Advertising
Advertising

14 Things To Know Before Dating A Book Addict

14 Things To Know Before Dating A Book Addict

Book addicts have long lists of lovers. Of course, they’re not always real. Many of our crushes are fictional, but just because they only exist in books doesn’t mean we don’t love them and need them more than our flesh-and-blood partners. We’re definitely addicted, and just because our drug of choice is books, don’t think it’s not a powerful one. If you happen to fall for one of us, there are a few things you’ll need to know in order to make the relationship work.

1. True book addicts live in their own worlds. You’re just visiting.

That’s not entirely true. We like the real world and we like you in it—we just like our ever-changing fictional world better. Don’t be surprised if we bust out with some variation of “there’s a scene for that” when you’re talking about everyday life. Literally, there’s a scene in some book that mirrors your experience and we book addicts are happy to make the comparison. After all, it’s SO obvious.

“Oh, that same thing totally happened to Hazel Grace and Augustus, minus the whole prosthetic leg/oxygen tube getting in the way thing.”

2. The good news is we are the easiest people to shop for.

Unless you’re a complete idiot, you’ll never screw up birthdays or holidays again. We’re totally smitten with gift cards, as long as it’s not from Old Navy or Sephora. Not that there’s anything wrong with those cards, but you might as well feed our book addiction and make us happy. Go for a Barnes & Noble card or an Amazon card or any card that allows us to buy books. That way we’ll know that you “get us” and you’ve been paying attention. If you’re really good, you’ll look for that one book we talk about—there’s always one—, whether it’s the new one coming out or that first edition that’s been getting us so hot and bothered. Find THAT book and you just might get a gift back.

Advertising

3. Warning: We sniff books.

Get over it. It’s creepy, we know, but we’ll never, ever, stop. Books smell good. New ones, old ones, hardcover, paperback—doesn’t matter. They smell good and book addicts love the olfactory sensation. We’d rather smell books than food.

4. If you’re brave enough to see the movie version of a book, be prepared for the endless conversations afterwards.

Book addicts are notorious for hating the movie versions of books. We can’t help it. We’ve already made the movie in our heads—that’s how bookies read. We create scenes in our heads and directors just screw things up. Or they leave scenes out. Or they change scenes to make sure the movie lasts approximately one hour and forty five minutes. Don’t even get me started on the Twilight series. It’s hard enough dealing with actors who don’t live up to the characters you’ve built in your head. Just know that dating a book addict means seeing movies. Any book-to-movie date means signing up for a four-hour conversation about the differences between the book and the film. Good luck with that!

5. We won’t call you “Boo.”

That’s because we all know the original Boo is Boo Radley. If I have to explain further, you’d better not be dating a book addict or you’re in serious trouble.

6. You can never say that we have too many books.

Contrary to what it looks like—books on the floor, the side tables, the kitchen counter, the toilet—we don’t have too many books. We have a lack of shelves. Don’t ever make the mistake of saying, “You have too many books.” Instead, say this, “Honey, I noticed your wonderful collection of literature doesn’t have a proper display system. Can I fix that for you?”

Advertising

Can you say grand romantic gesture? Moves like this are always rewarded.

7. Make some room in your suitcase for our books.

We bring books on vacation because, let’s face it, the whole point of vacation is to relax and the best way to relax is to settle down with a great book. When we’re not busy reading, we like to explore new areas. Some of our favorite tourist stops are off-the-grid, locals-only bookstores. Who doesn’t want copies of The Hunger Games from four different countries in four different languages? Don’t forget to pick up an adorable new carryon for the newly acquired literary gems.

8. Don’t expect us to just walk by a bookstore.

It’s not in our nature. It’s not in our blood. It’s not within our self-control. Unless we’ve taken a heavy dose of anti-anxiety medications or have a serious case of love going on, we can’t walk by a bookstore without at least stopping to stare at the window display. Looking at new releases and best sellers is like charging our renewable batteries. It’s like smelling salts after fainting. It’s what chocolate is to a chocoholic. Yes, it’s that good. There’s only one thing better than stopping to look.

