Nothing says more about your taste level as efficiently as your music collection. Of all the things we pack-rat men collect – movies, books, assorted knick knacks – our music collection may be the most personal. The music you listen to says a lot about who you are.
Looking through a person’s CD/record collection is the modern-day equivalent of snooping through their medicine cabinet.
So with that in mind, here are a few helpful tips to make sure no one is ever scared off – or turned off – by your musical treasure trove… some things you NEED to have, and some things you need to HIDE.
What to Have:
Some cool, “modern” music
You don’t have to go all-in hipster… music that she’s “probably never heard of”… but it can’t hurt to have some indie bands that are well-known but just outside the mainstream. I’m talking about Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, Animal Collective… that kind of act. It shows that you’re cool enough to know what good music sounds like, but you’re not pretentious about it. It also shows that you know what’s “hip” but you’re not desperate to come off as younger than you are.
Carefully selected classic rock
On the flip side, you don’t want to give the impression that you’re some kind of musical dinosaur either. I’d put away the Foghat and REO Speedwagon and hang on to just the most established old-timers. A woman might give you a hard time for own the complete discography of Supertramp, but nobody’s ever going to have a bad word to say about Zeppelin, Pink Floyd or the Stones.
One or two “girly” albums
You always want at least one album that makes her say “I LOVE this one!” when she stumbles upon it… even if you don’t. This is a versatile category because, obviously, not all women are the same. That said, I’ve rarely encountered one who didn’t own the soundtrack to “Grease” or at least one Tom Jones album. And yes, I’ve always found it strange that there doesn’t seem to be an age gap for appreciating Tom Jones of all singers.
What NOT to Have:
Old Mix CDs
We’ve all dated at least a couple people in the past, but at the beginning of a new relationship it’s a common courtesy to pretend those people never existed. For the same reason you wouldn’t talk about your ex on first date, you shouldn’t keep a bunch of her stuff around. You don’t want a date finding a CD with the words “Just thinking of you. Love, Jennifer” on it. It sends a couple of signals, the most important one being that part of you isn’t over her (even if you are and you just forgot to get rid of the CD). And it can kill any potential the night might’ve had.
Maybe you genuinely love polka music, or your first concert was “Weird Al” Yankovic. I promise that almost any woman who sees these in your collection will think it’s incredibly childish. Hey, I like Weird Al too, but I’m not going to wax philosophical about “Eat It” on the first date. Store the goofball music away for a little bit.
Too many “girly” albums
The one or two is a good idea, but don’t overdo it. You don’t want her stumbling onto your secret stash of Jason Mraz or Josh Groban albums. Bear in mind, if you actually like that music… that’s cool. Everybody likes different things. All we’re talking about here is making an impression. Let her know about some of your guiltier pleasures later on, when you’re a little more comfortable with each other.
I mean, take a look at your music right now, even if it’s in the digital form of an iTunes playlist. Try to think about what a woman you’ve just met would gather from versus how you want her to think of you.
And when she goes home for the evening, you’re free to bust out the accordion music as loudly as you want.