It's hard to imagine, but horror movies might just be the perfect date night staple. These terrifying films aren't merely good for you - they're great for getting your partner in the mood for some romance. Cuddling up with your significant other to watch a movie is an all-but-proven way to get closer. However, all too often, couples choose sentimental dramas or romantic comedies because those genres seem more date-worthy.
Romantic films may seem like a perfect - albeit safe - choice, but couples need to rethink their traditional date night selections and choose a horror flick instead. From the collective catharsis they elicit to the physical closeness they necessitate, scary movies just may be the best option. In fact, they might even inspire a new saying: "The couple who gets scared together, stays together."
Horror films are perfect for any time of year, so there's no need to wait for Halloween to test out this date night idea.
Psychologists have determined that a person is more likely to fall in love with someone - or fall into bed with someone - after watching a scary movie. While watching a horror movie on a date, people experience levels of fear and anxiety that mirror reactions to arousal.
During these reactions, people frequently look for environmental explanations for certain physical manifestations. If a person experiences a racing heart or sweaty palms, but there isn't a legitimate reason to manifest fear symptoms, they confuse these physical signs as attraction.
When you and your partner cuddle up to watch your favorite horror flick, the feeling of being scared releases a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine is responsible for the "feel good" reaction we have to external stimuli. It's also what makes us feel love and attraction.
In the simplest of terms, dopamine is the chemical agent that tells our brains that we like something and want more of it.
Even if the chemistry in your relationship is excellent, watching a horror movie as a couple has some tangible benefits, too. For instance, watching a scary film gives a couple a great excuse to snuggle.
Aside from the occasional jump-scare, a horror movie generally provides around two hours of uninterrupted time to get close.
Experts argue that real intimacy can be achieved through vulnerability. Moments of vulnerability allow us to become closer to our partners. They also give our partners an opportunity to offer support, and therefore strengthen trust.
Sure, the comfort given may be somewhat trivial - since there isn't actually any impending peril - but a scary movie elicits the same response and therefore creates the same effect.