I don’t know which has become more stale: the sourdough bread everyone obsessively baked at the beginning of the pandemic or the Zoom dating we still have to do nine months into this nightmare. Because let me tell you all, I. Am. Exhausted.
Before my entire social life was dictated by a meeting link, I was absolutely thriving. But recently, I realized I’d rather spend Tuesday nights listening to my “Songs That Fuel My Leo God Complex” playlist with a White Claw than ask another finance bro about his entry-level consulting job on video chat. (I’m sure you can relate.)
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But one day, when I was just about ready to retire the dating app scene for good, I went to update my Spotify Premium payment info and saw what would soon become the answer to all my dating-during-quarantine woes: Spotify’s new Group Sessions feature.
After digging into it more, I saw that the feature allows users to stream music together simultaneously. By just opening up the app, playing a song, hitting the speaker icon, and tapping “start session,” you can share your music with up to five other premium subscribers—no matter how far apart you are.
Now, I doubt the makers of Spotify ever thought this feature would become the one thing that single-handedly saved my dating life during quarantine, but it’s honestly the best, secret hack I can give you all the insight about.
Here’s How I Used Spotify to Add Some Depth to My Convos
I first tried the Spotify Group Sessions idea out with Ian*, an online dating match who I had been talking to for a few months, after working a particularly longgg shift. My text messages with him were getting a little dry and short (as they do in the monotony of life in a global pandemic), so I threw out the idea to try it. He was totally game.
Now for reference, you can choose to do this via a Zoom call or FaceTime, but Ian and I settled for texting during it because I wanted nothing more than to relax and listen to some music after dealing with work stuff all day.
We started by creating a playlist together of our favorite songs. He put five of his faves on there, I added mine, and the contrast in our music taste was hilarious.
As we listened to our curated playlist of Kehlani and Ben Platt bops miles and miles away from each other, it flowed about as awkwardly as you’d think. And just as I was really starting to second-guess this entire thing, we decided to start giving each other ideas for what to play instead.
His music was insanely peppy and positive, so I said “play a song with the best lyrics” and shortly after, “Older” by Ben Platt played on my phone. I listened to the lyrics, which later initiated a super heavy and deep discussion about why the song meant a lot to him.
Then, he hit me with the prompt, “play your sappiest love song,” and my inner-simp came out. I played for him “Nothing” by Bruno Major, and when the chorus got to the lyrics “there’s nothing like doing nothing with you,” we talked about why quality time is my love language.
The conversation was already super intimate, but I think the moment that hit me the hardest was when he played “Good Things Fall Apart” by ILLENIUM when I asked him to play a song that reminded him of me.
I’d never heard it before, but when I started really listening to the lyrics, I knew I had to ask him why he chose it. Earlier this year, we stopped talking for 2-3 months because I needed space, and I never knew how that impacted him. He explained that the lyrics described all of the overthinking that comes with being left behind, and when he texted me, “This song is how I felt when I thought you hated me,” I was shocked.
It’s pretty rare to get that deep inside a guy’s brain, and I really don’t think this would’ve come up in conversation if we hadn’t played this game. In just one night, the dry text convos and one-word answers completely disappeared.
Now here’s why you should absolutely try this out for yourself:
Maybe it’s just me, but I think the worst part of the “talking stage” with someone is trying to ask questions in a way that doesn’t seem interview-y. And somehow, this date idea eliminated that awkwardness completely.
On top of all the deep, introspective conversations you’ll have, you’ll also get a glimpse of your match’s music taste. (Which is important because, at least for me, I really don’t want to get attached to someone who listens to Top Hits of 2012 unironically.)
But even if you’re not dating someone new and you’re in a relationship, this might show you a different side of your person that you’ve never seen before. Sure, maybe you don’t have the same music taste, but understanding the reasons why someone listens to the music that they do is the deep part here, folks.
So take it from someone who uses Zoom for pretty much everything else: Mix things up for date night. A Spotify date is creative, low-stakes, and gives you the chance to flex your bomb music taste.
Trust me, the only thing you’ll have to worry about is whether or not your romantic interest considers The Chainsmokers to be “the greatest of all time.” And in that case, probably better to run anyway. (Just kidding. Kind of.)
*Names have been changed.
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