How to Date a Vampire
I have finished reading the Twilight series. To be fair, I finished reading it a couple of weeks ago, but I’ve been ruminating since then. I have some thoughts specific to the novels, but I think that some of the basic truths can be appreciated even if you have not read the books. In fact, I don’t think there are many of us who have not encountered the Vampire Boyfriend at some point in our pop culture pursuits- most notably in the honorable Buffy the Vampire Slayer (but there are other, newer examples such as CBS’s weak Moonlight and just about every book series for young women at Barnes & Noble). What we seem to be learning is that it is becoming increasingly acceptable to date a vampire– and to that I say, “Finally!”
But it’s a new wilderness, kids. For years, nay centuries, it’s been taboo to date a vampire, so there’s a bit of gray area. There are some special concerns when your boyfriend’s main goal in existence is to consume the very force that keeps you in existence. I have compiled some points of consideration to assist you on your way. Let’s call this an early Valentine’s Day present from me to you
And now I present….The Girl’s Guide to Dating a Vampire!
1) He must be one of the “good vampires.” These are the ones that nobly exist on animal blood or donations to the blood bank. They never attack other citizens, unless of course it is in your defense. Then all bets are off.
2) If you have the misfortune of falling for a “bad vampire,” take heart. Literally- you are going to have to give him someone else’s heart so that he will not have to rip yours out of your chest. Ultimately, if you are good and pure, he may change his nasty ways either voluntarily or through the miraculous power of love. If not, consider the goth lifestyle. Do you enjoy heavy mascara? Are you really into shredded black dresses? Do you sort of enjoy cackling in a menacing way? Maybe you should switch to his team.
3) Your Vampire Boyfriend is going to be considerably older than you even though he appears similar in age to you. This is because (as everybody knows) young vampires don’t have the willpower to date humans without maiming them. It takes a seasoned veteran to overcome the urge to rip out your throat. So while this means you get the benefits and maturity of an older man, you also get the body of a young man- score! Unfortunately, you will continue to age. This means that your various relatives and friends are going to become extremely suspicious if you do not provide an excellent cover story. Try telling them he has an uncle who’s a really fantastic plastic surgeon and uses him to experiment new procedures.
4) As your VB is rather seasoned, he’s going to know much more than you. He’s going to know names and details from events that you’ve never heard of before. He was around when automobiles were considered a cute fad. He’s read books that make you nauseous just by glancing at the page count- and he’s read them in the original Latin. Try to work around this by inviting him along to Trivia Nights- he’ll be a huge hit and he’ll feel important, which all boys love regardless of mortality.
5) As a rule, all VBs have exquisite music tastes. The longer one is around , the more refined one’s choices are. Beware playing your beloved Rihanna for him- not only does she look tasty, she will also blatantly expose your lack of music discretion.
6) One of the reasons he likes you is your very unique and tempting blood. Yes, that’s right. In a world full of people with a limited number of blood types- you have the happy fate of possessing the sweetest smelling blood. Well done! Also, lucky for you, you must be an exceptional individual because otherwise he would have already drained your life source dry. Or perhaps he’s letting your blood age like a fine wine before he lovingly gulps it down a few years from now when you are putty in his hands. Try not to let that thought keep you awake at night.
7) At some point, you are going to think it is a good idea to let him drink your blood. In fact, you’re going to think it is erotic and have little fantasies about it. Snap out of it! You know when you go to the doctor and she announces she’s going to need some blood and you get all squeamish when the nurse comes in with that tiny little needle and sterilization pad? Keep that image in mind when you think of your VB drinking your blood. Only replace the tiny needle with a giant nail (teeth are not tiny) and replace the sterilization pad with bacteria infused saliva. Gross right? Plus, you don’t want him to get any ideas about taking nips whenever it pleases him. Don’t let him literally suck the life out of you.
