Let’s talk about unrequited love for a minute. One of the hardest facts that you will ever have to face in life is loving someone who doesn’t feel the same way about you. That’s why many songs about unrequited love have been written over the years.
We’ve all been there before. You fall head over heels for someone who doesn’t even know you exist or, even worse, looks at you as only “friend material.” Nothing makes you want to crawl into a hole and hide more than expressing your love for someone who immediately puts you in your place by saying that they care for you, but “not in that way.” If you have found yourself in this situation, here is a great list of songs that will resonate with you.
1. Can I Be Him by James Arthur
|Album||Back from the Edge|
We’ve all been in a situation before where we’ve been in love with someone who doesn’t love us back. However, how many of us have sat back and thought to ourselves, “I can be so much better for them than the person they’re with.” You know that you can be better for them than their significant other, but you just can’t find the opportunity to tell them. In James Arthur’s slow-tempo acoustic track “Can I Be Him,” this is precisely what’s going on. James Arthur is completely smitten with someone who already has a boyfriend, and he would gladly trade places with that boyfriend in a heartbeat.
2. The Heart Wants What It Wants by Selena Gomez
The heart is such a funny thing. It completely controls you, but you have no control over it. As much as you might like to, you cannot tell your heart what to feel and what not to feel. It’s a lot like what Selena Gomez says in her track, “The Heart Wants What It Wants.” What makes this song so unique is that it is autobiographical. Gomez says that this song documents many of the troubles that she went through with her ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber. However, she says that all of the trials and tribulations that the two of them went through made her a better person.
3. A Thousand Years by Christina Perri
|Album||The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1: The Score|
How often is it that you get the opportunity to write a song that’s going to appear on the soundtrack to one of your favorite movie series of all time? Well, if I had to guess, the answer would not be that often. However, Christina Perri was given that opportunity when she was asked to write a song that would appear in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part One. As a self-professed Twilight fanatic, Perri said that she had to try to contain the emotional attachment she has to the series when writing the track that would be used as the theme for Edward and Bella’s star-crossed romance.
4. Grenade by Bruno Mars
|Genre||R&B, Blues, Pop|
|Album||Doo-Wops & Hooligans|
When asked about the meaning of “Grenade,” Bruno Mars said, “You’re so in love with this woman, and you don’t understand, ” What am I doing wrong? What am I not giving to you? I’ll go as far as putting a bullet in my brain for you, and why can’t I get that kind of love in return?” He added that he wanted to write about something that most people can relate to, and unfortunately, this is a situation I believe that we’ve all been in at least once. You give your all to someone, but it’s never enough for them, no matter how hard you try.
5. Put You in a Song by Keith Urban
Co-written by Keith Urban, Sarah Buxton, and Jedd Hughes, this was the first single from Urban’s seventh studio album, “Get Closer.” The track tells the age-old tale of a young man who has his eye on a young lady, even though he knows that she isn’t in his league. When asked about the inspiration for this song, Urban said: “I’ve always loved songs about the guy in love with the unattainable girl, and the idea that the only chance that this poor guy is ever going to have to get close to the object of his affection is to put her in a song.”
6. Everything You Want by Vertical Horizon
|Album||Everything You Want|
There are lots of songs about unrequited love that are written from the perspective of the person who is in love with someone else that doesn’t know they exist, so to speak. However, what makes this song interesting is that the band Vertical Horizon has chosen to go another route and write a song from the perspective of the person who is being adored and admired, although they don’t feel the same about the person who is admiring them. That perspective is what I think makes this song so incredibly unique and refreshing. It’s also what gave Vertical Horizon their only Billboard number-one hit.
7. Creep by Radiohead
Radiohead has developed a rapidly loyal fan base, and they are also a hit with the critics, placing four of their albums in Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Albums of All Time. Although their debut album Pablo Honey did not make that list, its first single, “Creep,” was the British band’s highest-charting single in the United States. Radiohead Lane vocalist Thom Yorke has gone on record as saying that the song is about someone who is dealing with their self-loathing disposition and realizing that they are not good enough for the one who they have their heart set on being with.
8. Losing My Religion by R.E.M.
|Album||Out Of Time|
I can fully appreciate the mindset that the members of the Atlanta-based alternative band R.EM. must have been in to write this Grammy Award-winning track from 1991’s “Out Of Time.” The title of the song is a paraphrase of the Southern saying, “Lost my religion,” which generally occurs when someone tests your patience so much that they also make you lose faith in them and question the relationship. As I said, I’ve been there. You care for someone so much, and you grow weary of those feelings not being reciprocated that you question everything about that person and the relationship.
