Why Dating Based on Music Works

You’re on a dinner date with your significant other. You’re catching up about how your weeks went. Everything is pleasant until Taylor Swift’s “You Need To Calm Down” comes on at the fast casual spot. Taylor Swift is your favorite artist, but you know your partner has other opinions. He says he just doesn’t understand why she switched genres and didn’t stick with country. You’ve had the argument so many times, but this time his opinion really bothers you. 

Granted, we can all still like generally the same music and disagree on an artist here or there and manage to jive with a partner. After all, no two people have a perfectly-matched music palette. However, have you ever dated someone with polarizing taste? Or worse, someone who isn’t open to even listening to your music or who refuses to go to see concerts with you? Music has such a huge impact on who we are, and if someone turns to resentfully pursuing the interest independently, or if they feel like they have to hide what they’re into, it’s not long before a wedge can build between partners. 

Let’s think about the positive though–finding someone who goes all-in with your shoegaze playlists and your love of dubstep and why that can be a lasting connection. In order to understand how music compatibility works, we need to first understand how music impacts our own brains. Dr. Daniel Levitin, a cognitive psychologist, writer, neuroscientist, record producer, and musician, is an expert on music’s effects on the brain. “We did some experiments in my laboratory that show that listening to music changes your brain chemistry. And we know that people use music the way they use drugs,” Dr. Levitin said in an NPR recording. 

Levitin goes on to talk about how we choose different music for different activities. We may be drawn towards certain music to get us out of bed in the morning, and we have a go-to genre or band we want to listen to after a long day of work. Essentially, we rely on different types of music for each mood we’re in. Exercising may bring us to more up-beat tunes, while relaxing at home before going to sleep may attract us to slower music. You can read the transcript of Levitin’s interview here

Now that you have some background on how our brains and music interact, let’s talk about what happens when we throw our relationships with people into the mix. 

When it comes to sharing interests such as music, art, and general entertainment, compatibility in these areas can be essential for some people and fairly irrelevant for others. If a certain type of music is an essential part of a person’s life, that person may tend to gravitate toward a partner who understands and shares that interest. On the opposite end of the continuum, if a person has little regard or great dislike for a certain interest that is deeply valued by the other partner, that disparity can be a dealbreaker,” 

states Dr. Carla Marie Manly, a psychologist and author. Manly also explains that a factor in overall compatibility includes having shared interests, which can range from movies, literature, physical activities, and music. 

In a Zoe Report article, Dr. Paulette Sherman, a psychologist, author, and podcast host, says that music is a great way to bond. She also says that “it’s emotional and can be a light, fun way to get to know someone in the beginning.” You can read the Zoe Report article here

While connecting over music can be fun in the beginning, music can also be important for your compatibility as a whole.

So, the partner who hated Taylor Swift because of her inability to stick with one genre will likely lead to more arguments and some resentment, especially since his partner is a loyal Swiftie. Some level of tolerance and compromise is important in any relationship, and this is an important sign that when it comes to deeper-rooted issues, this partner may not be as understanding.

Sometimes, though, having relationships with people with different taste in music can be fun. This can expose you to new music, and you may even discover that you like a band or genre you had never expected to enjoy. And, you get to share your favorite music and why you love it. It’s all about tolerance, acceptance, and willingness to try new things. 

Many dating apps today are based on superficial qualities, like swiping and matching based on appearances. Vinylly, however, allows you to connect with people on less of a surface-level, and more of a music-level. Vinylly’s algorithm allows you to match with people who have some similarities in music interests–just enough for you to find something in common, while also growing and expanding your music library. Get on out there and find a significant other you can bond over music with.

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