What Your Date’s Musical Tastes Reveal

Are you going out with someone who listens to mostly Mozart—or nothing but Metallica? Read on to find out what it means.

By Bob Strauss

here comes a time in every dater’s life when he happens to glance at the CD rack (or iPod play list) of the person he’s dated two or three times and instantly knows: It Is Not Going To Work. I once made an excuse for a quick exit when I glimpsed (out of the corner of my eye, from the couch) a Billy Joel box set, and I’m sure the gal in question would’ve done the same if she’d seen my collection of historical Arturo Toscanini recordings. (Of course, in my view, Arturo Toscanini is objectively more talented than Billy Joel. That’s the thing about how we all feel about music—what I like speaks to my taste and intelligence, what you like means you’re a benighted lowbrow.)

So what does your taste in music convey to the opposite
“If he likes classic rock, he may want two kids and an SUV.”
sex? Read on:

Classic rock
“If a guy likes classic rock, he’s going to be very middle of the road,” says April Masini, author of Date Out of Your League. “This isn’t a bad thing—in fact, classic-rock listeners make great partners. They go for the normal things in life, like dinner and a movie, a two-story house in the suburbs with an SUV or station wagon, a couple of kids and a dog.” And what about a gal who likes ’70s hair bands? “She’s in denial of the aging process and may have general image issues,” says Andrew Feinstein, co-author of Opening Lines, Pinky Probes and L-Bombs: The Girls & Sports Dating and Relationship Playbook. “Be prepared for a lot of ‘Oh, you look fantastic’ pep talks throughout the relationship.”

Heavy metal
“Watch out for hidden anger issues,” Masini says. “Most guys who are into heavy metal aren’t necessarily tattooed and pierced; they may just as well be suited and coiffed. But the songs, the melodies and the rhythms of heavy metal are aggressive and overpowering on purpose. You may be surprised in bed, in a good or a bad way.” Speaking for the distaff side, Feinstein says, “She hates her parents, and if you’re a nice guy, she’ll hate you, too. The good news is that she’s probably hard of hearing, so you can get away with saying things like ‘What do you mean I can’t go to Vegas with the guys this weekend? I told you I was going weeks ago!’”

“If a guy likes country music,” says Masini, “chances are that he’s sentimental and romantic. He’s got a moral
“Women who like classical music tend to be very smart.”
compass and clear ideas of what’s right and what’s wrong. He also knows that breaking hearts, and getting them broken, are part of life.” And what about women who favor this kind of music? “She’s a good girl from the heartland, so you’re not getting any action anytime soon,” says Feinstein. “You may want to consider square-dancing lessons.”

Take it from your writer: Everyone knows that single guys with huge classical music collections (especially ones featuring Arturo Toscanini) are uncommonly smart, sensitive, and good you-know-where. And seriously, based on my own experience, single women who like classical music tend to be very smart, because they often come by their interest from having mastered an instrument in their childhood years.

Now that you’ve plowed through the points above, here’s the fine print, courtesy of Feinstein: “It doesn’t really matter what a guy’s musical tastes are and what they mean for his dating life, because he won’t unveil his true interests until he’s already hooked up with someone. The fact is, when a guy meets a girl, he’ll just play whatever music he thinks might get her in the mood.” Strike up the band!

Bob Strauss is a freelance writer and children’s book author who lives in New York City. He’s also written the Dinosaur guide on, the online information network owned by the New York Times.
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