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Updated by SHam on Nov 30, 2018
Headline for 10 Signs You're Actually Dating Walt Whitman
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10 Signs You're Actually Dating Walt Whitman

Did he fall in love with you at first sight? Does he want to spend all day hanging out? Does he have lots of feelings? Is he very sexy with a bit of a God complex? If any of these sound familiar, you may actually be dating American poet Walt Whitman. Whitman was a lover, not a fighter. He was not ashamed of the corporeal effect of nature, which includes his own bodily functions and sex. He felt that people should be living in the present and have empathy for others, regardless of their job, position in society, or health. Whitman also felt that he was the voice of democracy and illustrated this by expressing omnipresence. Whitman saw himself as prophetic and embraced the divine within himself and humanity. Does this sound like your bae? Read the list and find out!

1

He Really Loves Himself

He Really Loves Himself

No, I mean, he really loves himself. Being proud of your accomplishments is one thing, but being proud of every part of yourself is quite another. Is he on the walk-around-naked-and-dancing-unabashed level of self-love? Well, Walt Whitman was. Whitman wrote an entire poem about himself in the aptly named Song of Myself. And while Whitman began with, "I celebrate myself, and sing myself" (1024), he wasn't just referring to his inner awesomeness. Whitman loved his body and was not ashamed of it. He liked to "bathe and admire" himself, finding "[n]ot an inch nor a particle of an inch that is vile" (1026). Sure, he may seem like a huge narcissist, but he isn't. Why? Because he loves you just as much as himself!

2

He is a Level 5 Clinger

He is a Level 5 Clinger

When you met him, did he come on too strong? Did he fall in love with you quickly? Was he the first to say, "I love you" only a short time into the relationship? Does he want to be with you wherever you go? If so, he may be Walt Whitman. Whitman loved everyone, even strangers. He once stated "I love him, though I do not know him" (1033). Once, he glanced at a man driving four horses and said, "I behold the picturesque giant and love him, and I do not stop there, I go with the team also" (1032). To Whitman, everyone was beautiful no matter their place in society or color of their skin. His love for others invites us to love them, too. So, never mind how fast you both fell in love. Who cares if he seems really clingy? It's still true love...right?

3

His Empathy is Off of the Charts

His Empathy is Off of the Charts

On a scale of 1-10, his empathy is 11. Walt Whitman's empathy was off of the charts. Whitman said, "I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person" (1051). Sometimes this may feel confusing. Is he trying to explain your own feelings to you? Just know that he truly, deeply cares about how you feel, even to the point of feeling it himself. For Whitman, this made him feel connected to the world. Whitman stated, "Of every hue and caste am I, of every rank and religion" (1036). For Whitman, empathy created democracy, or a common equality among all people. Of course, having such an empathetic lover is great - until he develops a God complex...

4

He Has a God Complex

He Has a God Complex

Other guys stare at the stars and marvel at the universe. Your guy thinks he is the universe. Whitman boldly claimed he was "a kosmos" (1040) and although he isn't a total megalomaniac, his empathy, rejection of shame, and connection with others makes him feel a little special - prophetically special. Whitman's highest worship was his own body, declaring "Divine am I inside and out, and make holy whatever I touch or am touch'd from" (1041). Try to reason with him all you want, but he'll just tell you that he can't "understand who there can be more wonderful than myself" (1065) which is a great argument until it's his turn to wash the dishes. Then you become the God of Scrubbing Off Dried Cheese from Dirty Plates, because Whitman can see God in your face, too (1065).

5

He Seems to be Everywhere All of the Time

He Seems to be Everywhere All of the Time

Speaking of being God-like...It was one thing when he said he saw you getting coffee the other day. It's another thing to have him describing events and actions from all across the nation. You're glad to be with someone who seems to know so much, but wonder at how he could know it. Whitman tried to possess this omnipresence when he leaped from hunting to boating to clam-digging to witnessing a marriage as if he were there (1030). He discusses observations, like a divine revelation on happenings from everyone from a "Missourian cross[ing] the plains" to "groups of newly-come immigrants" (1034). Luckily, Whitman isn't a full Code Red Lurker, but there is a sense of voyeurism in his words.

