The Role of Music in Dating

How much can you tell about your crush from taking a scroll through their Spotify Top 10?
October 11, 2021
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Nothing says “I love you” like baring your musical soul | © Spotify app

Picture this: you’ve met a beautiful stranger on the dancefloor, clumsily approached them, and managed to get their number. 

Fast forward to next weekend and they’re sitting in front of you in a bar, sipping an expensive cocktail which you’ll most likely pay for. 

But you don’t care. All you can think about, as you look on with heart eyes, is your future together. 

Then they open their mouth and enthusiastically announce: “I’m a huge fan of country music.”

Your heart sinks. The fog lifts and you start to see the tell-tale signs. 

The denim overkill. The cowboy boots. How the hell did you miss them?

Does anyone care about music preference in the ruthless world of online dating?

If this sounds like your worst nightmare, don’t fear, nowadays you can avoid such nasty surprises. 

Popular dating apps, Tinder and Bumble allow you to sync your profile with your Spotify or Apple Music account, allowing potential partners to check out your most listened-to artists and top ‘anthem’ of all time.  

Finally, you can show off how edgy and alternative you are! 

But does anyone really care in the ruthless world of online dating? Soundclub spoke with some frequent users of the popular dating apps to find out.

Shared music tastes hold the promise of shared lifestyles

A 24 year old male in London told us: 

“I have an eclectic taste and when they have the same I know they will have exactly the same personality [as me]” 

Perhaps a bit of an overestimation, but the reasoning rings true nonetheless. 

Being a fan of a particular genre or artist is often synonymous with subscribing to a particular subculture. 

By sharing an interest in a certain music taste, two potential mates are really sharing in much more than just songs. 

Liking the same music is more than just a key to avoiding squabbles over the radio on long car rides. It’s a promise of shared lifestyles and, potentially, shared belief systems.

‘It probably doesn’t make sense to try and paint a picture of yourself that doesn’t resemble the reality’

It’s fair enough to be wary of stereotypes. But it’s not out of the way to assume that a fan of 90’s psytrance might be more willing to stay out till sunrise with you than a fan of early evening opera would be.

For this very reason, it probably doesn’t make sense to try and paint a picture of yourself that doesn’t resemble the reality. 

Are you trying to appear edgy with your obscure ambient noise tracks? Leave your catfishing at the door – though we can allow a slightly misleading filter on a photo or two – because it won’t help you later down the line.

Bumble incorporates users’ music tastes through a ‘Top Artists’ approach | © Bumble app
Tinder, on the other hand, has a ‘My Anthem’ feature | © Tinder app

It’s more of a quick fix than an in-depth examination

If dating apps are generally considered superficial, comments from Spotify users beg to differ:

“Nah, I wouldn’t go out with a hot girl if she likes Ed Sheeran”

Me neither dude, me neither.

However, Ed Sheeran controversies aside, it remains true that while delving into someone’s identity through a glance at their favourite artists is a great idea in principle, it’s more of a quick fix than an in-depth examination. 

“I don’t sync my Spotify to my dating profiles”, a 22 year old woman informed us. “I might swipe right if it’s an artist I really like, but probably not if the rest of the profile doesn’t do it for me”.

 ‘If you’re looking for a real connection, music is a good place to start’

As a German user revealed when we asked about his preferences:

“Music taste is important when it comes to being serious with someone. Not really for a hookup”

Intention, it seems, is key to assessing the relevance of music on dating apps. If you’re looking for a connection, music is a good place to start. But be warned: it’s not the be all and end all, you can’t judge a CD by its cover, so to speak.  

Feel free to feign interest in Justin Bieber’s musical development, it might be a good way to assess whether your match is really interested in you as a partner for more than just the night. 

Do they genuinely seem to like an artist you listed? Have they started recommending similar music to you? Sharing links with you perhaps? 

If so, you might be in for a keeper.

Tell your musically-challenged crush the truth: ‘this could be us but your playlist sucks’ | © Tim Samuel / Pexels


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