Unrequited love can be hard to deal with, whether you’re the one who loves or the one being loved. So what can you do to soothe your pain? They say music helps, which is why, we bring to you 20 unrequited love songs that may help pacify your pain.
I finally understood what true love meant… love meant that you care for another person’s happiness more than your own, no matter how painful the choices you face might be.
― Nicholas Sparks, Dear John
From Severus Snape and Lily Potter in the famous Harry Potter series, to John and Savannah in Nicholas Sparks’ Dear John, from Jo and Laurie in Little Women, to Scarlett and Ashley in Gone With The Wind, unrequited love has been an important part of several literary works, both in the past and today. Unrequited love is love that is not returned, or one-sided love. Tragic in nature, unrequited love can be experienced at the end of a relationship, during a relationship, or more than often, in a scenario when the person you love has no clue about your feelings.
While there are many ways to deal with unrequited love, all of us who have experienced unrequited love, at some time or the other, have turned to music for comfort. Unrequited love songs can make one feel like he/she is not the only person in the world going through that kind of pain, and thus help overcome that feeling of loneliness and dejection.
Given below is a list of 20 best songs about unrequited love in no particular order. These songs are not limited to any specific country, any particular year or even decade – they are the ones that have been vastly loved, and continue to be so, by people all over the world.
“Fix You” ― Coldplay
Formed in the late ’90s, Coldplay is a British rock band whose work is immensely popular all over the world. Fix You is a single released by the band in 2004 and its beautifully tragic lyrics make it a favorite of fans worldwide.
“You Belong With Me” ― Taylor Swift
One of the most-loved music artists today, Taylor Swift largely specializes in songs that relate to matters of the heart. You Belong With Me is exactly what the title says – the longing of a simple girl-next-door for her cute and popular neighbor who has no idea of her feelings. To him, she’s just his friend and nothing more.
“Layla” ― Eric Clapton
An English music artist, Eric Clapton’s deep, crooning voice makes hearts swoon. Layla is one of his most popular works – it is the tragic story of a young man who falls madly in love with a beautiful young woman who he cannot marry.
“Waiting In Vain” ― Bob Marley
The famous Jamaican reggae artist, Bob Marley remains a favorite worldwide even now, three decades after his death. His Waiting In Vain is the sad story of a man who is waiting in vain for three years for his love to be reciprocated.
“Creep” ― Radiohead
The debut single of the British band Radiohead, Creep is the unrequited love story of a boy in love with a beautiful, popular girl who barely knows he exists. The boy considers himself to be too weird and too unpopular for her, and calls himself a “creep”.
“Hey Jude” ― The Beatles
Who can forget the catchy na-na-na-na-nana-na of this song? Hey Jude is a relatively cheerful song, though about unrequited love. The song tells Jude, the central character, to go get his love and not let her go without trying.
“Shiver” ― Coldplay
It’s a story of a man deeply in love with a woman who doesn’t feel the same way. The lyrics and music of Shiver make it one of the best unrequited love songs ever.
“Spanish Guitar” ― Toni Braxton
A favorite among fans since its release in the year 2000, American music artist Toni Braxton’s Spanish Guitar is about a woman longing to be in the arms of the man she loves, who doesn’t really know her or her feelings.
“Somebody’s Me” ― Enrique Iglesias
Spanish singer Enrique’s voice and the soulful, romantic lyrics have floored women all over the world. Somebody’s Me is the romantic, forlorn story of a man who wants to be with the woman he loves. Whether they are separated or were never involved is not exactly clear, but it is a beautiful song of one-sided love.
“Find A Way To My Heart” ― Phil Collins
It’s about a man waiting for the woman he loves to love him back, a man who hides his feelings from her and waits for her to fall in love with him. Find A Way To My Heart – unconditional, unrequited love.
“A Stone” ― Okkervil River
A Stone is a song about a woman who prefers a cold, detached man to a compassionate, kind man who loves her dearly. This song shows the other side of unrequited love – being loved by someone who you don’t love back.
“Crush” ― Garbage
This song is about the most extreme kind of unrequited love – the kind a stalker has for the person he/she is stalking.
“I Can’t Make You Love Me” ― Bonnie Raitt
I Can’t Make You Love Me is the story of a relationship that is on the verge of ending. A woman is still deeply in love with a man who doesn’t feel the same way about her anymore. She still wants that one last night with him, though she knows she can’t make him love her again.
“Teardrops On My Guitar” ― Taylor Swift
Similar to her You Belong With Me, Teardrops On My Guitar is the story of a girl who is deeply in love with her friend Drew. Sadly, he has no idea of her feelings and treats her like any other friend. She has to try hard to not let him know what she feels about him.
“Midnight Confessions” ― The Grass Roots
Midnight Confessions tells the story of a man who loves a woman dearly, but cannot have her, or let her know what he feels, because of a “little gold ring”, which implies that she is married to someone else.
“I’d Love You To Want Me” ― Lobo
I’d Love You To Want Me talks about a man who has just come to know of a woman’s feelings for him, after a long, long time. He now wishes to reciprocate those feelings, and the woman’s love isn’t unrequited anymore.
“Long Long Time” ― Linda Ronstadt
A classic example of one-sided love, Long Long Time is the tale of a girl in love with a boy who has no romantic feelings towards her. She watches him date other girls, and wants to hold him responsible for the hurt she’s going through, but she can’t.
“Caught in my fears
Blinking back the tears
I can’t say you hurt me when you never let me near.”
“All You Never Say” ― Birdy
A girl harbors romantic feelings for a boy, but has no idea if he feels the same or not. She wants him to like her back, and searches for some sign, any sign, that might give her the answer.
“Damn Good Friends” ― Elle Varner
Much like the title suggests, Damn Good Friends is the story of a girl who is in love with a good friend of hers. She cannot let him know of her feelings, and has to pretend every time she’s with him.
“Leave Your Lover” ― Sam Smith
A man who is in love with his friend secretly wishes she would leave her lover for him. He knows he can keep her happier than the person she’s with, but cannot tell her this.
A Special Mention
The two songs mentioned below aren’t specifically unrequited love songs. However, these are wildly popular all over the world and are counted as some of the best sad love songs of all time.
“My Heart Will Go On” ― Celine Dion
A Canadian music artist, Celine Dion’s soft and magical voice is sure to touch you in a way you cannot imagine. Immensely popular and loved because of the 1997 movie, Titanic, My Heart Will Go On is a beautiful and tragic song of love that is lost.
“With Or Without You” ― U2
The thing about this song is that it isn’t specifically about unrequited love. However, many people seem to be able to relate to it when thinking about their own matters of unrequited love. This song has remained a favorite of people of all ages worldwide.
Songs about unrequited love are only to help lessen the pain you might be going through, and not to make you think and wonder if the problem lies with yourself. These songs tell you that you’re not alone, everyone goes through these phases every now and then. If you have any other favorites, do tell us through your comments.
Though unrequited love is hard, there are ways to deal with it: spend time with your friends, see other people, and most importantly, don’t find fault with yourself. Just because your love is not returned doesn’t mean that there is a problem with you. You’re amazing, just the way you are!