Unfortunately, many people have to experience loving someone you can’t have at some point. It seems like loving someone you can’t have is just a fact of life. You can’t make someone love you, so all you can do is hope that they will one day care for you. Whether you have an unrequited crush or are struggling to get your ex back, these songs about loving someone you can’t have are for you. They are from a range of different genres and musicians, so there is bound to be something for everyone in this list.
15 Songs About Loving Someone You Can’t Have
1. What It Takes by Aerosmith
This is one of the songs about loving someone you can’t have that is perfect for rock fans. If you want to rock out and let your frustration out, then this song is an excellent choice. In the song, Aerosmith sings about how hard it is to get someone out of his mind. His girlfriend left him, but he cannot get all of his thoughts about loving her out of her mind. He just wants to know what it will take to move on and forget about her.
“Tell me what it takes to let you go.
Tell me how the pain’s supposed to go.
Tell me how it is that you can sleep in the night
without thinking you lost everything that was good in your life to the toss of the dice.
Tell me what it takes to let you go.”
2. Need Ur Love by Charli XCX
If you are looking for songs about love, then Charli XCX’s songs are always a good choice. This song is from a recent album about how hard it is to let go. While there lyrics might be depressing, the song itself has a catchy, upbeat feel to it. You will commiserate with the lyrics, but you will also quickly find yourself dancing along to the beat.
“I need your love
I need it when it hurts me
I won’t give up.”
3. 1000 Times by Sarah Bareilles
Sometimes, you love someone who only thinks about you as a friend. When you love someone you can’t have, it breaks your heart every time you turn around and see them again. You know that it hurts, and it will keep hurting for a 1,000 times as you turn around and see them over and over again. In this song, Bareilles sings about how she is willing to be hurt 1,000 times by just being around him because it hurts even more to forget about him and let go.
“You can make me wait forever
push me away and tell me never.
I don’t mind, no I don’t mind it.
I would come back a thousand times.”
4. All I Ask by Adele
Unsurprisingly, one of Adele’s songs is on this list. When it comes to beautiful ballads about heartbreak, Adele is truly the queen. In this particular song, she sings about loving someone who doesn’t return her feelings. In the song, she asks that he holds her like more than a friend because she feels like this could be the last time that she ever falls in love. If you struggle with loving someone you can’t have, then a lot of this song will really resonate with you.
“If this is my last night with you,
hold me like I’m more than just a friend.
Give me a memory I can use.
Take me by the hand while we do what lovers do.
It doesn’t matter how this ends,
‘cause what if I never love again?”
5. I Want the One I Can’t Have by the Smiths
This is an obvious option to choose. The song songs bright and upbeat, but it is about how crazy you can go when you love someone that you cannot be with.
“On the day that your mentality catches up with your biology.
And if you ever need self-validation,
just meet me in the alley by the railway station.”
6. Crown of Love by Arcade Fire
This song shows the perspectives of both people involved in unrequited love. One person is just wanting the love of the other, and the other person is apologetic for not being able to feel the same way. It is definitely a good song to play on repeat when you love someone you can’t have.
“They say it fades if you let it.
Love was made to forget it.
I carved your name across my eyelids.
You pray for rain,
I pray for blindness.”
7. Hands to Myself by Selena Gomez
This is one of the more recent songs on the list. The song is all about wanting to be physically close to the person you are obsessed with. Be careful about listening to this song because it will definitely get stuck in your mind.
“My doctor say you’re no good
But people say what they wanna say
And you should know if I could
I’d breathe you in every single day.”
8. You Don’t Know My Name by Alicia Keys
This is one of the more lighthearted-sounding songs on the list. Alicia Keys sings about having a crush on a guy that doesn’t realize that she exists. You think about what it would be like on your first date or how your first kiss would feel. Unfortunately, you can’t find out what these experiences would actually be like because the guy has no clue that you actually exist.
“You got me feeling crazy inside,
I feel like doing nothing I’ve ever done for anyone’s attention.
Take notice of what’s in front of you,
‘cause did I mention you about to miss a good thing.
And you’ll never know how it feels to have all my affection.”
9. Cornerstone by Arctic Monkeys
This is a song about loving someone who has been away from your life for a long time. The guy goes into town to find someone to replace the lost love, but no one wants to be with him because he keeps calling new dates by the name of his lost lover.
“Tell me where’s your hiding place.
I’m worried I’ll forget your face.
And I’ve asked every one.
I’m beginning to think I imagined you all along.”
10. I Want It That Way by the Backstreet Boys
You probably remember this song, but many people are unaware that it is a song about unrequited love. The song is all about how they want to be with someone who doesn’t want them. The song talks about how they would be willing to have love on any terms as long as their lover doesn’t leave them.
“But we are two worlds apart
Can’t reach to your heart
When you say
That I want it that way.”
11. The Hardest Thing by 98 Degrees
This is another song from the boy bands. In the song, 98 degrees talks about how it feels when a guy knows that a woman loves him, but he is already in love with someone else.
“It’s the hardest thing I’ll ever have to do,
to look you in the eye and tell you I don’t love you.
It’s the hardest thing I’ll ever have to lie,
to show no emotion when you start to cry.”
12. I Can’t Make You Love Me by Bon Iver
The title of this song says it all. No matter what you do, you can’t make someone love you. In this heartbreak ballad, Bon Iver sings about facing the fact that someone he loves can never actually love him back.
“Cause I can’t make you love me if you don’t.
You can’t make your heart feel something it won’t.
Here in the dark, in these final hours,
I will lay down my heart.”
13. Memphis by Justin Bieber
Bieber sings all about how obsessed he is with a girl who plays hard to get. She has been hurt by other guys, so she can’t believe him when he says how he feels about her.
“I’d like to give you what you need
I try but you’re makin’ it hard for me
How do I make you believe?
Cause I love you, need you, need you here to stay”
14. Needing/Getting by OK GO
This is one of the more upbeat songs, and it is fun to play on repeat. Despite its upbeat sound, the lyrics are all about wanting to get over a lose love. In the sing, the singer keeps thinking about the girl and how he wants to finally let her go.
“It ain’t real forgiving, it ain’t real forgiving
sitting her picturing someone else living.
And I, yeah I still need you, but what good’s that gonna do?
Needing is one thing, but getting, getting’s another.”
15. Anything Could Happen by Ellie Goulding
This is one of the best songs about loving someone you can’t have. In the song, Ellie sings about having a crush who cannot love her back because he is not attracted to her. The lyrics talk about how he should just give her a chance. He can’t know what could happen unless he tries. While she might have a point, it doesn’t sound like he is going to try out a relationship with her anytime in the near future. If you struggle with loving someone you can’t have, you will definitely sympathize with the lyrics.
“Letting darkness grow
As if we need it’s palette and we need it’s color
But now I’ve seen it through
And now I know the truth.”