I met up at the EVO conference with several members of Babble Voices. We were discussing what is and isn’t acceptable to post here on Babble, and I threw dating out there as an example to discuss.
“Yes! Definitely!” everyone at the table chimed in almost at once. Then they started telling me all the reasons it fits, all the things they could do with said posts, and how they all think I should definitely without a doubt discuss dating dynamics here on this blog.
It’s not that easy. I’ve learned that over the past couple years over on Single Dad Laughing.
I mean, how does one really blog about dating? So far it’s only gotten me in trouble. Here’s what I’ve tried so far.
1) Wait to blog about a relationship until it’s pretty solid.
2) Blog about a relationship as it is budding.
3) Blog about a relationship after it has ended.
4) Don’t blog about my current relationships at all, but only about the dates that didn’t go well.
Let’s look at how each of those have gone for me so far.
1) When I’ve waited to blog about a relationship until it’s pretty solid, it has backfired on me in a couple ways. First, when you’re a blogger for a living and you’re blogging about your life, I’ve found that women start to feel like you don’t like them as much as you actually do since you’re “keeping them a secret.” I’ve even had one woman wonder if I was playing the field and therefore don’t mention anybody for fear of getting busted.
All that aside, the hardest thing about doing it this way is that A) I don’t get to tell a lot of fun stories that happen in my dating life, and B) so far, the relationships have ended shortly after I finally did mention them on my blog. This in turn has left more than a few readers believing that I was jumping in and out of things very quickly, which simply wasn’t the case.
2) When I’ve blogged about a budding relationship, it has proven a few different things. A) Almost always, my readers get attached to the budding relationship as if it’s straight-up love and commitment. B) It has made dating other women harder when I’m not yet in a committed relationship with someone. For obvious reasons. And C) it has brought about such weird dynamics in the relationships themselves in that it often prevents us from having a truly authentic dating experience.
3) I’ve blogged about a couple different relationships after they’ve ended. My feelings about them. Introspection about what I could have done differently. I’ve talked about my heart break. My emotions. How it left me.
When the relationships ended and I did talk about them, I also hurt those whom I talked about. Not because I said anything harsh, but because it was crossing a personal line to them in such a public place.
4) Sometimes I just blog about dating, and the funniness that it often is. Every once in a great while, I blog about a date I’ve been on and some of the dynamics of that date. I always wait to post these until LONG after the dates are over and I never use names. But it doesn’t matter. Without fail, I have readers who love it, laugh at it, and appreciate it, and I have readers who chew me out for hurting and damaging the reputation of whoever it is I wrote about. Even though I never name names, they fear that said woman is reading and is going to be crushed.
And so, even though dating is a colossal part of my life, it doesn’t get a whole lot of real estate on my blog. In fact, I’ve only categorized 30 posts under “The Dating Life” at all, many of which are generic humor pieces.
And so begs the question. When you have a widely-read blog like I have, and it’s very public, and it is your living… is there really a place to blog about your dating life at all?
Week by week, I’m still trying to figure that out.
Where do the boundaries lie?
If every woman I date knows that I’m a blogger, should it all be fair game? If I discuss with women at the beginning that I’m a blogger, that I blog about personal things, and that I chronically over-share, should it then be fair game since I’ve given them fair warning? Or should I still be ultra-sensitive about what I post, how it will affect everyone involved, and how it will affect our relationship?
I don’t know. I really don’t. What I do know is that blogging adds interesting and sometimes tough dynamics into any budding, established, or past relationship. Sometimes a person who thinks they’re okay being blogged about learns that it’s not fun to be scrutinized, and it’s not fun when their own friends or family members tune in. They learn that there are some things they’d like left private. And they learn that not every comment or every response is positive and encouraging.
It takes a certain type of person to be a blogger. Maybe it just takes finding that same type of person to date. I guess only time will tell.
Until then, I’ll just take it one relationship at a time.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
PS. What are your thoughts on dating and blogging? I’d especially love to hear from any other single parent bloggers.