The 21st-century 20-something

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Mixtape Challenge

Ha, it's funny to say 'mixtape' even though people haven't used tapes in ages. For anyone born after 1995, a  mixtape is a compilation of your favorite songs by different artists that people used to put on cassette tapes, but can now be put on a CD or in an iTunes list.

I'm not an online dater, although I've been encouraged to do so for many reasons, but I can't seem to bring myself to trust what people write about themselves.

Sidebar: They should make an online dating site where your friends have to describe you, so when people read about you, it's probably more accurate. Hey, that would actually be an excellent site. I'm copyrighting that right now. Don't steal my idea, jerks.

So I decided that since I can't trust what people write about themselves, I would be more open to meeting someone and posing The Mixtape Challenge to them right off the bat. This could work with people you meet online or in person, and I truly believe it will give you a better idea of your compatibility with them than what they thought would sound good in their OK Cupid profile.

Photo courtesy of
Essentially, The Mixtape Challenge involves you asking the person you've just started dating to make you a mixtape, preferably with at least 10 tracks, of music they like. And it would only be fair if you did the same, to allow them to get some insight into your preferences.

For me, this is important because I like music. I like listening to it all day, every day. I also enjoy going to concerts as a relatively frequent extracurricular activity. So if we don't like similar music, it's like a big bucket of water on whatever proverbial spark we may have had. Totally ruins it for me.

I have talked to people about this challenge, and the concern they seem to have is that A.) the kind of music you listen to may not be an accurate representation of your personality and B.) You can be compatible with someone who likes different music than you do. Both valid arguments.

However, the second part of the challenge - the evaluation - may put some of your worries at bay.

When you evaluate the mixtape, listen to it all the way through, no matter what. Even if the first track is a Nickelback song. Cringe through it, and listen to the rest.

Personally, I look for two specific things. The first, is that you have a song on there that I know and like. That means we have at least one firm, evident thing in common. Great.

The second thing, is that you have a song on there that I've never heard, but really like. To me, that means you can introduce me to new things that I may actually like, which I think is important in a relationship.

Now, if there is a song on the mixtape, or several, that you absolutely hate and/or listening to the entire thing makes your ears bleed - you may have a problem. This is an even bigger problem if they feel the same about the tape you made them. Then you should probably just stop talking to each other. Chances are, it'll never work. Sorry. Not sorry.

But if there's only a few that you don't like, or vice versa, but a few that you do - you may still be mildly compatible. I would give it a few more dates, at least.

The best case scenario, is that both tapes are full of songs you both like. Yay, you win. Hopefully this will blossom into a beautiful long-term relationship where you jam out to the songs you love on road trips and make awesome memories going to concerts and singing at the tops of your lungs until you lose your voice. Or maybe that's just me? Eh.

I should probably note that this is a theory that I haven't test yet. But I'm trying to gather statistics. So if you think this sounds like something that might be beneficial to you, try it out and let me know what happens. After I gather enough data I'll do another post and let you know if my theory is awesome and solves any and all dating problems, or ends up being a miserable, inaccurate failure.


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