Dating a musician is a lot like communism: It sounds good in theory, but in practice, it can leave you cold and frustrated, eating canned beets for dinner. Whether we’re talking about caterwauling coffeehouse singer-songwriters or first-chair concert violinists, musicians simply aren’t like other people. They’re artistes, and the only things more unstable than their moods are their career prospects. Next time you consider going out to dinner with that quirky-cute ukulele chick down the hall or your friend’s friend who plays guitar in a band that once opened for the Shins, make sure you read and memorize this list.
1. They’re crazy.
2. They’re broke.
3. They keep really weird hours.
4. Funny clothes and haircuts.
5. If they’re any good, lots of super attractive people will to try to steal them away.
6. If they’re really lousy, you’re stuck with ‘em, and you have to listen to their awful songs over and over again.
7. Those songs about their exes.
8. Those songs about their psycho exes.
9. The sinking suspicion you’ll become the psycho ex in their next song.
10. And even if not, the most intimate details of your personal life are suddenly songwriting fodder.
11. Behind all the bravado, they can be pretty thin-skinned.
12. They’ll never hold you quite like they do their vintage Telecasters.
13. Did we mention they’re crazy?
14. Band practice. Always, always, always band practice.
15. Shows. Always, always, always shows.
16. You’ll have to hang out with the other band members’ significant others.
17. How many successful rock star marriages can you think of?
18. An amplifier is not an acceptable end table.
19. Your parents probably won’t approve.
20. Given their lack of decent health coverage, they’ll be hacking and sneezing all winter.
21. The same qualities that make you an insightful lyricist often make you an iffy sharer of feelings.
22. The same qualities that make you an insufferable lyricist often make you an iffy sharer of feelings.
23. They’ll totally judge you based on your taste in music.
24. They’ll totally judge you when you sing in the shower.
25. It might be nice to have someone provide for you when you’re old—or at least pay for dinner every once in a while.
26. If they’re successful enough to tour, they’ll probably cheat on you.
27. Got a car? It’s now property of the band.
28. They’re willing to suffer hunger, disappointment, rejection, and all sorts of other indignities in pursuit of their dream. Talk about stubbornness!
29. Mixtapes stopped being legitimate Christmas and birthday presents in middle school.
30. They’re really, really freakin’ crazy.