9. Better Now By Post Malone
|Album||Beerbongs & Bentleys|
In this song, Post Malone is thinking back about a past relationship and how he couldn’t give back the love that his former partner gave him. While this is a fairly unique concept, as most songs find the narrator on the other end of this scenario, what makes this song stand out is its high-energy beat and Post Malone’s unique delivery of the message. It transcends the definition of being categorized in a traditional genre and instead mixes Hip Hop, soul, and a little pop to create a new sound. The track was a big hit for Malone, reaching the number-three spot on the Billboard charts.
10. I Can’t Make You Love Me by Bonnie Raitt
|Genre||Rock, Folk, Country|
|Album||Luck of the Draw|
Bonnie Raitt has always been a respected musician and singer, but she caught the attention of the entire world when she won the Grammy Award for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance for her album “Luck of the Draw.” Featured on that album was “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” which is about having an intense love for someone that, unfortunately, is not reciprocated. It’s also about coming to the heartbreaking realization that there’s nothing you can do to make someone love you when they don’t. What makes this song so unique is that she is admitting defeat, which is not something that you hear often.
11. Dreaming With a Broken Heart by John Mayer
First and foremost, I love the title of this song. It immediately paints a picture of what the track is about, and when it’s coupled with that loan piano playing, it sends the message that John Mayer is broken up about what’s happened between him and his significant other. She has broken up with him, which has him out of sorts. He goes on to imply that he is still madly in love with her. It has even gotten bad enough that he’s at the point where Mayer sees visions of this woman when she’s not there. Now, that’s what I call having it bad.
12. I Hate Myself for Loving You by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
|Album||Up Your Alley|
Before having a successful solo career with her band The Blackhearts, Joan Jett was known for being the frontwoman and the founder of The Runaways. However, what most people don’t know about her is that she was born in Maryland but moved to Los Angeles with her parents to help her establish a musical career. After her parents divorced, she changed her name to Joan Jett, and the rest is history. “I Hate Myself for Loving You,” which is about giving all your love to someone who doesn’t give you any love and return, has become one of her most famous and beloved tracks.
13. Notice Me by Alli Simpson
I know that I’m not alone, and saying that, I have found myself in a situation more than once where I was infatuated with someone whom I thought didn’t reciprocate those feelings. Unfortunately, I might have missed out on a great experience because I was wrong in trying to form my interpretation of another person’s thoughts. This is exactly the sentiment that is captured in the track “Notice Me,” which is the second single from Australian singer Alli Simpson. In this song, Simpson tells us how she is smitten by someone who doesn’t seem to know that she’s alive; at least, that’s how it appears.
14. Tell Him by Celine Dion (Featuring Barbara Streisand)
Too many relationships are ended even before they have a chance to begin because one of the people involved is too scared to let the other know how they feel. This song, which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals, has Celine Dion teaming up with Barbra Streisand to tell us a story that involves this particular scenario. What makes this song different is that Celine Dion sings the parts where she is being rational. Barbra Streisand’s Parts sound like she is the irrational side of a woman and is trying to convince herself to go for it.
15. Jessie’s Girl by Rick Springfield
|Album||Working Class Dog|
Although I can’t necessarily say that I have been in the same situation as Rick Springfield was singing about in his hit Billboard number-one single “Jessie’s Girl,” I have to respect him for having the courage to bring his feelings out into the open and bare his soul for everybody to see. They say that the best story is to draw inspiration from real life, and this song is no different. Springfield says that while he was taking a class to learn how to make stained glass, he met a guy and his girlfriend. He was instantly attracted to her, but she was not interested in him.
16. Over My Head by Fleetwood Mac
|Genre||Rock, Classic Rock|
Fleetwood Mac’s keyboard player Christine McVie wrote and also sang lead vocals on this track about being crazy about a guy who she knows is bad for her because his mood changes like the weather. What makes this song different from other Fleetwood Mac songs is that Christine McVie rarely draws inspiration for her songs from real-life experiences, unlike her bandmate Stevie Nicks. For many years, there were theories that she wrote this song about her husband, John, but those rumors were put to bed by insisting that her songs were always fictional. This song was also Fleetwood Mac’s first foray into the Top 40
17. Nothin’ on You by B.O.B. (Featuring Bruno Mars)
|Album||B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray|
Bobby Ray Simmons, also known by his stage name B.O.B., is a rapper and a producer from Atlanta, Georgia. The gifted rapper released several mixtapes and EPS before releasing his debut album “B.o.B presents The Adventures of Bobby Ray.” He struck gold with this track, which is about a guy pleading his case to get with a girl whom he stands no chance with. In my opinion, what makes this song work so well and what made it a hit is that you get a much lighter side of B.O.B. paired with an infectious hook that is expertly delivered by Bruno Mars.
18. Black by Pearl Jam
|Genre||Grunge, Hard Rock|
Seattle’s Pearl Jam came roaring out of the gate with their debut album “Ten,” which sold over 15.7 million copies worldwide based on the strength of singles like “Black.” The track is about first relationships, which are generally unrequited. One of the people involved wants the relationship to last forever, while the other feels like they have to move on. Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder had this to say about the song: “I’ve heard it said that you couldn’t have a true love unless it was a love unrequited. It’s a harsh one because then your truest one is the one you can’t have forever.”
