How to acknowledge two relationships in an "about me" blurb.
May 31, 2013 2:25 PM   Subscribe

I am going to publish an article in a magazine. I've been asked to send an "about me" blurb. I want to acnowledge my girlfriend as well as my long-term partner. Can't figure out the wording.

My girlfriend and I have been involved for about a year, and she means a lot to me although the relationship is long-distance. It feels...weird...to write an "about me" and leave her out. But I can't figure out how to include her! Right now I'm not 100% sure she wants to be included, but while I wait to hear back from her I'm puzzling about it, and even if she doesn't want to be included now, this could very well come up again.

Where to include the info? How to phrase it? Share your genius.

What I have so far looks something like this:

not that girl and her partner [name] have been together 20 years and have three boys, two dogs, six cats, four parrots, and two hamsters. not that girl blogs about [the subject of this article], homeschooling, Quakerism, and other things at notactualblogname.com.
posted by not that girl to Human Relations (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Is this an article about polyamory?

Write the blurb leaving out your partner and see how that looks.

not that girl and her girlfriend have been together for 1 year, albeit in a long distance relationship. etc....

Here's another way of doing it:

not that girl and her partner [name] have been together 20 years and have three boys, two dogs, six cats, four parrots, and two hamsters. not that girl spends her time with her girlfriend in Blah city and blogs about [the subject of this article], homeschooling, Quakerism, and other things at notactualblogname.com.

Honestly, it seems kind of weird. Unless you want to be completely out about being in two relationships, and you feel the need to really stress it, even in a magazine blurb.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:32 PM on May 31, 2013 [4 favorites]


K, so I'm poly, and I'm all for poly visibility, but honestly including a relatively short-term long-distance partnership in a blurb this short seems like TMI to me.

Definitely make sure that other_partner is down, since this may have the effect of outing her as poly to the casual Google searcher.

All that said, what about inserting something like this between sentences one and two:

"not that girl also treasures her connection with other_partner."
posted by ottereroticist at 2:33 PM on May 31, 2013 [15 favorites]


As a writer and reader it's a minor peeve of mine when people include their personal romantic info in about blurbs. If it was the acknowledgements section of a book it would be different, but it's just a magazine article. So I'd say "not that girl lives in X city. She blogs about...etc." Looks professional, avoids the whole problem. Obviously many, many people disagree, but that's my $0.02.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 2:34 PM on May 31, 2013 [124 favorites]


I'm 100% with DestinationUnknown. I take a strident feminist stance against defining myself by my relationships with other people in a professional setting. It's not relevant to why a reader should respect about my authority on the subject, and including it doesn't further my career or reputation, which is what those 'about me' blurbs are for.
posted by Andrhia at 2:37 PM on May 31, 2013 [28 favorites]


I keep coming up with something that centers you more. Like this:

"not that girl lives in [place- can be real or, idk, "harmony" or "controlled chaos" or whatever] with her three boys, two dogs, six cats, four parrots, two hamsters. She is often accompanied by adults [partner] and [girlfriend], which means the household maintains a proper 1:1 cat human ratio. not that girl blogs about [the subject of this article], homeschooling, Quakerism, and other things at notactualblogname.com."

My personal inclination would be to solve the problem by not mentioning EITHER partner, like some people mentioned above, but I place a lower priority on romantic relationships than most people do, so I understand that you want a solution that feels authentic to you.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 2:43 PM on May 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


Call me a traditionalist, but unless you're married or in some kind of permanent domestic partnership, you don't mention the other person in stuff like this. You want to minimize discussion of your "personal life" in a professional blurb, and the personal life that you do mention is limited to your immediate family.
posted by deanc at 2:44 PM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Mention no one. Let the article stand on its own. This is not the same as a book blurb.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:44 PM on May 31, 2013 [7 favorites]


"not that girl lives with her family in LOCATION and writes about TOPICS at BLOG ADDRESS." C'est tout.

