When it comes to first dates, there are two schools of thought. My mother's: Try to act as normal as possible in the hopes that the other person will like you enough that they won't freak out when you eventually show your weird side. Or mine: Let your freak flag fly with such aplomb that your date either runs screaming for the hills or recognizes a kindred soul. While the former strategy will probably land you more dates, I personally think that the latter will guarantee you more fun dates with interesting people. And the easiest way to find out if someone is a fun, interesting person is to see if they pick up on your Harry Potter references.
On dates, I like to drop a lot of references to my favorite fandoms and see if my date recognizes them. If they do, it's pretty likely we'll get along. If not, well, true story: I once stopped seeing a guy because he didn't get my obsession with Harry Potter. If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my geeky obsessions.
The Harry Potter quotes below are totally first-date worthy. At best, your date will pick up on the references, think you're awesome, and throw a few choice quotes back at you. At worst, they'll think your a total loser and that will be their loss, because they're missing out on a fantastic romantic partner. Because nothing says romance like Harry Potter.
1. "Welcome, how nice to see you in the physical world at last."
— Professor Trelawney, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
As you have likely heard your single friends bemoan (or maybe you've found yourself complaining about this), it seems like the only way to meet a potential partner these days is online. With this in mind, is there any better way to greet your Tinder date the first time you meet him/her? Take a cue from Professor Trelawney's book, and start out by acknowledging the fact that this is your first IRL meeting in the most mystical way possible. If you want to wear giant glasses and 20 shawls while you do that, I support your decision.
2. "And now, Harry, let us step out into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure."
— Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Possibly my favorite line in all of the Harry Potter series and a great way to begin a date. Going to pick someone up for a first date can be really awkward, but this line will definitely break the ice. Rather than say an awkward hello and then try to make not-forced conversation on the way to the car, jauntily take their hand and grandly exit their apartment building proclaiming this line. They will be super into it. And if they aren't, why are you going on a date with such a boring person in the first place?
3. "...My secret ambition is to rid the world of evil and market my own range of hair-care potions."
— Gilderoy Lockhart, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Small talk during your first date is awkward and stressful and usually a little bit boring. There's only so often I can tell you about my college major and what I do at my current job. So instead, let's talk about fun things like what I most want to accomplish in life, inspired by the brilliant Gilderoy Lockhart. His answer is the perfect blend of ambition, vanity, and fabulous-ness that you know your date is secretly looking for. Bonus points if your hair is as amazing as Gilderoy's.
4. "Ooh, you look much tastier than Crabbe and Goyle, Harry."
— Hermione Granger, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
You little minx, you! If you're feeling a little bold and flirty, use this line to compliment your partner's looks. Not only will they (probably?) be flattered and not weirded out that you referred to them as tasty, but everyone likes to know that you find them preferable to Crabbe and Goyle. If they seem confused, you can elaborate by telling them, "I bet your Polyjuice Potion would taste delicious." Then wink. Oh my god, how have I lived this long and NOT used this line at a bar yet?
5. "I haven't blushed so much since Madame Pomfrey told me she liked my new earmuffs."
— Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
I'm not great at taking compliments, so typically when someone says something nice to me on a date I stumble through a few uncomfortable thank you's and hope that we move on to another subject. But, if I had a line like this in my back pocket, I would be ready with the perfect answer to my date saying something like, "You look nice tonight." Thank god Dumbledore is here to teach me how to deal with flattery.
6. "Is this real? Or has this been happening inside my head?"
— Harry Potter, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Obviously this is the perfect way to end a lovely evening out. Whether this line works is all in the delivery. Say it charmingly with a cute smile and you appear whimsical and quirky (win!). Say it straight faced and serious and you appear to be on the edge of a delusional breakdown (not a win, though maybe your partner is into that). Personally, though, I think this could be a very cute closing date line, especially if the other person is an HP fan. If they respond with, "Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?" then you should just marry them.
Images: Warner Brothers; WiffleGif (6)