They say that love is never simple; but that statement is made even more complicated when you involve three people in a triangle of attraction. In this list, we’re talking about songs that deal with love triangles and the many scenarios it can lead to.
Sam Smith – Leave Your Lover
Sam Smith truly is a master when it comes to evoking emotions with the beauty of his voice set against a solitary guitar and the piano. In this song, he is in love with someone who’s already in a relationship. He can no longer hold his emotions in so he begs this person to be with him instead. It’s a sad and achingly haunting song that might just bring you to tears.
Leave your lover lyrics: Pack up and leave everything
Don’t you see what I can bring
Can’t keep this beating heart at bay
Set my midnight sorrow free
I will give you all of me
Just leave your lover, leave him for me
Leave your lover, leave him for me
Shawn Mendes – Treat You Better
This song has become the anthem for NiceGuys, but it’s still a sweet song that shows how much the singer cares for a girl. In this song, Shawn sings to a girl who’s in a relationship with a man who’s not right for her. He tells her that she can do better than this guy she’s seeing, and at the same time, he explicitly states that he’s a better choice than her current beau.
Leave your lover lyrics: I know I can treat you better than he can
And any girl like you deserves a gentleman
Tell me why are we wasting time
On all your wasted crying
When you should be with me instead
I know I can treat you better
Better than he can
Taylor Swift – You Belong with Me
Now here’s a song about the same situation as above, but this time told from the point of view of a high school girl. In this song, Taylor sings as a high school girl who’s in love with a guy. Sadly, the guy is dating one of the popular cheerleaders. Taylor, on the other hand, is your typical girl next door who’s more in tune with what the guy actually likes.
Leave your lover lyrics: Oh, I remember you drivin’ to my house in the middle of the night
I’m the one who makes you laugh
When you know you’re about to cry
And I know your favorite songs
And you tell me about your dreams
I think I know where you belong
I think I know it’s with me
Can’t you see that I’m the one who understands you
Been here all along so why can’t you see
You belong with me
Spin Doctors – Two Princes
Two Princes is one of those popular songs that most people can hum along to without knowing or understanding the lyrics. The song is actually told from the point of view of a poor prince who is trying to convince a girl that she should marry him. His rival is a wealthy prince from another kingdom. However, instead of dazzling the girl with riches, he points out that she truly loves him and that he’s what a prince and lover ought to be.
Leave your prince lyrics: Marry him, or marry me,
I’m the one who loves you baby can’t you see
I ain’t got no future or family tree but
I know what a Prince and lover ought to be
I know what a Prince and lover ought to be
Whitney Houston – Saving All My Love for You
It’s easy to think that this is a sweet song about saving yourself for the man you love. But in reality, this song is about a woman who’s willing to be his last resort as long as she has him for some time. You can interpret this as a woman who’s pining for a man who’s already married. Listen to this song a few more times and you’ll see that this song is told from the point of view of a mistress.
Leave your family lyrics: You used to tell me we’d run away together
Love gives you the right to be free
You said be patient just wait a little longer
But that’s just an old fantasy
WHAM! – Careless Whisper
Did you know that George Michael wrote this song while he was just 17? He came up with the idea while taking the bus to go to his job as an usher at a cinema. Contrary to popular belief, however, Careless Whisper was not based on any events in his life. Instead, he’s just really good at convincing us that at 17, he was already stealing the ladies from his friends
Leave your lover lyrics: I’m never gonna dance again
Guilty feet have got no rhythm
Though it’s easy to pretend
I know you’re not a fool
I should have known better than to cheat a friend
And waste a chance that I’d been given
So I’m never gonna dance again
The way I danced with you
Amy Winehouse – Back to Black
Back to Black may just be one of the most tragic songs on this list, mainly because it’s based on real events in Amy’s life. The song is about her breakup with then-boyfriend Blake Fielder-Civil. In this song, she sings about wanting to get back together with an ex who is already with someone new. She pines for him as she drinks the days away.
Leave your lover lyrics: We only said goodbye with words
I died a hundred times
You go back to her
And I go back to black
The Lumineers – Ho Hey
This folksy sing-along song seems like a sweet romantic tune, one that you’d sing to someone you like. But there’s a catch; it’s actually about a guy who likes a girl who’s with someone else. The singer mentions living a lonely life and not knowing where he belongs. Along with this, he’s asking this girl who has a boyfriend to just run away with him and be as lost as he is.
