Maybe you’ve just been dumped — or, on the other hand, maybe the person you thought you’d lost just texted you out of the blue.
If you’re feeling confused about your relationship status, and haven’t had the DTR conversation, the best songs about complicated love can help remind you that you are definitely not alone and the struggle is, in fact, real.
We’ve all been there for the highs and lows of the rollercoaster ride known as all-encompassing love. And if there is one thing that lovers and heartbroken folks have in common, no matter what stage of a relationship they’re in, it’s that they have a lot of feelings.
But love can be complicated — sometimes, lovers will hurt each other just as much as they love each other. Love brings with it every feeling a human can go through: joy, pain, anger, happiness, euphoria, nervousness, resentment, and more.
Still, there is a way to move forward and tell someone you love them with songs like “At Last” by Etta James or “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers, both of which are, hands down, the most beautiful love songs ever written. On the other hand, “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran serves as a good song for going through hard times in your relationship.
So whether you’re single, taken, married, or in a “situationship,” this playlist of the 35 best love songs about the complicated stages of relationships is sure to contain a song that fits your mood.
30 Best Songs About Complicated Love & Relationships
Songs About Complicated Relationships
1. “Hotline Bling” by Drake
Perfect for: when you let them get away.
Another classic track from Drake, with his take of heartbreak over yet another girl from home he used to kick it with before he got too famous. We still feel the pain, especially after the warm weather has begun and our hotline blings on the drunkest of occasions.
Best lyrics: “I know when that hotline bling, that can only mean one thing.”
2. “Exchange” by Bryson Tiller
Perfect for: when you’re ready to fix your relationship.
For all of us that made mistakes and let the good ones go, all we can hope is that they’ll give us one more chance. But in all honesty, who wouldn’t give Bryson Tiller one more chance?
Best lyrics: “I was never loyal, let you tell it, yo, but I’m ready to fix it if you ready, baby.”
3. “Really Love” by D’Angelo and The Vanguard
Perfect for: when you’re really in love.
With a long hiatus, D’Angelo succeeded in blowing us all away with come back album, Black Messiah. Play D’Angelo all cuffing season long and you will never go wrong. (How does this record not want you to be in love?)
Best lyrics: “Doo doo wah, I’m in really love with you, I’m in really love with you.”
4. “Bound 2” by Kanye West ft. Charlie Wilson
Perfect for: when they’re all you can think about.
Regardless of your feelings about Kim and Kanye, “Bound 2” is catchy and fun. With Charlie Wilson wooing us in the background, we can’t help but fall in love with this track.
Best lyrics: “Close your eyes and let the word paint a thousand pictures.”
5. “Stubborn Love” by The Lumineers
Perfect for: when you’re a complete mess.
Feeling upset? Let down? Hopeless? Listen to this song by the Lumineers and remember that you too can get through it all.
Best lyrics: “So keep your head up, keep your love.”
Songs About Confused Love
6. “Adorn” by Miguel
Perfect for: when you just want to be loved.
One of the best R&B songs about complicated love, after this track hit, Miguel went from songful features to the full-on king of romance on every record he touched.
Best lyrics: “You just gotta let my love, let my love, let my love adorn you.”
7. “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers
Perfect for: when your love has gone.
You really know the power of a song when it doesn’t take a fancy video, more than a few verses, and a simple melody to completely win us over with emotion and heartbreak. Thank you, Bill Withers.
Best lyrics: “Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone, only darkness every day.”
8. “Million” by Tink
Perfect for: when they’re all you think about.
Putting together a song like this cannot be done lightly, but with Timbaland behind you and Tink spitting, the outcome is sure to be fire.
Best lyrics: “Your love’s like a big hug on a bad day just what I need in my life, you’re one in a million when I wake was the first thing on my mind.”
9. “So Anxious” by Ginuwine
Perfect for: when you can’t get enough of them.
It’s no surprise Drake so famously sampled this record for his “Legend” track. If there were ever a champion for writing songs to pull women into the bedroom, Ginuwine would be it. Who else could write a song about hook-up anxiety and make it sound this smooth?
Best lyrics: “I’m so anxious, so meet me at 11:30, I love the way you’re talking dirty.”
10. “U Don’t Have To Call” by Usher
Perfect for: when it’s time to get back in the game.
