Guest Post: Why Every Blogger Should Have A Non-Blogger Spouse

2010 January 6
by Grace Boyle

This post is part of the Guest Blog Grand Tour over at Life Without Pants – an epic journey of over 75 guest posts. Want to learn more about Matt Cheuvront & see how far the rabbit hole goes? Subscribe to the Life Without Pants RSS feed & follow him on Twitter to keep in touch!

I don’t spend a ton of time writing about relationships over on my blog – at least not the romantic type. But leave it to Grace and Small Hands, Big Ideas to bring out the softer side of Matt Chevy.

When I think back to the past year of my life, the center of almost every decision I’ve made has been my fiancé and soon to be wife, Lierin. Getting engaged back in May, moving up to Chicago in June, getting our first place together in August, and now planning our wedding in May of 2010. We’ve been together for almost 5 years now and through it all, she’s been the one person I can and have always turned to when I needed (and even when I think I didn’t need) support.

I’ve seen a common trend among us Social Media/blogging types when it comes to relationships. More often than not – one person is very active online and the other, not so much. That’s exactly the position I’m in. I blog and Tweet all day long, but my fiancé could care less about this world that we’re in – and you know what? I couldn’t be more thankful. Here are a few reasons why…

She keeps me from being a basement-dwelling World of Warcraft loser.

No offense WOW players but seriously, without her, who’s to say I wouldn’t be living in my parent’s basement sucking down Mountain Dew’s wandering around an online fantasy world as a level 57 dark elf mage? Having a significant other who keeps the Internet from totally taking over my life is important because she keeps things balanced – she gives me a slap on the wrist and reminds me that unplugging from time to time is necessary to maintain my sanity (and probably my eyesight).

She reminds me of what matters most

Not that I need the reminder – but overall, Lierin keeps me grounded. She reminds me that the online community I’m a part of may be great, but it’s the “real life” face-to-face relationships that matters most. Friends and family is a no brainer, but I’ve also been able to take a lot of the online connections I’ve made and turn them into solid friendships.

She believes in me, even when I don’t believe in myself

Moving was hard, quitting my job with nothing else on deck was harder, leaving my family behind in Nashville might have been the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Needless to say, through all of the transition and change I’ve been through over the past 12 months  – there have been a lot of breakdowns, and a lot of times where I’ve doubted myself and my decision making. Every step of the way, in every decision I’ve made she has always been there to say “I believe in you” – she has full confidence in me even when I don’t have confidence in myself. We all need that – we all need that one person, a best friend, brother or sister, parent or relative – someone who will keep us moving and pick us up when we stumble and fall and tell us that everything is going to be OK.

Above all – she loves me for me

I get it. I know that everyone isn’t going to love me all the time, that sometimes I’m going to rub people the wrong way – and as obvious as that sounds, I think it’s one of the things that we often forget as writers and bloggers. We write and communicate and hope that everyone’s going to give us a pat on the back and say “good job” – but folks, that’s not reality.

However, while you can’t ever please everyone, having ONE person who loves you unconditionally, who reads every post you write and tells you that you’re the best writer in the world (even if you know damn well it’s not true) – that, my friends, means everything and the world.

What about you? Does your significant other spend as much time as you do online? Do you think having that “balance” is important?

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  • Jen

    great insight Matt. I have found exactly this too. :)

  • Grace Boyle

    I'm going to start off the comments :) First of all, great post Matt. I wanted to hear more about you and your relationship since it is one of the things you don't talk about a lot on LWP.

    So I think my view is opposing. My last serious boyfriend and I were both bloggers, worked in online startups and tweeted with regularity. It made life, work and interests blend nicely. We still took time to unplug, I was more into blogging than he was but we could also share and talk about what we did each day…and each of us GOT IT.

    It's hard for me to talk about what I do when I meet other people or men let's say, if they simply don't get it at all. That's okay. I've dated a guy who doesn't even really go online and doesn't have Facebook (!!) Our relationship was still bountiful but the thing I spent 50+ hours a week doing and my blog (a personal and invested interest of mine) he didn't really get.

