By Avery Viers
To preface, this article’s purpose is not to criticize my father or any Generation X fathers that raised their children on their music taste (for your service, we salute you). The true purpose of this article, however, is to bring to light the unfortunate phenomenon that seems to plague all of my closest friends- as well as anyone else who may resonate with our struggles.
Firstly, allow me to define the issue at hand: when I use the term “Male Manipulator,” I am unaffectionately referring to the stereotypical depiction of men in their twenties that always seem to be the reason for at least one person’s spontaneous bangs and box dye attempt. These men, despite their subpar guitar skills and indifferent attitudes, have somehow managed to attract attention from every individual with a humanities degree for the last decade.
Yet the question remains: Why am I always attracted to the same kind of guys? What’s the appeal? While these kinds of questions have haunted my dearest friends and I for some time now, it wasn’t until recently that I reached my own conclusion— one that regrettably affirms particular Freudian theories I’ve grown to hate. After much deliberation and horrific realization, I have reached the conclusion. That, at the core of all of these men consistency can be found: our father’s taste in music.
As with every theory, there are always exceptions; not all people end up with partners with interests and preferences similar to their parents. With that being said, if you find yourself included in the demographic who’s dating life can be described by the title of this article, here are some explanations as to how this could have happened.
As I entered my early teen years, I found myself attempting to navigate a number of new aspects of my life: interests, hobbies, dating, new friends, family, etc. It was also during this time, I’ve come to realize, that being taken to school every morning by my Dad would begin to shape the early stages of my taste in music.
Although I didn’t know it then, the grunge sound of Lithium Radio on Sirius XM would be the beginning of what would become shared interest with my father— making it the first meaningful interest I shared with someone who wasn’t a 13-year-old girl or my mother. Now, almost 10 years later, the unusual heartfelt feelings I have towards Beck’s Mellow Gold and Temple Of The Dog’s Hunger Strike seem to draw me in with the promise of mutual connection— though the demographic of men that also enjoy them may not.
While I do look back on that time fondly, it does prove itself as the crux of my dilemma. As long as I can remember, it has been through music that I build relationships with men. Unfortunately for me, that means dating men that pride themselves on listening to bands like Weezer, The Smiths, Smashing Pumpkins, and any other band that would offer itself as an indication that you are in the presence of a man with good hair and a victim complex.
Following my initial epiphany, I began to inquire in my group of friends to see if anyone may have had a similar experience. Despite coming together due to what seems to be a mild form of group trauma, hearing variations of the same story unexpectedly brought comfort and validation to what seems to be a common theme in the hectic, modern dating world. Although acknowledging the root of our troubles may not stop us from dating men who may or may not own a bed frame in the future, it’s clear that the influence of music yet again can be found in aspects of our lives we may not initially expect.
For those of us who still owe the foundation of our music taste to our fathers and parental figures, thank you. Even though we may find ourselves at odds with the intricacies of the beginning of our adulthood, it seems music always allows us to connect back to you.
Interested in some extra nostalgia? Check out my Dad Rock playlist on Spotify down below!
Written by: ktsw899