Themed playlists have been crucial to my life ever since I started burning CDs for friends in middle school. There’s something so satisfying about building and experiencing a comprehensive soundtrack that fits a mood, particularly if you’re feeling, well, moody.
And what better place to apply this craft than to the turgid and hectic world of millennial dating? When are we more desperately in need of musical relief than when we’re looking down the barrel of sending a sixth unanswered text, or when our ex keeps popping up in our friend’s Instagram story?
We’re constantly barraged with different forms of communication and images of unachievable ideals while also grappling with entry-level salaries and cramped apartments. It’s honestly too much. But music understands. The right music, that is.
Lucky for you, I’ve dived into the millennial psyche and emerged with a series of soundtracks for our shared condition. Below, 13 bizarrely specific emotions every millennial dater knows well—and equally specific playlists to accompany them.
“Being Single Is Fine … Most of the Time”
This playlist is for the badass single bitch who loves seeing movies alone and enjoys having a queen-size bed to herself—until she stumbles upon elaborate lip-synch proposals on YouTube.
“Can You Fucking Text Me Back a Yes or No So I Can Confirm These Dinner Plans?”
Not to be clingy—I literally don’t care if I see you or not—but can you please take two seconds to respond instead of holding my entire weekend hostage? Thx.
“In This Economy?!”
This is for those bouts of financial insecurity that bubble up when you realize you’ve scheduled three Bumble dates the same week rent is due. Would everyone be weirded out if you just got sides?
“Five Blue Texts in a Row, and I’m Calling It a Night”
Yep! Taking the hint! Totally cool! This is a playlist full of low-key self-pity bops to comfort you in your new life of solitude.
“Dating Is Trash, the Playlist”
For when you’re swearing off dating and deleting all your apps and telling the world you’re totally over looking for a partner (again).
“My Date Ordered Coffee for Me While I Was Parking (and Remembered to Ask for Soy)!”
This playlist is all about reveling in those rare cute moments when you’ve found someone who … is nice to you? Is that really how low the bar has become? Try not to think about that as you bop.
“Sunday Afternoon Snugs”
You guys just finished watching a movie on your laptop, it’s too early for dinner and you fall asleep arguing about what you should do in the meantime.
“Did I Really Just Send That Risky-Ass Text?”
Ooooh, you did it! You sent a text that’s unequivocally declaring your interest! Time to jump around your room a bunch and maybe do some shots?
“It’s Not Technically a Walk of Shame If You Uber”
Some fun upbeat tracks to play in your earbuds so you can look out the window at the beautiful morning and avoid talking to your driver!
“You’re Going Out with Friends and You’re Probably Not Meeting Anyone, but You’re Still Gonna Spend a Long Time Getting Hot”
Look, you don’t like going out. No one likes going out. What you like is the chance to spend a couple of hours honing your contour game while Cardi B pumps you up.
“Is This Cute Person Going to Kiss Me OMG They’re Kissing Me”
A playlist flush with victory jams for that heart-in-your-throat feeling of actually knowing what’s happening for once.
“Mourning Songs for When They Haven’t Opened Your Snaps in 12 Hours, and You’re Pretty Sure They’ve Died”
Give it up, they’re dead. Who doesn’t open a snap for 12 hours? Time to get through those seven stages.
“Ex Is on a Trip with People You Follow on Instagram”
You know that inconvenient thing when you break up with someone, and they don’t literally disappear off the planet? This high-speed grumpy playlist tries to catch up with your state of mind the one time a year your ex and five of your mutual friends are somehow all catching up at the same … fly-fishing competition? Why is this happening?
“You Already Scheduled a Dick Appointment, but Now You’re Super Invested in GLOW”
When you have a few hours to kill before your FWB comes over, you’re gonna catch up on that TV show your friends have been berating you to finish for months (ahem, GLOW). And you’re gonna lose yourself in the rich and vibrant tapestry of a complex female ensemble set in the ’80s. Sex is great and all, but wouldn’t you rather see what’s up with Ruth and Debbie?!