19. Self-Esteem by The Offspring
|Genre||Punk Rock, Alternative Rock|
It’s not very often that you will hear a band say that they don’t particularly care for the greatest hit they ever had, but The Offspring aren’t your ordinary, run-of-the-mill band. But that said, I feel like the fact that the song is semi-autobiographical makes it even more hilarious. Need vocalist Dexter Holland said that this song was written because of a former relationship the singer once had in which he was head-over-heels in love with a girl who didn’t feel the same way about him. Sadly, the girl was aware of this and used Holland to get what she wanted out of him.
20. You Don’t Know Me by Ray Charles
|Album||Ray Charles’s Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music|
What makes Ray Charles so incredibly special is that his playing transcends genres. He can play anything from rock and roll to Blues to country, and he won’t miss a beat while doing so. In 1962, the gifted singer and piano player released an album in which he covered many of his favorite country songs, including the track “You Don’t Know Me,” which was originally written by Texas songwriter Cindy Walker and Eddy Arnold. The song tells the sad, age-old story of a guy who’s completely in love with a girl who is in love with a different guy and doesn’t return those feelings. If you like this song, I recommend listening to our full playlist of songs about falling in love.
21. Not In That Way by Sam Smith
|Album||In the Lonely Hour|
Sometimes they say that the simple approach is the best, and after hearing this track from Sam Smith, I would concur. In his heartbreaking acoustic ballad “Not In That Way,” he tells us the sad tale of him being in love with someone who tells him that they could never love him “in that way,” meaning that they don’t see him in a romantic light. While this message is far from unique, what makes this song special is the heartbreaking delivery of Sam Smith’s powerful vocals. This is one of those songs in which the singer’s delivery has the power to make you hurt right alongside him.
22. Foolish Games by Jewel
|Genre||Folk, Singer-Songwriter, Electric, Dance|
|Album||Batman & Robin (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)|
Choosing to forego her usual folk style of music, Jewel lets her voice shine on this somber piano-based ballad from the soundtrack to Joel Schumacher’s film Batman & Robin. I think that’s what makes this track so you need. She lets her voice convey all of the raw emotions contained within the song without the help of lots of instruments that can only distract you from the message of this beautiful track. What she was trying to get across on this track was the frustration that comes with dealing with unrequited love, which can end up driving you mad if you allow it to.
23. Closer Than You Might Believe by Alanis Morissette
|Genre||Alternative, Indie, Rock|
|Album||Jagged Little Pill (Collector’s Edition)|
Alanis Morissette celebrated the 20th anniversary of her debut album “Jagged Little Pill” by releasing a collector’s edition of the album. Featured on that collector’s edition was the demo of the track “Closer Than You Might Believe.” Honestly, I can see why this song wasn’t released with the original version of the album because it doesn’t sound like it fits in well with the rest of it. However, I find myself enjoying the almost country atmosphere that the song provides. Morissette says the song is about “lamenting the fact that I was relegated to the ‘friend zone’ with someone I cared deeply about in a romantic way.”
24. Not Over You by Gavin DeGraw (Featuring Ryan Tedder)
“Not Over You,” which was the first single from singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw’s third album “Sweeter,” is about foregoing the traditional and expected reaction of putting up a front when you are hurting inside after a bad breakup. The singer said that he wrote this song to show that sometimes you can be strong while simultaneously being real. He says that the main point of the track is that you don’t need to be macho or masculine or romantic. Sometimes, you just need to be real. What I like most about this track is that all of the emotions contained within the lyrics come through in his voice.
25. Black Cloud by Morrisey
|Album||Years of Refusal|
Interestingly enough, Jeff Beck played guitar on this track from Morrissey, which is a shift from the brilliant singer and lyricist’s typically melancholy style. Instead, Morrissey opted for a much more rockabilly sound on this track, which I find makes it an interesting listen. This song tells the tale of the unrequited love that one person has for the other, and he can’t seem to make her love him no matter what he does to amuse her. Still, even though it seems like there is nothing that he can do to make her his girlfriend, it doesn’t seem like he is ready to stop trying anytime soon.
26. You Belong With Me by Taylor Swift
|Album||You Belong With Me|
This Grammy-nominated song was a massive hit from Taylor Swift’s second studio album, as well as the title track for the record. What I like about this song and what makes it such a fun lesson is that it depicts a situation we have all been in once or twice. Maybe it’s just me, but I always find songs that describe familiar situations to be so enjoyable because they are relatable and can even be funny at times. However, even though it’s not mentioned in the song, I do find myself rooting for her to get the guy and find the happiness that she desires.