    It's an interesting comparison. Because it lets you remain anonymous and leave the online world when you go home to whoever your honey might be, but I think my last boyfriend and I were able to find common ground, I could talk about anything (often we never talked about online world) but if I did, it was nice he understood and was right there with me on the same page. We still reminded each other of what mattered most, he believed in me and loved me for me.

    So, I think I disagree, although if my husband didn't blog, tweet or geek out online, I would also be okay with that :)

  • Vicki


    I love hearing about this side of your life since you don't talk about it much on the blog, so thanks to Grace for bringing it out :). I don't quite get how the last two points relate specifically to having a spouse that's not a blogger, but other than that, I thought it was a very warm and touching story. My husband also doesn't blog/Tweet/etc. although he does spend a fair amount of time online outside of social media, and he definitely gives me reality checks. The other thing is that he is a programmer both by profession and hobby, so he frequently is able to help me out with the more technical aspects of my website, such as backing up MYsql, etc.

    What I think this post generalizes to is that relationships (marriage in particular for me) is a huge balancing act where one partner complements the other like a jigsaw puzzle. You and Lierin seem to have this figured out and it will be fun reading your views on this after you are married for a couple months 😉

  • sameve

    My situation and opinion is a combination of yours and Grace's. My boyfriend and I have been together for 4 1/2 years, and I've always been the tech/gadget geek in the relationship. He has Facebook, but that's the extent of his social media involvement. I agree that it's nice to have someone who isn't involved in this world, and who reminds me to take breaks and unplug. It's a little more complicated because social media is a major part of my job, so I'm constant immersed, and I think sometimes he wants to make my laptop and Blackberry disappear.

    On the other hand, I can see Grace's point about common ground. Sometimes, I wish my boyfriend understood how amazing this community is and why I spend so much time interacting in it. I do have to say, the fact that he's met several of my blogging friends in person has helped a lot. Like Matt, I've carried online relationships over into real life friendships, and that definitely makes it more “real.” Whether your significant other blogs/tweets or not, the most important thing is finding someone who supports you and loves you for you. I'm so glad you've found that someone…although she didn't seem to psyched to get the Inconvenience of Change for Xmas, but I can't say I blame her :)

  • Jackie Adkins

    Coming from a guy whose fiance doesn't even use Facebook, I definitely hear where you're coming from. Sometimes it would be nice to not have her give me a funny look when I start talking about Twitter or blogging, but, on the other hand, as you said, she keeps me grounded. When I get all excited about a blog post or something she'll put me back in my place by reminding me ultimately, who cares if 50 people you've never met read your blog. Although I see it differently, she still keeps things in perspective for me.

    It also probably helps that I knew my fiance long before Twitter was even invented, so it's not like I had to worry about her thinking I was loony toons for using it (she still thinks that a little, but she's able to get over it :)

    Ultimately, I don't think social media use should be a criteria for finding a mate, but it is definitely interesting to look at the differences between couples who are one sided in social media or both use it.

  • Matt Cheuvront

    Thanks for stopping by Jen!

  • Matt Cheuvront

    I hear you Grace – and I hope that this post wasn't taken so literally in that you can't love someone or accept someone who is online just as much as you are – not at all what I was going for – but I think that balance between what Lierin and I have is important in any relationship – and yes, it can be achieved regardless if you are an online or offline person. Lierin gets it, she's gotten more and more interested in my blog and what I'm doing there – but that's because my blog as become more than just a hobby, it's become a part of my life both personally and now professionally – so of course she is going to support me in what I'm doing.

    There's no right or wrong, and part of the reason I took this “angle” with the post was to get some feedback from couples who ARE both online all the time – and how that works – or if they sit at home at the dinner table updating their Twitter instead of having a conversation about their day :)

    Thanks so much for having me – I can tell this is going to inspire some good discussion from different perspectives.

  • Rebecca

    It doesn't have anything to do with whether or not your partner is a blogger or not, “involved” in the space or not. It's all about the other things you mention – support, love, etc. and those things aren't exclusive to non-blogger partners or blogger partners.

