In the event of a zombie apocalypse, you can throw most of the rules about dating and courtship out the window. But fortunately there are still some clear do’s and do-not’s, and below are some useful tips that may help your romantic life survive the growing hordes of undead that want to munch on your flesh.
Don’t fall in love with a zombie. There are a number of reasons not to fall in love with a zombie, the most obvious of which is that they only want you for your brains. (Which is ironic, because in real-life this is the opposite.) Some have suggested that this can be solved by strapping a simple muzzle over your zombie companion’s face — which may work, but we take no official position — but there are other, less obvious problems with dating a zombie. Most zombies produce a putrid odor due to a combination of rotting wounds, bad hygiene, and their occasional consumption of human flesh, and some apocalypse survivors may find that this smell can be hard to coop with. Zombies are also typically not very good conversationalists, although admittedly they can be good listeners.
But if you do fall in love with a zombie. The heart wants what the heart wants. As mentioned above, a muzzle is probably a must-have if you are determined to maintain a relationship with a member of the walking dead. Unfortunately, however, this can reduce the amount of physical affection between the two of you, but this is balanced out by you keeping your brains from getting eaten. Zombies can also be very touchy, so it’s a good idea to keep your zombie-lover’s fingernails trimmed shortly so that they don’t inadvertently claw away strips of your flesh. Zombies are fiercely loyal companions and will follow you wherever you go, but they can make social situations uncomfortable as they constantly attempt to claw and gnaw at your head. Privately, however, this sort of affection can be very enjoyable.
Try to fall in love with someone that’s alive. Although zombie-love is a tempting thing, a more stable relationship will always be found with someone that doesn’t have the constant urge to rip your head open and munch at your brain. Traditional methods of courtship are often forgotten in the rush for survival, and so one must find creative new ways to woo members of the opposite sex. If you have a lot of supplies and/or eatable food, flashing these around will certainly attract survivor hotties. Women can also often be impressed by creative zombie kills, and it is seen as especially romantic if you dedicate a kill to someone special (see the hatchet in that zombie’s head? That was for you, babe). The downside to this is that if you suck at zombie-killing then you’ll probably get your brains eaten.
Things to consider. Although the pool of survivors will probably be small, there are some things to consider when choosing a lover during a zombie apocalypse. You can no longer be very picky about things such as hygiene since soap and running water will be rare commodities, and depending on how long the apocalypse has been going on, you might want to lower your standards on teeth as well. Things that you should consider are, will this person slow me down if we run into a zombie horde? Does this person have any useful skills such as wilderness survival or sharpshooting? Do they bring any good resources to the table, like maybe water purifiers or ammunition? Most importantly, in the case of an onslaught, do I trust this person not to shoot me in the leg so that he or she can escape?
Fun date ideas. Zombie hunting is an obvious and also utilitarian idea for a first date. Couples often find the gory violence of slaughtering zombies together to be a surprisingly good get-to-know-you activity. Other fun things to do can include being quiet together so as not to attract more zombies, zombie-proofing a house or barn in case of an onslaught, or just climbing a tree together and serenely watching the zombies roam about. (Other date advice: always be suspicious if on the first date they try to bite you. This could mean they’re just really into you, or it could mean that they’re a zombie and forgot to tell you.)
If your lover becomes infected. Occasionally someone escapes a zombie encounter without having their flesh completely eaten, but they might have suffered a nasty scratch or zombie-bite. If this person happens to be your lover, you are now in a precarious situation. Although these people almost inevitably become infected and devolve into zombies themselves, it is usually considered good etiquette to wait for the change to occur before ruthlessly killing them. If you choose the difficult — but for some people, satisfying — path of maintaining a relationship with your now-zombie lover, see the advice in the second paragraph. If not, it is usually considered appropriate (and poetic) for the lover to be the one to put a zombie-infected person down.
Never give up. If corpses are now skulking around trying to eat your brain, you probably think that you have a lot on your plate. It’s important that while trying to stay alive that you spare some time for romance. Don’t let the constant death and bloody gore of continuous zombie-killing get your spirits down. Among the survivors there’s got to be at least someone that catches your eye, and it’s not like you’ve got a lot to lose. If your former lover got eaten by a zombie or became a zombie themselves, just remember that there are other survivors out there whom you probably have a shot with. Just because most of the world’s gone to hell doesn’t mean your love-life has to be.