Fun fact about me: I love country music. Like, REALLY love it. Yes, that's right. I'm a second generation Persian-American, born and raised in San Francisco, and my favorite musical genre is country. Breaking stereotypes left and right.
The thing is I'm a writer. I love stories. And there is no genre of music that manages to tell a story quite like country does. And, of all of the many great country singers out there, there's just one who manages to tell my favorite stories of all time: Blake Shelton.
The guy just has an undeniable knack for justifying our deepest, darkest desires when it comes to our romantic lives. He takes your on again-off again relationship and turns it into a tale of never-ending love. He takes your random drunk hookup and turns it into a tale of deep connection and attraction. He can literally take any of our most relatable moments and turn them into beautiful complex love affairs.
So, in honor of his birthday tomorrow, let's take a look at of 10 of Blake Shelton's songs that managed to justify even the very worst of your dating decisions.
1. "Came Here To Forget"
Ah, one of Blake's most recent complicated love bangers.
"Came Here To Forget" (very obviously written about his relationship with Gwen Stefani following both of their respective divorces) is all about glorifying the rebound. Two people coming together to "make the best of the worst of it" until they "can't remember what [they] came here to forget."
Rebounds are not healthy behavior. After a breakup, you should take time to really process what just happened to you and become comfortable and happy on your own. Falling in love with someone just enough to get you through what you're getting through is probably not the best move. But Blake just makes the whole thing so dang relatable, you can't help but want a rebound of your own.
I mean, seriously. Listen to this song and tell me you don't want to fall in love, have that person break your heart and find someone else who also just had his heart broken to fall in love with first as a rebound but then maybe for real.
2. "Bet You Still Think About Me"
You know that awkward moment where it's been two months too long after your break up and it's breeching the point of inappropriate that you still think about your ex every waking moment, plus the moments you're not awake, aka in your dreams where you guys are back together? And your friends are all like, "Just stop thinking about him!" and you're like, "Oh LOL, thank you so much for that groundbreaking piece of advice! It's not like I would give literally anything in the world to make my mind stop thinking about him all the time or anything like that."
It's OK, we've all been there. Not exactly the most glamorous of situations to be in. But leave it to Blake to make it sound beautiful. How does he do it? He plays into our fantasy that the guy we are non-stop thinking about is ALSO thinking about us all the time.
Suddenly, you're not a pathetic loser who can't get over her stupid ex. In Blake Shelton's world, you're the star of your own Nicholas Sparks novel featuring two lovers who just can't quite give up on each other because their love was just THAT special.
3. "Lonely Tonight" (feat. Ashley Monroe)
Here we go, Blake's back in the game glorifying some unhealthy breakup methods. And, not going to lie, I don't hate it. No, I don't hate it one bit.
What's the number one rule after you break up with someone? DON'T HOOK UP WITH YOUR EX. Sure, you will have some lonely nights here and there and it'll be a hard rule to stick to, but no matter how tempting, DON'T DO IT. Well, not according to Blake.
I distinctly remember hearing this song for the first time on the radio over a year ago in the car with my best friend and immediately loving it. At the time, my love life was pretty stable and uncomplicated. I liked a boy; he liked me. Neither of us had crazy exes. We were going on dates. It was easy. I remember complaining to my friend, "I wish I had a crazy, passionate, complicated love like this."
He responded, "What do you mean? All this song is essentially saying is 'I'm horny and alone and so are you, so let's bang even though we both know we don't like each other that much anymore.'"
I thought about it for a second and, man, he was right. That really is all this song boils down to. The same stupid going-back-to-your-ex-for-a-night story we've all lived a million times over. Leave it to Blake Shelton to turn giving into your ex when you were horny and lonely into a beautiful love saga of two people who just can't help but share one more night together.
4. "Every Time I Hear That Song"
Although I've never been in one myself, I've always been a sucker for a good on again-off again relationship. I know they're probably not all they're cracked up to be in my head, but to me the concept of a love that just does not go away no matter how many times you break up with each other is beautiful.
