10 Things To Know About Dating A Creative Person, Because They'll Probably Borrow Your Napkin To Use As A Notebook
I think when someone’s creative, they’re creative in all facets of their life, not just writing or art or music or whatever their primary artistic passion may be. Personally, though I work as a writer (which takes plenty of creative effort, from words to word count), I’ve noticed that the creativity flows into other avenues of my life: the clothes I wear, the way my apartment is decorated, the types of parties I have (including the homemade invitations, food, and party favors), and so on. Creative significant others have done things like written and recorded songs for me and made clever greeting cards. Similarly, inventive friends have apartments that look like eclectic coffee shops, the walls adorned with cool art they created from curbside window panes.
Still others make one-of-a-kind gifts for people, like necklaces using the metal polar bear from a can of Coca-Cola. Back in November, residents of Buffalo, New York got creative, too, when their first snowstorm hit, making beer coolers from snow and snowmen dressed in safari-wear, complete with a tree branch arm sticking out, hitchhiking to Florida.
I’m sure you can relate to some of these examples, whether you’re the creative one or someone you know has the gene. All that said, there are pros and cons to every situation, and dating a creative person has plenty of both. Here are a few of them:
1. You can count on them to help you with, eh, creative things.
Whether you need to think of a clever gift for someone (like a clock made from an old Scrabble board for your Scrabble-loving mother) or need help rewriting a sentence or two in your cover letter, creative people can help. And will! They love a challenge! And they also cannot help it—it's in their DNA. Some people see a newspaper on the coffee table, others see a future piece of art (and will proceed to tear the newspaper up and mold it into something else).
2. Excuse them while they borrow your napkin... to use as a notebook.
Yes, oftentimes, whether your significant other is writing a book or a song, they'll need your napkin/receipt/hand to write down the line or lyric they'll forget if they don't. (And who wants to take that risk?)
3. Your friends, loved ones, and even strangers are intrigued with them and will give them 101 ideas.
They will suggest your significant other writes about anything and everything, whether it’s about them or something they said, from the mundane to the intriguing. They believe everything is material and they will turn into your personal publicist or agent. Their ideas range from, “This one time, I changed a flat tire. You should write about it!” to better ones, like a random acquaintance who suggested I write about my experience writing people's online dating profiles.
4. Alternatively, creative people (sometimes) scare others off.
On a first (online) date last year, when the guy, “Rick,” found out I write personal essays for various outlets, he got very quiet. Each time he did something—like drop his credit card when paying the bill or move his arm from the table to the booth—he'd get self-conscious, shift awkwardly and drum his fingers on his seat. Then, he'd say, “Are you going to write about this?” (No.) Ironically, he was a writer also.
5. They throw creative parties and events.
Anyone can have a birthday party or have their friends gather at a bar to buy them drinks (a concept I still don’t understand), but not just anyone has theme parties. Even if I cannot host a party at my place, I ask a friend if I can use theirs and then come up with an idea. Last year, I had a “Wear Your Favorite Wig!” party. Other times, I’ve had “Wear Library-Type Glasses,” “Wear a Fun Hat,” and Curious George-themed ones. Birthday or not, theme parties are great reasons to get people together and have fun in costume (or at least in a pink wig).
6. Sometimes, like anyone, they need alone time.
Like the mad scientist that's brewing underneath their creative exterior, sometimes the artistic person needs some space—to figure out that impossible-to-write scene, brainstorm a new idea, or just regroup and think of absolutely nothing. Though you can usually rely on them to help you out and think up something ingenious at the last minute, sometimes they may need to regroup before they get back to you. (It doesn't mean they love you any less.)
7. Creative Person + Creative Person = A Super-Creative Team
I know plenty of people who live by the "opposites attract" mantra and their relationships and friendships are healthy and great. However, I know others (like me), who prefer that their partners be on par with them, creatively speaking, or at least have sparks of out-of-the-box ideas sometimes. Make sure you know which camp you fall into, so you cannot get annoyed with your mate for not dreaming up clever hors d'oeuvres (like grapes on a skewer stick with mini chocolate chip eyes to form a caterpillar) on a moment's notice.
Creative Person + Creative Person or not, make sure you're supportive of one another first and foremost—i.e., if you're a non-creative person and don't get why your girlfriend or boyfriend is writing about (hypothetical) sex in outer space, it doesn't matter! Just smile and make dinner for the two of you, anyway, so she meets her deadline faster. (And then you can go have sex on Earth.)
8. Creative people have feelings, too.
Some of my creative friends purposely don't date fellow artistic people because they don't want to compete. It's not that they don't want input, but they feel it can interfere with the relationship. "Relationships are hard enough without getting his feedback on my art," my friend Taylor said. "I can't help but take it personally."
9. Creativity is not a competition.
If you’re creative and your friend or SO is, too, remember—it’s not a competition (unless you work together and are vying for the same promotion). Everyone does have their own path to success (whether "success" is about your career or upcoming birthday dinner party). Maybe you write scripts, he/she writes music. However, even if you both write books, think of dating a fellow creative person as a win-win (yet another ear to hear your voice) versus a win-lose.
10. They are creative behind closed doors, too.
Do I really need to explain? ;)