Feel free to replay this Usher song as many times as you need to when you’ve been ghosted on or just straight up rejected. Also feel free to call up Diddy or your best friend for some much-needed motivation to get back out there.
Best lyrics: “You don’t have to call, it’s okay girl, ’cause I’m gonna be alright tonight.”
Songs About Being Confused About a Relationship
11. “Drunk in Love” by Beyoncé ft. Jay Z
Perfect for: when you’re, well… drunk in love.
For those of us insanely in love, nothing beats tearing it up (especially to Beyoncé and Jay Z) with your love all night, drinks included.
Best lyrics: “We be all night, and everything alright, no complaints for my body, so fluorescent under these lights.”
12. “Call Your Girlfriend” by Robyn
Perfect for: when you’re tired of being the other woman.
Nobody likes to chase someone who is already committed. So rather than waiting around for someone to come to you, give them that ultimatum.
Best lyrics: “Call your girlfriend, it’s time you had the talk, give your reasons, say it’s not her fault, but you just met somebody new.”
13. “Clarity” by Kim Petras
Perfect for: when you’re refusing to admit the truth to yourself.
Is it that you don’t have clarity on the subject, or are you refusing to admit the reality of your “relationship” — or lack thereof?
Best lyrics: “I know what I want. And I’ma go and get it, yeah. I’m a number one, yeah.”
14. “Play No Games” by Big Sean ft. Chris Brown
Perfect for: when you’re over playing games.
Isn’t it what we all want? To have a partner that wants to commit, no games included? It’s the dream, so all men please take notes from Big Sean.
Best lyrics: “And I ain’t ’bout to play no games with you. You know what your problem is? You don’t ever see the big picture. Oh wee, I want you to take me serious.”
15. “Heartbeat” by Childish Gambino
Perfect for: when you have no idea what the two of you are.
Just in case you needed visuals, the music video depicts everything about not having the only person you truly want. With Childish Gambino walking us through it, we know there’s no one else we’d rather drive around than that special someone.
Best lyrics: “Are we best friends? Are we something? In between that?”
Songs About Situationships
16. “Situationships” by Fabolous
Perfect for: when things are complicated.
From the famous S.O.U.L. Tape series, Fabolous single-handedly defines the problem of our generation: situationships. With clips from Baby Boy and Martin, you’ll want to hear this, breakup or not.
Best lyrics: “And what’s crazy is soon as you fall back, they crawl back, saying they sorry and wait it all back.”
17. “New Flame” by Chris Brown ft. Usher and Rick Ross
Perfect for: when it’s love (or lust!) at first sight.
Whether you believe it or not, seasonal flings can happen just about anywhere. But will it last? Hard to say — you’ll just have to wait and see once the season ends.
Best lyrics: “When we’re standing here looking at each other, baby, eye to eye and I’m hoping that you’re thinking about leaving with me tonight.”
18. “Favorite” by Nicki Minaj ft. Jeremih
Perfect for: when you want to be their everything.
The first step to knowing they’re the one? Nick Minaj knows it’s when you have that instantaneous feeling they are your absolute favorite.
Best lyrics: “I just wanna be somebody that can add to, your wife, be a friend, be a teacher, and a fan too.”
19. “Confused in Love” by Keyshia Cole
Perfect for: when you’re confused about love.
Clarity makes the heart grow fonder, especially when you figure out what you deserve in life.
Best lyrics: “I used to be through with love, confused in love. No way in knowing what I wanna do in love. But not no more, I will stress no more.”
20. “Complicated” by Avril Lavigne
Perfect for: when you don’t know where you stand with your crush.
People change for better or worse. Sometimes all that’s left to do is let them.
Best lyrics: “Why’d you have to go and make things so complicated?”
Songs About Relationship Problems
21. “Shake It Out” by Florence + The Machine
Perfect for: when you’re ready to start over.
True, you’ve been heartbroken, made mistakes, but it’s never over. Shout out to Florence + The Machine for always providing the spirit to courageously shake it off.
Best lyrics: “And I am done with my graceless heart, so tonight I’m going to cut it out and then restart.”
22. “The Break Up Song” by Wale
Perfect for: when your heart is broken into a million pieces.
