The Odyssey

Dating in Your Local EDM Industry: A Beginner’s Guide (Opinion)

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily represent the views of Dance Music Northwest or its leadership.

So, you have a super hot local DJ sliding into your DM’s lately, and you’re wondering if he/she could ever be the real deal. Maybe you’ve already hooked up with a club promoter a couple of times and there seems to be a mutual interest there in pursuing more than just an occasional 3:30 am booty call post-Club. If you’re getting to the point where you’re wondering if you have what it takes to try dating someone (for real) in the local EDM industry, it may seem a bit overwhelming at first. How do I navigate dealing with this person, whose life seems incredibly awesome, and yet way too awesome all at once? Don’t worry — We’re here with our guide to navigate dating someone in your local dance music industry.

In case you don’t know my expertise here: I’ve been engaged to a club promoter at a local popular Seattle EDM club for over two-and-a-half years. We were together while he was a promoter for the last year of his time working for the club, and let me tell you, I wish there was some FAQ I could’ve read to know I wasn’t alone in the madness that is dating in this industry. I have reached out to the significant others of promoters, EDM journalists, and local DJs active in the local Seattle scene. Everyone will be anonymous, but there were some clear themes that came to the surface.

(NOTE: This is a limited pool of answers, and represents cisgender, heteronormative, and monogamous relationships as its sources, and as such, it admittedly does have its limitations)

Dating Tip #1, “Random Girl Syndrome”: If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen

We’re not saying you should watch your significant other make out with someone else in front of you, but if you have jealous tendencies, this may not be the industry for you. Just like any relationship, there needs to be trust established. However, it may be pushed more than you initially realize when dating someone in nightlife. If you’re in love with a club promoter or a DJ, they can’t tell everyone from the opposite sex to go screw off; that’s not realistic for their job.

“Sometimes random girls will come up and hug him when we’re out and be like ‘OMG, YOU!’ but I just have to sit back for a second and let it happen because I trust him. Usually he’ll introduce me, but if not, he’ll usually tell me who it was as soon as she disappears into the crowd.”

Another issue that comes up at times is finding yourself standing alone in the crowd. If they have to go backstage and handle an issue, or if they have to go to the front door and deal with a guest-list mix-up, you don’t get to follow them around like a shadow. More than that, you might have to stand by yourself sometimes. Own your own space, and be comfortable in it. That doesn’t mean being a sloppy wreck every time you go, either; hiding your awkwardness in too much alcohol might quickly lead you to a one-way ticket to dumpsville. Nobody wants their significant other being embarrassing at their work.

If you have doubts around their behavior, take the time to really observe them. There may even be times when a member of the opposite sex may do something inappropriate. It’s all about how they react that matters.

“At first while I was still getting to know him, that preconceived perception of him made this issue a bit worse. Any of this is hard on any new relationship of course and can be somewhat damaging to self-esteem if not handled properly, but communication is truly what made this a non-issue for us in the present.”

The way to get around this? Communicate your boundaries. When something doesn’t feel right, let them know. If they don’t respect it, then maybe they aren’t right for you anyway.

Dating Tip #2: Compromise & communicate

Don’t be quick to say “duh” to this tip. We’re not just saying that the person in the relationship working in the EDM industry should make compromises; it needs to truly be a group effort. That also means remembering that just because you’ve been dating someone for a couple months, it doesn’t mean that they are going to completely give up who they are, and fit into your own mold. You know the old phrase, “you can’t change someone”? Well guess what? You can’t change anyone that doesn’t want to change. If you don’t love them for who they are at the beginning, it could be a rough road for you.

You may have to help him/her keep up a certain image at times. Decide if you’re up to the task, and if you are, expect to sometimes smile when you don’t feel like it. Being that grumpy significant other can be a strain if you’re aren’t comfortable with a little pretend happiness (this is where I’ve fallen guilty, if you’ve ever met me at a club in person).

Woman in 20's Holding Smile Mask in Front of Face

Are you feeling fake? Don’t worry, I’ve done it too.

“There’s often an image to uphold and because I am an extension of him and representation of him, I also feel like I have to uphold that image.”

Another aspect of the EDM relationship that can be difficult is the difference in time schedules. If you work the weekly 9-5 grind and your significant other works nights and weekends, not communicating about who’s going to be home when can cause some unnecessary worry. This doesn’t make it acceptable to text-harass your nightlife significant other all evening (they have a job to do, after all), but communication on when they will be home is a reasonable ask. You will also likely be awake and asleep at different hours of the day. It may take a bit to readjust and find a rhythm where everything gets done around the house, and you still find time to be together.

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily represent the views of Dance Music Northwest or its leadership.

X