Okay. So I was on facebook the other day (the way most stories start). And there, under someone’s name, was this article, written for women:
Now, many of you won’t want to read the article. And that is entirely justified, because it’s a load of crap. Evidence of this is surely reason #10:
“Comedians share their life stories with strangers every night. They’re good communicators and are willing to be vulnerable with others.”
All I could think while reading it was “Well, this just isn’t right” – not only because I myself do stand up (and as a lady I resent the assumption in this article that comedians are all men), but because I also date another (more successful than myself) stand up comedian. And all that reading this article made me think is that the person writing it either a) is a comedian who’s desperate to get a girlfriend, b) has wildly idealised the idea of dating a comedian, or c) has FUCK ALL idea of what they’re talking about. Because all of these reasons that this person puts forward are negatives as well as positives. And I can tell you, unless you know exactly what you’re getting into, no one in their right mind would ever want to date a comedian ever. And here, using e-harmony’s own 15 reasons, is why:
1. Comedians want to make people laugh. Pretty much to the detriment of every other aspect of their lives. They will try to make people laugh in ways that contravene all social boundaries. And they won’t care as long as it gets some form of laugh. Not to mention that 80 – 90% of the material that any comedian writes doesn’t go into their set. Because it’s rubbish. And that’s all the stuff that you’ll get.
2. Comedians see the humor in the otherwise unfunny stuff of life and can look at the same situation from different perspectives. This is related to Reason 1. There’s a reason most of this stuff is otherwise unfunny. And those different perspectives…? Most of them will involve sex and shit.
3. Your date will be the life of the party — at the party. And they will do it bloody well, though of course it will mean ignoring you. And then bitching at you all the way home about how they hated everyone at the party. Either that or they just won’t show up to the party. Even if they don’t have a gig.
4. At home, however, comedians are often introverted and sensitive. Your steady support will be very welcome. But thrown back in your face constantly. Unfortunately, in this instance, introverted means “like to be alone” and sensitive means “bitchy as fuck”. Both of these things can get horrendously tiring and annoying after about a week.
5. Comedians are usually following their dreams. You might be inspired to start following your own. Either that or realise that following one’s dreams doesn’t necessarily make one a good person or even a better person than they started out as. So many comedians would batter their own mothers to death for “progression”, let alone trample on other comedians to get where they want. Not to mention that, depending how crazy serious they are about following the dream that isn’t you, you may well be part of the things that are sacrificed.
6. Is “stand-up comedian” a lucrative job? Not always. But how many people can say that they’re doing what they love? That’s very admirable. I have no fault with this one. Though you might want to change “not always” to “hardly ever” and “admirable” to “insane and stupid”. Comedians start working for nothing, and even once they start getting paid it is not anywhere near equivalent to the work they put in. Get to used for paying for yourself on a date. And for your partner. On all of the dates.
7. Related: No one will accuse you of being a gold-digger. But if you’re also a comedian or have any desire to do anything even related to comedy, you will be accused of just sleeping around to get progression. No matter how long you’ve been together, you will always be the slut who fucked someone better than you for a break.
Not that I’m bitter.
8. Because of the unstable nature of their careers, comedians appreciate healthy, stable relationships to come home to. Again, I have not so much issue with this. But I will say that a healthy stable relationship is bloody difficult when you never know when your partner is going to be in/touring the country for weeks at a time/out every night for the next two weeks/around because there’s a dry spell so there’s no money to speak of and they’ll be sat in a corner crying….. all that.
9. Introverts, rejoice. Date a comedian and you’ll have most weekends to yourself! And most weeknights too, not gonna lie. And even when they’re in, they may well be doing all their admin (there’s a LOT of admin, especially if they also promote gigs), or writing material for the next gig. And trying it out on you in a way that they think is subtle. It won’t be. (“darling…. you know when you’re at the self service checkout?….)
10. Comedians share their life stories with strangers every night. They’re good communicators and are willing to be vulnerable with others. Ah here we are. My own personal “this is fucking ridiculous” example. Because yes, some comedians (SOME. NOT ALL. NOT EVEN MOST) share their life with strangers on a regular basis. But that doesn’t mean it’s not part greatly exaggerated, part wildly fictional, and all spectacularly well crafted, honed and practiced again and again and again. No one can be that spontaneously vulnerable and still come out funny or alive. And you can’t expect them to be on a one to one basis. There is freedom in being vulnerable with strangers. It means you don’t have to really communicate it to others, because you’re doing it in the form of a joke. And deflecting serious situations with a joke is not the definition of good communication in a relationship. Neither is doing it onstage, in front of strangers, through an amplification system. Just remember, Les Dawson and his mother-in-law got on really well in real life.
11. You can visit your date at work — and actually have fun while doing so. Only you might well not have fun. Especially if they’re starting out and are mainly working new act open mics in which half the comics are first timers, a fair percentage of them are shit, and the audience quality is variable. Also, it’s one thing seeing a gig where your other half does a really great job, whole other deal if they die on their arse. You’ll be the target of questions such as “I was actually alright wasn’t I? Some people laughed, surely?” and threats ranging anywhere from cancelling the next gig to suicide. Go see a famous comedian together for a date instead. Though even then you might not survive without hearing exactly why every single joke they did was funny/ not as funny as in the last show.
12. Your date will introduce you to plenty of interesting characters. Only some of whom they’ll actually like. The ones they don’t? Well you remember about the bitchy thing? Yeeeeeeah prepare yourself.
13. Your friends will think your significant other is hilarious. Related: Bragging about your date’s newest comedy routine will do him/her good. Actually, what people find funny is one of the most subjective things in the world. Some of your friends might (MIGHT) find your significant other hilarious. Some will almost certainly find them less funny than consumption and syphilis combined. And bragging about your date’s newest set will annoy all your friends and probably your date too because it’s not finished yet and as such, still a little bit shit.
14. Not every comedian exploits his personal life in his act. Most will outline boundaries with you. (Jerry Seinfeld doesn’t diss his wife on stage, and he’s done okay for himself.) Firstly, *his*act? Some of us are ladies you know, no matter how marvellous our moustaches. Secondly, unless you outline the boundaries, forget this one. If something funny enough to be a joke happens, it will become a joke whether you like it or not, if it is inkeeping with the set. And even if they don’t mention you, they might do material about their exes and say it is you. I know this because I do it. And the only reason I can get away with it is because my boyfriend is a comedian and knows that it is anything but personal. Real people don’t understand that once it is onstage, the personal just boils down, like everything else, to what will or won’t get a laugh.
15. A common love language for comedians? Words of affirmation. Build up your partner verbally, and you’ll likely be the recipient of praise, too. Just no. First, this will almost certainly contravene the “honesty in a relationship” thing that everyone’s so hot about these days. And a lot of comedians will understand that you might not like their material. Actually that’s a lie, but they really should.
So there you have it, fifteen solid reasons that you should never date a comedian. Though if you still want to give it a go, I wish you all the luck in the world, because you’re going to need it.