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Love Songs Are Nuts

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it might help to remember this.

Kristina Paukshtite/Pexels
Source: Kristina Paukshtite/Pexels

Love songs are bonkers; they are crazy, they are cuckoo. As you listen to them, don’t take them too seriously. In fact, don’t take them seriously at all. You’ll only get in trouble. You could end up with a broken heart. Or a restraining order.

To find out just how crazy they are, you need to turn to rational emotive behaviour therapy (REBT), a form of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) that follows the philosophy that it is not the events in life the disturb you, but what you tell yourself about those events that disturbs you.

And although REBT doesn’t typically concern itself with love (which, let’s face it, is not the most rational of emotions in the first place), it can focus on love problems such as insecurity and being too clingy, or jealousy and being too possessive. It can help keep the most lovelorn or overly loved up of people on a more even romantic keel.

Because, when you’re stuck; if you don’t just act, but you overreact, it’s not because of the thing, it’s what you tell yourself about the thing. Change what it is that you tell yourself and you get to change how you think, how you feel and how you act.

This means no one makes you angry, nothing makes you anxious and nothing and no one drives you to romantic distraction. It’s your beliefs about those things that do that. And REBT makes a distinction between irrational beliefs that disturb you and rational beliefs that help keep you calm, even in the face of adversity.

And this can even include love of both the unrequited and requited varieties.

Now, we’re not saying that when things happen it doesn’t have an influence, because it does. Life chucks us curveballs and challenges. And love is a very powerful emotion in and of itself. But, even in the face of something negative or challenging you can still remain in control, or regain control if you think you’ve lost it, but looking at the irrational beliefs you hold about that challenge or curveball or object of your affection.

Sadly, this is easier said than done, as irrational language surrounds us. We hear other people speak it, we speak it; we think it and feel it. It’s on our televisions and it’s in our books and, if you listen to music, it is most definitely in our songs, especially our love songs.

When it comes to love and relationships, most lyrics are very irrational indeed. Take "All You Need is Love" by The Beatles, for instance. Do you? Is romantic love all that you need? Do you even need it at all? You need air, you need water, and you need food and shelter as, without these things, you will die. But, you can live a life without romanitc love. You might not like that life, but you will survive. Love, then, is nice to have, but you don’t have to have it. There are also a number of types of love

But, we all know how love songs tend to go. Whether they are in a pop, dance, rock or blues vein, and whether it’s some delicate strings or a thumping base that accompanies them, they tend to go a lot like this:

"I have to have you

You have to love me

There’s you and only you

Woah, woah, woah

Love, love, love

I can’t stand life without you

Life’s not worth living without you

I’ll never find love again

Woah, woah, woah

Love, love, love"

Well, when spun through the REBT machine, lyrics such as those above tend to come out a lot like this:

"I would like to have you, but I don’t have to have you

And I would like you to love me, but you don’t have to love me

There’s someone else out there who will reciprocate my feelings

Woah, woah, woah

Love, love, love

I might find it difficult to deal with if I don’t have you, but I can cope with that

I will find other things in life enjoyable in the meantime

And, eventually, fall in love with someone else

Woah, woah, woah

Love, love, love."

Okay, so lyrics like that will not a hit love song make, but they are going to introduce some sanity into the proceedings, which might be better for both you and your relationship.

That said, when it comes to enjoying yourself on the 14th of February, by all means snuggle up to your significant other only don’t whisper “I can live if living is without you,” into their ear as you do so.

Rational it may be, but romantic it is not.

Happy Valentine’s Day.