You’ve been dating for three months, and his band hasn’t had a single show, or even a rehearsal as far as you know. Is it possible your tortured artist beau is actually just a miserable person holding a guitar? If you are dating a man who claims to be “musician,” ask yourself the following questions:
Does He Play Music and Do Other People Listen to it?
The quickest way to assess the situation is to ask, “Have you heard him play music?” But it’s not always so clear-cut: Sometimes attraction can make it difficult to identify what is music and what is just intermittent crying. Ask yourself, “Do other people listen to this music too?” If the answer is no, you may just be dating a sad person. Hint: the neighbors next door banging on his wall may “hear” his music, but that does not count as people “listening to” his music.
Does He Ever Go Outside?
Usually for other people to listen to his music and for him to be classified as a musician, he will leave his apartment at some point. If he hasn’t left his apartment except to buy ramen and refill his prescription for antidepressants, you may have been fooled.
Does He Hate Music and Everyone Who Plays It?
Many musicians hate other people’s music, but this hatred for the very art he supposedly adores could indicate that he is not a real musician. Ask yourself, “Does he hate this because it’s bad, or because nothing in the material world can bring him joy?”
Does He Drink Heavily While Not Playing Music?
Many musicians suffer from mental illness and addiction problems, but those things will not actually make him able to read or play music. Talk to him—he may be confused and think that whiskey is an instrument and that he is playing a “living room show” every night of the week. Suggest he find a real instrument and take some lessons instead.
If you determine your man is not a musician and just miserable, we strongly advise you reassess the relationship. If he’s not playing music, why doesn’t he have a job or take showers? Chances are, he’s just miserable, and better find a way to channel that pain into art before you find yourself a real musician.