27. Memphis by Justin Bieber (Featuring Big Sean)
|Genre||R&B, Soul, Pop|
The track “Memphis” marks a special time in Justin Bieber’s career. This was from the album in which he transitioned from being a pop star into singing R&B and soul tracks. He also started to tackle more mature subject matter, like unrequited love, which is the subject of this track. Accompanied by the famous rapper Big Sean, Justin Bieber thinks about a girl whom he’s had his eye on for quite some time, although it’s not clear whether or not she feels the same about him. While I like this track better than his earlier material, Bieber went overboard with the auto-tune on this song.
28. You’re Beautiful by James Blunt
|Genre||R&B, Soul, Pop|
|Album||Back to Bedlam|
This song is one of the more interesting premises of all the songs on this list. While most songs pertain to loving someone who you know but don’t love you back, this one is about a passing moment on the subway in which a narrator falls in love with a girl he doesn’t know and just with someone else. Yes, you read that right. In James Blunt’s single “Beautiful,” he tells us the story of one single, fleeting moment when he saw a girl who he believes is his soulmate. However, by the end of this song, He acknowledges that the two of them will never be together.
29. Without Me By Halsey
|Genre||Electronic, Dance, Pop|
Ashley Frampton has made a living in the music industry writing songs from the point of view of her stage persona, Halsey. However, without me was the first song that she wrote uniquely from the perspective of Ashley. This song is about taking care of someone and picking them up when they need it most, only to have them desert you for someone else. Another example of what makes this song so unique and interesting is that it’s a drum-and-bass techno romantic duet. While I know that this may sound like an aberration, it works for Halsey, or should I say Ashley?
30. Call Out My Name by The Weeknd
|Genre||R&B, Soul, Pop|
|Album||My Dear Melancholy|
How fitting is it that this track first appeared on an EP called “My Dear Melancholy?” Well, with songs like “Call Out My Name,” I can understand why he’d call it that. According to The Weeknd (as well as the speculation of many of his fans), this song was written about the Canadian-born singer’s relationship with actress and pop star Selena Gomez. The two dated from January to October of 2017, with Gomez having a kidney transplant in the summer of 2017. He references that time in the song when he says, “When times were rough, I made sure I held you close to me.”
31. Layla by Derek and The Dominoes
|Album||Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs|
Derek and the Dominoes lead guitarist Eric Clapton wrote this song about being in love with George Harrison’s wife, which was one of the worst-kept secrets in the history of music. Still, whether you agree with the brashness of Clapton writing a love song for a married woman or not, you have to agree that what makes this song so great is the amazing guitar riff that he came up with for the track. In my opinion, that riff is not only unmistakable, but it has to rank amongst some of the best riffs ever written in the history of rock music.
32. Waiting in Vain by Bob Marley & The Wailers
We’ve all been in this situation where we’ve had feelings for someone who didn’t have the same feelings about us. When this happens, we are usually faced with the decision of either keeping hope alive that one day these feelings will be returned or should we give up and focus our energy and emotions on something a bit more rewarding? Well, one of the more interesting facts about this song that I’ve learned is that Bob Marley wrote this song about someone who had been waiting three years to see if his love would go unrequited. Is it me, or is that oddly specific?
33. Crush by Mandy Moore
Before she was known for playing Rebecca Pearson in the critically acclaimed and wildly popular television series This Is Us, Mandy Moore was a successful pop star with a couple of top 40 hits under her belt. One of her more well-known songs is the single “Crush,” which was from her self-titled debut album. In this song, she finds herself smitten with someone whom she cannot bring up the courage to tell how she feels. Instead, she simply brushes It off as nothing more than a crush and reassures herself that nobody else knows her secret. After all, as the song says, “It’s just a little crush.”
34. Brass in Pocket by The Pretenders
The Pretenders were formed after lead singer Chrissie Hind left her home in Aron, Ohio, and dropped out of Kent State University to move to London, England. The title of their hit single, “Brass in Pocket” comes from a saying in British slang that means that you have money in your pocket. What I find makes this song So relatable is that it’s about a guy who is putting on a front. He can’t get a girl, and he doesn’t fit in with the guys. So, as the lyrics say, he puts on the front to try to make people notice him.
35. Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me) by The Temptations
|Album||Sky’s the Limit|
How many times have you been completely smitten with someone whom you know that you didn’t stand a chance of being with in reality? Unfortunately, this is a situation that most of us can relate to because it’s happened to us at least once. That’s also why I like this track. It takes the everyday scenario of imagining how well things would be if you and the object of your desire were together, but it only happens in your imagination. The Temptations let you know that they have been in your shoes, which doesn’t make you feel as bad about not getting to be with that person.
36. I’m A Mess by Bebe Rexha
One of the most difficult things that you will experience in life is being in a relationship and not knowing whether or not your significant other truly loves you the way you love them. Sadly, one fact that we almost face is that people sometimes fall out of love with their partner, but not all of them dare to tell the other how they’re feeling. In her Billboard top-40 hit that can best be described as rock meets pop meets dance music, Bebe Rexha is driving herself mad, wondering if her significant other feels the same way about her as she feels for them.
