Why I Won’t Date A Man Who Writes

Know the original source? Let me know so I can reference it properly, please!

It was recently mentioned to me that I should date someone who lives in the realm of the concrete – someone into maths, science, or other such subjects to ensure I don’t have to mess around figuring out the hints and follies of someone who resides in an abstract world. Ah, the abstract world and the people who live within it … You know, people like me who wander about seemingly aimlessly and can’t ever really settlefor less than what their abstract imaginations promise …

A friend informed me that one of my favourite authors is married to another author. Two writers – both respected (not only by me) – married. To each other.

“They make quite the formidable pair,” she observed.

A formidable pair. The words still echo in my mind. They make me think about the possibility of dating a writer … We all know I’d like to date a man who reads, but I’m not sure I could date a man who writes. I mean, let’s really consider this for a moment …

A man who writes will know what I’m talking about when I refer to the Call to Adventure and probably won’t be impressed when I wistfully speak of the tropes of magic realism … he’ll join in the conversation and, knowing my luck, know much more than I. Jerk. And what if he’s a better writer? What if his stories are more interesting and his characters are more exciting and his novels sell more than mine?! What if he has the courage to finish a novel and release it to the public while I’m still drooling over the commas in my first chapter? Will dating a writer mean I have to be courageous, too?

A man who writes will be caught up with his own ideas and I’ll lose him regularly to bouts of inspiration that render him virtually unconscious at his desk. I’m not exactly oozing self-esteem and I’m not sure I have the self-confidence to compete with the possibility of regularly losing a man to his Muse … let’s face it, traditionally they’re very pretty and attractive, and all I have to offer is … hrm … A glass of wine, dear?

A man who writes understands the creative process. He understands my love for words and he will not disturb the pile of books beside my bed. I won’t have to explain why my hair hasn’t been brushed for a week or why I am angry with one of my characters and therefore slamming cupboard doors.

While these are all admirable qualities in a partner for a writer, who will bring me back to earth? Who will take me firmly by the shoulders and remind me I have to get a paying job of some description so the bills get paid? (The phrase: You’ll just have to suck it up, what else can you do? still pops into my head sometimes, said to me by a then-boyfriend when I announced I didn’t want to work a 9-5 job anymore.) Who will make me socialise with people and get me out of the house, away from my computer and my books? Who will actively work on making me more normal, less unpredictable, and able to exert moderate self-control when it comes to bed time and putting down that damn book? Who will try to change my carefree, creative ways and help me be a more stable, reliable member of the community?

When I tell a man who writes that characters appear in my dreams he won’t think I’m crazy, and he won’t laugh when I talk aloud to my Genius.

Oh, no! What about our Geniuses? Will they get along? While mine is happily painting on the walls in the corner, will his be barging through the house all loud and stompy? I like to think my Genius is quiet and constant – what if his is the exact opposite? Will my Genius be smothered? Will there be room for my Genius next to his?

A man who writes understands language. He will write me poetry that will make my mascara run and love letters that leave me in a trembling heap of gooey love. He’ll reveal the part of me that no one is supposed to know exists: I’m actually a terrible, hopeless romantic. How will I hide behind bitter cynicism when a man is reading me sonnets in perfect iambic pentameter?

A man who writes will know me. He will understand why I am writing furiously in the dark (because switching on the light is not an option when I’m absorbed in my work). He will understand why I want to be alone sometimes and he will leave me in my solitude, when I need it. He will also know when I need to drawn away from it, when it’s time for me to be part of the world again.

A man who writes will have his own creative moments, his own bright days and his own dark days. Am I strong enough to support him when he needs it? Will we both need too much from the other?

A man who writes will know what to do when I haven’t written for weeks (take me for a walk), and he will know to tread lightly when I am editing my own work (and bring tea). He will leave me to write, won’t disturb me when I read, and … then I won’t have an excuse not to be doing these things. I’ll have the support and encouragement from a person with whom I’m intimate, and what if I let him down? What if I’m still not good enough?

A man who writes knows how to express himself, and will expect me to do the same. No more bottling up emotions or shielding what I really think and feel – I’m going to have to lay my soul bare and … what if it’s not enough? A man who writes will see right through me and know me better than anyone else …

He will see me for who I really am, and that’s why I won’t date a man who writes.

In fact, it’s probably why I don’t date at all.

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27 comments on “Why I Won’t Date A Man Who Writes

  1. I’m not sure about men who write but I insist that they must be able to read and write proper English and know how to use grammar. I once dated a man who wasn’t able to keep up with my English. I knew it was time to end the relationship when he told me that I had begun to correct his speech the same way that I did my children.

    • Oh, dear … I have the same expectation. And I am somewhat annoyed when a man corrects my grammar or spelling (it happens – rarely – but it happens and I’m usually annoyed with myself for making the error more than anything) but he also becomes waaaaay more attractive.

      Mmmm … grammar …

  2. “He will see me for who I really am, and that’s why I won’t date a man who writes.

    In fact, it’s probably why I don’t date at all.”

    Your last two sentences say it all! Aahh, the dichotomy of life!

    • I’m so pleased you understand! I’m much safer in my little cave of solitude … but it gets terribly lonely when you’ve finished all your books and you’re waiting for the next delivery …

  3. Stef, there’s a lot to be said for both types of men. I always thought that I’d be with a person as creative and crazy as myself, but find I’m incredibly happy with a guy who is totally straight, has a head for finance rather than Tolstoy, and who admitted the other day to not knowing what a sonnet is. I think deep down I don’t want him to know more about writing than I do – I want to be the teacher, the one who writes – maybe it’s a weakness, but knowing we are good at different things and have knowledge about different subjects makes us work, because we are forever learning new things as opposed to being in competition. Thank you for this thoughtful post. Also, I often read the link you posted here awhile ago, “You should date an illiterate girl.” It’s one of my favourite things on the internet!

