No one ever said love was easy. That’s why we have a whole boatload of songs about people in confusing, toxic, and downright messy relationships!
In this list, we’re featuring songs that perfectly capture the confusion we feel when we’re in a complicated relationship.
Four Year Strong – This Body Pays the Bill$
Have you ever fallen in love with someone who is so obviously, terribly, incredibly bad for you – and yet you can’t seem to steer yourself away from that person? That’s the gist of this Four Year Strong song. In This Body Pays the Bill$, there’s a woman in the protagonist’s life who just seems to know the perfect formula for destruction. But despite this, he still believes that she’s the one for him. Talk about conflicted feelings!
Confusion lyrics: It’s because I know she’s a disaster
A walking mess, a master of misery
She’s everything that possibly could go wrong
She’ll always be a lifelong tragedy
And now I know that she’s the one for me
Avril Lavigne – Complicated
We all know the song that shot Avril Lavigne into stardom at the tender age of 17. In Complicated, she laments how her boyfriend always acts like an idiot in an attempt to please his friends. He’s okay for her whenever it’s just the two of them, but his attempts to impress other people just frustrate the heck out of her. So in the end, she doesn’t know who he really is – the cool, laid back guy she likes or the loudmouth who’s trying hard to be cool.
Confusion lyrics: Why do you have to go and make things so complicated?
I see the way you’re acting like you’re somebody else gets me frustrated
Life’s like this you
And you fall, and you crawl, and you break
And you take, what you get, and you turn it into
Honesty and promise me I’m never gonna find you fake it
Arctic Monkeys – Why Do You Only Call Me When You’re High?
Now let’s take a look at the confusion from the other side of the relationship. In this song, the protagonist is starting to feel a little lonely at 3am and decides to hit up one of his regular booty calls. But instead of getting a gleeful response, she asks him why he only calls her when he’s high. You can tell that while the guy might have been sure that he’d be getting some tonight, the lady he messaged is confused about what their relationship might actually be.
Confusion lyrics: And I can’t see you here when I’m high,
Sort of feels like I’m running out of time,
I haven’t found all I was hoping to find,
You said you got to be up in the morning,
Gonna have an early night,
And you starting to bore me, baby,
Why’d you only call me when you’re high?
Norah Jones – Don’t Know Why
When you’re at that unstable stage in your relationship, you do some unexplainable things that you wouldn’t otherwise do if you were in a more stable state of mind. In this song filled with regret, Norah Jones sings as a woman who was unsure about a lover and ended up never contacting him again. However, she later reflects on why she did something that she knew would only lead to sadness.
Confusion lyrics: I waited ’til I saw the sun
I don’t know why I didn’t come
I left you by the house of fun
I don’t know why I didn’t come
I don’t know why I didn’t come
Portishead – Glory Box
This song is as much about confusion in a relationship as it is a plea for equal footing in the relationship. In the song, the woman wants her man to treat her as an equal because she’s tired of being treated roughly, both figuratively and literally. This is what leaves her confused about whether she wants to settle down with the man or not. And while the phrase “glory box” doesn’t appear in the song, the title reflects its meaning in Australian terms as a box where women store items in preparation for marriage.
Confuson lyrics: So don’t you stop, being a man
Just take a little look from our side when you can
Sow a little tenderness
No matter if you cry
Gnash feat. Olivia O’Brien – I Hate U I Love U
Breakups are confusing, especially when you part ways while you still have feelings for each other. In this song, Gnash and Olivia sing as a couple that has broken up despite still loving each other. They hate how they’re reminded of each other, but they also can’t seem to erase each other from their minds. And even though they’ve seemingly moved on, at the back of their minds, they can’t put anyone else above each other.
Confusion lyrics: I hate you I love you
I hate that I love you
Don’t want to, but I can’t put
Nobody else above you
I hate you I love you
I hate that I want you
You want her, you need her
And I’ll never be her
Rihanna – Love on the Brain
This beautiful, jazzy song is in perfect contrast to the mess of a relationship described in the lyrics. The song is about a woman who has a violent lover. However, despite his treatment of her, she can’t get enough of him. This sounds a lot like Rihanna’s relationship with RnB singer Chris Brown, who was physically violent with her.
Confusion lyrics: Oh, and babe I’m fist fighting with fire
Just to get close to you
Can we burn something babe?
And I run for miles just to get a taste
Must be love on the brain
Katy Perry – Thinking of You
In this song, Katy Perry thinks about an ex-lover even though she’s already dating someone new. She sees her ex as the best she’ll ever have, and it’s implied that her current lover is just someone she’s using to help her move on. But even though she’s already with someone new, she can’t help but hope that her ex would bust through the door and take her away from her farce of a relationship.
Confusion lyrics: He kissed my lips
I taste your mouth
He pulled me in
I was disgusted with myself
Natalie Imbruglia – Torn
One of the biggest causes of confusion in a relationship false pretenses. In this song, Natalie thinks she has found the perfect man for her. But she soon finds out that he’s wrong for her in every way. Her world is shattered and broken, and she has lost faith in love altogether. This is proof that some of us may feel desperation to find real love that we’re willing to overlook all the red flags that tell us we’re wrong.
Confusion lyrics: I’m all out of faith
This is how I feel, I’m cold and I am shamed
Lying naked on the floor
Illusion never changed
Into something real
Wide awake and I can see the perfect sky is torn
You’re a little late
I’m already torn
Lauryn Hill – Ex-Factor
Ah, the things we do for love. In this song, Lauryn sings about a lover who takes her for granted. And even though things seem okay, he always finds some excuse to leave. She always puts in all the effort to make him stay, but he seems intent on leaving her all the time. So this leaves her confused about what she has to do to make him love her as much as she loves him.
Confusion lyrics: It could all be so simple
But you’d rather make it hard
Loving you is like a battle
And we both end up with scars
Tell me, who I have to be
To get some reciprocity
No one loves you more than me
And no one ever will
Which of these songs accurately describe your relationship with a confusing partner? Share your thoughts with us below!