Bonnie Siegler | Dear Bonnie

Judgmental in Jackson

Dear Bonnie,

I'm a graphic designer and I was just set up on a blind date with another designer. I haven't met him yet (the date is next week), but naturally have already Googled him extensively and quickly found his portfolio.

Here's the problem: I think his work is pretty bad. He's in his 30s, so the issue isn't that he's young and inexperienced. And the work isn't terrible, but it's clear that he and I have entirely different tastes.

Do you think I should still go on the date? Is it possible to be in a relationship with someone who, in my eyes, isn't as good as a designer as me and doesn't share my aesthetic sensibilities?

Judgmental in Jackson

Dear J.,

Go on the date.

You are asking an age-old question: can you fall in love with someone who is not your creative equal? And the age-old answer is: it depends. If you live and breathe graphic design and he does too, but your aesthetic stars don't align, I wouldn't want to be there when you choose a bedspread or, worse, a paint color.

If, however, design is only one of many things you or he loves and are passionate about, then you have a fighting chance. Maybe he'll learn from you and become a better designer. Maybe you'll learn why some of his projects look the way they do. And understand. Or maybe he's someone who can analyze and discuss design and offer amazing critiques of your work. So you could have a design partner, just not in the way you thought you would. But then again, nothing is ever the way you think it will be anyway.

Even if you're squirming uncomfortably as you read my potential outcomes, you should still go on the date. It's possible that in his heart of hearts he's a writer or an actor or a painter and is simply happy to have a creative job that pays the bills.

Like I said, though: if your work is your raison d'être (and his too) and you are both equally dedicated to what you do and neither of you understands the other's work, I can safely say this will probably not be a love connection.

But again, go on the date. You may make for strange bedfellows, but look at Harold and Maude.

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