The Life and Times of Dating a Journalistcsudhbulletin April 5, 2021 0 COMMENTS
Working and chill. Photo by Stefen Tran on Unsplash.
By Destiny Jackson, Arts & Entertainment Editor
As the great emo poet Pete Wentz wrote, “I’m alright in bed, but I’m better with a pen,” I couldn’t help but wonder if all journalists felt like this? Could it be possible that there were journalists who didn’t relate to this at all?
Maybe there were some who boasted about being great in bed, but worse with a pen? Or conversely, maybe there are overachievers out there who are just simply good at both sex and writing.
I find the latter hard to believe though, who has time for sex when you could be writing? (If you’re a staffer at Cosmopolitan please ignore this.) Or who has time for writing when you could be having sex?
As a perpetually single 28-year old freelancer, I checked in with some other journalists online, and found that dating is hard. But dating a journalist? Even harder.
At our best, we are knowledgeable people who can bring up a series of topics at the drop of a hat—even ones you didn’t ask for. At our worst, we respond to your texts a week late or fall asleep on the couch during movie-date night.
However, there’s plenty of successful journalist relationships out there and if you’re one of the brave souls trying to grab a reporter’s attention, here are some things you should probably know.
Bring us pictures of Spider-Man.
OK. This one is a little personal because I have a soft spot for Peter Parker.… But what I mean is the quickest way to a journalist’s heart is by conversation.
We love to talk and most of us overshare to a fault.
If you see your friendly, neighborhood journalist out in the wild—which is hard nowadays because the pandemic has claimed our local haunts—find out what our niche is. Does your journo-crush write about climate change and you just saw an article in Politico? Does your sleep-deprived scribe keep track of the hottest shows across all streaming platforms?
Bring a conversation to the table, we are so used to talking and pitching our ideas. It would be nice if someone else spoke to us for a change, bonus if it’s something we are also obsessed with. Being knowledgeable is a turn-on.
A Kingdom of Isolation (and it looks like messages won’t be seen)
We spend hours emailing, texting, slack-ing, reading, watching and checking social media. Basically, if you aren’t an editor or a rejection email (to which we can respond “no worries, I’ll circle back!!”) the odds of us replying back to you in a timely manner are slim.
Some journalists are really good at responding quickly to their friends or checking in on the group chat, but for the rest of us, we are most likely burned out and will reply when we get the bandwidth later.
It’s nothing personal, and when we do reply even if it’s with a “lol” just know we do care.
The first rule of dating a journalist is: be ready to defend your opinion. As journalists, we get paid (hopefully!) to voice our opinion about any number of things.
You liked the new Lana Del Rey album? Let’s talk about it.
You thought Todd Phillips’ “Joker” deserved to be nominated for the 2020 Oscar season? I’m sorry to hear that.
Being vague is also a no-go, you need to be willing to fight for your opinion, (and your life) if you disagree on the latest trending topic.
Be confident, be strong and be glad that you have a versatile, well-read partner that is ready to duke things out with you (playfully).
You’ll always be invited to a threesome (sort of).
Yeah, that’s right. Because nothing is kinkier than trying to spice things up in the bedroom by adding a few different partners and a couple of new toys. Luckily we journalists already know that.
To be clear, a bedroom is defined as a cramped, tiny workspace. Toys mentioned here are a laptop ring-light combo for zoom meetings and interviews. And partners in the plural sense … well you will essentially be dating what feels like a new person when their deadline comes around.
We are neurotic people, quadruple checking everything (and still finding mistakes), overthinking, overworked and over-caffeinated and under-slept.
We are slaves to our phones, computers and TVs always searching for content and trying to stay relevant. Regardless if it’s a special occasion, we are checking our email. Regardless if it’s a special occasion, we might have to cancel at the last minute for the sake of an assignment with a tight deadline or turnaround. Rainchecks are imminent.
Writing is a lonely occupation that can sometimes feel like getting the cold shoulder, but we need space to brainstorm and conceptualize a piece. We don’t have time to be social and try to put words on a page, but once we are done and fully exhausted from the process, it would be nice if we had a sympathetic and understanding partner that could turn into an endless snack machine, coffee I.V. drip, or memory foam mattress.