• Wed, Mar 14 2012

Should You Date An Actor?

It seems harsh to say that actors are the pariahs of the dating world, but let’s get real here for a second – at least here in L.A., among people who aren’t actors, the phrase “I would never date an actor” is kind of as common as “no thank you, I’m not eating bread.”

But is that fair? Are actors really that bad? I have to think that there are some people out there for whom an actor would make the ideal romantic partner. But who?

As much as nobody here likes generalizations, let’s find out the answer to that question by taking a look at some things that we can assume to be true about most thespians, and consider whether that would make them good dating partners, and if so, for whom.

For the sake of argument, let’s assume that we’re talking about working actors, because the question of whether you should date someone who wants to be an actor but is actually a waiter/bartender/valet/office manager is a different question entirely.

1. Actors are performers. Actors are among the few people in the world who enjoy being onstage, enjoy public speaking, and enjoy the spotlight. That means that at some point, you will have to share them with their audience, and during that time you will likely be left in the background for a while as they bask in the glory of their accomplishments.

This can be a good thing if you really don’t like the spotlight. If you’re a total introvert who gets lots of joy out of seeing other people succeed, this could mean the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

On the other hand, if you’re the type of person who likes to be the center of attention, you might think twice about sharing your thunder with a thespian.

2. Actors have vivid imaginations and play pretend for a living. Are you the type of person who loves cold, hard reason, and respects a man or woman who lives with their feet planted firmly on the ground? Do you enjoy conversations about facts, and does whimsy make your skin crawl? Is your own personal hell being proposed to in the middle of a bustling city square?

Then run, woman, run like mad in the opposite direction. Actors are creatives, and that means that at least some of the time they are given over to flights of fancy. They tend toward the quixotic and the ideal, and for a realist, it might feel like you’re constantly reigning in a child.

On the other hand, if you’re the type of realist who enjoys having your feet swept off terra firma by someone with a more romantic view of the world, or if you are also a creative who can’t imagine a life without fits of madness, then a man or woman of the stage might just be for you.

3. Some actors want to be famous. There are two ways this yearning for fame can go. In one scenario, your partner actually makes it big. The chances of that happening are slim to none, but let’s go with it. Realistically, at that point you’re probably going to be released from your duties as their love interest. Sure, there are some exceptions to this rule, but sister, even for the most tight-knit couples, overnight celebrity-dom presents a likely insurmountable obstacle (“take it from me,” she wheezed, inhaling a long drag of her menthol cigarette).

But hey, let’s say you do stay together. Suddenly you’re going to be a target for paparazzi too! You won’t be able to leave the house without make-up. Your body shape will scrutinized. If you’re too fat or too thin or even if you’re kind of perfect, people will mock you.

So if you like living vicariously and/or you kind of secretly want to be famous, or alternately, if you’re Camille Grammar, you should board this actor train just as soon as you can. But if you’re a more private person, please reconsider.

Now, let’s play it out to its other logical conclusion. Your partner tries to make it big for years and years and then realizes it’s not going to happen. You will have to be there to pick up the pieces. Does this appeal to you? No judgment. If you love the person, you’ll be there for them. But if you want someone with more reliable prospects, well…call me crazy, but acting isn’t exactly accounting as far as job security goes.

4. Actors deal in emotions for a living. Do you hate emotions? Are you afraid of yours? Are you afraid of other people’s? When you have an emotion, do you prefer to pretend it isn’t happening, or repress it, or deny it?

If so, there’s no reason for you to ever even think about dating an actor. The two of you would not last more than a month. Actors emote. That’s their job. If you hate emotions (and plenty of us do!) simply turn and walk the other way.

On the other hand, if you need help from a partner with expressing your emotions, or if you crave a safe space in a relationship to cry and scream and let it all out, an actor might be wonderfully suited to your needs.

The end!

Well, that’s it! Hopefully this little tutorial has helped you down your path of deciding whether or not to date an actor. We look forward to hearing what you decide.

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  • amanda

    Having recently broken up with an actor, this article is hilarious…
    But I think you missed three important points:
    1) Actors general have sizeable egos – you’d have to, to get into that business. So if you yourself have a strong personality and have type A tendencies you will always bump heads
    2) They never turn off! An actor is always acting…every time we’d go to dinner a story that would take a regular guy 5 minutes to tell would turn into a 30 minute monologue complete with tableaux …charming at first but it gets old fast
    3) For the plus column: generally good looking and great in bed! They’re incredibly passionate and always trying new things in their working life and that translates to the boudoir… I didn’t even know my legs could bend and twirl into certain positions ;)

  • NotThumper

    When I met my husband we were both actors and you’d think that would cause some problems but we never seemed to have any. I guess some of us know how to turn it on and off. For me the difference is huge. Who I am on stage is not even close to who I am in real life, and for him it was the same thing.
    Now neither one of us acts anymore, I’m a SAHM and he’s a lawyer.

    Ok, maybe one of us still acts… ;)

  • Zooey

    arguably if ur dating an actor u would want an attention, and if u dont want attention idk why you would go about dating someone famous, as this will lead to all kinds of unnecessary attention.

  • amanda

    @zoe um how about love? or like? or even lust? for many sane and sensible people you date someone for feelings and their career is a secondary factor you end up dealing with.

  • Megan

    This explains what sounds to me a very generalize and stereotyped way to describe relations with an actor. I am an actor, and i personally do not do or agree with all you state to be expected ina relationship. Yes, I live in LA but there is so much MORE to what you are saying! This is a vicious business and thick skin is required along eith insecure complexes of constant rejection…it can develop some ead butting issues if the partner doesnt understand. I believe it really depends on the individual…how they deal and build relationships…

    Not fair to be general about a professional group of people! Nice effort.

  • mia

    I used to work with a lot of actors and had a friend who was one. I found them narcissistic, irresponsible with money, and get a desperate look when they reach 30, which is the expiration date in the industry. At that point my ex-friend started to rant that actors are underappreciated and why is it most people with a straight job and spent the last ten years working hard should be paid so much money.

    I know that I’m generalizing but this has been my experience having worked in this particular industry as a non-actor.

  • carac

    I just broke up with a fairly well known actor. It was a nightmare. Kids on rehab, multiple divorces, crazy ex girlfriends, having to have his manager and spiritual adviser know every intimate detail about our relationship, mood swings, paranoia, creepy sexual habits, possible drug use….and on and on. I couldn’t handle the constant drama and stress and got out! Hollywood is a messed up and toxic place full of messed up and toxic people. If you meet an actor…run the other way!

  • Matt

    This is why you should never date an actor:
    http://FunnyOrDie.com/m/80c5

  • Daf

    For those who have dated one or two actors and decided they are now the reigning authority on actors’ personalities, I’ve got news for you. Most actors I know are regular people who have to be very pragmatic and sensible in order to survive. They may often be more cerebral or abstract than non-creatives, but please resist the temptation to pigeonhole and generalize all of them because you dated one that happened to be a narcissistic airhead.

  • Broadwhowrites

    This just assumes that all actors live in L.A., which is absurd. A lot of them live in London, New York, Vancouver, etc. As a writer, sure I’d date an actor. Maybe we could collaborate.