I'm a little bit of a hypocrite when it comes to giving dating advice. When friends lament the fact that their partner doesn't share their love for something, I'm quick to remind them that they don't need to have everything in common with their S.O. In fact, I tell them, differences are good, because they can allow the two of them to learn from each other. And yet I'm also someone who was so taken aback when a date told me that he didn't understand my love for Harry Potter I never went out with him again. And he had an Irish accent, which typically trumps pretty much all negative traits in my eyes.
Maybe some of you hardcore Potter-=heads can relate to that. When you love the HP series so much that it becomes a major part of your life, it can be difficult to date someone who just doesn't get it, or worse, doesn't like it. While it might not make you seriously question your relationship (admittedly I probably wasn't that crazy about the Irish boy and this was the straw that broke the hippogriff's back), it can make certain HP-related parts of your life less fun. Who wants to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter with someone who doesn't appreciate how cool it is?
I guess we can't help who we fall in love with. But, if you're really down about why your partner can't appreciate your favorite series, here are some tips.
1. Ask them why they aren't into Harry Potter
First and foremost, find out why they aren't already aboard the Harry Potter bandwagon. Did they not read it as a kid and don't feel like reading it as an adult will affect them the same way? Did they start reading the series but fell off somewhere towards the middle? Or did they read a few books, or even the entire series, and just not like it? If your S.O. really and truly gave HP a try and it just didn't click for them, or if they have a personal reason for avoiding the series, let it go. Don't force them if they're really adamant about not wanting anything to do with HP. But if they aren't totally opposed...
2. Offer to start reading/listening to the series together
Let's face it, the idea of picking up a series with seven installments all ranging from 300 to 800+ pages is daunting, especially if your partner isn't the biggest reader. So locking them in a room and threatening to not let them out until Sorcerer's Stone is completed probably isn't going to work. Instead, offer to experience the series with them. Maybe take turns reading aloud to each other, or get the audio books and listen to them while you two cook dinner or are in the car. If you think your S.O. may be more inclined to like the movies, have a marathon for your next date night. They may be more willing to dive into the series if you're along for the ride, and bonus: you get to watch someone you love experience HP for the first time!
3. Make a deal
If they're still reluctant to break out the books, offer them a trade: you'll start following their favorite fandom if they agree to give HP a try. Maybe they're a huge Trekkie or Lord of the Rings fan, or have been bugging you for months to watch Sherlock. Why should you insist that they become an HP fan if you're not willing to embrace what they love, too? So make a deal with them and agree to read one book or watch one season of their favorite fandom for every Harry Potter book/movie they complete. Ideally by the end you two will have grown to love each other's fandoms and can enjoy them together. At worst, at least you both gave it a try and can understand at least some of each other's references.
4. Four words: Harry Potter Drinking Game
This is for those of you who are over 21 and choose to indulge in alcohol responsibly, of course. But if all else fails and things are looking hopeless, break out your secret weapon: drinking games. There are some absurd and intricate HP drinking games out there, so try incorporating them into your next party or get-together. If you can't find one you like, or just want to make it a bit more tailored to you (or maybe you want one that's a little less boozy so you can actually make it through a book/movie), then make up your own. It's a fun, non-serious way of making Harry Potter more accessible to your partner.
5. Live and let live
At the end of the day, you love your partner for who they are, not how many Harry Potter references they understand. Not everyone is going to love HP, as unbelievable as it may seem. If that's the case, then respect your partner's wishes and don't try to force them to become a fan of something just because you like it. Instead, let them pursue their own interests while you obsessively analyze every aspect of Harry Potter with your Potterhead friends. That's what I do.
Images: Giphy (5), Warner Bros.