    Having said that, my personal experience is that it's an easier and more interesting relationship with a blogger. When I was dating the guy I called “Hercules” on my blog he wasn't respectful at all of my blog. He just didn't get it. Still a good guy, supported me in a myriad of other ways, but that was an immediate sign he wouldn't be the one for me.

    Obviously, Ryan gets it. But more importantly, he lets me be me even if he doesn't. Like, he'll never understand why it takes me far too much time to get dressed, but he loves me anyway, ha.

  • Andrew Swenson


    My significant other outright hates most things tech. She petitioned for months to stop me from buying an iPhone (but I won!).

    She's the one who drags me out of the house to do things. Without her I would, as you suggested, probably become a near-sighted basement-dweller.

    She's really the anchor in my life. The one who keeps me grounded and who wraps her arms around me whether I've succeeded or failed.

    Sounds like we both have it pretty good.

    I'm thankful for that.

  • Rebecca

    One more thing – Ryan and I are very good at encouraging each otherto take a break from the social media sphere, I think, because we are both in it. We see through the many bloggers that pretend they're successful, but in reality are just spending most of their lives on social media. “Face time” on social media will make you popular, but it's not a way to live.

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  • Matt Cheuvront

    Thanks Vicki – you know you're right – I did stray a bit from the original point as I was wrapping this one up – it turned more into a “relationship” post and less of a “marry someone who doesn't blog” post – lol. But I think you get/got the point. It is a balancing act – that's what a relationship is in a nutshell. You've been reading my blog for a while – you've seen a lot of transition already – it will only get more interesting once I've got a ring on, right? :)

  • Matt Cheuvront

    Agreed with “social media face time” not being a way to live – I've been fortunate enough to see my blog become a fantastic platform, in a very short period of time, for professional and career opportunities. The goal all along was to have LWP be much more than “just a blog”.

    You and Ryan illustrate a great point from the other end of the spectrum – that there can still be that balance and in the end, it all comes down to respect and interest in what each other are involved with – whatever that may be.

    P.S. Lierin takes at least 90 minutes most days to get ready. I'll never understand, but I love her just the same! You women these days… :)

  • Alli

    My “sig oth” is disinclined to have an online presence. Can barely get the guy to log into Facebook now and then. It kills me because he works with his hands and his trade is seriously underrepresented online. I tell him he could own that space. This means nothing to him.

    The big benefit I see is that he keeps me grounded. Because he doesn't buy into the “race to post” mentality, he forces me to step back and think carefully about the things I put online. Am I adding something of value or not? And if not, why am I posting it? Ego usually isn't a good justification… well, unless it's Facebook. 😉

    He reminds me that we're not all living in the Matrix just yet. There's still a real world out there. And the more time we all spend in the real world, the better our writing and contributions will be.

  • Shane Mac


    Great post as always. I have a completely different experience if I can get a little personal myself. A year ago I end a 3 year relationship and moved across the country from the midwest to Seattle. I never could have imagined the opportunities and people I would meet by leaving the guilt pressed world that I lived in for 3 years because my significant other did not understand what this world meant. It wasn't only online, it was more about anything that didn't interest her. Don't get me wrong she was a good person and has more respect than anyone but it was the guilt that ultimately drove me to leave.

    I am a musician. I love technology and interaction with meeting people. Those to things are truly passionate feelings that I have. I spent 2 1/2 years (the first 6 months are always great) feeling trapped and guilty to do what I loved even if it was only a late night hobby. I believe it was all due to not understanding what this world means and more so the unwillingness to learn and understand it.

    Friends we still are and respected as well but I am not sure how I feel about this. Your points are totally perfect if you have that person who understands but what if they just don't get the world at all, not even the willingness to try to see it a little bit?

  • Matt Cheuvront

    Couldn't agree more and couldn't be more thankful to have someone who really appreciates and respects what I do. Cheers Andrew!

  • Matt Cheuvront

    What the heck? You wouldn't be psyched if I printed out 74 pages of pure gold and mailed it to you? Come on!

    Social Media is a major part of my nine to five as well – and I think that fact alone has made her much more “accepting” of my presence in this online world. Thanks for the comment S!