And this Blake Shelton song just further glorifies the concept for me. He starts off the song by talking about how there's something about a goodbye kiss that makes you want to stay, and I'm just sitting there like, "Mhm, yeah, no experience to relate this to, but really wish I had one because that sounds beautiful."
THEN he literally talks about a time where they were "crying," "wasted" and "dying" as a couple and still manages to make it ROMANTIC AF. Every time he hears "That Song," it takes him back to that first (clearly very toxic) time he heard it and BOOM, he's back on her front lawn missing her as he basks in their bittersweet memories.
UGH, WHO NEEDS A BORING, STABLE RELATIONSHIP WHEN YOU COULD HAVE THIS COMPLICATED, BEAUTIFUL MESS OF A LOVE?
5. "Go Ahead And Break My Heart" (feat. Gwen Stefani)
Ever been strung along? Of course you have. We all have. You know, by that person who gives you enough to just keep you on the hook but never enough to keep you from completely losing your mind. We all have some variation of that person in our lives, and, let me tell you from personal experience, it's not exactly what fairytales are made of.
But, of course, when Blake Shelton (and Gwen Stefani, in this case) retells the story you yourself have probably lived through a million times, suddenly it's not a story of some douche who texts you how much he misses you every couple of weeks at 3 in the morning, only to disappear off the face of the earth all over again. No, it becomes a beautiful story of two people who can't fall in love despite the fact that they are guarded and hurt.
And, whoa, your pitiful 3 am text messages are now proof of the passionate love affair you are part of.
6. "It Ain't Easy"
You know the feeling when you start seeing someone and you're not sure how you feel about them yet, so you hold literally all of the power in the relationship? Yep. OK, then flash forward to a couple months into dating the same person and suddenly you aren't so cool anymore. You've gotten -- dun dun dun -- attached!
You have become obsessed with this person, and your happiness completely revolves around him or her. Blake's right; it "ain't easy."
Simply put, this is not a healthy level of attachment. But when he tells the story, it's just another great, complicated love story. And there's even a happy, upbeat tempo to make you feel all cheery about being an obsessive psycho!
7. "Drink On It"
Feeling bad about spilling your soul to (and eventually banging) that random stranger at the bar last night? Listen to this and let your imagination transform into a tale of two lovers who couldn't help but connect over a few drinks late at night.
Being hung up on "the one that got away" is pretty unhealthy for multiple reasons, the main one being that the term pretty clearly implies that the person "got away" from you for one reason or another. The bottom line here is that person is no longer yours, so moving on is probably your best bet.
But we all feel this way, don't we? That's why the term exists in the first place. We all hang on to the fantasy that, if we hang on for long enough, the person will come back. And in this song, Blake Shelton does what Blake Shelton does best and plays right into this fantasy.
I can only imagine that the guy in this song didn't pull a whole lot of chicks with a voicemail that literally proclaimed that he still loves another woman. But eventually, his persistence pays off and she comes back to him. SWOOOOOOON.
9. "I Found Someone"
What's the literal worst imaginable feeling in terms of your romantic life? I'd say it's having your ex move on when you are still totally and completely in love with him. Second to that would probably be having to tell someone you still love that you've fallen in love with someone else. It's that weird complex feeling of being happy but then also sad that you're happy and questioning if this happy is the right happy for you as opposed to that happy you felt with the other person.
Complicated stuff that Blake Shelton turns into yet another beautiful love song. And, even more, he makes it clear that LIFE WILL GO ON even when you and your ex find new people.
10. "She Wouldn't Be Gone"
Sometimes I listen to this song and just straight up cry. I mean, bawl my eyes out cry. And usually I like to do it in the car like Blake does in the music video. Yeah, this is my go-to cry song.
This is hilarious for multiple reasons, the most pertinent of which is that I have never gone through anything even remotely like this. I don't know you guys, something about the passion in this song just gets me EVERY DANG TIME. It just makes me want a guy to take me for granted, then regret it with all of his heart and do everything in his power to get me back once he realizes he lost me aka the best thing that ever happened to him. Like, is that too much to ask for? Lmk.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BLAKE SHELTON. Thank you for making us feel better about all of our many romantic misfortunes.