Well some of you may notice that time to time on my twitter (follow me, I’m close to 1000 followers)
I tweet to my girlfriend, oh yes romance is not quite dead contrary to some of your views. Anna is amazing, beautiful, and very supportive of my writing endeavors, but she’s not a writer. Now I know what you’re saying- “ah no! You can’t romanticize outside of the literary population”- well maybe you’re not saying that at all, but there is a significant hurdle in discussing let alone dating someone who doesn’t share the same interests as you. While this may keep the relationship engaging, it may be a shock to some of you at first.
Here’s some of my advice and observations:
1. Don’t Let it Hurt You
When Anna talks to me about lifetime movies or softball I could careless. Sure I engage; I listen, I reply, but I’m sure I don’t seem over the top excited. Sometimes I’ll be swelling with story ideas- I will tell her of wordplay I’ve concocted that i think is clever or funny passages. While she’s interested, I know she is not as enthused as I might be. Every person’s interests are different, and that’s what makes us human. If we were all the same and all were in love with the same things than creativity would be stifled and life would be a big boring mess. Know what I mean?
2. Give Them Time to Chew
Don’t just jam your stories down their throat and expect them to keep it down. Anna subscribes to my blog and reads my new posts. If I write a new story she’ll take her time reading it over (occasionally catching my spelling mistakes) and will tell me what she thinks. She especially likes my poetry when I do end up writing one I can have the guts to show to her. The key is that if she was in love with sports and I was queasy about it, I wouldn’t expect her to toss me a football everyday and expect me to run the ball. Patience is a virtue as the cliche goes.
3. No Competition
Last year when I attended the AWP conference in Chicago I noticed something: an intermingling of the writer folk. Tons of people had their significant other on panels beside them or in opposing panels( like literary here and science fiction there; eek!). Dating someone in the same craft may be a virtue, but can you really see yourselves with novels competing on the same lists? Maybe some would like that, but I like to separate my personal life from business (if writing is business after all). While this may seemed bias, I’ve also met some good people who genuinely love being together and writing together.
All in all love the one you’re with. Life is too short for fighting and sorrow. Peace and love man.
How do you deal with being involved with someone who’s not a writer?