  • Grace Boyle

    @Rebecca I think that's a very good point about you and Ryan. If the couple are both involved in the space, I found it easier for us to both unplug. We both encouraged each other because we get how important it is to do that.

  • Matt Cheuvront

    Haha so my fiance, technically kind of sort of met on Myspace – but it's not what you think – you'll have to ask me to tell you that story some day. But like you, we met 4 1/2 years ago, before any of this Social Media stuff was really anything (we had just gotten Facebook at my school a few months before).

    You're right though – it's not like I am going to be on my first date with someone and say “Oh, you're not on Twitter? I don't think this is going to work” – it's not a criteria for love in any way – but I do find it interesting that, more often than not, one person is VERY much online and the other, not at all…

  • Joe Salome

    Wow, this sure hits home for me. I am all over the web blogging, twittering and facebooking…my wife…not so much. She could care less about all this stuff! But I am thankful for that! She's not nearly as crazy as I am, nor addicted to mobile devices as many of us are.

    As long as your digital world addiction does not effect how much you love, spend time with and interact with your significant other then you will be all good. Just know when to much screen time is enough and face time is needed.

  • Matt Cheuvront

    Plus 1 for mentioning the Matrix – my all time favorite – now following you on Twitter if for no other reason than that, lol.

    I hear you though – sometimes it takes someone who isn't “jacked in” to help us unplug. It's also nice to have someone who will give you an honest perspective on your writing from the outside looking in – because typically, a blog post is read much differently by someone who's online all the time as opposed to someone who really isn't.

    Thanks for the comment Alli!

  • Matt Cheuvront

    You HAVE to have that support man – and to be honest – there's been some of that “friction” if you want to even call it that, in my current relationship. Not because she doesn't trust me – but because for a while, she thought the idea of making friends online was stupid – that the people on the other end of the tweets and blog comments weren't “real”. It took a while to get her to realize that REAL LIFE connections and friendships can be made from this online space – it took her actually meeting some of the people I had met online to know that they themselves weren't creepy basement dwellers, lol.

    Now, I'm here in Chicago and at least 75% of the friends I've made started from something online. A blog, a tweet – some initial point of contact and from it, a friendship was made.

    I think everyone goes through what you've been through Shane – at least to a certain extent – the catch is that eventually, you have to either move on or the person has to accept you for the things you're interested in (as long as their not damaging to the relationship.

  • Matt Cheuvront

    Exactly – I'm fine with the fact that she isn't here wandering around this online world with me – I told her to stay away because it will suck you in! LOL

    It's all about knowing when to back off – always have to maintain that balance. Thanks for the comment Joe!

  • Scott Hale

    Great post, Matt – My girlfriend and I have been dating for about 5 years as well and she wants nothing to do with social networking…and I make a career out of it. She has some flickering moments of interest when I tell her about a medical article I heard about or a special announcement from Paul McCartney's Twitter page, but overall she can't imagine why I would want to communicate with people I've never met IRL.

    She always manages to keep things in perspective when I talk to her about people like Seth Godin or Chris Brogan. I don't mind that she rarely has any idea what I'm talking about from a marketing/pr/advertising or social media because it keeps my interests flowing and grounded in things that exist outside of the virtual world. She makes me strive to connect social networking to physical experience so that she can take interest in what I do.

    I think of it like this – I'm lost when it comes to microorganisms and laser physics and she's a bit behind on the art of communication and engagement online.

  • tdhurst

    Completely agree. While my gf and I both blog and are online, I am 10x more active than she is. It's nice to have an opposite to keep you sane, interested in the tangible and encourage you when you're frustrated.

  • tarable

    Matt, your post is spot-on. I often joke that I'm in a “mixed” marriage because I'm on twitter and my husband is not. But like you, I really enjoy having a spouse not entrenched in social media because he keeps me real. He reminds me that there is much more to life than how many people are reading my blog AND…he's a fantastic editor. So I put him to work editing my blog posts and making sure that my jokes are funny. I also think he likes to know what I'm writing about him before it goes live.

