Why so many dating bloggers are single, according to The Good Men Project

There were one or two very Good Men that I lost by spread eagling myself on the a blog. I said what so many bloggers say. “The right person will understand and support my writing.” Not so oddly enough, that guy never seemed to appear. I had met a lot of men during this time. Most punched out the minute they were discussed on my blog. I had actually deluded myself into believing that they either would never read it or, get this, be flattered. The ones that did get a vicarious thrill from being mentioned on a popular blog stayed around far longer than they should, compounding my dependency on oversharing.

From, “There’s a Reason Why So Many Dating Bloggers Are Single.”

Yikes.

I’ve been meaning to address this for awhile, even though I write about relationships, dating, single life and all manner of personal topics…and I also wouldn’t classify myself as a dating blogger. (Maybe I’m deluding myself there.)

In case it matters, I’ve been keeping a journal since 1992. (No, I won’t tell you where I keep it.)  I highly recommend keeping a journal, especially for folks who want to express their angst, displeasure or generally NSFW ideas somewhere where Google can’t keep it against your will. I put all of my errant, private, not-for-public-consumption thoughts there. This is particularly useful in an age when everyone can say whatever they want on social media but even if you delete it, the Library of Congress might be archiving it.

I write about relationships that have happened in the distant past, as I did recently at GOOD.  I don’t name names. A writer once said all writers sell out their friends and lovers, but I don’t write to settle scores. I simply can’t not write — so I try to find ways to continue with my writing habit.

I thought of this when a writer I admire suggested it would be important to create boundaries for myself, in terms of topics I should and maybe shouldn’t write about. She was not aware that I’ve been writing deeply personal stories about my life since I was 19 years old. That ended up being a good thing, because it made me think about how to write about something as personal as living a happy single life without spread eagling myself and my soul all over the Internets.

So, in the interest of clarifying for myself and for my potential paramours and for my wonderful followers, I have crafted a kind of manifesto. It essentially is an old phrase — do no harm. In my attempt to write authentically about the odd ways our culture alienates a growing segment of the population for living alone or living adventurous single lives, I will not write about relationships in progress. Something must be sacred, and as a spiritual person, my evolving religious beliefs are too close to the core of my existence — so none of that, either.

I wonder what others who write about relationships or personal stuff think about the idea of oversharing — the best writing, after all, cuts close to the bone. You can’t get there from withholding.

7 thoughts on “Why so many dating bloggers are single, according to The Good Men Project

  1. I think about this a lot (and apologize in advance for comment hijacking. I hate it when people do that.)

    My blog is not personal per se: I have a publisher and I Get Paid enough to warrant the capital letters in theory if not in practice,

    I was hired as a Professional Fat Girl to write about plus-size fashion but over the years it’s morphed into a personality-driven blog and readers are far more interested in reading about my latest romance than hearing me wax wroth about the heartbreak of Chanel and chafed thighs.

    Big personalities attract big personalities, so my history is strewn with interesting characters: The French Chef who proposed in his Times Square Penthouse and sent me a Birkin as an apology when I discovered he had more wives than I consider personally ideal, The Older Man who dumped me for an East German Amnesiac who couldn’t remember her name, the Bulgarian champion athlete who was convinced for no discernible reason I’d be kidnapped by the Albanian Mafia (I tried to explain to him that fat girls are harder to kidnap so I’d be safe until ransoms were set by kilo, but he was having none of it), The Scottish Rugby Player who thought I was a man when I wouldn’t put out because he went to a Bangkok disco as a teenager, met a girl and had a Very Nasty Shock.

    The list goes on.

    Lord knows I’m going to milk those stories for everything they’re worth someday, but when I’m in a relationship, or even more-than-casually dating, I have a set of rules about talking about any guy who has access to my both my bra straps and my good towels.

    Always use a nickname.The French Chef, The Bulgarian, one of the professional footballers was Soccer Boy and Esau, my long term partner and the only man I’ve ever considered letting frogmarch me down the aisle, is Hot Latin Boy. Vaguely flattering is fine. Neutral is better.

    No TMI. No one needs to know what part of whose anatomy makes a physiologically astounding right turn thanks to a second grade bike accident or who, in their moment of Extreme Pantsless Joy, looks like an epileptic turtle and makes stranged Road Runner sounds before passing out.

    Until we’ve broken up.

    No identifying information –for safety as much as anything since I have a fair number of whackadoos who’ve been following me since my Austin360 days– and absolutely no photos unless vetted and approved by the fella in question.

    I never make him look bad (if we’re still together) and if I’m upset about something, I don’t use it for comic relief on the blog unless we’ve moved past it as a couple.

    If I’m telling a story about how Esau “helpfully” rearranged the cheeses in my custom-made and imported-at-great-expense French cheese cage so the celestially subtle Emmentaler was cheek to moldy jowl with my most resplendently rank cave-aged specimens thus making every dairy product in the house regardless of age or stature taste like feet, I don’t even mention a name. I’ll hint, but only if it’s something that we’ve talked about before and is not a sore subject. If we have a problem, he finds out about it from me, not Google News Reader.

    I make him the hero, if possible.

    I am, as a rule, against fawning, but when I have the choice between telling a story where I’m the butt of the joke –like when I thought Esau wanted to borrow my SUV to transport 30 live seabirds instead of 30 blooming plants (in Spanish, “alcatraz” means albatross, which I knew; and calla lily, which I didn’t)– or telling a story where he committed another domestic atrocity along the lines of the cheese incident, I’ll go for the former. I think of it as a good will gesture towards the relationship, especially because I have no desire to perpetuate that equal-opportunity-hateful trope where a modern couple is comprised of a harried, critical wife and a long-suffering manchild husband. Save that nonsense for the WB.

    My blog is a job and my job is to entertain and I’ve been doing it so long these rules, and the various other ones I have about family, sex, etc., just become part of my self-created House Style. I’m not sure how I’d do it on a personal blog, but I’m interested in hearing anyone else’s experience.

    • First, Rhiannon, that’s one of the most fantastic comments I’ve ever read on this blog or any other. So you can always hijack my posts. I give you carte blanche! For now and evermore.

      I think those are really good points: don’t shame anyone unless you’ve broken up and even then, find vague identifiers in the place of names. I don’t use names, I never will. I like your expression in all of your post, but specifically, no naming the guys with access to your bra straps and good towels. I have made the mistake of fawning over a guy, briefly, in a guest post, but that was a while ago and before this blog. Like you, I think it’s better to leave the focus on me, since I’m the big personality behind this blog and the other person just happened to get involved with a writerly type – but they shouldn’t have to pay with infamy for it.

  2. Pingback: Top Posts in April: Standardized Tests, Recommended Reading & Single lady blogging | Single & Happy

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