Entirely regardless of relationship status, it sets my teeth on edge to get a roll call of partners, kids, pets, and hobbies with a magazine article -- it often strikes me as a bit cutesy and self-involved, and not particularly professional. Save it for your blog, your book, or your high school/college reunion biography.
posted by scody at 2:47 PM on May 31, 2013 [31 favorites]


Popping in to say thanks so far. There are some specific conditions that make sharing personal info not as weird as it would be if I were writing this for, say, Time magazine, and even some reasons why a little poly visibility in the specific community this is aimed at might actually be a goal. But I'm not wedded to it, and this kind of thinking-through is exactly what I was wanting help with, thanks.

Some great ideas for wording if we decide to go ahead with the TMI option.
posted by not that girl at 2:50 PM on May 31, 2013


People may continue to share ideas, but I am feeling very happy with my revised one-sentence blurb, which reads:

not that girl writes about [topic of article], homeschooling, adoption, Quakerism, and much more at notactualnameofblog.com

Sometimes it's just good to get out of your own head.
posted by not that girl at 2:58 PM on May 31, 2013 [33 favorites]


You can touch on it without being bald about it - not because boldness is bad, but because the phrasing is, as you've said, difficult to compose gracefully.

not that girl lives and loves online and in Small Town, State where she resides with her partner and their three boys, two dogs, six cats, four parrots, and two hamsters. not that girl blogs about [the subject of this article], homeschooling, Quakerism, and other things at notactualblogname.com.

I too would be cautious about putting a new relationship into my bio.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:01 PM on May 31, 2013


not that girl couldn't do it without [longtime partner's name], [girlfriend's name], and her three boys, two dogs, six cats, four parrots, and two hamsters.
posted by Houstonian at 3:03 PM on May 31, 2013 [6 favorites]


I think you're leaning more towards an acknowledgements than an about me, unless your long-distance girlfriend is a key, enduring part of your life who has supported you in your career.

If I were writing this to include two key partners, it might be [stuff about self] + with her partner X and her girlfriend Y.

But I think maybe "girlfriend" doesn't rise to the level of an "about me," unless the article is about relationships or issues related to them.
posted by zippy at 3:09 PM on May 31, 2013


I would include little or no information about relationship and family status. Scody's suggested language is excellent. If it's a situation where there is some reason to include information about children, partners, and girlfriends, in a departure from what would normally be included in such a blurb, and where poly status is something that should specifically be mentioned or disclosed, then I don't know that there's any good reason to state where your girlfriend lives, and I'd put something like:

"not that girl lives in LOCATION. She writes about TOPICS at BLOG ADDRESS and draws inspiration from her partner of 20 years, their children, her girlfriend, and [list of animals]."

I would mention the animals after the people.

But I'm not wedded to it

I see what you did there.

posted by The World Famous at 3:09 PM on May 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


Initially, it seemed like you were leaning more towards an awards show speech and less toward an About Me blurb. In your follow up here, it looks more like an About Me blurb.
posted by 2oh1 at 3:28 PM on May 31, 2013


The rules, in my view:

Article bio (which is what this is): don't mention relationships
Book 'about the author' paragraph: maybe mention relationships but probably not
Book acknowledgments section: go wild.
posted by oliverburkeman at 3:31 PM on May 31, 2013


It depends upon the publication. I work within an industry where blurbs tend to be (ahem) quirky, and I see all sorts of About Me sections.

You don't need to use the same bio every time you publish - you can tailor it to suit the article. I tend to use a the same skeleton bio and adjust it depending upon what I'm writing.

"Not That Girl lives on the East Coast and blog at notthatgirl.com"

can become

"Not That Girl is an astrophysicist by day and burlesque dancer by night. She lives on the East Coast with her two partners and three cats. Catch up with her double life at notthatgirl.com"

or

"Not That Girl work at the East Coast University as an Associate Professor in Astrophysics. She writes about popular science and public service at notthatgirl.com"

Try to match the About Me to your personality - and that doesn't need to include your personal relationship status unless you are specifically writing about relationships - as well as the publication. Also, you can be professional and off-beat, but make sure that you are not writing anything that might cause you problems with your day job. I'm pretty sure 'burlesque dancer' could be construed as problematic - would you being poly come back to bite you if you applied for jobs in two years' time? Twelve years' time?
posted by kariebookish at 3:49 PM on May 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


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