Pouring your heart out is hard enough. But when your affection is rejected, the pain is even more significant. Here are 15 tracks that capture the feeling of unrequited love.
Waiting in Vain by Bob Marley and the Wailers
I hate waiting. But even worse than time spent on it is what Bob Marley calls as “waiting in vain.” Not that a straight-up “No” is pain-free. But having silence makes me cling on to the idea that a relationship can blossom from whatever exists. And often, the hope of a happy ending, no matter how small, trumps the frustration of being led on.
Anything Could Happen by Ellie Goulding
I can spend a lifetime of experiences with someone I hold dear. And while those memories are golden, nothing is constant. As Ellie Goulding puts it, “Anything could happen.” And just when the past seemed to define the future, people fall out of love. And while I’m unprepared, he may end up having no need for me.
I Can’t Make You Love Me by Bonnie Raitt
I have the right to love whoever I want to. And that is true for all of us. That’s what makes the freedom, at times, disempowering. As Bonnie Raitt puts it, “I can’t make you love me.” But maybe all is fair. After all, I can’t change his mind. But neither can others change mine.
Invisible Man by 98 Degrees
Here I thought invisibility was only in my imagination. But when I fell for someone who was taken, I disappeared into the background. That’s when I related to the words of the 98 Degrees. And the endless social media stalking, stolen glances, and getting frequent indirect updates from his circles, are some of the skills that came with the power.
You Don’t Know My Name by Alicia Keys
The mind is a curious monster. And if you ever get inside my brain, you will find that the fantasies I create, surpass the blockbusters you see on the silver screen. Alicia Keys tells the story of my life – a narrative of events that will never occur unless I stop admiring from afar and begin engaging in conversations and start going out on dates.
Everything You Want by Vertical Horizon
I guess all of us in this world are messed up in some way. And I have a desire to fix what’s broken in his life. It pains me to see his suffering. But as Vertical Horizon sings in “Everything You Want,” the urge isn’t enough. The one I love ends up seeking comfort and help from everyone but me.
You Were Meant for Me by Jewel
With the benefit of hindsight, I know things weren’t supposed to work out. But for a time, I thought one person was my world, and we were meant for each other. And nothing sucks as severely as the days post a breakup. And that’s what Jewel details out so vividly in one of her most tender and honest tracks, “You Were Meant for Me.”
Say Something by A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera
No aspect of life has humbled me more than romance. I’m not used to losing or not getting what I want. But I could relate to the words of A Great Big World in “Say Something.” It’s frustrating and heartbreaking. But there is no shame in letting my guard down and seeking an answer for the most precious treasure life has to offer.
Ain’t No Way by Aretha Franklin
I salute selflessness. And I wish I felt that was an end in itself. But mutual affection wouldn’t hurt. And it continues to be my preference. I may have a lot of love to give. But as Aretha Franklin rightly notes, if the one receiving it has no place in his heart to accept it, then there’s little chance of this succeeding and bearing fruit.
Shiver by Coldplay
There’s a thin line between stalking and relentless pursuit. While I’ve done neither, I’m embarrassed to say, I’ve seen the side of my personality that mirrors the obsession and persistence depicted in “Shiver.” Not only does it make the other half shiver. The thought of my past self has the same effect on me.
You’re Beautiful by James Blunt
On a shallow note, I’ve seen too many beautiful people. Not that I’ve been with them. But the magic that James Blunt describes in “You’re Beautiful” is reserved for the person who has made me a better version of myself. And the heartbreaking reality is that I know we will never end up together in this lifetime.
The Less I Know The Better by Tame Impala
Why do I seek out the information I know will leave me in an emotionally worse place? But it can’t be helped. So every time I hear a detail I’m better off not knowing, I fixate on it, and my imagination runs wild. It’s unhealthy. But Tame Impala put into song a big part of what has gone on in my life.
Leave Your Lover by Sam Smith
I would never have the guts to say what Sam Smith is singing about in “Leave Your Lover.” I pretend to be above ruining a relationship. But I admire his guts. And more so, I give him praise for being honest and laying all his cards on the table. If possible, I would always avoid a scenario where rejection is a considerable likelihood.
Chasing Pavements by Adele
Before Adele was heartbroken, she was hesitant. And at one point, all of us were. I try to get over my insecurity of being insufficient. And that’s what holds me back from going after who I want. And it brings me comfort that a superstar as huge as Adele was once in the same predicament. Look who’s laughing now.
Creep by Radiohead
When I find out how special someone is, I get to realize how inadequate I am. But if I listen to what everyone else tells me, I should be myself. Knowing that I’m a creep like what Radiohead blurts out in their hit single, the disparity of my place in the world and his just increases. And that makes me a lot more paralyzed in pursuing him.