37. Make You Feel My Love by Adele
|Genre||Pop, R&B, Soul|
Originally recorded by Bob Dylan in 1997 and appearing on his album “Time Out Of Mind,” Adele covered this song because the songs that she was writing didn’t properly convey the feelings that she was going through while writing and recording her album “19.” The gifted singer said, “I wrote 9 songs in a short space of time, all about this awful relationship I was in. I never quite got down what I was feeling in those songs, though.” Her manager introduced her to this song, and she retained many of Bob Dylan’s heartfelt emotions on her cover while putting her distinct stamp on it.
38. Wicked Game by Chris Isaak
|Album||Heart Shaped World|
Interestingly enough, Chris Isaak wrote what would become the biggest hit of his career while he was waiting on a girl to show up at his apartment who had called him to schedule a late-night rendezvous. He said that he knew from the beginning of the relationship that this girl would certainly be trouble, but he couldn’t stay away from her. When she showed up, she wanted to fool around, but all Chris Isaac wanted to do was play the song for her. What I like best about this song is that it has a unique guitar riff that sets the tone for the entire track.
39. Little Bit by Drake (Featuring Lykke Li)
Aubrey Drake Graham, who is better known by his stage name Drake, has certainly come a long way from his days of appearing on television shows like Degrassi to being one of the most influential and successful figures in rap music. Guest vocalist Lykke Li had this to say about the song: “It’s not a happy song – it’s about me being in love with you, and you’re not in love with me, and I gave you all my body. It’s not humorous. It’s tragic.” What sets this song apart from many of Drake’s other songs is that he showcases his vocals instead of exclusively rapping on the track.
40. Bad Religion by Frank Ocean
On the track “Bad Religion,” which appears on his debut album “Channel ORANGE,” Frank Ocean shook up the status quo by writing a song about falling in love with a man. Many people began to ask the gifted singer if the story contained within the song was true, and Ocean was more than happy to verify that this song was based on events that happened in his life when he was younger. He said that he fell in love with a guy who had a girlfriend and didn’t reciprocate those feelings. In the song, he’s telling his story to a tabby while they drive around the city.
41. Almost Lover by A Fine Frenzy (Featuring Alison Sudol)
|Album||One Cell in the Sea|
Alison Sudol, who performs under the stage name A Fine Frenzy, wrote this track when she was only 19 years old, although it wasn’t released until a decade later. However, this melancholy piano ballad made the singer wonder if she should be writing music. Thankfully, she concluded that writing music was the best way to deal with the pain of losing her “almost lover.” Sudol says, “The first song I wrote on piano was ‘Almost Lover,’ and it was a song that I wrote out of pain and necessity.” You can feel that pain coming through on the track’s vocals.
42. Shiver by Coldplay
There have been comparisons drawn between The Police’s Grammy Award-winning hit single “Every Breath You Take” and this song, which was one of the first songs that Chris Martin wrote for his band, Coldplay. You’re reading the lyrics; I can understand why. To put it simply, this is a song written from the perspective of a stalker. At least, that’s what I take from it. I think what makes this song so unique is that it doesn’t sound like anything you would expect to hear from Coldplay. However, that’s one of the primary reasons I feel like this song works so well.
Popular Article: Playlist of Songs About Forbidden Love
43. Lovefool by The Cardigans
|Album||First Band on the Moon|
Upon first hearing “Lovefool,” the syrupy suite single from The Cardigans, I have to admit that I was under the impression that this was going to be another run-of-the-mill love song. However, after paying much closer attention to the lyrics, you get the impression that there’s something a little dark and Sinister going on behind the sweet voice of lead vocalist Nina Elisabet Persson. The track was featured on the soundtrack to Baz Luhrmann’s William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet, and it gave The Cardigans their biggest hit, hitting the second spot on the Billboard Hot 100. Sadly, the track was their only hit.
44. Every Little Thing She Does is Magic by The Police
|Genre||Rock, Classic Rock|
|Album||Ghost in the Machine|
Is it me, or do you look at all of the lyrics to the songs by the police a little differently after hearing their creepy hit single “Every Breath You Take?” For example, let’s take a look at “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic.” Whereas I might have initially seen this as a sweet and loving song that Sting is singing about someone when he cares about deeply, I now see a stalker who is spying on a girl whom he’s lusting after. Make no mistake; this song is an ode to a girl whom he knows then he will never stand a chance of being with.
45. Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover by Sophie B. Hawkins
|Album||Tongues and Tails|
Now, tell me if any of you have been guilty of this. Sometimes, when we can’t have the person we want, we tend to speak ill of the person we’re currently with. If it’s something that you’ve done before, then you can relate to where Grammy-nominated Sophie B. Hawkins is coming from in the track “Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover.” In this track, Hawkins lets us know that she is in love with a person who is with someone else and doesn’t reciprocate her feelings. She chooses to deal with this in her special way by speaking poorly of the person he’s with.
