There are many traits and qualities that can act as a hinderance to a happy dating life: shyness, arrogance, inability to communicate, lack of game, etc.

Personally, I’ve been saddled with the worst of it: terrible and embarrassing taste in music.

Ultimately, the goal of any dater is to find someone who loves them for what they are, terrible aural proclivities and all. Somewhere out there is a man who doesn’t mind Frankie Valli, certain Avril Lavigne songs, and the Original Cast Recording of Evita. Unfortunately, my complete lack of music street-cred is making it difficult to find him.

Cruelly, “What kind of music do you like?” and “What was the last concert you went to?” are two of the most common questions I get asked on a date. This always leads to a 15 second interlude, in which I look off into the distance and say something vague like “Oof!”, as if I listen to so many cool and amazing bands it’s actually hard to narrow it down. The guy will smile and look at me expectantly as I ransack my brain, trying desperately to remember the name of a band, any band, that one of my friends like. If I’m lucky, a name will come to me, and I’ll be able to triumphantly say “The XX!” which saves me unless he happens to ask about a specific album, at which point I’ll vaguely say “Oh, all of them…the early ones…” and then sometimes fake a choking attack to get him to change the subject.

Equally bad are the times I’m on a date, and a song, completely foreign to my ears, will come on, instantly prompting my date (and seemingly everyone else in the entire bar) to exclaim “Oh, I love this song!” and then bob his head to the music or sing along, while I politely smile and look on.

Guys always want to go to concerts, which I hate, because it means standing on a beer-strewn floor in the dark, pretending to be able to discern between an amazing performance and a bad one, an especially exciting set or one that’s just so-so.

Sometimes, after a few drinks, I’m brazen enough to tell the truth about my music preferences. “I really like Jewel!” I’ll yell over an Arctic Monkey’s song. At first he’ll laugh, as if I’m joking, then, seeing I’m serious, will say “Oh, yeah, she’s good…” The date quickly wraps up from there.

And the absolute worst, most dreaded situation of all occurs when a guy will steal my iPhone in a playful, flirty way, and say “Let me look at your music.” I recognize that this is supposed to be a flirtatious and appealing activity, where he’ll be impressed over my selection of Talking Heads songs, argue with me over which David Bowie songs reign supreme, and gently chide me for an actually-not-that-bad “guilty pleasure,” like Dave Matthews Band. Of course, I know that one glance at “Hello, Dolly!” on my iPhone and it’s all over, so I usually dive towards my phone screaming “No, give me that, that’s not funny!”, which then leaves him startled, suspicious and a little bit hurt.

If there were a book about fail-safe music to like, I would read it, if there were a class, I would take it. But an authentically cool taste in music cannot be taught, so I’m destined to roam the bars of Manhattan, praying for a juke box to play “Bohemian Rhapsody,” ’cause, hell, at least I know that one.

More Like This:
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How Spotify Can Help (Or Hurt) Your Dating Life
What Your Taste In Music Says About You on a Date
What ELSE Your Taste in Music Says About You on a Date

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