Julie is a contributing author for Modern Singer Magazine.
In 2016, I wrote an article that mentions ways we can maintain happy and fulfilling relationships with a career that often keeps us from the ones we love most. This month, I’ve reached out to non-singers to get their opinions on the benefits and challenges of dating a singer and the ways they maintain happiness in their relationships. The greatest challenges non-singers claim to face when dating a singer are frequent separation due to travel, inconsistent income, and lack of flexibility within contract schedules. The benefits of singer relationships can include spontaneity, exposure to great music, and dating a hard-working and dedicated person. Here are a few ways non-singers maintain happy and selfless relationships with singers despite the non-conventional nature of a singer’s job:
1) Travel with your partner! Does the singer you’re with need to travel to an audition or two? Go with them! Many auditions occur on Fridays and Saturdays. Why not extend your weekend a day or two and enjoy a long weekend away with your partner post-audition? Maybe you can treat your partner after his or her audition! Lunch, dinner, drinks, or perhaps a movie? If the town is new to one or both of you, spend a night out together in the city! This time away could be a perfect opportunity to explore a new place or just relax with your love.
2) Cherish the little things. Sure, it sounds cliché, but often times a short phone conversation or quick text is all the singer can offer the non-singer in the midst of a busy rehearsal schedule. Rather than being angry about their long rehearsal day, appreciate his or her hard work and make the most of the short conversations you do get to have! As I mentioned in my former article, make your conversations positive in nature!
3) Build a foundation in verbal communication. Being in the constant physical presence of your partner can sometimes inhibit you and your partner from really getting to know each other. Do you find the singer you’re with is often out of town pursuing a contract or an audition? View his or her absence as an opportunity to build trust, talk on the phone, and, frankly, miss him or her. After all, absence does make the heart grow fonder.
4) Never keep score. Keeping track of each other's contributions can cause tension, especially when it comes to finances. If you are sharing expenses with the singer you’re dating, don’t get frustrated if your job provides a stable income with benefits and his or her’s doesn’t. Part of being with a singer is understanding the hours of hard work, energy, and sacrifice he or she puts into each work day won’t likely be financially rewarded the way yours will. Rather than getting angry, be grateful you’re with someone who is willing to sacrifice some of life’s niceties to pursue his or her passion.
5) Make new friends! Your social circle is likely to be different than your partner’s. Lucky for you, you now get to become friends with the crazy, wonderful, passionate, kind, and energetic singing community! Your partner gets to know and hang out with non-performers, too. Getting to know and become friends with people outside of your familiar social circle makes for a very full and exciting life!
6) Appreciate the great music in your life. While some non-singers have taken it upon themselves to listen to and appreciate all types of music, many have not. Did you ever hear an operatic aria or a musical theatre solo prior to being with your partner? If not, attend operatic or symphonic performances with your partner. Listen in on his or her practice sessions. Ask questions about languages or musical styles you don’t understand. Don’t limit your exposure to music to competition shows on television or performances at the Grammy’s. Take the time to appreciate the music your partner has spent the better part of his or her life studying! Still don't care for classical music? No problem. Find an artist whom you both enjoy and get concert tickets. Even opera singers need a break from what's familiar now and then!
What tips and advice might the non-singer in your life offer to others in his or her shoes? Start a conversation! Understanding how and why each of you finds happiness can bring you closer than ever before!