Ingeniously modeled after “500 Days of Summer,” Wale lets us in on the plot lines of his infamous breakup — reality and expectations included.
Best lyrics: “Yeah, see, breaking up is hard, to move along, it’s even harder.”
23. “I Will Possess Your Heart” by Death Cab For Cutie
Perfect for: when you’re not ready to give up just yet.
For those of us who never refuse to ever give up, Death Cab for Cutie wrote the anthem.
Best lyrics: “How I wish I could see the potential, the potential of me and you. It’s like a book elegantly bound but in a language that you can’t read just yet.”
24. “Gaslighter” by The Chicks
Perfect for: when you’ve been literally gaslit by a romantic partner.
Call it what it is: gaslighting! There’s no need to sugarcoat it or feel guilty about biting back.
Best lyrics: “I believed in the promises you made to me, swore that night ’til death do us part. But you lie-lie-lie-lie-lied.”
25. “H.A.T.E.U.” by Mariah Carey
Perfect for: when you’re stuck in a love/hate relationship.
Love is complicated. Nothing is absolute. But there’s always a chance you’ll go back and forth between adoration and resentment.
Best lyrics: “I can’t wait to hate you. Make you pain like I do.”
26. “Don’t Say You Love Me” by Fifth Harmony
Perfect for: when his actions aren’t matching up with his promises.
When you’ve been patiently waiting for someone to make a commitment, it’s painful that they lie and break promises.
Best lyrics: “So don’t say you miss me when you don’t call. And don’t say you’re hurting without the scars.”
27. “Red” by Taylor Swift
Perfect for: when you miss him so much that it hurts.
When your past keeps popping up into your life, it’s hard to forget all the pain they bring back.
Best lyrics: “Touching him was like realizing all you ever wanted was right there in front of you.”
Songs About Being Afraid to Love Someone
28. “Forever” by Lecrae
Perfect for: when it’s getting serious.
I’d imagine Lecrae to be the man of every woman’s dreams. Or, at least, the kind of guy who can persuade us to get married as soon as we hear this song.
Best lyrics: “Any boy can go find a girl and try to satisfy her for a whole night, but a real man can take one woman and satisfy her for a whole life.”
29. “F*** Being Friends” by Jessie Reyez
Perfect for: when you’re acting like a girlfriend, but not being treated like one.
Know thyself. Know what you want and go after it.
Best lyrics: “You ain’t scared to f***, but you scared of being lovers. Why is that, huh?”
30. “Because of You” by Kelly Clarkson
Perfect for: when you’re feeling too emotionally damaged to function.
Healing is difficult, especially in this heartbreaking song about being hurt by someone you love. But healing will come.
Best lyrics: “I cannot cry because I know it’s weakness in your eyes.”
31. Give Your Heart a Break by Demi Lovato
Perfect for: when you’re too scared to commit.
Trust takes time, true. But if you never take a leap of faith you’ll never fall in love.
Best lyrics: “Give your heart a break.”
32. “Caroline Shut Up” by Caroline Polachek
Perfect for: when you’re letting your fears get in the way of a healthy relationship.
If you truly care for someone, take a leap of faith. Because you can’t have a relationship if you don’t let yourself trust a little.
Best lyrics: “Sometimes I wonder, do I love you too much? Then I tell myself, ‘Caroline, shut up.'”
33. “This Love” by Maroon Five
Perfect for: when you’re struggling with how to define your relationship.
Don’t say you weren’t warned the first time around, because eventually, if you don’t have that talk, things can get complicated.
Best lyrics: “This love has taken its toll on me. She said goodbye too many times before.”
34. “Undecided” by Chris Brown
Perfect for: when you’re not sure what you want.
When you’re getting dragged around, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and fun of it all. But with this song about being uncertain of love, you may find the answer.
Best lyrics: “But I’m undecided, excited, ignited. And I don’t wanna feel the way I do, but I like it.”
35. “I Love You” by Billie Eilish
Perfect for: when the past is hitting way too hard.
The past is in the past for a reason, and it might just be time to move forward and let it go.
Best lyrics: “Maybe won’t you take it back? Say you were tryna make me laugh. And nothin’ has to change today.”
Eve Stern is a journalist, photographer, digital media consultant, and freelance writer based in New York City. She’s the Managing Editor of Her Agenda.