We all know that dating can be hard, especially dating after college. It can be perfect and amazing, or messy, awkward, and just, well, complicated. In college, there are people everywhere, but after you graduate, it gets harder and harder to meet people. There's work, but that tends to be frowned upon. Then, of course, there are the many dating apps, but, ugh. Then, once you actually do find someone, the hard part begins.
You have to get to know them, make sure they aren't something out of a bad (and by bad, I of course mean great) novel. Even after that part, there is so much room for something to go wrong. Just look at Gone Girl. They weren't exactly newlyweds when that all went down. Amy and Nick Dunne had known each other for years before anything showed signs of breaking.
I'm not here to make dating seem completely terrifying. It's actually the opposite: the truth is stranger than fiction, after all. Just...maybe not this fiction. From the heartbreaking to the heart pounding, here are 7 seven books that show just how hard dating can be:
1. You by Caroline Kepnes
When Stephen King calls a book scary, you know you're in for a crazy ride. You, recommended by King himself, is a story about modern dating at its very worst. Joe Goldberg falls in love with a girl who comes into the bookstore where he works. Cute, right? Wrong. Guinevere Beck becomes the unknowing obsession of Joe Goldberg when he lifts her name from her credit card, tracks her down, hacks her email and smartphone, and stages an "accidental" run-in. It's startling and terrifying, and you won't be able to put it down — but it'll definitely make you think twice before giving a stranger your name.
2. Missing You by Harlan Coben
Kat's fiancee broke things off with her 18 years ago, and she never completely got over it. She ties that time of her life with her father's death, which haunts her everyday. When she sees Jeff, her once fiancee, on a dating site, she can't help it — she reaches out. Now a police officer, Kat stumbles into way more than she thought she was signing on for. Harlan Coben explores the terrors that come with online dating, and what happens when you just can't move on.
3. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
"When I think of my wife, I always thing of her head."
This book will make you question all your relationships, from page one, and have you downright running from them by the final page. There can't be a list of books about terrible and terrifying relationships without Gone Girl.
4. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Books that turn you off from dating don't always have to be terrifying, of course. They can make you believe in love... and then brutally rip apart your heart. Truth be told, I cry watching the trailer for the movie adaptation of this one, so I'm still scarred. It will make you question what love means, and, yes, it will make you cry your eyes out.
5. Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson
Because why would someone who wakes up everyday not knowing who or where she is be able to trust her husband? If this doesn't turn you off to, or at least make you question relationships, at least for a while, you're reading it wrong!
6. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
A classic, yes, but one of the darkest and twisty-est portrayals of "love" around even today. Emily Bronte is widely read, and she sends a message every time someone new picks up a copy of Wuthering Heights: love will tear you (and you sanity) apart.
7. Perfect Days by Raphael Montes
The cover is so pretty. You'd never think what lies inside is one of the creepiest books since Gone Girl. I said it. Perfect Days is the story of Teo Avelar, a medical student on his way to being a doctor and... a complete sociopath. He falls in love with a woman named Clarice at a barbecue, and when she gently blows him off, he gets, well, obsessed. The suitcase on the cover? Let's just say she spends some time in there. It's absolutely terrifying, and you will think twice (three, four, five times) before giving your number to a stranger, but you won't be able to put it down either.