle up. When things get a little too intense, bury your face in your date's shoulder and wait it out together. You'll both get real vulnerable real fast. Dating should be about introducing who you really are to whoever you're meeting—not saving the "bad" or embarrassing stuff for later. If your scream is silly or you occasionally fart when nervous, the right horror movie can help you unveil those "secrets" from the start.
The terror will bond you. I'm not saying you two should haze yourself into the perfect relationship, but intense experiences can bring people together. You can't unsee what the two of you have seen. You'll get to know your date's sense of humor. Some of the best moments in horror movies come from characters cracking jokes to break tension. I still contend It was the funniest movie of Proof that your date can laugh even in times of extreme stress may bode well for your relationship. It's a great test for creeps.
If you're worried your date has a head in their freezer, see how they react to a head in a freezer. If they seem unfazed, quietly collect your popcorn and find the nearest exit. Scary movies can be an excellent test of kindness. I have had to walk out of more than one scary movie. Looking at you, Mother! If you find yourself needing to take a break or even to call it quits, your date should accompany you and not leave you waiting at concessions. That's the classy and courteous thing to do, particularly on a first date.
You should do the same if your companion darts for the door. Horror movies give you a ton to talk about. Sure, you'll mostly reminisce on things you found disgusting, but terrifying films open up lots of topics for discussion. Relive and overcome the creepiest stuff together. You can test your partner's problem solving. Inevitably, post horror movie discussion turns to how you would have survived the film's events. This can give you a good sense of your date's wits.
For example: Would they have done that stupid thing? Good, they pass.
The film's theme likely won't add too much pressure. Movies like Milk or Spotlight can get you thinking about some pretty heavy social issues. And that's certainly important, but not always great first date material. Unless, that is a big part of what you look for in a partner. In which case, have at it! Horror movies are surprisingly light fodder for discussion and you won't feel pressured to solve the world's problems in an evening.
This outing is a good precedent for more fun dates. Doing something unique for a first date makes it clear you want to make the most of your time together. Whether you're a thrill seeker or simply a lover of novelty, asking your date to a horror movie makes it clear you want to keep it interesting. You won't want to be alone after the movie's over. After seeing Hereditary by myself, I would have taken any Tinder user within 10 blocks home with me. Unfortunately, my faithful nature meant I was alone and terrified for the night. No one likes mulling over horror movie frights solo.
When the credits roll, you have the perfect opportunity to go to dinner, grab some dessert, or shop for zombie killing weaponry. Whatever floats your boat. Out of sheer desire to keep the lights on, you'll be talking all night. If you decide to hang out at one of your places, you'll be chatting for a while. Every moment you think you should go your separate ways, you'll remember that that means going to sleep.
And that means darkness. And that means the killer is right behind you! So you'll keep hanging out. This cycle could continue for a while Your date will go on longer and you'll get to know each other better as a result. It's memorable. Most people in the dating game have "grabbed" an endless of "casual" coffees. Seeing a scary movie in theaters is pretty memorable. You're telling me Yzma didn't terrify you? Hopefully, if it went well, this particular date will stick out in your love interest's memory as one they should follow up on. Next time you're testing the waters with someone special, I recommend you try the horror movie strategy.
Almost two years later, it has really worked out for me.
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Seeing a horror movie is the perfect first date