Is there anything worse than being in balls deep in your favourite jam, knowing the really good bit is coming up and just before you reach the point where you’re about to shout “Man, I feel like a woman!” at full volume - some absolute bastard switches it off? What if that absolute bastard is also your bae? What if you have no choice but to open the door and push them out and try to convincingly tell their loved ones it was a fatal Brian Harvey-style accident? Okay, okay, don’t kill them. But seriously, how do you sustain a relationship in which you don’t like the same music? Is it even possible to be attracted to somebody if you can’t have an in-depth discussion about Nas’ deep cuts?
I am about to argue the case for yes; there are actually loads of reasons why you should date somebody with a totally different taste in music to you. In fact, dating somebody with the exact same taste in music as you can have adverse effects on your loins. Have you ever sat in a room with two Radiohead fans arguing about which is the bigger masterpiece: Amnesiac or Kid A? It’s drier than a menopausal plaster cast vagina at a Tracey Emin exhibition.
It’s always good to get outside of your own awareness bubble, because that is where you’ll have some of the most exciting experiences of your life; unless you’re the kind of person who will flat out refuse to listen to anything other than Insane Clown Posse (in which case head over to JuggaLove to find your lifelong Hatchet-partner). With that in mind, here are some reasons why you should totally not recoil at the idea of going out with someone who doesn’t share your extensive knowledge of Childish Gambino’s sample history.
It’s A Free Pass To Pop Off About All Your Favourite Music
There is a very fine line between talking about music obsessively until everybody in earshot wants to put their fist in your mouth, and successfully introducing your new favourite person to your all-time favourite artist. In the interest of aiming for the latter, here are some things you should avoid doing:
- Thinking of whomever you’re dating as an empty vessel in which to pour all the useless facts about Pavement you’ve acquired over the years that everybody else around you is sick of hearing.
- Being the guy who treats someone like a moron because they haven’t heard of that obscure band you love.
- Being the guy who hands over a USB stick with your top 50 records on it at the beginning of a relationship like it’s a form of homework.
- Being the guy who does not listen to the other person’s recommendations.
- Telling someone they’re wrong for not liking the things you like. For real, it makes you look like a tit.
Instead of all those things, be more like, “Hey, I’d quite like you to borrow Tango In The Night because it has your favourite Fleetwood Mac song on and I think you’d enjoy the rest of it,” or “Oh, you’ve not heard Gorky's Zygotic Mynci? Let me show you this one accessible track you might like but no biggie if not.” Instead of being all like, “The Story So Far are shit, The Descendents invented pop-punk. Here is every single one of their albums. Come back when you’ve learned something” unless you want to be dumped faster than a box of snakes on a fire.
It Makes You Seem Sexier And Smarter
Do you know what’s really attractive? Listening to somebody talk passionately about the thing they’re into. The case may be that they have no fucking idea what they’re on about and might well be mixing up who did what verse on “Protect Ya Neck”, but at this point you have no idea so you can’t unravel their statements faster than a jumper made of conspiracy theories like you would if you were fully clued up. Despite having an anus for a mouth, there is a reason Russell Brand and his revolution are so popular and that reason is conviction. And good hair. But mostly conviction. If there’s one thing you can take from his recent campaign for (???) it’s how to appear attractive whilst talking absolute bollocks.
You Won’t Ruin Each Other’s Lives Arguing Over The Same Artist
If somebody doesn’t like your favourite Elliott Smith song because they don’t like Elliott Smith, then you have to accept that because logic deems it reasonable. If somebody doesn’t like your favourite Elliott Smith song but are themselves a massive Elliott Smith fan, then how the fuck are you supposed to deal with that? What do you mean “Between The Bars” isn’t his finest work? Are you pissed? I can’t count the amount of times I have had kitchen appliance-wielding arguments with someone as a result of conflicting perspectives on Kurt Cobain’s biographical information. Better to just avoid that situation completely by dating someone whose knowledge of grunge begins and ends with Puddle of Mudd.
But what if all your favourite artists are some of the biggest on the planet? There can’t possibly be anybody left out there who has never listened to Yeezus, right? Wrong. I recently got to introduce somebody to Drake. I know. Take a minute to imagine a life without Drake. Now take a minute to imagine listening to Drake for the first time. Now imagine how grateful you would be to the person who brought Drake into your life. Speaking as that person, it’s a great position to be in. I feel like a real life Jesus who has miraculously turned music into even better music.
Have you ever made a mixtape? It’s really fun. The beginnings of relationships are great because they include that bit where you get to swap all your favourite songs and discuss them at length afterwards. You spend time and effort picking all these tracks that reveal aspects of your personality the other party hasn’t come to hate yet, whilst also not-so-subtly telling them how much you want to make-out to Mallrats on mute. You learn a little something about them, they learn a little something about you, everybody grows and develops as human beings and we all move one step closer to world peace.
On the flip side, there is nothing less deflating than handing someone a mix like:
“Hey, here’s a thing I made for you it’s got my favourite song on by a band called Throwing Mus-”
“Yeah I heard Throwing Muses when I was like five.”
“Oh okay then I’ll just go ahead and put this in the TRASH.”
You Need Someone To Level You Out
There are people out there who will completely indulge your ridiculous taste in music and people who will not. Critically acclaimed as your vinyl collection may be, I can guarantee there will be a handful of songs or artists in it you love despite the fact they go against everything you stand for. For every Dilla, there will be a Danzig. For every Teenage Fanclub, there will be a Right Said Fred. I don’t believe in guilty pleasures, but for me, the pulling power of a Justin Bieber album is far greater than any episode of Breaking Bad and sometimes I lose all perspective because of it. Left to my own devices, I would have no problem listening to Journals on repeat, sitting idly by as my personality gradually transforms into somebody who only dates men in vests.
Every Seth Cohen figure needs a Summer Roberts to occasionally remind them that Death Cab For Cutie is just “one guitar and a whole lot of complaining”. You need a critic in your life so you don’t end up like Mariah Carey without possessing any of the qualities that make it perfectly acceptable for Mariah Carey to be Mariah Carey. You need someone to question your choices - if only to force you into coherently justifying why you own five copies of “Boys Boys Boys” by Sabrina.
Get more of Emma's emotional diplomacy on Twitter: @emmaggarland