In romantic comedies, star-crossed hipsters always seem to find each other by going to the same indie concerts. As they lock eyes across the crowd, it’s clear that their love of bearded folk singers will pave the way to their love of each other. But when you’re not living in 500 Days of Summer (and, despite your best efforts, you don’t look cute with Zooey Deschanel-bangs), it’s natural to wonder if being musically compatible means you’re romantically compatible, too.
You don’t have to be a musician to swipe according to Tinder anthem. You do, however, need to be a musician to be a contestant on The Bachelor: Listen to Your Heart, the new dating-slash-musical-competition reality show from the Bachelor franchise. For six glorious episodes, a pack of sun-kissed 20-somethings undergo music-themed challenges and Bachelor-style dates, as they compete for love and a successful music career. It’s a fresh look at relationships, dating, and music, or perhaps more specifically, the relationship between dating and liking the same music.
Though you’ll always have your personal favorites, learning about the music your date likes may start to change your tune.
According to Dr. Carla Marie Manly, clinical psychologist and author of ‘Joy from Fear,’ while similar interests can create an initial bond, liking the same music as someone doesn’t guarantee a romantic connection.
“Shared or similar tastes can create a sense of compatibility and attraction at the beginning of a relationship, but they are not enough to maintain a relationship in the long-term,” Dr. Manly tells Bustle.
Sure, someone loving the same feminist rappers as you may make your heart skip a beat. But Dr. Manly says being on the same page about Megan Thee Stallion or Princess Nokia doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re meant to be.
“There are many people who have similar tastes in music who end up not being compatible due to key issues such as poor communication, sexual incompatibility, or toxic behaviors,” Dr. Manly says.
While making each other playlists and going to concerts can be a great way to get to know someone better, long-term relationships need solid communication and healthy boundaries to really thrive. Of course, just as liking the same music doesn’t guarantee a romantic connection, Dr. Manly says liking different music than someone doesn’t necessarily mean you’re incompatible.
“Having different interests or tastes can be wonderful and even alluring,” Dr. Manly says. “Variances lead to expansion for each partner and the relationship.”
Perhaps you never realized that Czech Polka kind of slaps until your date took control of the AUX. Maybe you thought you hated instrumental music until you went on a super hot date to a jazz club. Though you’ll always have your personal favorites, learning about the music your date likes may start to change your tune.
“It’s not so much the different tastes that matter, but each partner’s attitude toward the differences,” Dr. Manly says. “By caring about another person’s interests, the connection begins to build as a result of discovering new aspects of the other person.”
Dr. Carla Marie Manly, clinical psychologist and author of ‘Joy from Fear,’