The moonlight filters through the leaves, the music flows with a tempo that stirs the hearts of two young lovers. He places his hand across the small of her back, his other in her palm. She inches closer, wanting to feel the beat of his heart quicken as she rests her head on his chest. They sway as the lyrics of Brad Paisley’s “Then” float on the air around them. The moment seems eternal in the midnight hours — the outside world seeming to matter very little to either of them. Two weeks later, they break up, and that song becomes the worst freaking song in the history of music.
Breaking up can be very difficult, but recovery is usually a few months and a few bottles of tequila away. Love songs, however, become tainted in a way that seems to last forever. I have my list: “Then,” “Making Memories of Us” by Keith Urban, “First Time” by Lifehouse and “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-A-Lot (Well, maybe not the last one). We all have a list of songs that causes us to hit the skip button on our iPod or change the radio station and, unfortunately, take us back to a time before all the problems of the relationship began.
There are a few helpful ways, thank goodness, to avoid having to place a favorite song on the tainted list. First, never bring a favorite love song into a relationship. Second, before sharing your first dance with your newfound partner, make sure you know what song they’re playing and plan ahead. Third, don’t listen to the radio with your partner.
This last one is difficult. Maybe while you’re driving, you happen to glance over and meet his or her eyes. A spark lights up between you, and you say that you’ll never forget Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” was playing during your special moment. The breakup ensues, and Taylor Swift’s Grammy Award-winning album becomes a casualty. The final option is to date someone who likes a different type of music. This tip does not solve all problems. You still have to listen to their crappy music.
There are ways of avoiding song loss, but sometimes it is inevitable. A perfect song can make a mediocre moment turn into the night that changed your life forever. Whether it’s “Beautiful Girls” by Sean Kingston, “If U Seek Amy” by Britney Spears or an actual love song by someone else, you’ll find that some songs are worth losing just to make the moments even more breathtaking. You find that letting an ex ruin a song was worth it because you grow from that loss. Eventually, you’ll work to move on and to leave those songs in bittersweet memories of before they were ruined.
I think it’s fair to say that the worst part about breaking up is leaving the past in the past and moving on into an uncertain future. A future filled with new songs to be ruined because, let’s face it, exes ruin love songs.
Patrick St. Pierre is a senior English and psychology major and a columnist at the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]