Leave your lover lyrics: I don’t think you’re right for him
Think of what it might have been if we
Took a bus to Chinatown
I’d be standin’ on canal and Bowery
She’d be standin’ next to me
Jet – Are You Gonna Be My Girl
You may know this song from the popular iPod ads released back in the early 2000s. We’re not quite sure why they chose to go with this song, but we admit that it’s pretty catchy. Are You Gonna Be My Girl is a song about a guy who’s love struck with a girl who already has a boyfriend. But that doesn’t stop him from telling her that he wants to make her his.
Leave your lover lyrics: Well I could see
You home with me
But you were with another man, yeah!
I know we ain’t got much to say
Before I let you get away, yeah!
I said, are you gonna be my girl?
Balance and the Traveling Sounds – Something About Us
This song was originally by the French electro band, Daft Punk. However, this cover by Balance and Traveling sounds is in a league of its own. In this version, the title makes a lot more sense because it’s about a guy who feels a connection with a girl who’s already taken. He admits that it might not be the perfect time for them to get together, but there’s no denying the chemistry between them.
Leave your lover lyrics: Lately we’ve been way to close
Guilty grin when you can’t say no
Maybe you need to let things go
When you’re ready baby, let me know
Katy Perry – Thinking of You
Most songs on this list are about love triangles involving three people, one of which is confused about who to choose. In this song, however, the “third party” is the memory of an ex that Katy Perry can’t shake. Katy sings about how she still can’t let go of her ex even though she’s already with someone new.
Leaving my lover lyrics: Cause when I’m with him
I am thinking of you
Thinking of you
What you would do if
You were the one
Who was spending the night
Oh I wish that I
Was looking into your eyes
Mary McGregor – Torn Between Two Lovers
While most songs on this list are about actually being torn between two people (or liking someone who should be torn between two people), this one’s about outright cheating. Torn Between Two Lovers is a song that the protagonist is addressing to the man she’s in a relationship with. She admits to him that there’s another man in her life and that she’s having trouble choosing between the two.
Torn between two lovers lyrics: You mustn’t think you’ve failed me just because there’s someone else
You were the first real love I ever had
And all the things I ever said, I swear they still are true
For no one else can have the part of me I gave to you
I couldn’t really blame you if you turned and walked away
But with everything I feel inside, I’m asking you to stay
England Dan and John Ford Coley – It’s Sad to Belong (To Someone Else)
In this song, the duo sing about a man who finally meets the girl of his dreams. The catch is that he’s already married to someone else. He starts to dream about her and wishes that he could turn back time so that she’d be the one with him.
Torn between dreams and reality lyrics: So I lived my life in a dreamworld
For the rest of my days
Just you and me walkin’ hand in hand
In a wishful memory
Oh, I guess that’s all
That it would ever be
Wish I had a time machine
I could make myself go back
Until the day I was born
And I would live my life again
And rearrange it so that I’ll be
Yours from now on
Olivia Newton-John – I Honestly Love You
When you think about it, there are actually a ton of love songs about love triangles. However, this might be the only song about a love square. I Honestly Love You is a song about meeting the man of your dreams and falling in love with. And since there’s always a catch, the catch here is that you and that guy are both married to other people!
Leave your lover lyrics: If we both were born
In another place and time
This moment might be ending in a kiss
But there you are with yours
And here I am with mine
So I guess we’ll just be leaving it at this
New Order – Bizarre Love Triangle
Oddly enough, the last song on our list isn’t about a love triangle involving three people. It’s one that involves only two – a lover and the one he loves. The triangle lies in the conflicting feelings he has for this girl.
Conflicted feelings lyrics: Every time I think of you
I feel shot right through with a bolt of blue
It’s no problem of mine
But it’s a problem I find
Living a life that I can’t leave behind
But there’s no sense in telling me
The wisdom of the fool won’t set you free
But that’s the way that it goes
And it’s what nobody knows
Well every day my confusion grows
Which of these songs perfectly capture the feeling of being in a love triangle? Share your thoughts with us below!