FlourishAnyway believes there is a playlist for just about any situation and is on a mission to unite and entertain the world through song.
Love Involves Both Risks and Rewards
Love is an exquisite rose with thorns that can surely wound. This presents a choice, particularly for those whose hearts have been broken before. Will you give up the flower altogether over fear of its sharp, harmful barbs, or instead take in the dazzling beauty and fragrance of romance regardless—risks and all, (being mindful, of course, of those thorns)?
Being imperfect, people fall short in their promises and commitments when loving one another. In so doing, they inflict pain, even when that is not their intent. Additionally, they betray, manipulate, and damage each another. Such behavior leaves a legacy of emotional scars that outlast the romantic affair itself. Former lovers may be left afraid to open themselves up to subsequent romantic partners in healthy ways. They fear of rejection, emotional intimacy, and being hurt. Trace this reluctance to love right back to the original heartbreak.
If you can relate to this experience in your own romantic life, then make a playlist of pop, rock, country, and R&B songs about being afraid of getting hurt. We have a long list to songs to start you off.
1. "Meant to Be" by Bebe Reha (Featuring Florida Georgia Line)
The girl in this huge 2017 country crossover song is feeling tense from the emotional baggage she carries from a string of past relationships that were built upon fake love and manipulation. In response to her anxiety and discomfort, her date encourages her to just slow down and relax by putting her feet up on the dash. He wants her to enjoy the moment together with him. They take an easygoing approach. If their connection is meant to be, it'll happen. No rush here.
2. "See The Way" by The Chainsmokers (Featuring Sabrina Claudio)
Afraid of getting hurt, the lovelorn narrator in this pouty 2019 pop ballad has decided to leave her lover before their relationship gets too serious. They've been together for only a few weeks, but now she's getting cold feet.
Already their intense chemistry has turned to an attraction that is more than just physical. Before the feelings she's catching deepen to full-blown love, her intimacy jitters tell her to turn around and flee. What do you think she'll do?
3. "More Hearts Than Mine" by Ingrid Andress
When a relationship fizzles, you don't only break up with a lover. You lose touch with your ex's family, friends, and others in their life as well. (Haven't you sometimes missed an ex's close friends or relatives more than you missed them?)
The girl in this 2020 country ballad takes her serious boyfriend to her hometown to introduce him to her people. In so doing, the narrator forewarns him that getting acquainted will make them all grow emotionally invested. As a result, if the couple should break up, it won't be just her who will be hurt. She's concerned that her family and friends will suffer heartbreak as well.
4. "Too Good at Goodbyes" by Sam Smith
Because he's been previously hurt by love gone wrong, the man in this 2017 pop love ballad has built walls around his heart to protect himself from additional pain. No stranger to being dumped, he feels victimized by rejection.
He has grown to expect that a lover will leave him in the end. As a result, he naturally establishes barriers of self-defense:
I'm never gonna let you close to me
Even though you mean the most to me
'Cause every time I open up, it hurts
So, I'm never gonna get too close to you
Even when I mean the most to you
In case you go and leave me in the dirt.
5. "Because of You" by Kelly Clarkson
If you're Kelly Clarkson's parents, then this 2004 pop hit really has to burn. The songstress uses it to blame her difficulties with self-confidence, interpersonal trust, and developing intimate, lasting love connections on their bitter divorce. According to the song, she contends that her fear of cultivating a healthy and open love relationship has slowed her from moving forward.
Select academic research has found that daughters of divorce are 60% more likely to face dissolution of their own marriages, while sons have a 35% increased rate. Kelly Clarkson's seven-year marriage to manager Brandon Blackstock ended messily in 2020 as a result of "irreconcilable differences." Both Clarkson and Blackstock are both children of divorce. Their marriage produced two children.
6. "The First Cut Is the Deepest" by Sheryl Crow
On the off chance that you've never experienced the misery of a broken relationship, just know that parting company with a lover can indeed feel visceral, like a punch to the gut or a deep cut. In this 2003 rock ballad, the narrator describes how she's struggling to erase the memory of her first love.
