Date a man who listens to music.
Date a man who understands the power of a note that strikes at just the right moment or a lyric that describes the inarticulate emotions bubbling under his chest.
Run far, far away when a man tells you that he doesn’t listen to music. Delete his number when he tells you that he occupies his time in better ways — that he doesn’t understand the sense in spending an entire afternoon in bed, listening to albums that he already knows by heart.
Know that if he can’t appreciate the beauty and the passion that an artist imbues into a well-constructed song, his feelings towards you may not crescendo as intensely as you’d like. More than likely, his feelings for you will decrescendo into a flat series of notes out-of-place and beats that fall out of syncopation.
Instead, seek out the men who blow all their money on tickets to see each of their favorite musicians perform live or shiny, plastic-encased vinyls when they don’t even own a vinyl player. Seek out the men whose passions carry them beyond practicality.
Look for the men who keep boxes of cassette tapes on the top shelves of their closets, ready to pull out on rainy days when they want to hole up and listen to music. Hold out for the men who tape up posters of the bands they’ve loved since they were young near their beds. Hold out for the men who admire steadfastly, who love loyally.
These are the men who frequent record shops and concert venues more than they do bars or house parties. These are the men who grew up on David Bowie, the Velvet Underground, and Nick Drake. These are the men who follow bands more closely than they do football teams.
These are the men who would rather memorize the chord progression to “Happiness is a Warm Gun” than learn how to pick up women with alpha male finesse.
These are the men who bob their heads vigorously to every pulsating beat of a Nas song but who would also listen to the new Bon Iver record — from beginning to end — and unabashedly let it guide how they feel.
These are the men who understand why Lou Reed is important, and why it matters that he died.
These are the men who are unafraid to feel.
And these are the men who will feel just as deeply for you as they do when they listen to any of their favorite music.
(Some of the time, these are even the men who keep Bangerz or streams of EDM songs on an infinite loop as they power through assignments they have to finish. Though their taste may differ from yours — though it may really, really differ from yours — they appreciate how notes and chords and words and melodies can come together to form this sonic momentum)
Date a man who asks you what your favorite song is before he asks you what you’d like to drink.
Date a man who insists on checking out your music library rather than the neckline of your shirt.
Date a man who bobs his head to songs that come on the radio before he bobs his face towards yours.
These are the men who will care more about what moves you than they do anything else.
Date a man who is eager to share his music with you, to make playlists of his most beloved songs for you.
And when he asks you to share your favorite songs with him, know that any you’d pick out for him would not match the music you two would make together.