How To Date A Comedian Without It Totally Sucking

Lauren Vinopal | March 3, 2016 - 4:30 pm

Whether it’s on a platonic or romantic level, we’re often attracted to people who make us laugh. And yet comedians have gotten a consistently bad reputation for bombing in relationships. If you’ve sat through even part of a comedy show, you’d know that comedians might be their own category of snowflakes, but they’re all still different. Being similarly sucky at relationships across the board would be one hell of a coincidence, if not a big generalization.

But that’s what a recent post on The Tab (not a satirical site) makes, describing dating a comic as more exhausting than caring for “small lap dog that is blind and can’t poop on its own.” Basically calling all comics needy, unsupportive, emotional vampires, the writers are referencing a very specific type of narcissist that exists in all professions. They may have had a bad experience with one who happened to do comedy, but that’s not what dating every comedian is like.

As a comedian who’s marrying another comedian, I’ve dated my fair share of non-comics and comics and have found the challenges to be more rewarding with the latter. Dating a comedian doesn’t have to suck and you don’t have to be a comedian to stick the landing. Like with most relationships, it’s not going to work if you expect it to be easy. That said, keep the following in mind when dating a comedian, and it wont be any harder than it has to be.

Have your own stuff going on

If they’re a full-time comedian, assume at a minimum that five nights a week are booked with work. And just because their job is at a place where you can show up and drink does not make it a date night. Not having as many nights with their undivided attention can be especially difficult to adjust to when you don’t realize that’s exactly what you signed up for. But embrace the independence that comes with giving them the space they need to pursue their goals, and work on your own. You guys can then compare notes over nooners and day-dates.

Have a sense of humor about yourself and everything else

The fear most people have about dating a comic is that they will make fun of you on stage, but it’s a little arrogant to assume that you’re gonna be their muse out of the gate. For most comedians in relationships, if they’re talking about you at all, it’s because they see you sticking around. Try to focus on that, because the only other option is taking a joke way too seriously. Regardless of style, most comedians will make fun of everything in their path as a way of connecting, and that’s what dating is all about.

That said, you don’t have to think everything they say is funny

Not every joke is a winner, so don’t feel obligated to be the cheerleader either. If they need more than that from a partner, then that’s on them to work out. Relationships are all about honesty, and you’re the one they trust to tell them when a bit is bad. They’ll probably still do it anyways, but they’ll also know you have their back.

Remember it’s not always about you (and that’s okay)

Being a comedian is a hard job that’s even harder to not bring home with you. They’re in a heightened state of elation and rejection that can make them seem super bi-polar. For many comics, having a loving partner outside of work (even if they work in comedy) means having someone to pull them out of that. In order to be that person, when their career is going really good or really bad, it’s never about you. When they’re hot, it’s easy to feel left behind. When they’re cold, it’s easy to get depressed. The best relationships are between to people who balance each other out. If you take pride in being able to do just that, they’ll likely have less problems for you to personalize.

If you’re also a comedian, they’ll never think you’re funnier than them

If you need this from a partner as a comedian, dating another comedian is not the place to get that. Your comedian partner is likely with you because they think you’re funny, and that should be enough. They’ll be proud of you and give you credit where credit is due, but at the end of the day, we all want to be the funniest person in the room. You can’t love someone and expect them to let go of that, especially if they aren’t asking you to do the same.

And it’s not always about them “being a comedian”

You’re not dating a comedian, you’re dating a person and you’re allowed to hold them to that standard. You don’t have to filter every relationship issue through the lens of “but they’re a comedian.” Comedy does not exempt anyone from being called out on their bullshit. Contrary to popular belief, few comedians are “always on.” They’re oftentimes off even on stage, because they’re human beings too. So treat them like that, and they’ll respond by being a person first.