1. Always worry about your choices, for your wide mind and readiness for new experience can lead you to crummy places with crummy people.
2. Choose lovers who are also artists. If you marry, marry a pragmatist. If you divorce, remarry an artist.
3. Avoid the tiger and the rat.
4. Trust yourself. Do not take society’s portrayal of you as flaky or too weird to heart. If it smells like danger, then it is. If it smells delicious, it might be.
5. Accept that you look at the world differently than not-artists, this means that you will have to be flexible in arguments.
6. Some people can’t handle being with an artist. No matter how nice you are, this will not change. It will not always be immediately obvious.
7. Sometimes, even if it makes total sense and seems like it will work, it won’t. And other times, if it seems like it won’t work, it will. On this, trust your guts and your heart.
8. If you share a domicile, keep a place to work that has a door to close. Unless your partner is also an artist and you are involved in her process, do not involve her in yours. Do not ask for or trust her opinion of your work. She can’t be objective, and doing so is a recipe for resentment, and opens the temptation to make the relationship serve your work.
8 a. Keep your work separate from your relationship. If you create work about your partner, tell her, show her, and give her editorial authority. If she is uncomfortable, you must not use that material.
9. If your partner is the rare sort who can be objective about your work, do not ask for her opinion unless it won’t hurt your feelings if she says she does not like it. You do not get to ask then be hurt when she answers truthfully.
10. People love to be with artists because artists make stuff for their partners. Do that. It is nice and inexpensive.
11. Make sure your partner is all right with the financial weirdness of making a living as an artist, if that is how you do it.
12. Artists are especially possessed of a compulsion to introspect and self-criticize. Make sure your partner does not mistake this for exclusion, conspiracy, or malignant narcissism. It may help to talk her through your thought process.
13. It is wonderful to have the artist’s sensibility, to be able to see the world differently. People who can’t will want you to do it their way. People are especially prescriptive about love. Enjoy your artist’s purview for the gift it is, and don’t listen to them.