The woman complains that she wasn't treated well by her former lover and feels taken advantage of, drained of her love. The sorrowful narrator still exhibits the emotional signs of the damage he inflicted, and she doubts her capacity to love again. She does not want to hurt her current love interest or get hurt herself. Consequently, the woman is reluctant to become romantically involved.
7. "Love Hurts" by Nazareth
The fella in this 1974 hard rock love song is not only scared of heartbreak but also is laying responsibility for his romantic woes on his former sweetheart. And he sure doesn't mince words. The guy bellows that love hurts, scars, wounds, and marks. Bitterly, he claims that love is a lie, just something that is meant to depress someone, and that's something he learned from his ex. Can you imagine being the poor gal whom he dates afterwards?
8. "Scared to Live" by Weeknd
In this 2020 synth-pop track, a man expresses regrets for his mistreatment of a former lover, encouraging her to move on from their relationship. He motivates her to find herself and re-discover love rather than letting the experience sour her. The song is reportedly inspired by American model Bella Hadid, whom the singer dated on and off for several years.
9. "Once Bitten, Twice Shy" by Great White
"Once Bitten, Twice Shy" is a rousing 1989 glam metal hit based on an old adage. The maxim means that once you have had a bad experience, you are far more hesitant to try that experience again for fear of injury.
The song describes a band member who falls in love with a groupie who ends up cheating on him with the rest of the band. Her infidelity breaks his heart, and she also lies to him, telling him that he was the only one. As a result of her betrayal, she forever ruins his trust in relationships that come after her.
10. "I'm Not in Love" by 10cc
If you don't know the story behind this globally successful soft rock hit from 1975, then you'd swear that the love ballad concerns a man who is trying to convince the woman in his life that whatever he's feeling for her, it's not love. He tries to play off their relationship as one of convenience or a temporary phase, much like someone who is is afraid of commitment might do.
In reality, however, the tune was inspired by the wife of Eric Stewart, founding member of 10cc. She complained that he didn't profess his love to her often enough. Stewart had the odd notion at the time that if he verbally expressed his love too often to his wife, Gloria, then it wouldn't mean anything. Somehow he and Gloria are still married more than 50 years later!
11. "Half of My Heart" by John Mayer (Featuring Taylor Swift)
Before John Mayer became romantically linked with Taylor Swift in a short-lived, tempestuous love affair, the much older singer was subconsciously warning the young girl who he was in this ditty. (People will tell you who they are.) If only she had listened more closely to the words of the 2010 soft rock song that they sang together on.
The tune features a bachelor who cautions his lover that he is isn't able to truly love her unconditionally because he puts himself first. Although he does truly care for her, he can never go "all in" on loving her. He can merely offer her half of his heart, thus there will never be true commitment.
Yep, he's breadcrumbing, and he seems to know how their romance will play out in the end:
Down the road later on
You will hate that I never gave more to you
Than half of my heart
But I can't stop loving you.
12. "Young and Beautiful" by Lana Del Rey
How easy it is to love somesome who is young, vibrant, and healthy!. However, the woman in this plaintive 2013 pop ballad wonders about the distant future. Will her beloved partner still feel the same when her hair fades to silver, her skin puckers with wrinkles, and there is a hitch in her giddyup? Surely there will come a day when she is no longer young and beautiful. From The Great Gatsby major motion picture soundtrack this song explores the poignancy of aging, reflecting on the moments of one's life, and commitment.
13. "Shallow" by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
Between social media and hookup culture, today's social interactions can be so superficial and fleeting. However, the two lovers in this massive worldwide hit from 2018 find one another and move away from the shallow surface of interpersonal connection into deeper attachment, knowing that this carries risk and uncertainty.
As they dive deeper, the couple exposes their souls, naturally unveiling personal demons ("in the bad times, I fear myself"). This gripping love ballad garnered many accolades, including Grammy Awards and a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.
