Can You Do What I Do?


I’ve always been kind of a nerd. You guys already know this about me. Most of what appeals to me in life is cerebral and carnal rather than physical. That’s the way I’ve always been. You would think then that my relationships would be with those artsy-fartsy Darius Lovehall type of dudes with whom I can sit around and discuss the relative merits of Ellison vs. Wright or the different cinematographic techniques used by Steven Soderbergh and Spike Lee. But you’d be wrong. And while two years ago I would say I’ve never been in a relationship with a man like that because none exist, nowadays I’ll tell you that I never wanted to.

I’ve always been wary of the idea of being in a relationship with man with whom I share a profession or a vocation. On the surface it seems like a great idea; if I could date an advertising executive he would understand without being told when I come home from a shitshow of a day wanting to stab someone. Advertising people understand the special type of stress that comes with the job. Or dating a blogger…seems like it would be amazing to have someone I could have “writing rooms” with, someone whose opinion I respect and who I trust enough to allow him to read what I write before I publish it. In theory these seem like ideal situations.

But what happens if both my advertising dude and I were pitching the same multimillion dollar account and I won and he didn’t? I know he should be happy for me, excited for me, supportive of my new crazy workload. But would he really be? Or take my fellow writer. I’m sure he’ll be a great and patient teacher if he feels his writing is better than mine, but what if it’s not? What if we both bring the ether on our respective blogs on the same day and his post gets 50 comments and mine gets 150 comments? Will he be happy for me? In theory he should be, but the reality is that we all – especially creative types – let our egos get in the way of being the best partner we can be sometimes.

So as I said, I’ve always preferred to be involved with men whose tastes and talents are quite different from mine. I’m a great athlete’s girlfriend; I understand the rules of most sports, cheer enthusiastically, and would never beat him if we were to play one on one. And because my tastes are so out of his realm I have no real expectation that he will understand them; all I ask is that he leave me be so I can get what I need done when I need to. I don’t like to feel competitive with the people I’m close to and I especially don’t like feeling that my partner is witholding his support because he’s jealous of my accomplishments. Which is why I’ve always skipped this.

Lately though I’ll admit that the idea of being involved with someone who does what I do is becoming more appealing. I’m beginning to wonder if my skill as a writer or talent as a media strategist would be strengthened by being in a relationship with someone who understands it personally. And more than that, I wonder what it would be like to have a partner who was proud of my accomplishments not just because he cares for me, but because he understands as well as I do what it took for me to acheive them.

What do you guys think? Would you want a partner who had the same job or the same talents as you do? Or do you prefer to keep them separate? Do you think dating someone who does what you do puts greater pressure on them to be understanding? Speak on it in the comments.

bag lady. digital nerd. beauty junkie. shoe whore. i'm a sucker for big words and box-fresh kicks. know a little bit about a lot of things and have something to say about everything.

Comments 13

  1. streetztalk says:

    I think that having a partner with similar interests can help more thasn hurt. They can relate, offer advice, and cheer you on, ideally. On the converse, you know if you’re witha hater, so them hatin shouldnt be a surprise.

  2. ivplay says:

    Just had this conversation with a friend and I think it is important to have the support of your significant other. This is a given but, to have them understand what it takes to do what you do is an even greater level of support. Strengthening b/c you know they know so the extra push is there to over achieve and accomplish more. It should be team work not competition. Working together to get to that next level.

  3. GP says:

    Wow… was just talking about this today. Met a guy a few weeks ago in the same field as I am (healthcare). It’s nice to talk to someone and use work lingo and not have to break everything down for him… he just gets it. But I wonder would get a little boring/repetitive… and like you said there’s the competition factor. Hmm… i don’t know but I’m liking the way its starting out

  4. I have to say that as much as I’ve romanticized about being with someone who shares my exact interests, which lend themselves to the artistic career path (fiction writing, photography, genealogy), I fear that competition would come into play. I’ve seen this play out in others’ relationships and it rarely works out because of bruised egos. It’s competitive because we as humans are always using someone else’s work to judge the quality of our own against. And when that benchmark is your partner’s it might create some tension, especially if they are succeeding and you aren’t. This mentor/mentee dynamic is particularly hard when the woman is the mentor. That being said, I would like to date someone who at the very least has an appreciation for the arts. I’m really sick of dating guys who have absolutely zero interest in words, art, or images. It’s like talking to an automaton. And usually I’m blind to these major incompatibilities AFTER I’ve been wooed. D@mn me.

  5. !BB! says:

    I always thought I would be great to date a fellow artist. But I found out,the hard way, that I do better with the opposite more focused organized type of guy. I need someone who can reel me in when I wander off somewhere. It all depends on the individual. Great Post!!!

  6. Nick@Nite says:

    I would say this is something that I haven’t thought about.. I’m not sure that I want my S/O to do what I do.. If I think about it, I might start to feel like he’s encroaching on every aspect of my life.. He has input in various other things, now he wants to talk to me about my work? If I think hard about it, I think I’ll start to feel like I couldn’t get any escape.
    But then again, it’s early and this argument might not be wholly formed..
    As long as he respects what I do, I don’t have a problem. The people I run across now will say condescending things about my blog, or not even support.. THAT’S what I have a problem with.
    I get the appeal of this train of thought though, because it would be nice to have someone understand the stress level when I’m looking for a blog topic at 11:59 pm. And truly be able to sympathize.. I totally agree with your ego comment. I don’t want to compete with my S/O. My ex was like that and it made him insecure. I can’t deal with that again.
    It’s not that big of a deal to me..

  7. Reecie says:

    I like the idea of separate talents and interests. The only thing I’ve had in common with every boyfriend I’ve ever had is music. DJs, musicians, singers, enthusiasts, etc but it wasn’t their JOB–as it isn’t mine. just an active interest. but careers? nah. Writingt too to a small extent, but also more like hobby. I like the fact that a guy does something different than I professionally, and I can see how being in the same field could cause some sort of competition, even if its not intended.

  8. CHeeKZ Money says:

    Nice topic. Real original.

    I don’t know if its better either way for say. I have heard celebrities make the arguement both ways.
    Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman: When you are dating somebody who is also in the business, there is no time for you.
    Will and Jada: “Dating someone who knows what you are going through helps with the expectations you have on your lover.

    I don’t think either is true. If you are dating a idiot, you are dating an idiot. Sorry, but what is so hard about putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. Unless you are in rocket science, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out a job.

    1. jessiejess says:

      “if you are dating an idiot, you are dating an idiot”

      been in a situation where when in his slump, i felt like i could not celebrate my success……(thumbs down)

      if you are the type that would like to discuss work with your partner, don’t date someone that is hyper sensitive to your set backs or accomplishments….
      jealousy is a green ugly monster…. boo.. ( thumbs down)

      1. Nick@Nite says:

        famous Nick quotes:
        “green don’t look good on you..”
        “jealousy is a disease, get well soon..”
        yeah.. he didn’t appreciate that…

  9. Sukez says:

    I liked this. I don’t know how I feel about dating someone who’s just like me/same profession. It would rock to be able to relate from time to time. But I support the idea of having someone with a completely diff occupation/talents because together we’d be …pretty damn cool. 🙂

    d^_^b Max!

  10. funms says:

    i don’t think i can date someone in the same profession, sure it may seem like they would understand me better, but i think it will be boring…
    i like different interests and career

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