With Halloween approaching, you’re probably spending most of your time watching ‘Hocus Pocus’ on a loop, making pumpkin spice-flavored everything and maniacally pinning the most epic Halloween costumes you can find. If you’re in a relationship, you’ve probably also had to consider whether you and your SO should attend the festivities dressed as Peanut Butter and Jelly, Morticia and Gomez Adams, Thelma and Louise or Poussey and Taystie. Before you break out the DIY supplies, consider these five reasons to skip the matching couple costume this year.
1. You can’t agree on an idea
This is the ultimate deal breaker because you can’t exactly match with someone else if you both go dressed as completely incompatible characters. It’d be like bookworm Rory Gilmore going out for a night on the town with daredevil Deadpool—it’s just not a good idea and, honestly, is a telltale sign of poor planning and even worse foresight.
Chelsea Jackson, a junior at Iowa State University, says that she and her ex-SO decided against matching costumes because they had different tastes. “I’m always extra with my Halloween costumes and he was very low key, like putting on his Wal-Mart vest and going as a Wal-Mart employee type of low key,” she explains. “It just wouldn’t have been fun to try to get him to sit still for an hour of makeup to turn him into a merman to match my mermaid costume.”
Of course, not being able to agree on a couple’s costume doesn’t mean that your relationship is destined to fail but it’s a good indication that you should both opt for solo alternatives. It’s not worth the fight or the miserable night one of you is bound to have in a costume that you despise.
2. You (or your SO) just aren’t into it
Halloween is cool—just ask Marnie Piper—and that pretty clearly means that you should have fun with it! If one of you isn’t enthused about the idea of matching costumes, the whole experience could be a nightmare.
Certified counselor and relationship coach Jonathan Bennett says, “Couples costumes can be cute. But, too often, one partner does the planning and is excited about the choice, while the other goes along with it and is neutral or secretly miserable.” Half the fun of matching costumes is that you both get to come up with it and work on it together. Bennett warns, “Unless you and your partner can both be excited about the costumes and fully on board with it, just go with your individual choices.”
3. You’re already going as part of a group costume with your platonic friends
Sometimes when you’re in a relationship, especially a new one, it can be easy to neglect friends and life responsibilities that aren’t directly related to your SO. You’re happy and possibly in love and it’s okay if you want the whole world to know it. Still, Halloween is a good excuse to reunite with those friends who’ve always been there for you—through your old and new relationships, the good, the bad and even the ugly cry.
What better way to show them you still care to be a part of the squad than to plan the best group costume of all time? Elaine Thompson, a home and lifestyle expert at JustEnergy.com, says, “My boyfriend and I are not trying to match our costumes this year [even though it’s] our first Halloween together. He and his guy friends have plans for a group costume and I have one in mind for myself. Zero matching going on here!”
If your SO truly cares about your relationship, they’ll understand the need to make time for your friends. They should do the same, too!
4. You want to assert your independence
Even if you’re not going as a group, planning a costume just for yourself is still a good way to reaffirm your personal identity outside of your relationship. Try not to forget who you are and what makes you happy. Thompson says, “I think when you’re in a relationship, there are a lot of things that you compromise on to share with the other person, but that shouldn’t lead to surrendering your own identity.”
For her and her boyfriend, skipping the matching costumes was never really a point of discussion. “We both value our independence and have our own styles,” she adds. If you’ve had an idea for a costume for a few months now and it doesn’t require a partner, don’t feel bad about going for it anyway.
5. You don’t want to annoy your single friends
There’s nothing a single friend finds more nauseating than the PDA-heavy couple that shows up as Cinderella and Prince Charming (although, they’d probably be more accepting of Pam and Jim). Everyone’s here to have a good time and no one wants to have their nose rubbed in their singlehood. If you have a friend who’s still getting over a breakup or who hashtags every social media post with #foreveralone, you might want to consider his or her feelings before making a grand, arm-in-arm entrance with the firefighter to your Dalmatian.
When you’re in a relationship, there can be a lot of pressure to dress up in the cutest matching costumes with your SO (#doitforthegram), but that doesn’t mean you have to if you don’t want to. Your relationship is more important than the Instagram likes and if it’s simply not your or your SO’s cup of tea, that’s okay. Bennett says the important thing is to “be honest with your boyfriend or girlfriend and respect their opinions. You don’t need to prove anything about your relationship by choosing a couples costume.”
Even if the idea of matching costumes really excites you, it might not have the same effect on the other person. Kayleen Parra-Padron, a junior at Florida International University, and her boyfriend dress up in matching costumes every year. She says that after being Snow White for 18 straight years before meeting her boyfriend, she’d never go solo again. But even she admits, “If my boyfriend ever wants to dress up as something different, I wouldn’t mind. I’d be offended AF, but I’d understand.”
Choosing a Halloween costume should never come between you and your SO. Don’t be afraid to go solo this year!