I Made You This Mix: Unrequited Love

By Melanie Sue


I Made You This Mix, a writer’s mixtape to the word, releases it’s third installment.  In this edition, Melanie Sue tells us about one sided love and the songs that help you get through or over it.  

Almost everyone has a story about someone who didn’t feel the same way they did. They saw you as a friend, they didn’t see you at all, or they just don’t see you through romantic eyes anymore. It hurts, but you’re not alone. Unrequited love can be exciting in a way, if only to celebrate the fact that there are still amazing people out there to have weird feelings about. Here is a mix for your troubles as you navigate this emotionally confusing territory.

“I Can’t Be With You” by The Cranberries

The Cranberries are incredibly good at making me sad in the best way, and this song is less about someone who never loved you and more about someone who doesn’t love you anymore. Either way, it punches me right in the feelings and makes we want to stare out my window at the rain like I’m in a dramatic 90’s music video.

“Rebel Girl” by Bikini Kill

I almost instantaneously fall in love with every riot grrrl I meet, and this song is a beautiful anthem for that (although I’m pretty positive it was written about friendship). For me, it perfectly describes how I simultaneously want to be their best friend but also want to go out on totally punk dates with them. I wish it were socially acceptable to quote song lyrics as an opening line, because I always get nervous and stammer out something like, “I like the patches on your cutoff denim vest.” Kathleen Hanna, you are forever smoother than I am.

“Dancing On My Own” by Robyn

This song is for that inevitable moment everyone has at least once with someone they like. Unrequited love sucks, but it’s universal. This song is for that party you were so excited about because that person would be there. You got all dolled up and were feeling optimistic and certain—something amazing will happen tonight, you just know it. That person will finally see how great you are and it will be perfect. The end. But then they spend the night attached to someone else and then they leave together. It’s devastating, but it’s okay because Robyn’s got your back. She gets it. She knows how to identify with but also empower you. This song is lyrically sad, but musically inspiring. For the record, I don’t know who would turn down Robyn. You’ll always have a place in the dance club corners of my heart, girl.

“What I Wouldn’t Do” by A Fine Frenzy

This adorable, summery song gives me cavities. It’s flawlessly cheery and poppy, and is the brighter side of your unanswered affections. There’s a sense of possibility to it. Bonus: Alison Sudol is one classy, charming babe of a singer-songwriter.

“C’Mere” by Interpol

The lyrics, “The trouble is that you’re in love with someone else/it should be me” get me every time. It’s like the post-punk version of, “Been here all along, why can’t you see, you belong with me?” I think Interpol has gotten much more attention since “PDA” was featured on the game Rock Band, which I like beacause they have a lot of other great material to check out.

“Cup of Coffee” by Garbage

Shirley Manson is my #1 Crush, some pun intended. She and Garbage helped me survive high school, and she really knows how to capture your most soul-crushing emotions. This haunting number is for the most devastating of lost loves, the kind that steals the life from you and makes you lay in bed all day smoking that person’s brand of cigarettes. You self-destruct in your search for happiness and you wonder if anyone will ever be as great as that person.

I promise you, there is always someone new and wonderful to be met. You don’t need them anyway, and you’ll feel better one day. But until then, you have this song to sob to.

“Trash (Miss America)” by Lana Del Rey

This unreleased LDR song is for that weird, probably drunken, seedy crush you have on someone that doesn’t last for more than an hour. It probably also happened in Reno.

Unrequited Love” by Lykke Li

This kind of hits the thematic nail on the head. One-sided feelings can be exhausting and lonely, but it always makes me feel better to hear LyLi say, “That must mean I’ll live again.” After listening to her, Robyn, The Sounds, and Those Dancing Days, I’m positive that Swedish artists just understand me better.

“Can You Tell” by Ra Ra Riot

Do you become a preteen nervous wreck around the person you like? I thought so. I typically wonder how people don’t know I have a crush on them, seeing as I get so skittish and strange in their presence. At some point, it feels like, “Are you going to figure it out or do I have to just put the reality out there?” I always tell myself that I will be confident and tell them how I feel, but I am never that brave. I usually end up wondering why they didn’t read more into the mix CD or brownies I made them. Sigh.

“My List” by The Killers

Something in me will always love The Killers. There’s just something about their Las Vegas-dipped arena rock that feels classic and honest. Brandon Flowers emits a certain vulnerability to me, and “My List” is the perfect anthem to whomever it is you’re waiting around for.

Dancing in the Dark” by Bruce Springsteen

Bruce should really be on any mix you make for yourself. I have put “Dancing in the Dark” on dozens of encouraging playlists because it always makes me feel hopeful and optimistic. Even if the world isn’t on your side right now, things will turn around for you one day. If you’re in a rut, don’t forget that you’re still golden. The Boss gets discouraged and sad sometimes too, but he’s right: you can’t start a fire sitting around crying over a broken heart.


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