(this one is influence by a conversation I had with a friend over Facebook. Don’t I lead such an interesting life?)
Despite the practical impossibilities of this concept (perhaps outside of Amanda Downum’s The Drowning City), I feel that going out with a ghost would be the best thing a person can do in terms of their romantic life.
Firstly, there’d be none of that ‘long-term’ relationship crap; they have no future to plan for, because they’re already dead. Because they won’t be asking you where you see them in five or ten years, you can get on with actually loving them in the immediate term. Also, they’re likely to be a very good Ghostfriend, as they’ve seen it all before, having lived a full life before they even met you, and even if they died young, they’ll have the sort of universal wisdom and understanding that the souls in Dante’s Divine Comedy do, and so they’ll be able to politely point out that no-one actually likes getting flowers on a date.
This experience can come in handy if it doesn’t work out between you two, as they would fit as the perfect Wingghost; even if you’re dating a spirit from a few centuries ago, human behaviour’s not really changed that much beyond the branding of the drinks we’re slowly poisoning ourselves with and the colours of the cloth we use to hide our genitals from each other.
While I dont want to try to codify ghost law or behaviour here, I will say that, for the purposes of this post, the ghost can become solid and tangible on demand; therefore, you don’t have to worry about trying to awkwardly brush your hand against theirs to pathetically ask to hold hands, as they can only interact with you physically when they are comfortable to do so – you’ll literally see when they want a hug, and so don’t have to sheepishly ask them for one.
This also empowers the ghost, as they’ll be able to determine when physical contact will take place – as they can become etherial if they don’t want it – and they need a bit of a morale boost, what with being dead and all.
The ghost’s ability to become ghostly can also help you sneak them into places they might not be allowed to go (as ghosts tend not to have ID), and they can vanish quickly if you’re caught making out where you shouldn’t really be making out – ultimately, the ghostliness of the ghost means they can hold you when they want to, but can be simultaneously totally secretive.
If you manage to take it further, and start a sexual relationship with the ghost, that’ll be great too: their lack of functional reproductive organs, but presence of them, means you can have sex with them without the necessity of contraceptives or the fear of an unwanted pregnancy, but it’ll still feel like sex with a real person. I think their virginity is also pretty flexible: if you’re into virgins, I think their lack of undead sex means they count as such, and if you’re not fussed, they’ve had a lifetime of screwing people that you can be not bothered by.
There is, sadly, no real chance of biological children with the ghost, but I’m sure etherial adoption would be okay in most places (because nowhere in the Bible does it say you can’t have kids with a ghost. Nowhere!).
But most importantly, your relationship would be totally unnatural, which fits in nicely with the image-driven and alcohol-soaked courtship routines our pathetic species indulges in these days, flying in the face of ‘traditional’ mating rituals based on determining who is a decent and enjoyable person to spend time with. Perhaps the sooner we start making out with ghosts, the better.