14. "Scare Me" by Kenny Chesney
The bachelor in this 2007 country ditty has grown accustomed to lonesomeness. As a single man, he has grown used to a series of relationships in which he is the one who calls the shots, deciding when to end the romance. But he's met someone new, and her blue eyes can see right through him. She scares him and has thrown him off balance. Is this love?
15. "Done With Love" by Zedd
In this 2015 EDM track, the narrator takes a protective stance towards the one he shares feelings for. She declares she is done with love, but he feels the need to fix that for her. Although she probably just needs her space, this guy instead offers to hold her tonight, believing that it will prevent his love interest from experiencing further pain.
Leave her alone, fella, or just offer a listening ear. Sometimes people just need to be alone with their feelings, okay?
16. "Not in That Way" by Sam Smith
Here's Sam Smith in this mournful 2014 pop ballad that tears at the heartstrings, unable to catch a break when it comes to love. Feeling like a mouse caught on a glue trap, Smith is stuck in the the friendzone. Sadly, the narrator knows a lot about heartbreak.
In this song, the wannabe lover desperately desires to confess their amorous feelings to someone who clearly doesn't love them back romantically way. Staying in the situation and living with the unrequited love leaves the narrator feeling needy, dependent, and shameful. The words "I love you" stay agonizingly unspoken.
17. "Broken-Hearted Girl" by Beyoncé
Some people spend years standed in unhealthy, on and off relationships that are built upon disloyalty and mistrust and which ultimately go nowhere. That's likely what's tripping up the emotions of the broken-hearted girt in this 2009 R&B ballad. In her heart she knows the bitter truth of this love affair. but she's not ready to see it 100% yet.
Involved in a love-hate relationship with a man who keeps creeping back into her life, this woman wishes she could forget him. At the same time, however, she fears losing him for good. If her fragile heart could only understand that she doesn't have to put up with this treatment from him. There are better men out there. Expect more.
18. "Sorry" by Halsey
Someone will love you
But someone isn't me.
The emotionally damaged woman in this 2017 pop song issues an advance apology to lovers yet unknown for breaking their hearts. She's sorry for treating these future partners callously and abandoning them.
The woman has trouble believing that she is deserving of love and kindness, therefore as a defensive strategy she exhibits a pattern of rejecting people she cares about before they can hurt her. Whether she knows it or not, she is likely a victim of early trauma.
19. "Beneath Your Beautiful" by Labrinth (Featuring Emeli Sandé)
The stunning beauty in this 2012 R&B hit has built walls around her heart, as she is uneasy about being hurt again. Unfortunately, she has made herself seem perfect and inaccessible to potential love matches. The narrator is a young man who asks for permission to see beneath that veil of perfection. He wants to get to know the vulnerable, real human she really is. The young woman yearns to be loved unconditionally and treasured for her inner essence.
20. "Break My Heart" by Dua Lipa
For someone who has always called the shots in their love relationships, it's scary when they meet someone they really connect with, someone they start to fall in love with. In this global 2020 dance-pop song, a woman realizes how much emotional anguish her sweetheart could wreak upon her. Romance involves the risk of getting hurt.
Even More Songs About Being Afraid of Getting Hurt
21. Be Kind
Marshmello & Halsey
22. Heart Attack
23. How to Love
28. In the Name of Love
Bebe Rexha and Martin Garrix
29. I Will Remember You
30. Falling for You
31. Not a Bad Thing
32. Losin Control
33. Where Is Your Heart
34. Not My Ex
35. Caroline Shut Up
36. This Love
37. I Think I Love You
The Partridge Family
38. Give Your Heart a Break
39. Miss Independent
42. My Worst Fear
43. I Love You
45. Missing You
46. What Might Have Been
48. Stay with Me
49. What If I Never Get Over You
50. Better Man
Little Big Town
51. Break Up in the End
54. Don't Go Breaking My Heart
Elton John and Kiki Dee
55. Every Rose Has Its Thorn
56. What Is Love
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