I just added appropriate music videos for each of the attachment types, and it was harder to think of good pop songs for the secure — apparently their relationships are harder to dramatize. I ended up choosing Adele’s video for “Feel My Love,” which has a strong sense of how the secure feel about their partners, though for dramatic purposes she is far away from the one she is thinking of.
Scott Wood set out on the same search and makes the point that happy long-term relationships don’t get written up often:
Looking at the lyrics with a therapist’s eye, it has occurred to me how rarely the words appear to reflect secure attachment. As I described in earlier posts, secure attachment is that quality of love relationship wherein you are able to turn to each other for comfort and support each knowing that your partner will be there to provide it. Essentially, it is knowing there is someone to whom you matter, someone who has your back, someone who will be there through the inevitable trials of life. It is the true longing of the human heart. These qualities can be difficult to find in the relationships described in rock music. More often, songs can be categorizes as 1) the thrill of new love, 2) the rush of sexual desire, 3) break up songs, 4) unrequited love (I think you’re all that, and you don’t notice me). Even those songs proposing a more permanent relationship seem to smack of a love that is still heavily in the infatuation stage. Again, it is difficult to find secure attachment in rock lyrics.
I have a few theories as to why that is. Theory A: There is a story telling quality to a rock song. A good story requires some amount of conflict. “Isn’t it wonderful to have a happy marriage?” does not make for a great lyric. Theory B: Writing love songs is an emotional process. When emotions are running hot during the early days of a relationship and love is new, causes songs to leap forth. A more mature relationship may not call forth the same muse as new love. On the flip side, writing a poison pen letter in the form of a song after a break-up could be very cathartic. Theory C: Most rock songs are written by artists in their comparative youth and directed at a younger audience. The artists and their audiences may not have experienced secure attachment with a love interest and perhaps it even sounds boring at that point in one’s life. Theory D: perhaps there exists a conflux of factors such as the life of a rock/pop star does not lend itself to developing and maintaining secure relationships, or the drive and uniqueness of personality that pushes one to the top of the music business may not be conducive to such relationships. Maybe that last one is just a cliché. I don’t know; I am making this up as I go.
For further reading:
“Bad Boyfriends” – the book!
More on Divorce, Marriage, and Mateseeking
Marriages Happening Late, Are Good for You
Monogamy and Relationship Failure; “Love Illuminated”
More reasons to find a good partner: lower heart disease!
“Princeton Mom” Susan Patton: “Marry Smart” not so smart
“All the Taken Men are Best” – why women poach married men….
“Marriage Rate Lowest in a Century”
Making Divorce Hard to Strengthen Marriages?
Student Loan Debt: Problems in Divorce
“The Upside of ‘Marrying Down’”
The High Cost of Divorce
Separate Beds Save Marriages?
Marital Discord Linked to Depression
Marriage Contracts: Give People More Legal Options
Older Couples Avoiding Marriage For Financial Reasons
Divorced Men 8 Times as Likely to Commit Suicide as Divorced Women
Vox Charts Millennial Marriage Depression
What’s the Matter with Marriage?
Life Is Unfair! The Great Chain of Dysfunction Ends With You.
Leftover Women: The Chinese Scene
Constant Arguing Can Be Deadly…
“If a fraught relationship significantly shortens your life, are you better off alone?
“Divorce in America: Who Really Wants Out and Why”
View Marriage as a Private Contract?
“It’s up there with ‘Men Are From Mars’ and ‘The Road Less Travelled’”
Free Love, eHarmony, Matchmaking Pseudoscience
Love Songs of the Secure Attachment Type
“The New ‘I Do’”
Unrealistic Expectations: Liberal Arts Woman and Amazon Men
Mark Manson’s “Six Healthy Relationship Habits”
“The Science of Happily Ever After” – Couples Communications
Free Dating Sites: Which Have Attachment Type Screening?
Dating Pool Danger: Harder to Find Good Partners After 30
Mate-Seeking: The Science of Finding Your Best Partner
Perfect Soulmates or Fellow Travelers: Being Happy Depends on Perspective
No Marriage, Please: Cohabiting Taking Over
“Marriage Markets” – Marriage Beyond Our Means?
Rules for Relationships: Realism and Empathy
Limerence vs. Love
The “Fairy Tale” Myth: Both False and Destructive
When to Break Up or Divorce? The Economic View
“Why Are Great Husbands Being Abandoned?”
Divorce and Alimony: State-By-State Reform, Massachusetts Edition
“Sliding” Into Marriage, Small Weddings Associated with Poor Outcomes
Subconscious Positivity Predicts Marriage Success…
Why We Are Attracted to Bad Partners (Who Resemble a Parent)
As a professor that teaches a course on the media and its projection of unhealthy and unrealistic expectations of love–I think you have a hit the core of why the music industry steers away from “healthy” lyrics—it doesn’t sell.
Another love song of the secure : “Gentle on My Mind” by Glenn Campbell 🙂
What a fun idea – a playlist for one’s attachment style 🙂
I have a few suggestions for Secure-attachment love songs that celebrate the contentment found in such a relationship (heads-up, they’re all Ella Fitzgerald, and my favorites exactly because they’re not rife with the things so many songs are – hype, drama, infatuation, unrequited love, etc. These are my favorites because they reflect the satisfaction of a secure love, and I find them fun and celebratory.)
“I Could Write a Book” by Ella Fitzgerald
“Cheek to Cheek”
“Love is Here to Stay”
“My Funny Valentine”
Give them a listen and enjoy their cheerful effect 🙂
(Before you know it, you’ll be swaying and smiling along with the lyrics.)
Ella’s a constant companion here. You’re quite right, and many of her best numbers have an element of humor (like her many variations of “Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love.)”