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What Your Music Says About You in a Relationship – Friends, Lover, Sex, or Marriage

12/11/2016 Anant Goel


Music is a mode of communication, a means of bridging gaps in our understanding when mere words fail.

Our taste in music is an integral part of our identity – so much so that, to a certain extent, what we listen to is who we are. The songs of our youth, heard a thousand times, fill our headspace with stray lyrics and infectious grooves, creating a filter for the way we see, hear, and understand the world from then on out. And while some have a less conscious, more organic approach, others actively draw boundaries between the music they accept and the music they deny – and by extension, the people associated with those musical cultures, as well.

The link between musical preferences and personality is so strong that many of us feel a quick skim of one’s iTunes folder, Spotify playlists, or record collection would reveal a wealth of information about the owner, even if these supposed revelations are distorted by the lens of our own inherent prejudices.

Much as our personalities are defined by how we fit with the temperaments that others possess, our musical interests are always in flux, contingent on the views, conflicting or complementary, of those we come in contact with.

When it comes to relationships with the opposite sex, there are 6 main ways in which people express their attraction [and love] for each other─ in no particular order:

[click on links and to listen the music as you read this article]

1.      Physical

2.      Sexual

3.      Emotional

4.      Intellectual

5.      Practical

6.      Spiritual

There is no particular order because, none of these, in and of itself, is more worthy or valuable than the other. None of them is right or wrong or better or worse than the other. They are ‘just different’.

After all, as the saying goes: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. As are happiness, right and wrong, justice… and anything else in the sphere of emotion and opinion.

What is Our Expectation

However, relationships seem to work best when the two people in it want to be loved in the same way. Or are able to laugh rather than argue about their differences, based on a foundation of deep mutual respect. So, before walking up the aisle, or, conversely, walking out the door, ask yourself these 6 questions:

  1. Physical: How much are we attracted to each other physically? Do we each want the same amount of cuddling, holding, kissing, and touching?
  2. Sexual: How compatible are our sexual preferences and sex drives?
  3. Emotional: How important is it to each of us to honestly share our feelings with each other and be listened to? Are we on the ‘same wavelength’? Can I say about my partner that s/he ‘gets me’?
  4. Intellectual: How important is intellectual stimulation to each of us?
  5. Practical: how well do we work together on everyday domestic issues such as housework and financial planning?
  6. Spiritual: do we share similar views about the meaning of Life? How much are we ‘looking together in the same direction’ in terms of our values and vision?

For those of you with children, we could add a number 7 about attitudes to parenting. In fact, please post a comment below if you want to add anything else to this list. 

Why does it help to go through these 6 questions? Because they reveal our core Values, in other words what is most important to us. Our Values drive our expectations and our happiness is determined, at least in part, by how much these expectations are met by our relationships.

Unmet Expectations

Unmet expectations lead to frustration which can manifest, for example, in extramarital affairs… or sometimes, in a weary resignation, or a nagging feeling, that you have settled for ‘second best’. Or in an arrogant and futile attempt to change your partner’s personality, for example to try and make them ‘more practical’ or ‘more sexual’ or whatever else may be on top of your own priorities.

Individual Core Values

I discovered my own ten core Values when I was in my 50’s. It was incredibly powerful to discover that my Values include ‘Love’, ‘Freedom’, ‘Respect’, ‘Fun’ and ‘Making a Difference’. This simple yet profound realization helped me make some great decisions about the future and improved some key relationships─ especially with people who had different Values to my own! It does not take too long to dig out your Values and rank them in order of importance. Then you can go and build a life that truly honors them. Secret to an authentic, meaningful and fulfilling life

The other thing is that people change over time. “He’s not the man/woman I married!” is quite a common refrain that I hear. So for example, you may enter a relationship feeling that Intellectual love is not that important to you, but 10 years later it might be top of your wish list. And Values have a habit of shifting around, for example if you have children, ‘Practical’ love can become more important─ there is loads more housework for a start!

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