Some literary heroes are so dreamy that you can’t help but imagine what would happen if they were real. We’ve taken the liberty of detailing your first dates with some of fiction’s finest. You’re welcome.
Heathcliff will take you to an dark, indie, art-house movie, maybe something French, and at the end of the night, you will stammer something about how “the juxtaposition of light and dark creates interesting implications about the, uh, innate goodness of all man–that is to say–personkind?” He’ll glare and call the entire film “overwrought nonsense,” and make you feel stupid for even trying not to look stupid. But then he will call you five times the next day, so maybe he does like you? But then he will start going out with your best friend, so maybe he doesn’t? He’s really hard to pin down.
Edward Cullen will take you to a charming Italian restaurant that you have to go through a garden to get to. He’ll be on a first name basis with the entire staff and will order for you in fluent Italian. At first you will be annoyed that he ordered without asking what you wanted, but when the order is exactly what you are craving, you’ll realize he read what you wanted in your mind. He will smirk to himself whenever anyone asks if he is hungry (BECAUSE HE IS A VAMPIRE GET IT YOU GUYS?), and at the end of the night he will not kiss you unless you agree to marry him, because he respects you too much to let you choose how to live your life.
Romeo will one, be 16 years old, so check your state’s age of consent, and two, be on a relationship timeline that is uncomfortably fast. At the Mexican place he takes you to, midway through the guacamole he demanded you share, he’ll mention that he just got out of a serious relationship. When he says “just got out,” he doesn’t mean last week. He means he text-dumped this girl as you waited to be seated by the maître d’. Before your entrees come, he will have changed his Facebook relationship status to “married.” If you’re not turned off yet, just wait! By dessert he will have killed your cousin, been banned from the restaurant, and committed suicide when he couldn’t find you after five minutes of searching (you were in the bathroom).
Jay Gatsby will arrive for your date impeccably dressed. He’ll take you on a carriage ride tour of NYC; you’ve heard that he owns the stables where the hansom cabs board their horses. You’ll have box seats for an opera at the Met; you’ve heard they’re courtesy of a recently-gone-public startup he has a majority stake in. He’ll take you for a go-cart adventure; you’ll hit and kill a squirrel. He will demand to take the blame, should you ever be caught. It is then that you will see the madness in his eyes and the naked store mannequin in his trunk. You’ll hop out of his car at the corner where you live, hoping to hide your exact address. Fifteen minutes later, honking will draw you to your window, where you will see that Gatsby has not driven away; he’s sitting in his car, staring at the green light.
On your first date, you and the Phantom of the Opera will go to see an up-and-coming band at a local dive. You’ll be unimpressed with both the music and the company, but Phantom will keep talking about how his life has been changed by this experience you’re having together. After the fourth time he says, “I don’t know how I could live without you,” you’ll find an excuse to go. The next day, Phantom will start texting you hourly, flying into a jealous rage if you don’t respond within five minutes. His passion makes you feel wanted; his collection of human hair clippings makes you feel nauseous. A week later, when you agree to go out with your friend’s co-worker, Phantom will show up at the bar and start a fight, dragging you into a cab and refusing to let you leave until you lick his cheek. When someone tries to serve Phantom a court restraining order, they’ll find his apartment completely abandoned, except for a creepy handwritten note with your name on it. Then he will come back in the worst musical sequel that has ever been made.