So you decided to go out with a dating blogger.
It’s OK. It happens to the best of us. A while back I decided to go out with a dating blogger in my city. We went on a few dates, and we’re now friends (on G-chat).
You might be thinking, “no way would I ever date a dating blogger.” Smart choice. But then one day there you are, on a date with a dating blogger. I’m just saying that they’re out there, these bloggers. And they didn’t have a guide like this when I needed it before (seriously, I Googled it, didn’t exist), so I’m about to arm you with the information you need to make it out alive, happy, relatively sane and just all-around not like this.
First and foremost: accept completely, without a shred of doubt, that in some way, shape or form you would become writing material. This is really important. You very likely won’t know in what way, or if it will be years later or the next day. If this idea is unsettling, for the love of God, just don’t go out with the person.
OK, so you’ve convinced yourself this is your opportunity to become someone’s muse, and you’ve totally always wanted to become a muse, so you went out with him/her. Also, it’s just a date! What’s next?
Be on your best behavior, especially at first. This person writes a blog. They are literally on the edge of their seat waiting for you to hand-feed them hilarious, click-worthy material. Don’t say or do something crazy or ridiculous on date number one. Or two. Or three, if it gets that far. They owe you nothing. Assume that anything you say or do can and will be used to indirectly humiliate you on the Internet.
Continue to read their blog as you did before meeting them. If you didn’t read it on the regular before, don’t then all of a sudden start reading it. But if you already read it, don’t stop reading it obsessively. If you’re losing your appetite every time a new post pops up in the morning, that is not fun. Don’t let someone and their blog ruin your bagel time.
Ask yourself if you’re OK with your relationship (if one developed) lacking even the tiniest shred of sacredness or secrecy. Most writers are strange beasts. They’ll sit down to have an actual conversation and break into a cold sweat, but put them in a room with their computer and they’ll type away every last intimate detail of their souls onto the Internet for public consumption and commentary. This will happen. You also need to be OK with the fact that you might learn what seems like some hidden gem of a detail about their past while talking to them, only to find out later it was blogged about two years prior, resulting in a string of seven comments, only two of which were spam. So basically, be cool with never feeling special.
Figure out if you like (or don’t like) this person for who they are, or for what they’ve written. To do this you really have to be in the moment when you’re with them. Some people have a lot of layers—and others don’t, they’re just really shallow and terrible. If you’re interested in this person, take a little time to see which category they fall under.
Don’t think you’re going to change them. I’m almost kind of paraphrasing Maya Angelou (never would have guessed she’d pop up in this post) when I say: when someone tells you who they are, believe them. Would you hang out with a food blogger and then be annoyed when they took pictures of their meal the whole time? If someone writes about being a commitment-phobe, they are a commitment-phobe. If someone blogs about being clingy, they are clingy. People change on their own terms and timeline. If you go into any relationship thinking you’re going to change someone, you’re setting yourself up for failure. The only difference here is that you could end up confirming that failure on the Internet.
Don’t let things get too physical unless you trust them. This is a tough one. Why do any of us trust any of us, really? I don’t know for sure, but perhaps it’s just a gut feeling. If they can’t look you in the eye and tell you they won’t post anything personal related to you, or you just don’t get a good feeling about how they answer your questions (you will ask many), immediately get out. Of the bed that you are having this conversation in. Because you didn’t take my advice.
Next time you’ll know better.