8 ) Unfortunately, he’s going to leave you in a misguided attempt to be noble. When the first flames of love begin to die, he’s going to reevaluate his position and remember (too late) that he is sort of a monster, immortal, and life-threatening to you. He’ll tell you that he’s leaving you for your own protection. This is stupid because you’re just going to be miserable without him because once you’ve gone vamp, you can’t go back, so he may as well man up and deal with the consequences. He won’t see it this way. But don’t worry- he will come back. Only it will be at an extremely inconvenient time when you’ve already sort of started seeing someone age appropriate and pretty swell by normal standards. Have fun with that– really make him pay before you inevitably take him back and ruin a perfectly good boy for the rest of us.
9) You may consider joining him in his immortal afterlife. Reconsider this. For one thing- you’ll have to drink blood (ew!). For another thing, forever is a really, really long time. Remember freshman year of high school? That was a small eternity, and that’s not even a drop in the bucket of the kind of forever we mean. And how do you know you’re going to want to be with him for that kind of forever (oh sure- I know, there can be no one else… blah, blah, blah)? And depending on the legend that corresponds with your kind of vampire, the way to perish is pretty gruesome. You could get beheaded. Or burnt to death. Or dismembered and scattered. And even if you think you won’t do anything to get anyone mad enough to want to destroy you, forever is a way long time to make some enemies.
10) Speaking of enemies, he’s going to have ex-girlfriends and they’re not all gonna be mortal. These are the worst kinds of ex-girlfriends because they never go away and they never die. And they’re probably back from his days when he was in a morally gray area so he did all kinds of wild and crazy things with them and they love to remind him of all the fun they once had. And these hags (and they quite literally could be hags) have no qualms snuffing you out. They, unlike VB, do not love you, so watch your back.
11) Don’t be surprised when he is overly virtuous with you. He may be an older man, but that also means he was raised in a different era, which means he’s going to have some outdated notions concerning dating. He’s probably going to be chauvinistic and a little patronizing at times. He’s also going to hide behind his bloodlust for you when it comes to getting intimate. “No,” he’ll bemoan (in his most sensitive and regretful tone), “I’m afraid I’ll hurt you.” If there is a way to get him drunk, consider it.
12) He had better be unbelievably good looking, or what’s the point? Whoever heard of dating an ugly vampire? You can find plenty of mortal ugly guys with beautiful souls– there’s no need to risk your life for what’s on the inside. If you have to look at it for eternity, it better be pretty.
13) Though some vampire mythology would disagree, get used to dark places. This may sound romantic on the surface, but pretty soon you’re going to get annoyed when he tells you he can’t go out to get groceries because he’ll burn alive. But really- how would he know that for sure? Has he ever even tried? And if that’s really all that’s stopping him, why doesn’t he go to the 24-hour Kroger? So what if he doesn’t actually eat the food himself- he definitely uses the ziploc bags and your shampoo! Anyway, the rest of the time, try to be sympathetic to his plight and consider taking an evening job so that you’ll still be awake when he’s finally able to emerge from the house.
14) Depending on how you look at it, this could be a good thing or a bad thing- but no babies. Countless fangirl writers have tried to make it so, have tried to explain away the problems and the obstacles, but vampires don’t have babies. The only way to make a new vampire is to bite another person. Unless you are Stephenie Meyer and have bent the very fiber of vampire history to suit your own idealistic ideas about happy endings, but that’s another story. So, either you’re getting cheap and effortless birth control or you’re giving up on your dream. Think that one through.
That does it, for now. All this seems pretty grim, actually, so you may consider using the VB as more a of a fling. I know it seems like forever right now, but most of our boyfriends feel that way at one time or another even though they aren’t all immortal. Think of it this way– the VB will make a great story when you are a wrinkled old lady and your great grand-daughter comes to visit you. You can tell her the story and she’ll be awed and swept away by the tragedy and romance of it all and when she tells the rest of the family, they’ll just sigh at your senility and your secret will be safe.
On the other hand, if you do end up with the VB, you probably won’t ever have to deal with his family. Although it may be even worse if you do have to meet his family because they’re likely dysfunctional. Someone had to bite someone else for them to still be around.
Happy Hunting! And feel free to contribute your own suggestions in the comments or provide some good examples of Vampire Boyfriends.