46. How Can You Mend a Broken Heart by Al Green
|Album||Let’s Stay Together|
Appearing as one of several covers on this list, the track “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” was originally written by Barry and Robin Gibb and performed by The Bee Gees. Al Green would later cover the song for his album “Let’s Stay Together.” Another interesting fact about the Al Green version of this song was that it was used in the movie Notting Hill and the television series Atlanta. In the track, green asks the listener various rhetorical questions, such as “How can you stop the sun from shining” to find a way to mend his broken heart over unrequited love. If you like this song, check out our playlist of songs about missing someone.
47. Liability by Lorde
Sometimes, when a couple first starts dating, everything appears to be fine and dandy. However, as time passes, one of the people in the relationship may start to realize that it was a mistake getting involved with the other person. When this happens, it can cause lots of animosity between the two people involved. That’s what’s going on in Lorde’s slow-burning track “Liability.” Act only by a piano, the singer uses her Soulful voice to convey the pain that she is going through after the guy of her dreams tells her that she’s a liability and he made a mistake being with her in the first place.
48. Stephen by Ke$ha
While most songs about unrequited love are usually fairly discrete, Ke$ha goes against the grain and does something very unique in this track. She puts the object of her affections on Blast by using his name in the track and as its title. That’s what makes the song “Stephen” stand out amongst a fairly large crowd of similar songs. In this song, which can best be described as hip-hop meets pop and dance with a gospel-flavored chorus, Ke$ha proceeds to rip into Steven for the clothes he wears and the girl he dates. I guess what they say about a woman scorned is true.
49. Adore by Cashmere Cat (Featuring Ariana Grande)
Norwegian producer Cashmere Cat is known for creating infectious beats and grooves and getting world-class singers and pop stars to deliver the vocals on his tracks. “Adore” is no exception, as it features vocals from the one and only Ariana Grande as they tread into R&B territory with this song about her love that appears to be one-sided. Grande thinks about the object of her affections consuming her every waking thought, but he does not feel the same way about her. What separates this song from a sea of others about the same topic is the combination of Cashmere Cats’ poppy beat with Ariana Grande’s soulful vocals.
50. The Girl of My Best Friend by Elvis Presley
|Genre||Rock & Roll|
|Album||Elvis Is Back!|
Elvis Presley is one of the most successful and wildly popular solo artists of all time. According to Graceland, the singer has sold over 1 billion singles and albums worldwide, which puts Elvis solely at the top spot when it comes to records sold. This song is basically “Jessie’s Girl” 20 years before Rick Springfield wrote “Jesse’s Girl,” as it depicts a lonely Elvis who is Smitten by his best friend’s Lover. In the song, he’s fighting back the urge to tell this young lady how he feels about her, but no one’s sure how long that will last, including him.
51. If by Janet Jackson
|Genre||R&B, Soul, Dance|
By the time the 1990s rolled around, Janet Jackson was establishing herself as much more than Michael’s sister and Penny from Good Times. She was now one of the most popular and respected female pop stars of her day. In 1993, she released her self-titled album, which featured the song “If,” which is a dance track with a rock and roll edge that finds Janet Jackson Los Feliz staring at a person she wants to be with. Unfortunately, that person does not feel the same way about her. Still, that doesn’t stop her from putting it all out there and letting him know how she feels.
52. Heartless by Kanye West
|Album||808s & Heartbreak|
Although he has become quite a controversial character, there was a time when Kanye West was strictly a rapper, and he was very good at it. After all, Yeezy has 24 Grammy Awards under his belt and has been nominated a whopping 75 times. In 2008, the gifted MC released his critically-praised album “808s & Heartbreak,” which featured his fan-favorite track “Heartless.” In this song, Kanye wraps over what he calls the “perfect beat” about a man who was deeply in love with a woman, but she was heartless and didn’t share the same feelings about him. I hope he wasn’t talking about himself.
53. Have You Ever by Brandy
|Year Released||Never Say Never|
Brandy sets this song’s tone immediately when she opens the track by asking, “Have you ever loved somebody so much it makes you cry? Have you ever needed something so bad you can’t sleep at night?” In this song, the gifted singer finds herself pining over “the one who got away.” What I like most about this song is that although Brandy was only 19 when she released it, it depicted a very grown-up and mature side of her. When Diane Warren wrote this song, Diane Warren had Cher, Bette Midler, LeAnn Rimes, and Shanice in mine, but Brandy knocked this one out of the park.
