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How To Date a Horror Fan

So, you just met the perfect person.

Smart, funny, good looking, and charming. Le sigh!

But, here’s the kicker.

They’ve just revealed to you that they’re a hardcore, balls-out, proud as hell horror movie fan.

Whether you’re new to this sort of phenomenon, just a fan of film in general, or perhaps you yourself are a horror fan, I’m here to help. I’ve assembled some tips on how to best prepare yourself for the road ahead of you. If you’re open to it, chances are you’ll learn a lot and come out the other side a serious horror pro.  Knowledge is power, bish.

Sometimes, I’ll meet like… a normal male.

In a normal place.

I don’t really “look” like a horror fan (Which, first of all, is crazy. You don’t look like you love Barbara Streisand, but I’m not going to say it to your face!) and they look at me like I’m some sort of puzzle. Because of this conundrum, I’ve been asked (seemingly as a joke) on more than one occasion to write a “How To” on dating a lover of horror.

That’s the Amityville house in the background

We can be a complex lot, so I don’t blame you there. I’m imparting upon you a list of tips that I’ve learned by asking my friends about their experiences and, yes, a small portion of mine as well. Most of these are pretty common sense, but a refresher never hurts. Even if only some of these are helpful, you’ll be better off than you were five minutes ago.

This is a compilation about years of nerdery, observation, and lessons learned. This is my meager gift to you.

So, let’s get you some of that much deserved nerd love.

1. You find yourself on a first date with a horror fan, for the love of God, do not lie about knowing something if you don’t. 

This is a universal rule and will save you so much guff in the long run. Let’s say the could-be mate is telling you about his or her favorite movie in a given series, for example we’ll use Halloween II. You haven’t seen it. Sweet mother of pearl, don’t say, “Oh yeah, totally, I love that one,” just for the sake of being agreeable. 

Of course, our unaware horror fan will be ultra jazzed at first. However, after some time, maybe two or three dates in, your potential beau asks which paramedic was your favorite in the aforementioned flick. All of sudden, you’re up shit creek without a paddle.

This could have two possible outcomes.

One, which is unlikely, would be they’re super excited to show you their favorite movie immediately.

Two, which is almost definite, is they’ll be confused why you lied to them and this may lead to a quiz.

Quizzing is, without a doubt, the absolute worst thing on the planet.

“Well, who’s your favorite director then?”
“Can you name one Roger Corman movie?”
“What do you mean you don’t know who David Lynch is?!”

They come in rapid succession. Like gunfire. And I can almost guarantee it will lead to dissatisfaction for both parties. All of this can easily be avoided by being upfront and honest. Horror fans, and diehard fans in general, are unique in that they love sharing movies and experiencing them with someone new. It’s almost like watching them again for the first time through someone else’s eyes. So, don’t feel obligated to know everything they’re talking about. In fact, it makes for great conversation and an almost immediate shared experience.

2. Be prepared for a collection… or two. 

So, most lovers of horror have a lot of DVDs. And Blu-rays. Or maybe even VHS. It may seem utterly insane to you, but these are collections that have been acquired with sincere pride. I myself have had… maybe 400 tapes in my VHS collection at any time. Within the past year even. Yeah, I know, I literally just felt you roll your eyes, but that’s what the deal is.

And not a single copy of While You Were Sleeping

You could also end up with a dude who loves action figures. Or a girl who collects movie memorabilia. Maybe even autographs. The point is if you’re being shown the collection, that’s a good omen. It means we’re opening up and willing to show you all the sentimental crap we’ve amassed throughout the years. It’s important to note that horror fans are deeply rooted in nostalgia. This is a physical manifestation of just that. That being said, do not laugh at it, regardless of absurdity.

I don’t care how many Garbage Pail Kids collectors cards they own.

No relation.

3. Binge watching is almost guaranteed. 

We’re movie people. Chances are your new beau is going to want to sit down, spend some time with you, and maybe watch all the Evil Dead movies in a row for your Saturday night date. I myself am biased and would be super down with this. However, I do realize that there are people out there who like… rock climbing, or frisbee, or whatever and maybe want to try something else. This leads to tip number four.

