Sami Jankins helps to unravel the mysterious and elusive creative type.
I find myself very attracted to creative people – writers, musicians, artists, dancers, actors, etc. It doesn’t really matter what kind of creative venture they are involved in, but I find their passion to be a seductive and intriguing quality. I find the on-line dating profiles of creative people to resonate with me more than someone not creative. It may be slightly strange as I am not a creative type. Unfortunately, I won’t have that common ground to discuss with them. While I am intrigued, I’m also terrified I might somehow end up in some kind of Taylor Swift song (Which wouldn’t happen unless you know Taylor Swift. If so, can you set us up?). I’ve read articles saying that creative people operate a little differently. Do I even have a chance? How do I interact with someone creative without coming across as a creativity creeper?
Wanting to Date Taylor Swift (but not end up in a song)
Dear Wanting to Date Taylor Swift (but not end up in a song),
Do you have a chance with Taylor Swift? I don’t know her, but from articles on-line that I’ve read it seems she might have a boyfriend right now. I also do not have a connection available to me to arrange a date with her even if she were single. You like the creative types? I happen to know a lot of them. I get why someone creative might seem intriguing especially to someone who has never been involved in a creative endeavor before. It’s pretty much the same reason that I have things like cars and sports explained to me. It’s different and I don’t totally understand it. Different is always interesting. I don’t want to just rely upon my knowledge as a creative person, so I asked for some crowd-sourcing from my graduate school (talking about you, UCR-Palm Desert Low Residency MFA program) cohorts. May this article be grammatically correct as to not embarrass my professors and the head of the program who admitted me. We are not certified experts. We are just artsy people here to explain ourselves.
If you are on an on-line dating site, please do not ask to see the creative person’s work on the first message. What would be a better idea is to ask how they got involved in writing, painting, etc. That way you are showing interest in something they are clearly passionate about without seeming aggressive. Asking to see articles I’ve written without getting to know some basic things about me, feels similar to asking an owner of an apple orchard if they could send you a few apples to sample. I know, even to me this seems like a great idea but it probably isn’t.
A creative type may eventually ask you to read their work, go to their art gallery showing, see a performance they are in, or something similar to that. Be supportive. When someone is creative, they are living in a world of being judged and critiqued. We are used to tons of rejection. Creativity can often be a very personal thing. If someone is letting you into their personal world, know there is meaning to that. Do not be another critic unless asked.
It is important that you do not see a creative type’s dreams and goals as silly. Creative types often put a lot of time, energy, and discipline into their ventures. We know that not everyone makes it into a Broadway show, but it doesn’t mean the “try” is pointless. Our goals are important to the core of our being. If you want to date someone who is creative, encourage that we keep working towards our dreams. I believe across the board, no matter what your significant other does, you should be each other’s biggest supporters. A relationship shouldn’t add to negativity. I have a friend whose former significant other never showed up to a single gig he had. I couldn’t wrap my mind around why she wouldn’t have been there. Don’t be that significant other.
Whatever it takes for us to approach our craft in an effective way is what we will do. Sometimes this means disappearing for a few days. This is not to send the message out that dating someone creative means accepting inconsiderate behavior. If you know your creative significant other has a deadline to meet or an important event coming up, they may need to fully commit their focus to that. This might be a great time to make plans with friends or family! Don’t be afraid to send a random encouraging message at times. We may not be able to immediately reply back, but the thought is appreciated. Things can get very stressful when deadlines or gigs happen. Creativity can be a mental (and physical) marathon. It may take a bit to recover from producing art we are proud of. Find out what best suits your creative type when they are in an intense creative scenario. It could be as simple as something with Nutella…or cheese.
Will you end up as a part of their art? It is entirely possible. I never went on dates searching for material. Do not push your creative partner to write a romantic song for you. If it’s going to happen, it will organically happen. I’m extremely hesitant in writing about people I care about, even though often times my friends will tell me stories starting off with “you should totally use this as material in a screenplay.” Inspiration often comes from real life, but I also acknowledge that people surrounding creative people do not necessarily choose to live public lives or put themselves out there in the way that some of us do. You’re likely to be inspiration for something, even if it is a fictionalized version of you, but know that it is far less romantic than it is made out to be. It’s cool to be a muse, but never feel like just because you signed up to date or be in a relationship with someone creative that it means you signed up to be exploited.
***And now a tip from someone actually dating a creative person – my real life significant person.***
Accept and embrace their energy and ideas. Your creative person will get ideas at the most random of times, get excited by them, and blurt them out. The creative stream turns on all on its own, and the creative person will need an outlet. This doesn’t mean the creative person necessarily wants feedback. Sometimes it just helps to be a sounding board. (Sometimes dating a creative person means contributing to their art…like their dating column.)
I hope that helps you better understand what dating someone creative might be like. It’s no better than dating someone not-creative, but it can be exciting to be around the creative process. Always keep in mind that the goal is to date someone you enjoy being around and not to just date someone because of their unique profession.
Here’s for better dating days ahead,
Send your pressing questions for Sami to answer for Dating in the Digital Age to [email protected].