    • “You should date an illiterate girl” is one of my favourites, too!

      I’m glad you enjoyed this post … We creative-types have to remember that life happens – we are not planners (as much as we might try to be) and whatever happens, happens. Of course, this rationale is not applicable to all, but you know what I mean!

      Finance is fun. I like playing with my finances when I go into a bookstore and realise I have a choice between a paperback or dinner … Oh, who am I kidding? It’s never a choice!

  4. I know what you’re saying here and I understand the apprehension – but I think you might be expecting/anticipating too much.
    For example (and I’m not implying you should date me here):
    I’m a writer, I write comics, am on my second book and have dabbled in other mediums including freelance journalism. HOWEVER, I don’t write poetry, never have. I work a 9-5 because while I day-dream, I also am a bit of a realist. I haven’t always know what my significant others have been thinking and such, I’m smart and observant but NOT psychic. And while I may be smarter than most on certain topics, that does not apply to all fields of discussion.
    Do you see what I’m getting at here? While any writer you meet might fit many or even most of your assumptions here, it’ll be a real rare diamond in the rough (so to speak) who’d fit the whole lot which is the thing to be a wee bit afraid of for all your reasons above.
    Odds on that? Slim. Odds that you’ll meet that and not notice? Also slim. Between those two slims you’ve got an even slimmer scenario overall. So don’t discount it because as you’ve pointed out, there will be a lot of upsides as well.
    Besides, opposites attract so you might be more into one who is very unlike you and therefore will do the pushing-you-to-work and be disciplined or some such or the other. Or might not be a writer at all! Love/like/attractions funny that way.
    Cheers!

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comment. 🙂

      What I am intending to say is that my “fear” of dating anyone remotely close to understanding me for who I am, and accepting me because of that (not despite of), prevents me from “putting myself out there” – to writers or otherwise. I certainly do not expect to meet anyone who embodies the description I’ve detailed here, and if I ever do I really would not know what to do with myself!

  5. Let me guess: this whole scenario is playing out in your head on the first date.
    The guy across the table is miming questions to you, whilst your brain brings you back to the present moment. You realise he is actually saying something to you. And he says for the fourth time:

    “I said…how do you like your steak? Well done, medium or rare?”

    A thought – just a little thought…
    Put aside your rationale behind dating, and your men of choice and go out with someone for the hell of it – he doesn’t have to meet any of your criteria, actually preferably he would be someone you wouldn’t normally consider – just for the pure impulsive pleasure of it.
    Surrender yourself to the surprise of finding unexpected qualities in someone else in a mutual “getting to know you” session. He may not be “the one”, you may never want to see him again, or you may end up really good friends – but at least you’ve had a laugh and an evening out with someone completely new to you who you wouldn’t have considered – appropriate, your style or similarity. Who knows you may just stumble across someone you really want to see again and again!

    Scary – but worth it.

    Again just a thought. It was a very amusing psycho-analytical blog anyways 🙂 xx

    • I think this is why I’m more interested in making friends than dating – because meeting people I wouldn’t normally “date” is a far more pleasant experience than sitting down to a meal with someone and having a set idea of what I do/don’t want in a partner while having to decide how I want my steak cooked (which differs every time I order it, by the way).

      Thank you for the thought – I will keep it mind next time I spend time with someone for the pleasure of it, and not for the future I’ve made up in my head. 🙂

  6. Awesome post — just like your “Date A Man Who Reads” post, it feels like you’ve taken the thoughts from my head!

    (And reading the above comments, I also think that your lack-of-cat is a disgrace! Particularly because I am typing this while a certain cat is weaving around my ankles, trying the get my attention to play fetch with him. I love being a crazy cat lady.) 😀

  7. Oh, this is great. So interesting…and thought-provoking. I’m not sure what I would do or want. I think I would want someone who is different and yes, can “ground” me. But at the same time…I truthfully fear that such a man could never love me – I would be too much of a Dreamer, too much of a Wisher, too much of a Romanticist…I don’t think he’d be able to handle it. I can barely tolerate myself…

    • I think it takes courage to love, and even more courage to let yourself be loved – to accept that someone loves you for who you are, and to accept that you are worth it. Everyone can be loved if we are brave enough to let it happen, and if we have the confidence to love ourselves first.

      Keep being a dreamer and a wisher – the world needs people who can dream beautiful ideas into being and wish wonderful things to happen. 🙂

  8. Oh, sigh. I can relate to all this. Where to find someone that is introverted and creative enough to understand and appreciate the inner workings of a writer, and yet extroverted and grounded enough to take us out on non-writerly/non-editing/non-fantasyland, real life, outside-the-house adventures from time to time?

    I’ll let you know when I find where they’re all hiding.

    • Maybe we should date … hrm … chefs? A chef would be yummy. I mean, nice.

      I’d stick to cats but it’s hard to be a crazy cat lady when your cat is living in another country.

      • Indeed, that does present a few problems. A cat lady with no cats? Preposterous!

        I don’t think a chef would appreciate my fussy eating.

        I’m doomed!

    • Good thoughts, I hope? Or are you plotting how to kidnap men from the concrete world and trap them in an abstract one?! Now there’s a novel idea …

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