By Devarya Singhania, Casual Contributor
I’ve not dated, and yet, every single time an artist drops a break-up song, I become this mysteriously delirious individual who’s dressing up in the fanciest collections by Louis Vuitton and Versace, with black sunglasses tailored just for me…why? Oh simple, so that my heartbreaker (who, at this point only really exists in the pages of my diaries, the rhymes of my poetry, and ninety-seven hundred stitched scenarios in my head) can grow envious of my aura. I tell myself I’m buoyant.
Taylor Swift’s lovey-dovey ballad “You Belong With Me” does not nearly give me my main character moment as much as her “Don’t Blame Me,” and I have never undergone a break-up. So how did the child in sixth grade, who lived and breathed One Direction—especially their “Kiss You”, “What Makes You Beautiful”, and “Perfect”—grow up to resonate with Billie Eilish’s “Happier Than Ever”, Joji’s “Die For You”, and Lewis Capaldi’s “Bruises”? I’ve only had crushes in middle-school that turned me down; that’s the closest I have come to a break-up. And I’m talking about middle-school liking, not an infatuation that pirouetted over me and launched me into an inescapable whirlpool that drowned me away from any hopes or delusion of love.
I’m a hopeless romantic; I live for the moment someone would send me love-letters, serenade me in the decorated corridors of Marbella, and procure a kiss, which would be so fantastic that Time itself would stand numb. So why, in my ever-loving sanity do I not find songs exuding the grandeur of love as perfect as those shouting rage from an awful heartbreak?
A few weeks ago, all the top ten songs on the Billboards chart were from Taylor’s Midnights. None, and I repeat, none of those ten songs were a theatrical performance on love. Her heartbreak anthems completely dominated the music charts—so it’s not just me who’s in search of their main-character glamour this winter…
But why? Is pain just easier to resonate with? I used to diligently believe that, but there’s a bitter realization which stings me, which I must tolerate. Pain is numbing. It’s more difficult to process, accept, and discuss, no matter how resolute we think ourselves to be. Conversation is essential to alleviating our pain, and yet disappointingly, even our most cherished ones sometimes fail to thoroughly understand. So we need something to translate this ache.
Part of the allure of heartbreak songs is their association with the romantic, around the aching idea of love. I’ve lost too many friends along the way to agree. Platonic love too, is fantastic but it is unspoken of. They’re still gorgeous, cheery, and flourishing–but it aches me to know they’re none of that with me, they couldn’t have been those with me.
We’ve all been victims of one-sided love, we’ve all lost some friends. As proud as Shakespeare was for creating a dictionary, there aren’t enough words, clauses or phrases to encompass this mourning. These songs help us verbalize our speechlessness. I heard that you’re happy without me / And I hope it’s true, writes Joji in his ‘Die For You’. Poignant, prickly, perfect. It took me three months to process the idea of having lost a friend and begin to accept it. This is exactly what I needed to hear because this is what I needed to have said.
There’s not a lot to be said for heartbreak except that we’re all likely to be victims. And given the number of break-up songs, we can all resonate with one or the other. The pain’s still boisterous. Who’s broken my heart? I know not of the causes but that my heart’s the soldier in this losing war. So now my heart rests too, bleeding from the wounds inflicted by the deafening mines as he sees the warfare assimilating into something grander; so he waits, as the forces exploit more ammunition and insert, twist it delicately within the heart with more to come.