9. Breakfast at Barne’s & Noble is better than Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Bonus points for anyone who watches Breakfast at Tiffany’s with a significant other as part of a night of romance. Who can forget the moment that gorgeous Audrey Hepburn hops out of the cab in the rain to search for “cat,” or how you feel inside when you finally hear that meow?

Advertising

If you really want to rack up the points with your book-addicted lover, take them on an impromptu trip to the bookstore, but be willing to stick around for a while. There’s nothing better than hanging with someone who lets us get completely lost within aisles of books, wouldn’t dream of rushing us, and even points out the pretties in the store—by “pretties,” we’re ALWAYS referring to books. Don’t even think about pointing out pretty people. Ah, who are we kidding, we probably wouldn’t notice or care about any hotties in the bookstore anyway. Especially if said hot person was standing in front of something as amazing as, say, a new release of the Harry Potter series in which Harry is all grown-up—Seriously, just the thought of this makes us shake with anticipation.

Disclaimer: We would, however, care about you, because you’re our date and you thought enough to bring us to the Promised Land (otherwise known as “the bookstore”).

10. We’d go broke buying books.

Long-term savings plans are always squelched by our addiction. We can’t help it. Blame Goodreads or Twitter. Authors, publishers, and fellow addicts are enablers. They reel us in. We have access to covers, back covers, front pages, and taglines. We can participate in blog hops,  we can “talk” to authors, we can tweet publishers and editors—we’re practically authors. Heck, one click on your Amazon Prime account and and voilà! You’ve got a stack of books on your doorstep in two days. It’s the closest thing there is to magic. Book addicts would give up food if it meant buying more books. Priorities, people.

11. Do not dare to touch or rearrange our bookshelves.

This is our special place. Every book addict has their own method, but we all do it. We all arrange and rearrange the books on our shelves. It’s a constant effort because there is a constant influx of new property. Like little kids with their toys, we’ll know in an instant if one book’s been moved or misplaced. You can look. You can admire. You can’t touch, unless you ask (and even then…).

Advertising

12. Moving in with your book addict means moving books, books, and more books.

The good news is moving our furniture, clothes, and other belongings will be a piece of cake.

The bad news is once you think you’re done and you’re ready for that pizza and (insert drink of choice), we’ll inform you that there are about seventeen additional boxes of books you didn’t know even existed because you thought you already moved ALL the books. We’ll grin and promise some kind of reward for your efforts.

13. Speaking of moving, if space is limited in the new digs, don’t expect us to get rid of our books.

This isn’t even an option. Obviously, you’ll be expected to pare down your belongings to make room in the newly shared home. Seriously, what were you thinking?

14. Dating a book addict is an adventure.

That’s because at any given point we’re not who we say we are, not where we say we are, and not doing what we say we’re doing. We’re other characters, with other characters, in other parts of the world, or in completely other worlds, doing all kinds of magical, mythical, miraculous, or maniacal things. Okay, that’s not entirely true. We do live in the real world and we do enjoy real relationships. If you’re willing to live with our quirky bookish selves, we just might put you before any of our fictional crushes. And hey—that’s huge!

Featured photo credit: John Nakamura Remy via flickr.com

More by this author

Missy Mitchell

Author, Artist, Advocate

20 Things Parents of Critically Ill Children Want You To Know 15 Things Only People Living With A Health Problem Know 10 Things to Pack For Your Child’s Hospital Stay All About The Bass! 7 Amazing Things Happen When You Stop Worrying About Body Size 9 Things Only People With Migraines Would Understand

Trending in Communication

1 Why an Attitude of Gratitude Is Essential (And How to Develop It) 2 Procrastination Is a Matter of Emotion, Here’s How to Stop It 3 What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It) 4 How to Get Unstuck in Life and Live a More Fulfilling Life 5 What Will Happen When You Surround Yourself With Positive People?

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

Advertising

1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

Advertising

If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

Advertising

6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

Advertising

In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

Read Next