54. How Do I Get There by Deana Carter
|Album||Did I Shave My Legs for This?|
This song tells the age-old story of two people who are best friends, and one of them ends up falling in love with the other. What I like about this mid-tempo country track from Deanna Carter is that she sings about a situation that should be familiar to most of the people who hear it. We’ve all found ourselves in this situation before, where we’ve started having feelings that go a little further than friendship with one of the people we consider our best friends. It’s only natural that you develop these feelings because you spend so much time with that other person.
55. Just a Friend by Biz Markie
|Album||The Biz Never Sleeps|
In the hit single “Just a Friend,” Biz Markie takes a situation that we are all quite familiar with and turns it into a hilarious Billboard top-ten hit. Although the lyrical content of the song isn’t what I find humorous, it’s his delivery that has me in stitches. It’s a little hard to take this song seriously when I laugh every time I hear him howling the chorus like a wounded animal. Still, you can’t help feeling sorry for Biz Markie when he has invested all of this energy into someone who keeps leading him on but continues to date other guys as well.
56. Not Your Cinderella by Payton Rae
|Album||Dare to Live|
Pardon the pun, but in this track, the proverbial slipper is on the other foot. The story puts a unique spin on the “love at first sight” trope that you see in plenty of movies and television shows these days. What makes this song unique is country singer Payton Rae’s unique word plate, in which she takes various Disney movies and inserts herself as the main character, much like the title “Not Your Cinderella.” She uses these lyrics to shoot down a guy who has fallen in love with her at first sight to an up-tempo country beat. So much for letting people down gently, right?
57. You Are Not Alone by Michael Jackson
|Album||Michael Jackson’s This Is It|
Although this track would never be considered Michael Jackson’s most popular song, it does hold one record. “You Are Not Alone” is the only song to ever enter the Billboard Hot 100 at the number-one spot. Another interesting fact is that this single was written by R Kelly, who also provided backing vocals. It was also written partially about Michael Jackson’s marriage to Lisa Marie Presley, who divorced him after refusing to be in the spotlight with him. The fact that she wasn’t notified until the last minute that she was going to be in the video for this track is one example of this.
58. Things Happen That Way by Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash is amongst the most influential country music stars to ever grace the stage. Throughout his 45-year career, the bass-baritone legend released an astonishing 97 albums. Appearing on his 1959 release “Greatest!,” his track “Things Happen That Way” chronicles the sad Tale of a heartbroken young man who is still in love with his ex. Unfortunately, she does not reciprocate those feelings, which has left him sad and alone. He finds himself pining over his lost love and the fact that he can’t get her back. The crossover hit was Johnny Cash’s fourth number-one hit and spent 24 weeks on the charts.
59. I’m Not That Girl by Idina Menzel
|Genre||Show Tunes, Musical|
|Album||Wicked: Original Cast Recording|
Although Idina Menzel’s most recognized song is easily “Let It Go” from the Disney animated film Frozen, she has put in some amazing work for the Broadway show Wicked as well. For example, let’s look at “I’m Not That Girl.” In what could best be called a light, airy, and ambient tune, Menzel’s voice is allowed to shine as she sings about not being the right girl for the object of her affection, although it’s easy to see that she wishes she was. What I like about this song is that we’ve all been in this situation, and we’ve all reacted this way.
60. It’s Only Make Believe by Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn
Although Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn are well known for their sing-along duets that would fit in at any karaoke party, this one takes a much more serious tone. “It’s Only Make Believe” is about a couple in which only one of the people involved is truly in love. At the beginning of the track, they talk about how people see them out in public and believe that their relationship is real. However, Conway Twitty goes on to sing about how much he loves her and that he hopes that one day the relationship can be true. Unfortunately, Loretta Lynn does not feel the same way.
61. I Don’t Know How to Tell You This by Faith Ling
|Album||I Don’t Know How to Tell You This|
Many times in life, we want to save something, but we don’t know how to put the words together to say what we are feeling. That’s the sentiment being expressed in this acoustic tune from Faitn Ling. Sadly, this is a situation that we’ve heard all too often. In the song, she tells us how much she is in love with someone, but every time she tries to get the words out, she can’t bring herself to see how she feels. Towards the end of a song, she wants to tell him how she feels and she’s having an argument with her conscience whether or not to say it.
62. Tiny Vessels by Death Cab for Cutie
|Genre||Alternative, Indie, Rock, Folk|
Not all relationships are smooth sailing. Sometimes, one of the people involved falls out of love with the other, much like we get in Death Cab for Cutie’s track “Tiny Vessels.”In an interview with Noisey, lead vocalist Ben Gibbard said that the track is about “Being so attracted to a person physically that I ignore all the qualities that are important to me, and I’m disgusted with myself for falling prey to that superficiality.” However, the character in the song realizes that everything with this person is meaningless and makes an attempt to get away from the relationship that goes wrong for him.
