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By Anastasia Kolobrodova

Sometimes you have to step back from the real world and take in some escapist trash. Over the last month, some friends and I have read an entire YA series about vampires attending a boarding school in Montana and tried to watch all of the Twilight movies. We failed at the latter (but did drink bloody marys while wearing plastic vampire teeth). Over the course of the two, I feel like I learned a lot of Important Life Lessons that one can only learn from YA vampire fiction. I believe that these lessons truly can help anyone out as they prepare for finding love.

1. All odds (in love) can be overcome.

Your boyfriend turns into an evil vampire, kidnaps you, and tortures you in a locked room for over a month? Not a problem. TRUE LOVE WINS. If someone is treating you terribly, that probably means that you will end up together forever because that is how fate works. Never leave him. It’s meant to be.

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2. If someone is avoiding you, he or she is probably in love with you.

Were you in class just hanging out when your lab partner suddenly got weird and brooding and abruptly left the room? Is your martial arts instructor avoiding being in the same room as you after lessons? Is your preppy acquaintance running away from you despite the multiple paintings you draw of her? That is a sure indicator of love. Put the Tinder away and chase after your one true match ASAP.

3. Age of consent laws are iffy when it’s REALLY REALLY MEANINGFUL?

In both Twilight and Vampire Academy, the women seems a bit too under-the-age-of-consent for the sex to be legal. But, to be fair, we couldn’t exactly figure out where the Vampire Court has jurisdiction and what its laws are. To be safe, we can say: True love DOESN’T wait (as long as it’s destiny).

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4. Tolerance is the most important virtue.

Are you feeling attracted to somebody you shouldn’t be attracted to? Well that’s fine. You can go against all of society’s rules for a higher calling = TRUE LOVE. Don’t let artificial barriers control your love life. They’re probably just jealous that you’re having better sex than they are.

5. Biting is hot.

I’m not saying that I’ve made suspect dating decisions in the last month because of consuming YA vampire fiction, but I have had more hickies this past month than I had in my cumulative high school years

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6. Murphy’s law does apply to vampires. Occam’s razor does not.

The worst that can happen will happen, but the solution is definitely the most complex and inane possibility.

7. Russians are really friendly.

I’m not just saying this because I’m originally Russian and don’t have a date for Valentine’s Day. This is canon from Vampire Academy, in which obviously Rose went to track down her one true love Dimitri in a tiny village in Siberia and his entire family instantly became BFF with her.

But she never did fully trust them. This is another thing to be aware of: If you’re in a foreign country, never seek help from the natives (even if they are friendly Russians). Always find the other American.

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8. Someone breaking into your house to watch you sleep is romantic.

Obviously.

9. Getting married solves all of your problems.

Is there a fundamentalist cult chasing after you? Get married. Did a different vampire gang threaten to kill your girlfriend? Get married. Are you feeling bored and empty and depressed? Get married.

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10. Having a child is the worst decision you can make.

They will break your bones and tear up your insides.

11. Friendship and community is sometimes more important than love.

Vampire communities are pre-nuclear family interdependent relationships that are dramatically more complex representations of love, and if you never actually sleep, you get to know your clan reallllly well.

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D.C. is a community of transplants, staying up until all hours of the night but then inexplicably rolling in to work at 8:30 a.m., drinking until 3 a.m. yet brunching at 10 a.m., listening to each other talk about exes who were perfect but absconded on international trips to undisclosed locations. We’ve pretty much got the same thing going on as the vampires with this one.

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