Is Your Playlist Romanticising Toxic Love?

Written by Natasha Wanza

Working to heal after my breakup got me listening to a lot of breakup/healing playlists on Spotify. A LOT. While healing, I had (and still am) consuming a ton of material about healthy ways to cope. Think of it as starting a healthy dietary regime.

I know you get the feeling of “being healthy.” The euphoria. However, I couldn’t help but notice the numerous songs that seemed to be romanticizing toxic love and relationships.

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Don’t get me wrong, most of the songs I listened to helped soothe my pain – knowing that this kind of pain is relatable feels reassuring. Music is an artistic outlet: people go through stuff and write songs about their experiences. We relate and appreciate our feelings being put into song. That is probably why songs about love are more popular than other songs. Love is a universal feeling that everyone is likely to experience at some point.

My past view of love was shaped by taking in material that romanticised what love is not. Although my last relationship was not toxic, there were tendencies of toxic behaviour that I tolerated because of what I thought love is. 

Some love songs offer some bad advice and false stereotypes of love, and it takes a careful look to catch what lyrics should not be taken word by word. Here is my experience with the songs I listened to from the breakup playlists. So, listen up. You’ll thank me later *wink wink*.

I know, you know, we know

We weren’t meant for each other and it’s fine

But if the world was ending

You’d come over, right?

-JP Saxe, Julia Michaels If the World Was Ending

Probably, the first cause of action after calling it quits with your ex is to let go. Acceptance, no matter the reason for the split, is a hard thing. Being one month out of my relationship, this was a song that was speaking to the part of me that still wished to be with my ex. Clinging onto the hope that we could get together despite him letting me go would do more damage to myself. 

I think that the song advocates for going back to someone you know isn’t meant to be with you. By doing so, you hurt yourself by not wanting to get the best for yourself. Letting go is just…really important. No need for carrying past hurt with you.

You’re my missing piece

I don’t wanna live without you

You’re my missing piece

I don’t feel at home without you

‘Cause I’m nothing without you

-Tanarelle Nothing Without You

Breaking up with someone is tough, as the person was a part of us. Going back to being single is a brave choice that should be applauded. This leads me to the individual aspect. When getting into a relationship, one should be their own individual. I believe that a significant other should complement you, not complete you. Having the mindset of someone completing you might lead to issues of dependency, which is not healthy to say the least. 

You could break my heart in two

But when it heals, it beats for you

I know it’s forward but it’s true

I know I’d come back to you

-Selena Gomez Back To You

Right off the bat, this was a song I was determined not to listen to. Some things hit differently when you are going through stuff. This song was a favourite of mine back in the day…I thought I was a hopeless romantic. Healing from a break up made me see this song in a different light.

I cannot fathom going through all this pain only to allow the same person to hurt me again! Never! To love is not easy, but it should not be hurting you. Willingly refusing to go beg for a second chance was the best decision I ever made. 

Contrary to how some songs make it seem, there is nothing appealing about on-and-off relationships. A pattern like that is a sign of a deeper problem that isn’t getting worked on.

F*ck, I’m lonely, I’m lonely, I’m lonely as

F*ck, come hold me, come hold me, come hold me

It’s been me myself and why

Did you go? Did you go?

Oh, f*ck, I’m lonely, I’m lonely, I’m lonely, lonely

-Lauv, Anne-marie F*ck I’m lonely

It has been tempting to get a rebound because, sometimes, it does get lonely. However, being with someone just because I am lonely, or from benefits that come with dating them would not be fair – to me or to them.

Having said all that, in whatever situation you might find yourself, don’t let the allure of love songs dictate your actions. 

Photo by Cottonbro via Pexels

Coming from a recent breakup? Allow yourself to heal and listen to those breakup playlists when you need to. With heartbreak, the only way out is through. Feel all that you need to feel but don’t romanticise your past relationship just for the sake of it.

Single? Remember not all is gold, and don’t let your new favourite love song push you towards a forced romance. Get into a relationship when you feel ready. It’ll save you the heartache.

In a relationship? Not every lyric from a love song is something to apply to your own relationship – some of those artists need to work on themselves too.

Stay away from toxic relationships. Don’t let Britney Spears’ hit convince you otherwise – you deserve better.

Featured images courtesy of Pexels. No changes have been made to these images.

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