4. Don’t be afraid to suggest something else! 

You’re a part of this relationship, too. Horror fans can be stubborn, but chances are if you suggest something new that you’re passionate about… bingo. Passion, regardless of subject, is common ground. If said horror fan sees you’re similarly passionate about something, they’re going to want to experience it with you. If it’s an activity or maybe just a different genre of film, perhaps romantic comedy, most likely they’ll give it a shot.
A word of warning to you, ease into it. It can be difficult to go from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari to The Notebook in one evening. So, please, be gentle.

Dare I suggest, a compromise?

5. Please, please don’t spoil anything. 

This one is a no brainer. Some fans are cool with spoilers, but there’s about four people in the Northern Hemisphere who are actually down with that. And everyone avoids them on social media. If you watch something before them, do not, I repeat, do not say anything revealing. There’s some Walking Dead fans out there who very well may freak the hell out.


6. Conventions… should I stay or should I go? 

Ack, conventions are tricky. This tip is in regards to those who are not diehard horror nuts. If you’re unfamiliar, a horror con is a large event where fans go to meet celebrities, get an autograph, or maybe pick up an awesome C.H.U.D. t-shirt.

Pretty much two things are guaranteed:

  1. A gamut of drunk people. 
  2. A buttload of walking.

If your horror honey asks you to accompany them to the convention, that’s fair game and it’s up to you.

Now, there’s also the other side. If you aren’t invited, it could be because they’re trying to protect you from the sheer insanity that is a convention or maybe that’s the only time they get to see all their friends in one place. It may be special nerd time. It’s also a possibility they don’t want you to feel overwhelmed. If you do decide you actually want to go, just ask.

Conventions are like Christmas. It can be a pretty intimate group of friends and it may take a while for them to warm up to you. However, it can also be an eye opening experience seeing your beau in their natural habitat.

7. You met/want to meet someone at a convention. What now? This tip is for those who are versed in the world of horror cons.

Dudes: Okay. The two most valuable assets to you at a convention are deodorant and/or a shower.

Preferably an and rather than an or. I know you’re partying with your friends, the beer is flowing like water, and the babes are… semi-abound, but really, c’mon. I have spent a good majority of my life at conventions and the amount of rank fellows that have crossed my path are a plenty.

Perceivably handsome ones even.

But, your chances of doing well with the ladyfolk when you’re still sitting pretty in yesterdays unwashed birthday suit? Unlikely, my friend.

Ladies: I’ll say it, I’m a little bit… reserved. What I mean by this is I tend not to wear wildly low cut tops or ultra mini-tiny-teeny-itty-bitty dresses. All I can recommend to you is wearing something you feel comfortable and confident in.

Now, that being said, if you’re a saucy broad and a hot mini dress makes you feel both comfortable and confident, go to town.

Who wouldn’t want to be Mr. Iron Maiden?

But, via observation, I’ve noticed that the gals who wear ultra revealing clothes (aka OHDEARGODMYEYES!) tend not to attract a mate that will.. erm, how shall I say this… stick around much past breakfast. If that’s what you want, power to you, but if you’re looking for something to last maybe don’t put it all out there.

Why buy the cow when you can have the milk for free? Ew. I grossed myself out.

8. Don’t forget, we are still nerds.

I bring this up for a multitude of reasons. I’m just going to say it. Most likely, our sweet horror fan was not in the “in crowd” in their youth. In fact, I’d put money on it that most likely said fan was at home watching movies no one else in school had heard of.

The author, age 7.

Which is rad, but at the time, that was probably difficult for them. It’s hard to bond with other people at lunch when they’re talking about who’s the cutest varsity player and all our beloved horror fan wants to talk about is Italian horror classics. In our interests, we’ve inadvertently set ourselves a part. I know what I’m saying sounds negative, but actually this is where a large portion of their character was formed.

From this was where the passion for movies was born. I know that even now most of my friends spend their Saturday nights watching old-school horror or cult classics. They may have grown up, but make it a point not to poke fun at their interests because they’re both deep rooted and very important to your darling. Support what they love most and you will only be rewarded with loyalty and genuine appreciation.

Well, I suppose this draws my lecture to a close. If even any one of these tips were slightly helpful, I’m honored to have been able to share them with you. The horror community is a bevy of wonderful, intelligent, and kind human beings.

Of course, there’s the occasional biff of a relationship, but that also goes for the normals, or as I like to call them, “civilians.”

However, you can’t know if you don’t try.

So, go forth and go get ‘em, tiger!



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