Dating and blogging--a potential minefield of disaster. The Blogger team doesn't want its faithful correspondents in the blogosphere to be lonely, miserable geeks typing away in solitude on Saturday nights (not that there's anything wrong with that). So, in an ironic twist of fate, they've asked me to come up with a few tips to help you manage your love life as well as your blog life. So here we go.
Attracting A Mate
Peacocks flirt with an impressive display of colorful tailfeathers. Bloggers write about their passions, from politics and prose to games and gizmos. If you blog about what you love, you're bound to attract a reader who loves the same thing, and perhaps with a little coercion, he or she could come to love you as well. And, as an added bonus, they can't complain that they didn't know about your obsession with model trains beforehand.
Many blogs are focused on a specific topic (movies, books, model trains), and though few, if any, seem to be dedicated to finding their one true love, that is not reason to stop you from being the first. If, for instance, your goal is to win a date with Drew Barrymore, like the documentary filmmaker Brian Herzlinger, you can create a blog cataloging your Drew love and your attempts to win her heart. This may prove endearing to Drew (or some other hapless woman), and you may win her attention. Or her lawyer will slap you with a restraining order. It's a 50-50 proposition. Blogging, like love, requires risk. But if you prefer to chicken out, there are a few simple ways to make your blog slightly more anonymous.
If you want to use your blog to attract prospective suitors, it is best to simply be honest. The Redhead laid it all out explicitly: A 12-part list of what she was looking for in a man. On the list: "A big geek." Several months later, she met her current beau at a blogging convention.
If you want your love affair to make it into the annals of blogging history, it is important to point out that Blogger, and most search engines, have a long memory. When you meet someone outside of your personal blogosphere, chances are he or she will find your blog eventually. And what is written there is bound to shape their opinion of you--especially that post you wrote a year ago when you were drunk and you waxed rhapsodic about Star Trek fan fiction. As a blogger I stand behind what I write, but I also know the value of deleting the occasional post. If there are any skeletons lurking in your blogging closet, now may be the time for some spring cleaning.
Keeping Your Mate (And Your Blog)
Congratulations. You've found your soul mate and you want to live, love, and blog in harmony forever. The blogging gods smile upon you; happy that you've found that special someone. And they really, really don't want you to come crying to them when you get dumped because of something you wrote in your blog. Hopefully, these tips can prevent that from happening. And if they can't, don't call me either. Don't even try, my number's not listed.
Every relationship has a logical progression, and at some point during the relationship, you will have to tell your partner that you have a blog. If you don't admit it yourself, there will be an ugly incident with a search engine someday. Honesty is always the best policy (unless you're really, really sure that you can get away with lying).
Hopefully, while initially courting this person, you have refrained from saying anything negative about the relationship on your blog. However, if after your first date, you went home and blogged that this person was the most obnoxious human being you have ever had the misfortune to share a meal with, there may be a few things you want to change in your blog archives.
It is important to remember that while you may understand and love blogging, your partner may not. The ancient Egyptians were not unfounded in their terrible fear of inbreeding. Bloggers should by all means date non-bloggers. If you are dating a non-blogger, be gentle. Be patient. Explain the intricacies of the blogosphere to them. And if their eyes start rolling back in their heads, give them some espresso and forge ahead. Talk about how you blog and why you blog. And then come up with some guidelines for what is and isn't acceptable to share on your blog. He or she may not want you to use their real name. They may not want you to post pictures of them at that nude beach you visited last summer. These are reasonable requests, and it's important that you listen respectfully. Otherwise, you many end up alone and blogging on a Saturday night. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Jennifer Garrett is a blogger and writer living in Boston, MA.
Phillip E. Pascuzzo is a designer and illustrator living in New York.
Published: Thursday, February 12, 2004, 10:17