If you've been cursed with the "I-only-date-musicians" affliction, I sympathize. Whether you're painfully tone deaf but love an Axl Rose or Lana Del Rey sound-a-like, are a hardcore record collector, or happen to play music yourself, you know all too well that dating a musician can be one wild ride. Ladies who date dude musicians have a particularly brutal list of stereotypes to combat, ranging from rent-payer to oblivious cheatee. Women dating female musicians don't have the same cliches to contend with, but many similarities remain.
To be clear, when I say "musician," I'm not talking about dilettantes or dabblers. Although it's perfectly viable to play for fun, the musicians in question here are those who eat, sleep, and breathe whatever project they're working on, and if asked "what they do" at a bar or house party, will probably use that opportunity to send a stranger a link to their Bandcamp, Soundcloud, or invite to an upcoming show. More than likely they're not even at said bar or house party because they're too busy holed up in the studio/bedroom working on new material that may or may not be "next level shit." You know what I mean.
Here are seven things that only people who date musicians will understand:
1. You're Kinda Dating Their Bandmates Too
It's like polyamory, but without all the extra sex. Dating someone dedicated to music means you gotta make nice with the other musicians they play with, however you happen to feel about them.
2. You're Also Dating Their Music
Whatever connection you're stuck having with your S.O.'s bandmates, multiply that by 20 to get what kind of relationship you'll have with their music. If you don't like it and aren't prepared to hear it 24/7, run to the hills. Now.
3. It's Hard To Survive If You're The Jealous Type
I don't care if you're dating someone in a local band with five fans or an internationally touring act that draws thousands — there are always gonna be interested parties prowling around. That musician pheromone emitted mid-set is either intoxicating or repellant, depending on your personality type, and if you're into it, you're IN TO IT. Those who struggle with jealousy should feel free to give it a go, but if the idea of random hotties trying to paw at your musical babe makes you seethe inside, it might be a sign to start dating, say, a writer.
4. Their Instrument Affects Their Attitude
LSD is a thing. (That's "lead singer's disease," for you non-musician-dating-folks.) Nobody seeks out center stage if they don't have a...how shall we say..."healthy self-esteem" or something major to prove. This can make for a dynamic relationship filled with ecstatic highs (and depressing lows), but it can also be exhausting. Conventional logic says you should stick to drummers and bassists if you're in the market for something slightly more chill — although there are never any guarantees.
5. You'll Probably Be Called A Groupie Once Or Twice
Ladies who love male musicians have been maligned for decades. The sexist narrative says they're just opportunistic sluts, but since women can just as easily be the ones onstage dating their male (or female) fans, it's time to give this double standard a rest. Or, you know, reclaim the label and let your groupie flag fly!
6. You Have To Know When To Cheer Them On, And When To Shut Up
There's no one more touchy than a musician mid-writing session, trying to get a song they don't think is working to work. If you're in the vicinity of their studio/bedroom/rehearsal space, it might not be the best time to pacify them by saying how great it sounds when they think it's absolute crap. However, when they do eventually pull out that rough mix for their new record, put down your damn phone and offer your full, undivided attention — or risk being saddled with passive aggressive sulking and/or bruise their fragile ego.
7. Seeing Them Perform Makes It All Worthwhile
Obviously. Otherwise why would you put up with the late nights, the touring, the weirdo fan encounters, the existential crises, and the boxes of merch stored in the entryway to your apartment that you trip over almost every damn time you open the door? It all pays off when you get to see them onstage, doing their thing, submerged in sonic bliss and making the audience high on their aural supply.
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