Four Reasons Why it’s a Bad Idea to Date an Artist

Relationships are hard. Relationships with artists are harder. Those who dabble in the arts tend to be the free-spirited, bold, passionate and mysterious types that many of us just can’t seem to resist. These traits are desirable; however, they can often be the recipe for disaster.

If the story of Van Gogh committing suicide (not before cutting off his own ear in an unstable fit of emotions) wasn’t enough to deter you from pursuing romantic relations with similar minded individuals who call themselves artists, then be sure to check out the following reasons why you should never expect an artist to paint you a beautiful picture of a happy romance.

Many artists are of the starving variety. By the age of 30, if an artist hasn’t gained enough success to make their art their day job and you claim a relationship with that person, then you could be expecting to have to forgo a few luxuries…or even dish out the dough to help support them. Should an artist have a separate job to pay the bills, most of the time it’s not a steady job they hold—and it’s often a job that is opposite of what they want to do, making them unhappy, thus having a negative impact on your relationship. So if your idea of a romantic date involves more than Ramen Noodles in a garage apartment that also plays the role of a workshop/studio/ stage…you might want to rethink your choice in partners.

Artistic couple gone-wrong example #1: Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas.
The biggest cause of divorce in the United States today is financial incompatibility. One prime example of financial incompatibility was the relationship between British author and poet, Lord Alfred Douglas, and the writer, Oscar Wilde. The intimate friends and lovers suffered a rocky relationship largely based on the fact that Oscar was making 100 times more than Lord Alfred and spoiled him throughout their time together.

These are serious factors that can lead to the demise of any relationship. However, it is important to take note that because artists are often the care-free type, many of them will take their care-free philosophy a litter too far…into the realm of drugs and alcohol. Since members of bands usually have illegal substances readily available to them on a regular basis you should be especially cautious of the musically artistic—drugs and alcohol have always come hand in hand with rock and roll.


Artistic couple gone-wrong example #2: Kurt Cobain & Courtney Love. After struggling through a relationship centered on heroin and other drugs, rocker Kurt Cobain’s life and marriage with fellow musician, Courtney Love, came to a tragic end when he committed suicide in 1994.

A lot of times artists will get into a zone and fixate on an idea until they create the masterpiece that they’ve built in their minds. This can lead to an artist throwing thoughtfulness and manners out the window, honing in only on themselves. Artists require lots of alone time to be creative. So if you are an individual who is overly needy and can’t imagine going so much as one day without getting a fix of your significant other, starting a relationship with an artist won’t be in your best interest.


Artistic couple gone-wrong example #3: Vincent Van Gogh and Margot Begemann.
In the autumn of 1884, the post-Impressionist painter, Vincent Van Gogh met Margot Begemann, a neighbor’s daughter who was ten years Van Gogh’s senior. Margot often joined him on his painting forays and fell in love. Van Gogh reciprocated—though less enthusiastically.

Since artists are known to be passionate, many of them want to spread that passion around. Artists constantly have to sell themselves when it comes to their work so with that need for approval and validation, they tend to like having their egos stroked whenever they can. Also, if your artistic other half has to travel for their shows and promote their talent on the road, the chance is heightened that they may find someone else in a lonely moment when you’re not there. Even if they are being completely faithful while away, it can be extremely difficult for many partners of artists to deal with the distance.

Artistic couple gone-wrong example #4: Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera.
The famous former duo comprised of prominent Mexican painters, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, experienced a tumultuous marriage marked by infidelity on both ends.

With the above reasons why it’s a bad idea to date an artist, of course, we are generalizing—there are artists out there who happen to have perfectly healthy and successful long-term relationships—they are the exceptions to the rule. But the next time you meet an artist who catches your eye…remember the reasons outlined and consider fleeing in the opposite direction.

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6 Comments

  • Now lets have an article about the awesome reasons to date an artist… :)

  • Great article! There’s a lot of truth to it. I’d like to read something on the flip side of dating an artist (especially one over 30).

  • Artists will love you like you have never been loved before… to the depths of your soul and beyond. And then, they break your heart. If you like roller coaster rides, this one’s for you.

  • It’s like living in a dream and you are the centre of the universe and then everything disintegrates right in front of you. Leaving you wondering what went wrong and sometimes it even made you feel foolish and worthless.

  • Interesting article, I do think it did generalize a bit, a personal experience? I do agree with a lot that’s said, and I am an artist, with a partner who fits me and my needs in a partner. I would be fine alone, you say beware of artists… it’s completely true, however the lifestyle is tempting, and it’s a gamble for those who want to be involved, with an artist can be an amazing adventure, or can become very toxic. I feel it’s equally as difficult for the artist as the partner, there is no victom, it’s like putting nice community fish with an agressive one, Oh well! Was that a good match? And of course this applies to every relationship, so it’s not artists, it’s just human beings. One thing is for sure, if you get with a successful artist, you are going to have a damn good time, and if you support, appreciate, enjoy, and receive respect back, it’s great. Unfortunately there are many artists who will never make it who think they will, it’s a gamble, take the risks and u win or lose, no ones fault or acomplishment but your own.

  • While there are bits of truth in this article, it seems to be an unfairly superficial generalization. I am a visual artist and my husband is a touring musician. We have a happy, healthy relationship – as do many of the artists and musicians we know. Since when are money troubles, alcohol/drugs, selfishness or infidelity exclusive to any group of people?

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