    So while I can't flirt with him on Twitter, I can flirt with him in real life.

    (Also, how annoying are the couples who do that on Twitter anyway?)

  • thecoolestcool

    This post hit home! Love it – I'd replace World of Warcraft with good old Call of Duty but ultimately it hits the nail on the head. My lady hates twitter with a passion but realizes its a part of the work I do – At the end of the day its a love hate relationship…they hate when you pull out the smart phone to tweet but love when that tweet pays for dinner.

  • Akhila

    Great post! I really agree with the first part, that it's helpful to be with someone who reminds you to get OFF the computer and jump into real life instead. It is a reminder not to get sucked in to the online world, and I think it's incredibly important to have that person behind you.

  • Nicole VanScoten

    Great post, Matt!

    I'm actually in the same situation. Michael is nothing like me when it comes to our career choices & my Internet obsession. He's a chef, I'm a PR pro. I was the one that talked him into signing up on Facebook…only about a year ago (I've been on since 2004). He doesn't blog, and despite my begging, he won't tweet…but it works for us. Sometimes I get home from the office and jump right back on my computer. If it wasn't for Michael forcing me to get off the Internet and back to my real life, I would probably end up like the basement-dwelling loser you talked about…so I agree with you. It's really nice to have someone that loves you but that also has different interests and can keep you in line :)

  • David Spinks

    My situation is pretty much exactly the same with my girlfriend. She wouldn't be caught dead on twitter and loves to give me a hard time about how big of a nerd I am, but I know that she loves how geeky I am. She's always there to support me and definitely keeps me grounded.

    Alison and I will face a lot of tough times ahead as we're both very focused on our careers. She's a teacher, and so moving is kind of out of the question for her. I on the other hand, have to gtfo of new york before I get stuck here forever and I want to pursue an entrepreneurial career that will undoubtedly take me to different places at different times.

    We'll make it through though. We have to.


  • Shane Mac

    Well said. Thanks for the comment.

  • Cheila Esquilin

    Great post Matt!! I haven't dated someone who is involved in the blog world/web than I am, but could imagin if I did. We'd be glued in the computer all day and not leave the house at all. Or, we could compete on which has the most followers on twitter/blogs, ect. ( sounds petty, but for some that's the case). I believe though, as long there is a balance, everything will be smooth sailing. I'm glad you were able to show your soft side. I really like it. I think you should more often. Geez, if you have to guest blog for grace so you can share that side of you, go ahead 😉 Once again, great post and a wonderful insight of your personal life.

    PS. Matt, thanks for introducing me to Grace's blog. I see I have some reading to do 😉

  • Grace Boyle

    @Cheila Likewise, I'm happy you've stopped by and I'm looking forward to reading through your posts! :)

    I am now encouraging Matt to write more about relationships, because look at how well everyone reacted. There's so much content and interesting conversations!

  • Mrs. Micah

    Amen. My husband “blogs,” but that's mostly just when he posts an extension of his writing on his site a few times a month. He doesn't tweet, doesn't network, doesn't comment, doesn't expect anyone to read his site (he just likes to write), doesn't use Facebook, doesn't like e-mail, he's my perfect antidote. And I know that if I decide to unconnect from of this I won't have to convince him to come with me, nor will I be depriving him of anything.

    Having a spouse that's into all the same things you are can be exciting, but having an opposite-spouse keeps you grounded!

  • AndreaVLewis

    You hit the nail on the head Matt. I can't even imagine what life would be like with two social media obsessed bloggers in the family.

    I have a friend who just passed the Bar exam and his fiance is currently in Law School. Even though I love them dearly and enjoy their company, I've always wondered what life is like on “the inside”. Do they secretly argue and object over everything?

    Anyhow great, great post!

  • greeblemonkey

    My hubby @bugfrog and I struggle with this all the time, which is why I end up being the alpha in social media situations, but jesus christ, DO NOT TELL HIM I SAID THAT.

