I'll openly admit that music has been and always will be my anti-drug. (Remember those anti-drug campaigns from years ago?) When I need to sort out my feelings or just find the words to describe a situation, I turn to music. Whether I'm listening or just writing, lyrics have a way of connecting with a person's heart. It's not far-fetched to say that lyrics can shape expectations and perceptions in relationships. Love songs are the best at doing this, but sometimes we can get so caught up in the lyrics that we expect an alternative reality... (because the lyrics were THAT good). Now that I have you questioning everything Ed Sheeran and John Legend ever told you, here are 5 misconceptions that love songs create and why we've been expecting all the wrong things.
1. Your exes are always eventually heartbroken and want you back when they ruin the relationship. - How many love songs are out there with the girl or guy crooning about how bad they messed up with their ex and really regret it because they are so miserable without them? A lot right? We listen to these songs and think... "Yes! Eventually justice will be served to the person that broke my heart." Wrong. More often than not, they move on more quickly than you without giving you or your feelings a second thought. After all, they didn't care when you were together. Now, this isn't supposed to be a pang of dissatisfaction, it's just motivation for you not to dwell on it AND for you not to feed into the emotion that genius lyricists deliberately try to elicit. Everybody wants to hear that their ex misses them deeply and are suffering, but don't believe the hype.
2. Sex isn't as smooth as it's described in love songs. - I've zoned out on my share of love/sex songs wondering if what they were singing about was even possible. The answer is: probably not. I'm sure the songwriters and singers are having the same awkward sex as everybody else but they have to make it sound magical to sell the song. Nobody's going to buy a song highlighting uncoordinated, random headbutts and the occasional "Charlie Horse" mid-session. It's just not sexy to "keep it real" about it.
3. It will be love at first sight with your soulmate. - So many songs taut "knowing when I first met you" themes. Truth be told, most soulmates probably can't stand each other when they meet OR simply wouldn't look twice at one another. So maybe there wasn't fireworks when you met Mr. Right, but a song saying it was is way more romantic. Cut the annoying guy at the coffee shop some slack. He may actually turn out to be the guy that's perfect for you. Don't let the love songs make you curve him before he has a chance.
4. If you let your true love go, they'll find their way back to you if it's meant to be. - This is probably my favorite theme in love songs. It's sooo incredibly romantic, BUT also a little less than true (probably absolutely false). Let your true love go to "test the theory" and there will be some "break-up hawk" there to swoop in and carry them off. The good news is that they'll probably come back, but with baggage from the interim person. The songs make it sound so good when they return. Life is just perfect after that little break. Nope. There will be new terrain to navigate in the relationship jungle and more work for both parties. It sounds great and I love the theme but... just... no.
5. All you need is love. - I appreciate the Beatles' sunny disposition, but if love could pay bills, my little romantic butt would probably own a yacht and a Porsche already. As it appears, love can't actually make money magically appear. Love songs would have you believe that no matter the quality of living, if you're in love, it will all work out. Environmental factors actually play a role in divorce and the resentment that precursors the separation. (I actually sound like a super buzz kill... but the truth is always welcome). Don't think just because you're in love, you'll be able to ignore living in squalor. I could totally be in love and divorce a man for eating my last pack of fruit snacks. That's absolutely destitute times for me! Okay so I'm being dramatic, but you get the point. (Sn: Mama doesn't play about her Welch's treats!)
The point I'm making is that it's fun to consume love songs and apply them to our daily lives , but we have to remember that it MOSTLY doesn't really work how they describe it in the songs. The good news is that "perfect love" comes from the perfect mixture of flaws, effort, and good timing. We're definitely ALL capable of that.
Sidenote: I apologize for the mini-hiatus last week. I came down with a mean case of writer's block. I missed you guys! Actually... I'll let John tell you how I really feel.