I’ve been a writer (professionally speaking) for a little over a year now, and it’s still a new and exciting experience almost every day. There are definitely some things about being a writer that my non-writer-friends will probably never understand, as well as some things about my non-writer-friends that I’ll probably never understand. (Like, you mean to tell me there are people who can get through life without writing things down in their planner first? I really can’t wrap my head around that one.)
No matter what the differences really are, I knew that there were differences in my dating life even before I started getting paid for the words I write. If you’re interested in someone who writes – whether for a living, or just as a hobby – there are 8 things you really, really need to know about dating a writer.
(Also, please note that when I say “writer”, I’m not just talking about the professionals here – writing is so much more than a job, it’s a way of life.)
1. We remember things. (Like, everything.)
Those who are drawn toward being writers tend to keep written records of everything. Personally, I’ve been marking down the days I have sex, in some way or another, since shortly after I turned 18. We can’t always explain why we feel compelled to write things down – but rest assured, if there’s anything we think might be important to us, it’s probably jotted down on a piece of paper somewhere. Probably inside of a really, really pretty notebook, because that’s just how most of us roll.
This is a great thing for you, because we’ll never forget your birthday or our anniversary. We probably also have a list of things that you enjoy, as well as some things you don’t like. It’s not all strawberries and sunshine, though – we’re also going to remember that time you got way too drunk and tried to kiss our roommate. Whatever you do, make sure your writer girlfriend doesn’t find out about you doing anything horrible to someone else – you might end up finding yourself in one of her villainous characters one day.
2. We can make you famous. (Or infamous!)
Okay, I’ll admit… As I wrote this, I immediately thought of the (in)famous Jenny Schecter and how she put all of her friends on blast in a very public way. I also can’t help but think of Jenna Hamilton from Awkward and how she’s unwittingly put her family and friends in the spotlight a time or two, too. Writers draw from life experience, so as soon as you enter her life, you’re already running the chance of ending up in a story or article.
Sometimes, this is awesome, because we have a way with words that can make you sound like the most awesome person ever. If your writer girlfriend writes romance novels and there’s this one special move that you invented… Well, it can easily find its way in. On the other hand, if you do something that really pisses her off, she might end up letting everyone know – and while she won’t use your name, the people who know both of you will definitely know it’s about you, and everyone else will just know that you’re the “bad guy” in the story.
3. We are great at listening.
To a writer, every single day gives an opportunity for new material. We listen to every word you say, and we’ve probably done thorough research into the subject you need help with – and, if not that, we at least know exactly where to find the information. If you’re looking advice, we’ve got the best around – we draw from every life experience we’ve ever had, read about, or seen. Most of the time, we can play through the whole situation and predict which one is most likely to lead to a resolution – and which one is just headed for disaster.
However, this advice and knowledge comes with a downside: We can’t turn it off. Don’t come to us with a problem if you just want to complain, because we will find our way to the solution whether you like it or not. We love listening to your stories, but we’re not going to keep re-reading the same sad pages, so make sure you’re actually trying to fix your problems, or we’ll both just end up frustrated.
4. We’re probably the most romantic girlfriends you’ll ever have.
I’ve heard it said that, in order to be a good writer, you have to be a good reader. It makes sense, too – if you can’t understand the complexities of the language, you can’t possibly craft beautiful things with it. You have to fully understand how to love before you can be loved. And writers have that type of loving relationship with all the things in the world – whether they are actively thinking about it or not.
You see, as writers, we have a very intimate and passionate relationship with all the little things in life. We can see the magic within a simple coffee cup, and see the possibilities that lie within an empty page. We look at something unfinished and don’t see it as something left to do, but rather as something we can still fix up. This also means that we prefer the thoughtful or intangible gifts – a writer would never be satisfied by frivolous trinkets. We don’t want your money, we want your love, and we won’t let you forget it!
5. We have a unique perspective of the world.
The creative mind is always skilled at seeing things from someone else’s point of view. We’re skilled at taking in every detail, and figuring out which ones are worth considering. Truth be told, all of the details come into play, at least to some degree, but there are definitely some that mean more than others. We have the skills necessary to take this jumble of details and ideas and turn it into something very real.
Unfortunately for you, once we’ve made up our mind about what’s important, what’s not, and what’s right or wrong, we are pretty sure of ourselves. We are confident, because we know we’ve taken everything into consideration. There’s pretty much no use arguing with a writer, because she’s probably (literally) written the book on exactly why you’re wrong. Trust me on this one – any writer worth mentioning has her code of ethics, and won’t stand behind her facts until after she’s totally verified them.
6. We are adventurous.
Your writer girlfriend is keen on new experiences, because she knows her writing depends on them. She’s totally into having sex in new and exciting places – even if it sometimes makes you nervous. That’s not to say she’s going to push you too far out of your comfort zone, but you definitely need to be a little open-minded. She’s known for bending the rules a little bit in order to get what she wants – good writing is about bending grammar rules to your will, after all, so why wouldn’t the rest of life work the same way?
This adventurous spirit, while wild and exciting, also means that she can get bored easily if she has to stay in the same place or situation for too long. She needs to spread her metaphorical wings and fly. She might even need you to remind her to keep her head out of the clouds, but that’s what you get for loving a dreamer!
7. We are patient.
Most people think that writing is all about finding the perfect words to put on the page. The truth is, you rarely find the right words the first time around – writing is all about rewriting. We struggle to find the right words, and we struggle to make the words fit together. Honestly, when you think about all the steps that actually go into writing something, it’s a miracle that anyone would choose to be a writer – and it’s probably more true that being a writer chooses us.
This patience that we learn through our craft teaches us how to be patient in the rest of our lives, and how to fit everything together so that it works for everyone. We’re used to working and reworking things, and we’re used to sacrificing in order to meet our greater vision. The downside is that we’re going to expect that patience from you, too, and if you aren’t able to give it to us… Well… We had to fight for what we deserved in the writing world, but we’re sure not going to take the same from a partner.
8. We don’t really do the whole “goodbye” thing.
When you love a writer, you’re going to find out quickly that the things she writes have a tendency of sticking. Her words will live on much longer than she will, and you can bet that the words on the page will bring you closer to her. It’s never “goodbye” with a writer. Once she’s written about you, you’ve become one of her characters, and you’ll always be a part of her world.
The flip side is that you won’t ever truly be rid of her, either. The words she writes will be around long after she’s gone. This means that she’s not going to take down the blog posts she’s written about you, or suddenly cancel her publishing contract just because things went wrong with you. Good luck forgetting the woman who’s already written you into her memoirs.