There are a slew of overlooked relationship red flags I've discovered in my old age.
Obviously, don't ever date someone who doesn't let you wear bright red, in-your-face lipstick. Don't ever date someone who tells you what to wear. (Oh, girl, don't even get me started.)
And clearly, don't ever date someone who dulls down your outspoken, witty, wonderfully-weird personality.
Don't ever date someone who dulls down your outspoken, witty, wonderfully-weird personality.
But I've recently also learned you should never, ever date someone who mocks your taste in music. Honestly, the moment your new bae dares to utter the words, "I can't believe you listen to that crap," you need to run for the hills and never look back.
"I love Lana Del Rey. I just can never listen to her because my boyfriend hates her music," a friend once complained to me as I blasted Lana's music in my car.
She dropped her blonde head in defeat. "In fact, I hide how much I love Lana because he's made fun of me so much."
I aggressively slammed on the breaks and stared at her through the rearview mirror.
"If you love Lana, he should encourage you to listen to her because she inspires you and makes you happy," I replied very seriously. And with that, I tapped on the gas and sailed through the streets of Los Angeles, feeling happy, once again, to be gloriously single.
I mean, how could one human tell another human what kind of music they should and should not like? Music expresses everything that is built up inside of our hearts — the things that are so visceral, we find difficulty putting them into words.
When I look back at my life, I realize it's the artists I started listening to at a young, impressionable age who shaped me.
I wouldn't even know what feminism is if it weren't for Ani Difranco. I wouldn't understand the weight of heartbreak had I not listened to Leonard Cohen when I was 12, trying to figure out this love business.
I felt less alone throughout my heavily-angsty, teen years because of The Smashing Pumpkins. Tori Amos taught me the beauty of vulnerability.
These artists and bands we love travel through the most memorable moments with us. Sometimes, they're the sole constant in our lives when everything else is temporary, fleeting and inconsistent.
They saw us through our pimply adolescence and miserable high school years, and they stuck by us throughout all of our stupid phases. They are part of who we are — mile markers in the great expanse of our lives!
If someone mocks your taste in music, they don't get you. And someone who wants to shame you for connecting to something as vulnerable and raw as your taste in music is, eventually, going to shame you for a helluva lot more. Trust me, I've seen it a gazillion times.
If someone mocks your taste in music, they don't get you.
The dudes with their pretentious music taste, who think they're cultural dictators and embarrass their girlfriends for not LOVING the grateful dead are the same dudes who will want you to dress only for them.
They're the same dudes who will mock a fabulous woman for wanting to leave her job to work in a shop for a while because she wants to try something new.
If they undermine your music taste, they will undermine your career, your passions and your wacky, eccentric friends.
If they undermine your music taste, they will undermine your career, your passions and your friends.
Anyone who can go so low as to disrespect something so soulful, personal and subjective is not a nice person. And honestly, they're not very smart, either.
Truly smart people — not just pretentious, pseudo-intellectual people — understand there's no right answer with music. They might not love your music, but they will respect the fact that it makes you feel warm and connected.
In the past, I've dated people whose music I hated. I've been a bitch about it, too. But I was young and dumb back in those days.
And I would never do that again. In fact, now, I try to make an effort to understand why my partner loves a particular song, as you can learn a lot about someone's pain from their favorite music. It's insight into their soul.
You can learn a lot about someone's pain from their music.
Now, I'm with someone who not only respects my music taste, but shares a love of the same music. And let me tell you, being with a person who respects your music taste as opposed to someone who makes fun of it is like night and day.
A person who understands your music really understands the raw core of you. But that's just the icing on the cake. While it's a huge plus, not being able to truly understand your music taste isn't necessarily a deal breaker, either.
But being with a fuckboy/fuckgirl who has the audacity to make you feel uncultured or stupid because of your love for Madonna is a deal breaker.
If music is basically what feelings sound like, and your partner is dismissing the sounds you connect with, then they're dismissing your feelings, too.
And like any song you don't like, you should skip right over them onto the next track.