  • emily jane

    Another wonderful post, Matt! I'm in the same situation – I blog and Tweet and if it weren't for Sweet (I swear I'm not going in the direction of the poetic here) I'd definitely be a level SEVENTY WoW nerd. (I was. Once. Well, 54. Night elf rogue. Been there, hand-made the ComicCon costume.) But though he'll check his email or Facebook, and even blog MAYBE once every couple of months – he's not active online at all. He doesn't use Facebook at all, really. And I'm glad – I spend so much time writing and blogging and tweeting I couldn't bear if he did, too – we'd never see each other!! I love how our relationship kind of balances like that – I'm big online, he's not. I'm into arts, he's into sports. I hate speaking in front of people… and he coaches and teaches. I'm emotionally volatile (sometimes) and he encourages me to take deep breaths and sleep on things before reacting. It's a wonderful balance and I wouldn't want it any other way!

    (Although I'm working on his nerdiness. Doctor Who down, Star Trek to go :))

  • Laura Kimball

    Wow, so I'm trying to find the best place to jump into this conversation (reply or new?), so I'll just post new…

    I agree with a lot of these comments–Matt, this isn't so much about having a life partner who is not a blogger but having a partner who supports you and your interests. My husband actually has a blog ( that he launched almost overnight to help support his racing ambitions. Meanwhile, I have been anxious and overthinking launching my personal blog for months. He totally jumped in while I, the alfa-social-media-entusiast of the relationship, am struggling. It's hillarious, he's actually not as “into” the SM space as I am (can you guess who encouraged his Facebook and Twitter??).

    So while he has a SM presence, I'm definetly his editor and supporter and will help him figure out how to get the most out of it based on his goals. And that's exactly what our life is like together offline–he has ambitions that I full-heartedly support and always will support because seeing him chase his passion makes me happy, and the same happens for him when I chase mine. There have been so many times where he has given me encouragement, honesty, support, and “told me how it is,” and that's really what I think you're saying, Matt. It's not balance, it's commitment and vested interest in the person's well being and happiness.

    Thanks for sharing, Matt. And thanks for the topic, Grace!

  • Grace Boyle

    @Greeblemonkey It's all right, your secret is safe with me 😉

  • Matt Cheuvront

    I'm off to share this blasphemy with your husband! LOL

  • Matt Cheuvront

    Right on man – I agree that the balance is super important.

  • Matt Cheuvront

    Ah don't get me started with Call of Duty – or how about Counter Strike? Please tell me you used to play CS back in the day? Hours and hours of life wasted – but I loved EVERY minute of it.

  • Matt Cheuvront

    Two “online” people can still help each other out with that – but more and more often I'm seeing a clear pattern of one being on, and one being off-line. Thanks for the comment!

  • Matt Cheuvront

    A chef for a fiance? Sounds like a pretty sweet gig Nicole. Nice work. I'm sure you are far from my basement dwelling example, but I hear what you are saying – I'm bad about coming home from work and jumping right back on my computer to do MORE work. If for nothing else, I'm grateful for my fiance because she keeps me sane!

  • Matt Cheuvront

    I think they love us BECAUSE we're nerdy, right? There's something about the allure of a total computer nerd…

    You have the right attitude – that you'll both make it through, together, because that's what it's really all about. Accepting each other and making sacrifices for one another because you love each other. Cheers David!

  • Matt Cheuvront

    OK, OK I promise to introduce a little more “relationship” discussion into the mix over in my neck of the woods. If the people demand it, I guess I'm sort of obligated to oblige :)

  • Nicole VanScoten

    Good thing, because the only things I can cook are lasagna & stuffed shells lol. Good, but they get boring pretty quickly. Michael's recipe list is slightly longer 😉

  • Matt Cheuvront

    Sometimes I wonder what life is like for our significant others – my fiance for example – I always wonder what she's thinking about – my mind is so often on writing and blogs and work and all of this stuff we get caught up in – it must be nice to just have some piece and quiet up there in the ol' brain, right? :)

  • Matt Cheuvront

    Pasta is the old standby huh? I think I can actually hold my own pretty well in the kitchen – but my menu list isn't all that extensive either – and usually when I experiment with something new it's a total flop, lol.