Yes it’s true, I have become cynical about romance, and I never started out believing in the predictable Disney story in the first place, but I’m not a total ice queen (despite what people may think about me). The issue I have with love songs is how unhealthy they are. Where’s the secure-secure attachment representations out there?!
I suppose I should explain a little about attachment styles to make sense of my opinion here. People create attachment styles through childhood based mainly on their relationships with their parents. In a very basic sense there are a few different types. A secure attachment style is one where the individual feels confident in themselves and confident in other people. They get their needs met and pick up on cues to meet others needs. An anxious attachment style is one that seems needy, because often they were met with uncertainty in childhood. They are accepting, even demanding, of intimacy and need constant reassurance to feel valued. Avoidant/detached people, on the other hand, tend to avoid intimacy. They like to be independent and value their anonymity because, they have learnt that love is not reliable so they can only rely on themselves. There are a million different variances, but this is the basics broken down very quickly. Unhealthy tends to attract unhealthy, which is why many relationships don’t actually last. It can work if both are willing to change and are introspective and understanding enough to have the patience to accept their partner, and not play the games. In reality, if you look at most long term relationships, then they are between two secure people.
Anyway, back to music. Since understanding more about attachment styles, every love song is ruined. It’s all based on these crazy intense feelings of longing or finding “the one”. In the words of George Ezra, “if it feels like paradise running through your body…” then you should probably turn around and run away because that’s your attachment bullshit coming into play. Every song is about that long lost lover, finding the absolute love of your life or heartbreak. None of this is a healthy version of real life. My therapist once told me that if his wife left him tomorrow he would survive. He would mourn and be devastated because he loves her, but he would eventually move on, whatever that meant for him at the time. However, if something happened to his children, he would never recover. We should never feel incomplete without a romantic partner. We should never feel completely heart broken at the loss of a relationship, because ultimately, to be in a healthy relationship we need to choose to be with someone, not feel like we need them.
Music doesn’t reflect this. Maybe it’s because music is essentially story telling, and stories are far less interesting without the drama. You don’t get drama in healthy relationships. Possibly because music is made by artists, who tend to use creativity as a way of dealing with their attachment issues and how they manifest throughout adult life. Whatever reason it’s created, it bugs me because there are too many people listening. The audience aren’t always as clued up about attachment and the issues it causes, so they get sucked into this fantasy world. Love no longer feels like love unless you can pin point a song that makes sense of what your feeling and brings a tear to your eye. Personally, I can’t wait for that boring, drama free love. One that I don’t listen to songs in the dark and think “oh wow, that’s me right now”, when things go wrong or right. A love that doesn’t need constant reassurance through songs to understand what I’m feeling. I don’t want to relate to wanky, self righteous, tortured singer song writers who are held up on pedestals to speak for the rest of the world. At this point I can speak for myself and I don’t recognise my voice in any love song that I’ve heard. I’m begging all those song writers with a secure sense of attachment out there, please write a song about your experiences. The world needs you and your voice so much more than those people celebrating the fact that they’ve found someone who’s as fucked up as they are.