Featured photo via oversixty.com.au
Like many people, I love a good ballad, or some soul engulfing love song that promotes ALL THE FEELS.
A song you can turn on when you just wanna be engulfed in every little feeling you’re experiencing; like some giddy little school girl.
Orrrr, one of those songs that comes on your stereo and you swear your stereo is trying to fuck with you, and that somehow it knows you’ve just had your heart broken.
Regardless, I’m not sure all the traditional sappy tunes out there really represent what real love is like. The I will always love you’s of the world are far more Disney fairy tale than reality despite how much we adore them.
Real love, or just our experiences with love in general, are far more complicated.
To show what I mean, I have listed some love songs below that I feel more accurately represent real love: hard, complicated, painful, confusing, often disappointing, struggle filled, up and down, and just earth moving.
Or, at least, what real relationships look like.
Course, this is coming from a single guy.
I probably wouldn’t feel the desire to make this list if that weren’t the case, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some truth to it all either.
Real Love Songs
Probably should start with something sappy before I lose you all. This may not necessarily buck the trend, but this is what I want love to be.
This is the song you should’ve played.
A classic. ALL THE FEELS.
Not sure this song really represents my own feelings or experiences, but I think it’s a beautifully honest and raw song about love nonetheless.
“We’re all fragile underneath.”
That’s love. Makes me think of my friends Matt and Stephanie.
Much more indicative of what a real relationship entails. Focus on the good days. Make more of them. Period.
Can’t really have a love song list without a country song in there now can we? That being said, I feel like this song more accurately represents the struggle that the women I was with before now went through. Sorry I couldn’t – cry.
Ok, so I guess the hopeless romantic in me let a few conventional ones slip in this list. Bare with me.
Saw him at the same place as this YouTube video a few years earlier. Dude gets the whole ‘I’m a man and I’ve fucked up’ perspective.
Highly recommend his Unbroken Promise as well, because…”It won’t be perfect. Just an unbroken promise from this imperfect man.”
Hits home? Hell yes.
Goddamn this song.
Questioning my own manhood putting this up. : )
I feel like I would’ve failed if I didn’t have Ray up here.
The only way this list could end.
Songs are an analogy, a representation of love, and some paint a more accurate picture of love than others. But, there’s another story I would like to share that I think might paint a more accurate picture of what love is.
For me, the most balanced, seamless love I’ve ever been around was that of my grandparents growing up. They were the epitome of companionship and partnership to me when I was growing up. In fact, they were about to celebrate their 50th anniversary before they both died in a car wreck (side by side).
As a result, I often compared my own relationships to them as I grew up.
Unfortunately though, I realized that was totally unfair of me (after several failed relationships of my own) because I had only gotten to see the final product of almost 50 years of marriage. I had not seen the 50 years of work that it took to get to that point. Fifty years of trial and error, heartbreak and letdowns, pain and frustration, failure and mistakes. I just saw their I will always love you story at the end. Therefore, by expecting the same out of my own young relationships, I was being more than extremely short sided; I was being impossible to please.
In fact, it wasn’t until after their death that I learned that there was almost a five year period where they didn’t even talk at all because of my grandmother’s drinking problem (which I also didn’t know about beforehand). But that’s something I could’ve never even fathomed growing up. To me, they were always just Mr. and Mrs. Ragsdale – a team, a couple, an example.
My point is, love is not as simple as I will always love you. Love isn’t just an end product, or what you hear in a song. Love is having to say your sorry a thousand times. Love is more than 50/50 because someone is always going to fall short of their half. Love is standing in the middle of a hurricane and waiting for the storm to pass. Love is patient, love is kind, love is enduring. Love is not perfect, and it’s certainly not done by perfect people. Love just does.
I dunno, there’s a point in there somewhere.
I guess just write your own love song and sing the shit out of it.
**Correction: It was a failure to not include Otis Redding. It’s impossible to pick one, so we’ll just put up my favorite ‘feel’ of his.