63. Lover, You Should Come Over by Jeff Buckley
|Genre||Alternative, Indie, Rock|
Unlike many other musicians, Jeff Buckley usually doesn’t disclose the names of the people he writes about in his songs. However, there is a lot of speculation amongst his fans that this song was written about his relationship with Rebecca Moore, who is an artist and a singer. The song, which starts peculiarly enough with an accordion before it breaks into an acoustic ballad, is about wanting forgiveness for the things you’ve done wrong in a relationship as well as still wanting to be with that person. This feeling is expertly conveyed in the line “Too young to hold on. Too old to cut free and run.”
64. Could’ve Been by H.E.R. (Featuring Bryson Tiller)
|Album||I Used to Know Her|
H.ER. enlists the help of Bryson Tiller in this song that waxes poetically about what could have happened in a relationship if it had stood the test of time. What I like most about this track is the soulful, sensual vocals that are brought to the song. H.E.R. She’s one of those rare singers who are talented enough to make you feel what they are feeling in the song. She and guest vocalist Bryson Tiller hash out what they think was the demise of their relationship, but neither of them can seem to let go of it.
65. Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad by Meat Loaf
|Genre||Rock, Classic Rock|
|Album||Bat Out Of Hell|
“Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad” is one of those songs that almost everybody has heard and can instantly recognize. Featured on Meat Loaf’s quadruple-diamond classic album “Bat Out Of Hell,” this song is about a man who has been broken up with by his girlfriend because he won’t tell her that he loves her. He tries to play his case with her by telling her that he is good enough, but he will never love her. Hence, the line, “I want you. I need you. There ain’t no way I’m ever going to love you, but don’t be sad. Two out of three ain’t bad.”
66. Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis
The UK chart-topping single “Bleeding Love” is a perfect example of why Leona Lewis won the television competition show X-Factor. It combines Lewis’s soulful vocals with pop sensibilities and an incredibly catchy hook to plus her broken heart, but she also says that she’s still in love with the guilty party. She’s in quite a conundrum, which is not made any easier by the constant gossiping of the people around her. Try as she might come, it’s getting harder and harder to ignore what she’s hearing. It’s also sad that no matter how badly this guy seems to hurt her, she will readily go back as soon as she has the chance.
67. Crazy by Patsy Cline
One of the most interesting facts about this song was that it was written by Willie Nelson. As the story goes, Nelson was down on his look at the time and came out of his Funk when he wrote this song that would be made a hit by Patsy Cline, the Queen of Country Music. The song is about a situation that we see far too often, in which a relationship doesn’t work out, but one of the people involved refuses to get over it. The song became a runaway kid, earning multiple awards from several outlets, including Billboard magazine.
68. Love Stinks by The J. Geils Band
In this upbeat rocker, the J. Geils Band doesn’t hesitate to let us know exactly how they feel about love, and they think “Love Stinks.” So, what makes them have this attitude toward love? The song opens up with a perfectly good reason why they would feel this way. As J Geils says, “You love her and she loves him, but he loves somebody else.” However, what sets this song apart from the crowd is that instead of continually pining about the love he’s lost, Geils simply shrugs It Off and dismisses the emotion altogether. Well, I guess that’s one way to look at it.
69. A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More ‘Touch Me’ by Fall Out Boy
|Genre||Alternative, Indie, Rock|
|Album||From Under the Cork Tree|
While I can understand being in love with someone who doesn’t love you, what I can’t understand is being obsessed to the point where you are constantly thinking about that person and sleeping on their front porch. Yes, you read that last part correctly. I said, “sleeping on their front porch.” That’s the length to that the narrator in Fall Out Boy’s “A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More ‘Touch Me'” has taken his affections towards this girl. However, the girl not having any of it and tells him to drop dead. The title is a play on Elvis Presley’s “A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Satisfaction.”
70. Window Up Above by George Jones
George Jones is a country music royalty. He has had 69 top-ten hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, with 13 of them reaching the top spot. With that many hit country songs, it’s safe to say that The Possum knows a thing or two about heartbreak, and there is no heartache worse than finding out that your lover is stepping out on the relationship. Sadly, that’s what’s going on in “Window Up Above,” where he sees his love cheating on him with another man. What I find to be the saddest part is that he wishes he would have been sleeping instead of seeing what he witnessed.
Nobody likes to be on the losing end of a relationship. This includes being madly in love with someone who doesn’t feel that way about you or who may not even know you’re alive. This can also make social scenes especially awkward if the two of you run in the same circles. On the other hand, if you happen to find yourself in a situation where someone has feelings for you but you don’t share these feelings, try to put yourself in their place and let them down easily. Put yourself in their place and show a little compassion for their feelings. After all, isn’t that the very least that you would expect from anyone else?
Hi, my name is Kevin and I’m from Butler, Pennsylvania. I’ve been obsessed with music and audio gear for as long as I can remember. I started this website to help people find professional advice related to a wide range of audio topics. We have a number of Audio Engineers on our team who have been designing and fixing audio gear for decades.