You know those ‘getting to know you’ chats, those dreaded, always awkward first date conversations that are limited by unfamiliarity, often falling victim to stifled Q&A sessions? Where did you grow up? Do you have any brothers and sisters? What do you do for fun? And eventually, you will come upon that unavoidable, quintessential question: what do you do? If by chance, this person admits to being a writer, think long and hard about going on another date. Or, at the very least, be aware of what you’re getting yourself into.
Dating a writer can either be a cruel card dealt out by fate’s unsympathetic hand or a complex game of wild card poker, although difficult to master, can leave you wading in metaphorical riches for the rest of your life. Regardless, it will be an often exciting and always unpredictable game.
Dating a writer means embracing the idea that almost everything is draped in symbolism. It means having to endure drawn out, sometimes incomprehensible metaphors, such as likening Chinese food to a respite for the soul, comparing drunken chats as way to cast light into Plato’s Cave and using almost every minor, passing detail as “a sign” of whatever they’re trying to convince you of.
Dating a writer means having to endure creative spins on their mistakes, flaws and fears. It means buying into their insistence that their angry tirades are a healthy expression of their ID and should therefore be embraced or having to accept their use of Buddha’s maxim of “the extinction of desire” as an excuse to turn down a request for oral sex. You should be aware of the clever turns of phrase they might wield to nullify your arguments, their keen ability to twist your words so that the meaning has completely changed and their unique skill of turning the tables so quickly in the light of their own mistakes that you will forget they committed any sin in the first place. Writers can be tricky like that.
Dating a writer means having to repeat yourself often. Writers are bad listeners and you will always be competing with the background noise of their thoughts, which are wild, rampant, and prone to racing at high velocities.
Dating a writer means having to quell the jealousies and irrational fears that arise when they disappear for hours on end. Resist the urge to send out a search team. All writers possess the rare ability to vanish for hours in a coffee shop or bookstore. Forgive them for not answering your text messages, BBM pings, phone calls and carrier pigeons. They were just in the middle of unloading an epiphany into their Moleskin.
Dating a writer means accepting the fact that every conversation, whether it be about World Peace or Heidi Klum’s gravity defiant cleavage, can become a story idea. It means that no relationship issue, whether it be your sexual shortcomings or your attachment to your mother, is off limits for their next piece. Dating a writer means knowing there is always a running commentary of your relationship somewhere, rich in detail and irony, whether it be on a hidden blog or in a ink-soaked journal hidden under their bed.
When you’re dating a writer, every moment, every seemingly insignificant milestone becomes imbued with meaning. There is no one better to watch a sunset with. While a less literary-inclined person might observe the sun setting and simply remark upon its beauty or the color of the sky, a writer will describe the scene with adjectives you’ve never heard spoken aloud, causing your heart to beat a little faster and your skull to open just a little bit wider. You will remember this sunset forever.
When you’re dating a writer, every important occasion will artfully unfold under their orchestration. Anniversaries, birthdays and holidays are intricately plotted in their minds months in advance. Every detail is attended to, the setting is always carefully chosen, each moment painstakingly constructed to bring you pleasure and happiness. There will be an arc to every instant, a thought behind every gesture and a climax for every circumstance. And though you may not fully comprehend the effort put forth, you will remember how special it all felt, how it somehow meant so much.
When you’re dating a writer, you will always feel beautiful under their gaze. Ex-lovers may have complimented you on your eyes or your strong shoulders or your breasts, but a writer who loves you will see an allure in you that you never knew existed. They will notice your perfectly formed clavicle, describe a splotchy birthmark as heart-shaped, tell you your freckles are like constellations they want to make wishes on, and admit to wishing they could burrow into the small of your back. They will unearth a world of charms you never knew you had and you will feel flawless in their eyes.
Dating a writer means every gesture is steeped in nuance. Life’s ups and downs becomes subtle undulations, every seemingly meaningless twist of fate becomes narrated and illustrated, a plot point of a story that is always unfolding, and you are one of its most colorful characters. The mundanity of everyday life regularly becomes illuminated and infused with with substance and unexpected passion.
Dating a writer can mean all of these things, or none of these things, but it will certainly mean this: grammatical critiques of your text messages.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.