Originally written in June 2016.
A few months ago, a guy that I liked at the time accused me of being a hopeless romantic. It upset me at first, but the more I thought about it, the more I knew he was right.
I’ve never really dated around. Maybe it’s my personality, or the firm talk my dad gave to me when I was younger about how dating eventually leads to marriage—at some point. I took that pretty serious in high school and though I had numerous crushes, those never materialized into anything, most likely because I took dating seriously, maybe even a little too seriously.
For as long as I can remember, music has been a part of my life. Growing up, I was only allowed to listen to classical and Christian music. Sometimes I’m upset about how my parents raised my brother and I, because I think we missed out on a lot of classic tunes that I didn’t discover until I started attending my public high school. But when I think about what classical music did for me, it laid a foundation for what music would mean to later in life.
When I was twelve years old, I distinctly remember telling my parents they didn’t have to kiss me goodnight or even hug me. From then until my senior year in high school, we became a family that didn’t show each other affection. As I started liking boys, I realized I had no idea what I was doing, but there was something in me that desired that connection.
But I always had music.
There’s something so romantic about music. Like what is portrayed in the romantic movies women are suckers for. There’s a girl being pursued by a boy, there is always a climax in the story and by the end it’s resolved and everyone lives happily ever after.
The same is with music. The artist—no matter the genre—is pursuing the listener. The goal is to woo them enough to listen to the entire song, maybe even the entire album. There’s a heart connection with music, where you get all the feels. I’m not exactly sure how to explain it, but you know what I’m talking about if you’ve ever gotten chills listening to a song.
For most of my life, I didn’t express my emotions well. I let them build inside of me, until I couldn’t take it anymore and had some sort of mental or emotional breakdown, usually on my living room couch, with my family looking bewildered wondering what they did to cause this reaction. But it was with music, I could be in tune to what I was feeling. If I was stressed I was listening to the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack. If I was angry, I was blasting Paramore in my headphones. If I wanted to feel closer to God, I was lost in Hillsong United’s, United We Stand album. When I thought I was in love, pretty much any other song was my soundtrack.
It’s been six years since I was in love with a boy, which was also the last time I’ve been in a relationship. But in the years between, I’ve been in love and it’s because of music.
Music has been a part of every step of me figuring out who I am, which is an integral part of being in a relationship. I’m one of the last of my friends to still be single, and instead of sitting at home feeling sorry for myself, I will often go to a live concert. It’s there my relationship status doesn’t matter and I leave with my heart full. I can’t explain how I can drive to Atlanta and see Tori Kelly slay it on stage, or visit Nashville and see Ben Rector or Judah and the Lion who make me want to dance, or stay in Chattanooga and see Nathan Angelo or Elenowen, connecting with them after their show, and feel so loved after seeing these musicians perform.
The desire to be loved is what we were created for, to share that feeling with others and I truly believe music just enhances that feeling. So yes, I am a hopeless romantic and it’s because of music why I am.