6

He Has Unique Friends

He Has Unique Friends

Is he a social butterfly? Does he have a diverse group of friends? Does he make instant connections? If your bae makes friends with just about anyone, then he might be Walt Whitman. Are you a day laborer? A janitor? No problem. Whitman would still lean in and "put the family kiss" (1056) on your cheek. He doesn't care where you are from or what your status is. Are you the President? A prostitute? An opium-eater? A bride? A deck-hand (1034)? If he is anything like Whitman, he would not only accept these people into his squad, but count their stories as intricately part of his own. This is most clear when Whitman states, "of these one and all I weave the song of myself" (1035).

7

He Isn't Ashamed of Keeping It Sexy

He Isn't Ashamed of Keeping It Sexy

He thinks you are sexy and he isn't ashamed to admit it. The slightest touch can make him "quiver...to a new identity" (1044). Sure, being a turn-on to your partner is not only flattering, but part of a healthy relationship. But what happens when your partner is turned on by other stuff, like nature? For Whitman, even the ocean could be sexy. In fact, he thought it was so sexy that he told the ocean, "Dash me with amorous wet, I can repay you" (1039). To Whitman, "copulation is no more rank...than death is" (1041). So who cares if he want to kiss the wind (1025)? If he's secretly Walt Whitman, he's just as into you as he is into nature.

8

He's Really Okay with Gross Stuff

He's Really Okay with Gross Stuff

Wrinkled clothes? Haven't showered? Morning breath? Child's play. Whitman likes to keep things au naturale. He's not interested in perfume (1025). He thinks that armpits smell "finer than prayer" (1041). Some of his favorite smells are "green leaves and dry leaves, and of the shore and dark-color'd sea-rocks, and of hay in the barn" (1025). He was also okay with burping, blood, masturbation, and copulation. He didn't care if you were a "venerealee" (1037) or wanted to discuss your "bowels" (1041). He thinks these conversations are natural and normal. He doesn't care about rudeness or polite behavior. Whitman would even wear his hat indoors (1037)! There's no grossing out or offending this guy at all.

9

He Seems a Little Lazy

He Seems a Little Lazy

Hey, everyone procrastinates once in a while, but if your significant other comes across as a bit more lazy than usual, he could be Walt Whitman. Whitman loved to "lean and loafe" (1024) outdoors, mostly with grass. He may even make you late for work or school, inviting you to "[l]oafe with [him] on the grass" (1027). But you may want to check whether he is just hanging out for the sake of relaxation, or doing something else. Whitman wasn't trying to be indolent. He was taking time to appreciate the small things, find connections, and to be in the present. For Whitman, even " a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars" (1045).

10

He is a Cheap Date

He is a Cheap Date

He doesn't splurge for anniversaries. He doesn't take you out for fancy meals. He isn't interested in expensive gifts. Does this sound familiar? Whitman wasn't trying to be stingy. He was just trying to embrace egalitarianism in all forms. Unfortunately for you, this also means forgoing certain luxuries. Whitman said, "What is commonest, cheapest, nearest, easiest is Me" (1033). No, you'll never eat with him at a Michelin-starred restaurant and you'll probably have to learn to love a dollar menu, but don't be disappointed. He's really into you (and everything else), remember? He is sure to come up with imaginative, exciting, romantic dates. Picnics? Camping? Breakfast in bed anyone? He may have started Song of Myself with "I" (1024), but he ends it with the person he cares most about: "you" (1067). Remember, this is the guy who finds everything sexy, himself divine, and takes connecting with others to a new level. Sure, he can be a little odd, but at the end of the day, you really can't complain because who really loves you like Walt Whitman?