Writing about love and relationships has been so fulfilling in a number of ways. It’s produced the first two books of my career, it’s given me a better understanding of what it is I’m looking for, and it’s even helped a few people out there.
But, like anything, there are pitfalls.
Not one, not two, but three times over the last couple of weeks I’ve been asked some variation of, “Are you going to write about this?” while on a date. The first time I laughed. The second time I chuckled. The third time I faked a smile. And technically, with the posting of this blog, they were all right in their assumptions… kind of.
The misconception many — including some of my friends — have with my subject matter is that I go out looking for something to write. There’s this notion that the only reason I’m out with someone is specifically to write about it at a later date, and that’s just not the case.
I told one girl, “I write when something is on my mind. Whether it’s something that confuses me, angers me, or inspires me, I write when I think there’s something worth writing about.” I’ve never been on a date and thought to myself, “I’m totally writing about this later.”
Maybe this is a punishment of my own doing. No one forced me to write about love and relationships, and no one encouraged me to use real-life experiences in the content. My logic is that using actual events gives the material a personal feel, and that readers can connect better because it’s something that actually happened and it’s something that may have happened to them, as well.
I can’t fault any of these girls for asking the question. That’s not the gripe I have, per se. My dilemma is that since they have not read anything I’ve written, they don’t understand why I write. As much as I like to joke that I’m a male Carrie Bradshaw, I’m not a sex columnist. I don’t get paid to discuss love and relationships, regardless of the joy I get from it. I’m a sports reporter — that’s what pays my bills.
I write about love and relationships partially for the emotional release, but mostly to inform (and hopefully help) others. I’ll write the post about being ghosted because I think ghosting is a disrespectful and inconsiderate act; I’m not going to write a play-by-play recap of every date I go on.
Whenever I guest lecture at a college, a student almost always asks how I deal with writing an article that will be unflattering to a coach, player, or team. The simple response is always the same: “If you don’t want anything negative written about you, don’t break the rules.”
I feel like the same logic can be applied to my writing on love and relationships. I would feel incredibly uncomfortable writing something just to write it; but I would have no qualms about writing about being ghosted, lied to, cheated on, or anything else many would consider rude.
I’ve always been an overly-simplistic guy: I’ll treat you right, all I’m asking is that you do the same; I’ll respect you, all I’m asking is that you do the same; I’ll be honest with you, all I’m asking is that you do the same.
I’m not out with someone looking for the next blog post to write; I’m out with them because I want to have a great time. It really is that simple.