Dating is a pretty weird experience for everyone, but book-lovers have some pretty unique experiences in the dating world. For book-lovers, reading is freakishly high up on our priorities lists, and this kind of devotion to books means that a lot of the search for the right significant other will have to do with books.
That doesn’t mean that it’s impossible for a book-lover to date someone who doesn’t read, but it does mean that you might encounter some peculiar struggles, like have a hard time extending the conversation topic on a first or second date beyond books, or if you were in the middle of a really good book right before your date you’ll find yourself daydreaming about time-traveling wizards while he’s in the middle of telling you about his timeshare on Martha’s Vineyard.
It isn’t all neuroses and struggles though. There are some perks to dating while loving books. For one, all that reading you do gives you lots of insight into a wide variety of lives and stories and world experiences, so you’ll probably have an easier time than most relating to different people, which opens up your dating pool quite a bit! But more dates also means a greater likelihood you’ll run into some of these all-too-familiar book-lover dating experiences.
You Have To Try Really, Really Hard To Talk About Something Other Than Books
It’s a feat when you actually manage to ask two or three questions before you finally get to, “So what do you read?” But the fun doesn’t stop after your date’s listed his favorite books. Nope. You somehow manage to bring every single topic back to books. “Oh, that story about your mom’s work as a doctor totally reminds me of Love in the Time of Cholera when... “ “Oh really? You enjoy kayaking? Well, you know, um, there’s water and...um… boats in Moby-Dick…”
You Usually End Up At The Bookstore Post-Date
If the date went well, then your next stop is usually the bookstore (if the date went really well, you both ended up at the bookstore anyway!) to go and buy every single book he mentioned that you haven’t read already. If the date went badly… well, no better way to cheer yourself up than to do a little comfort book shopping.
You’re Actually Worried That He Said His Favorite Book Is Lolita
When the conversation turns to books is when things get tense. If doesn’t read, then you’ll start seriously considering when it’s time to wrap things up. If he does read, however, then it becomes a matter of *what* he reads. And you totally analyze the crap out of what his favorite books say about him as a person. “You’ve reread Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas how many times? So… exactly how often are you completely blitzed on a drug cocktail then?”
You Tell Your Friends All About Your Date In Purely Literary Terms...
“He was a little like a Mr. Rochester with a dash of Charles Bingley, but I’m worried because I think I’m more of a Catherine Earnshaw, so clearly I’ve got to try to find my Heathcliff!”
You’re Completely Thrown Off When Your Date Doesn’t Act Like A Literary Character
Books do this funny thing of making you feel like you have a superhuman understanding of the human psyche. Sure, books actually do make you more empathetic, but empathy and mind-reading are totally different things. You just can’t help it, though, all of that up-close-and-personal insight into the minds of different characters makes you feel like you just know what’s going on in people’s heads. So, it’s totally surprising when your date doesn’t act like a character out of a novel. Yep, hard to face it, but the real world doesn't actually work like a book.
Some Of Your Dates Turn Into Just A Long Listing Of Books
If you’re lucky enough to find another book-lover, you both basically just end up listing your favorite million books and authors back and forth to each other. “What about Vonnegut?” “Oh, me, too!” “Any thoughts on the Brontes?” “You haven’t read any Junot Díaz?!” And then you walk away with 500-plus books added to your already overflowing TBR pile.
You Get Way Too Personal... Way Too Fast
You spend most of your time reading about the intimate details of lives of characters in the books you read. So, when you’re faced with real, live humans, you have a hard time switching back to reality mode and getting to know someone slowly. Nope, instead you skip past the small talk and jump right into the, “What are your hopes and dreams and fears?” questions. You’ve definitely sent a few wallflowers running. Others actually appreciate the no-nonsense approach, though.
Sometimes You Arrive Early And Keep Your Copy Of The Feminine Mystique On The Table Just To Make Sure He’s Down With The Cause
Maybe it was the dude-bro looking picture on his profile. Or maybe you’re a little concerned about all that Bukowski listed in his “Favorite Books” section. Either way, just to be safe, you’re putting your cards (well, your book) quite literally on the table. And if he has some ridiculous nonsense to say about it, you’ll be out of there faster than he can say “mansplaining.”
You Have Actually Ended A Date Because He Said He Didn’t Like One Hundred Years of Solitude
Or whatever that book is for you that you just can’t understand someone not liking. It’s basically the instant death blow to any date. But, seriously, how can you be a human person and not love One Hundred Years of Solitude?
You’ve Actually Cancelled Dates Because You Just Had To Finish The Last 50 Pages...
Or because you’re in a state of shock and misery after finishing Deathly Hollows . Either way, if you tried to speak to another human right now, you’d probably come off looking a little crazed or completely distracted, anyway.
You Realize That How You Behave/Your Mood On A Date Completely Depends On What Book You’re Reading At The Time
This, of course, doesn’t hit you until your dates asks you if you’re British, and you realize that you’ve been talking like Pip from Great Expectations for the last hour... which is actually a major improvement from the last date when you started brooding about anti-materialism and trying to start fights with strangers after reading Fight Club...
You Try To Figure Out What Fictional Romance You And Your Date Would Be Most Like
Within seconds of meeting your date, you’re wondering whether this will be an love-him-hate-him Elizabeth and Darcy style romance, or something more like a slow-simmering Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley romance? If you’re as bad as the rest of the book-obsessed, you’re probably also making serious decisions between prospects based on these comparisons.
You Hear Yourself Sounding Kind Of Snobby, But You Just Can’t Stop Yourself
Anyone talking about books runs the risk of coming off as snobbish, but you, book obsessed as you are, take it to a whole new level. You just love books so much, so you sometimes find yourself going on and on and on about the multiple levels of complexity in The Sound and the Fury and how it all relates to motifs of time and death and… and you realized that you started sounding crazy and a little stuffy about three descriptions of motifs ago, but you just can’t stop yourself! But hey, if he’s not totally into your neurotic book obsession, he can just move along and make room for Mr. Write — er, I mean Right.