Love in the time of the apocalypse

Thinking about falling in love during and after the apocalypse may seem a little trivial, silly, or just plain wrong. But think about it: during times of extreme hardship and strife, human beings will generally either band together or try to kill each other. Since I have no doubt that anyone left alive after the end of world will try to kill anyone else left alive, I’d like to think that some people will team up and cooperate with others. (By “team up” I mean “actively not trying to kill.”)

At some point in time, people will pair up, fall in love, and perhaps even have a kid or two, all in the name of the survival of the human race. (This is, of course, assuming that people still have the ability to have kids.

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If not, we’re all doomed anyway.)

Relationship rules will change. For one thing, there will likely no longer be online dating sites, since there will likely no longer be an Internet. And then there are all those other considerations: Will you date someone from your band of survivors? Will you date someone from another band of survivors? Did your band of survivors trade you for a week’s supply of food and water? Did you trade yourself for that week’s supply because the other guys have more food, so you’ll be better off with them than with your current group? Will you be dating a human? Is that human alive or (un)dead?

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It’s no longer just a question of how much they make or what kind of car they drive (though having a mode of transportation would be a definite plus in the post-apocalyptic world). But those jokes about dating the last man or the last woman on Earth may not be such a joke, after all–at least, not after the apocalypse.

As to who (or what) you could be dating or spending the rest of your life with, here are a few possibilities:

Vampires. They have a certain mystique to them, don’t they? Angsty and broody, they make the perfect “hero,” if you can ignore the fact that they’ll probably try to kill you in the middle of a date. While you’re trying to decide when to have dessert, they’ll be trying to decide when to have you for dessert. Unless your vampire is the vegetarian sort and/or sparkles in the sun, they may not be the best of possible mates, unless you like your relationships with a dash or excitement.

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The life or death kind.

Admittedly with less romantic appeal, zombies are nevertheless a good candidate for a post-apocalyptic “species.” There could be a few of these guys around, if not a few thousand. However, zombies are probably more likely to try to suck your brains out through your nose than they are to settle down into the post-apocalyptic version of happily ever after. Probably best to avoid, unless you can find one who follows the “vegetarian” kind of zombie-ism. Dates would probably be a little stunted anyway, what with a zombie’s reportedly limited vocabulary and one-track thinking.

In the event of an alien invasion-induced apocalypse (hey, it could happen), there will definitely be a few aliens to choose from. But who knows if inter-species dating will be frowned upon?

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It works in Star Trek, though, so it might work here, if the invading alien race happens to be humanoid and fluent in English.

Since aliens would be ruling the planet and all its plebe humans, dating an alien could become a status symbol–or it could paint a target on your back and mark you as a traitor to your species. It’s hard to tell. An alien would undoubtedly have the resources and ability to provide for you, and you’d likely live in relative luxury, with food to eat and a roof over your head. A relationship with an alien could give you a fulfilling, long-lasting relationship. Or it could give you a long-lasting case of Stockholm syndrome.

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At the risk of sounding discriminatory, it would probably be easiest if you dated/married/etc a human, for all the obvious reasons (like not being eaten). Of course, it doesn’t guarantee that a human won’t want to kill you. After all, there are bound to be conflicts and rivalries between different survivor groups.

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At the same time, there is definite potential for a tragic love story, a la Romeo and Juliet. But I, for one, am not really into tragic–especially when it has to do with me–so maybe keep the pool of potential mates restricted to survivor groups that aren’t trying to kill your group.

These may not be all of the possibilities–after all, we won’t know who’ll really be around until we get there. But it gives you some options to think about. Of course, dating and relationships probably won’t be something you should think about until you’ve secured the basics–like food, shelter, and a group of survivors (who don’t want to kill you for your food or shelter).

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