When you’re in the news biz, finding the right person to date can be a challenge in it of itself. Being able to find that one person who just “gets it”. They get that breaking news happens, they understand the late nights and sometimes random schedules you work, they see why you’re so tired and have to cancel plans last minute frequently, etc.
But when you do find the right person, you feel like you’ve hit the jackpot. Seriously, bless all the partners of newsies who wake up at 2 a.m. to make them breakfast before their morning shifts, the ones who don’t get upset when you have dinner plans at 6:30 that now have to be cancelled for the umpteenth time because you were called out to cover a fire, the ones who show up to your story interviews or shoots to help you carry your equipment if you’re one-man-banding it.
Finding someone who understands but is willing to stick it out is CHALLENGING. Most people don’t want to put up with the constant uncertainty in schedules and dates and time spent together. (Police, fire fighters, doctors, nurses all go through the same challenge as well, I suppose)
But for anyone who doesn’t understand what it’s like to date a newsie, here’s a little taste:
**These are all coming straight from my boyfriend as he sat next to me as I was writing the draft of this blog**
Last week, my boyfriend and I were trying to be cute for once and go out on a random ice cream date. And of course, we just HAD to drive by a breaking news robbery. So instead of getting ice cream and being in bed early, we ended up going Facebook live and sending back iPhone footage to my news station instead. WHY AM I THE WAY THAT I AM.
Sitting alone at a restaurant hoping the waiter doesn’t think you’re on your first date getting stood up.
This has happened an undesirable amount of times to my boyfriend. The plan is usually to meet up at a restaurant after work, had the reservations all made, etc. Every time, WITHOUT FAIL, the reservation needs to be cancelled. I’ll be at my desk, posting my story of the day to web, thinking I only have five more minutes until I can clock out when we hear sirens on the police scanner. I look around and crouch under my desk hoping someone else is in the room with me and my boss will send them instead, but of course not. LOL. Why would this NOT happen to me again. My poor boyfriend sits and waits like an hour for me to finally get there. Never complains. Bless him.
Covering breaking news in the middle of the date and having to bring the date along.
I would say I feel bad for my boyfriend, but I’m pretty sure he is more passionate about news than I am. He loves getting the inside scoop on what it’s like to be at a breaking news scene or helping me carry my equipment. I think his favorite part is rolling up with me in a news car and then he ends up getting recognized more than I do and he doesn’t even work in media. But for everyone else, I get this can get old real fast.
Not really being able to make plans ahead of time.
I can’t ever make plans or reservations like a normal person should be able to because I never know what my schedule is. It changes all the time so trying to make plans when a friend or my boyfriend asks me what are you doing on Friday in three weeks. I never have an answer. I could be working. I could be sleeping. I never know, regardless of the time or day. Plus if spot news happens and I’m on the clock, that will trump everything else. Thankfully my boyfriend is flexible enough to accept last minute planning, but others may not be able to handle that much unknown.
Working when not working.
I am always on the lookout for news articles of interest, newsworthy things on Facebook and Twitter, on the phone with other reporters or my bosses at my station, long past the hour that I clock out. Sometimes, for my own sanity, I just put my phone away and take a rest from work as I should, but other times I can’t help it. It definitely takes time away that I could be spending with my boyfriend, but he puts up with it and encourages me to do whatever it takes to succeed. But for someone else who works a regular job with regular hours, this does get annoying fast.
Dealing with secondhand fame.
I think I get more annoyed with this than he does, but this ties back in to him going with me to a story. He gets recognized more than I do sometimes, but he loves it. This isn’t really a downside lol.
Dating someone in the public eye.
My boyfriend thinks he has to stand awkwardly to the side when we are in public and I am recognized (granted, this doesn’t happen often). But for the newsies that get recognized more than others, it can get really agitating. Even going out with some of my own coworkers, I can’t carry on a conversation for more than a few minutes without someone coming up to them and wanting to take pictures or wanting to talk to them for the next 10 minutes. It takes away “us time” and people in the public don’t understand that, unfortunately. Yes, it is nice to be recognized sometimes, but when you can’t even hold a conversation with the people you really want to be hanging out with, it makes you wish you never went out and just stayed home for a movie night instead.
Being around “local celebrities” can be intimidating.
The first time my boyfriend went out with me and the other newsies in the area, he was so awkward. (Lol, sorry boo). These are people he sees on his television set every night and never seen before in the flesh. I get it, though. At my first internship when I was a sophomore in college, I was totally star-struck by working with the anchors I grew up watching my whole life. But when you get to know them, you realize they are human beings just like everyone else. They just have a job that’s a bit more in the spotlight than your own profession. I think especially once you realize how vulgar and ‘unprofessional’ we can be, the star-stuck thing fades quickly.
They are the center of conversations around your family.
“I saw Jamie on the news!” “How’s Jamie?” “What story did Jamie cover today?” “Where’s Jamie?”
My boyfriend says whenever he is around family and I’m not with him, the conversation, whenever directed towards him, centers around me and my job. Instead of asking “Hi, Cole, how are you? How was your day? What’s new with you”, it tends to be about me–or so he claims. But as previously mentioned, when you don’t know a newsie that well, the star-struck phase continues. It’s cool I guess, for a family to know their child is dating a “local celebrity” and people are curious about news and how it works. But when family starts asking more about your significant other than they do about you, it could get agitating and could make that person feel less important, which is not the way things should happen.
All in all, despite the downsides of dating a newsie (which, as you can tell there are some pretty big deal breakers if the wrong person gets involved), my boyfriend seems to stick around. And many other lucky newsies in the industry have been so fortunate to find someone to be with regardless of all the negatives that can come with the dating life. Cheers to the ones who just GET IT, and find that their love for you wins, no matter what the breaking news of the day is.