Home  >  Love Couch  >  Broken Hearts

10 Cathartic Love Songs About the One that Got Away

Pining for the one who got away is always easier and more therapeutic when you listen to songs that know exactly how you feel.

long songs for the one that got away

Everyone who’s had their fair share of relationships and heartache has one: the one that got away. It’s probably one of the most painful things people experience when it comes to relationships. As opposed to just breaking up and moving on, having someone who got away leaves you with a tidal wave of what ifs, with shockwaves that still reverberate for years after you’ve parted ways.

You start to think of how it could have been if you hadn’t done something, if you had said something, if you had tried harder. There’s the feeling of loss and longing, the feeling of never knowing what could have been, the feeling that you let everything you’ve ever wanted slip right through your fingers.

Songs to play when you’re thinking of the one that got away

For those of you who are going through this, here are some songs that you may relate to. Get the tissues ready, because some of these songs just might turn you into a quivering mass of emotions.

#1 Love is a Laserquest by Arctic Monkeys

For: The fling who was more than just a fling

Memorable line: Will I have found a better method of pretending you were just some lover?

In this instance, I recommend listening to the heartfelt acoustic performance by their front man, Alex Turner. This song deals with the way some of us may try to pretend that the one who got away is just someone we’ll eventually forget. But during those lonely hours, your mind starts to wonder how they’re doing or if they ever think of you. And you wish there was an easier way to pretend that they didn’t matter so much to you. [Read: How to have a no strings attached relationship]

#2 A Day Late by Anberlin

For: The friend you liked but never asked out

Memorable line: Now we both have separate lives and lovers, insignificantly enough, we both have significant others.

Whether you listen to the original or the popular acoustic one, this song speaks volumes about the thoughts of two friends who could have been, but never were. Neither of you made a move, and you now feel it’s too late, so you’ve come to terms with the fact that you’re meant to be just friends.

#4 The Hardest Day by The Corrs featuring Alejandro Sanz

For: The one you had to leave

Memorable line: Loving you was my finest hour, leaving you the hardest day of my life.

This song is about having to leave someone you don’t want to leave. Whether it’s because of other commitments, distance or the painful realization that things aren’t working out, you know that you’re still in love with each other when you parted ways. Oh, the tragedy!

#5 Someone Like You by Adele

For: The one who moved on before you did

Memorable line: I’d hoped you’d see my face, and you’d be reminded that for me, it isn’t over yet.

Nothing hits harder than a heartfelt ballad sung by the talented Adele. And yes, that’s genuine emotion you hear in her voice, because this song was actually written with someone in mind. There’s nothing quite as agonizing as knowing that the one you can’t seem to get over has finally gotten over you… And it hits twice as hard when you finally see them again. [Read: 9 ways to deal with an ex seeing someone new]

#6 Dammit by Blink 182

For: The one who friend zoned you

Memorable line: And it’s happened once again, I’ll turn into a friend, someone who understands and sees through the master plan.

You’re friends. You’re still hanging out. You know all of their dirty little misdeeds, and yet all you can ever be is friends, because they’re just not into you. But hey, at the end of the song, you realize that heartaches like these are just a part of growing up. You just have to go through the teenage angst, Blink 182-style. [Read: How to get out of the friend zone and make her want you]

#7 Sometime Around Midnight by The Airborne Toxic Event

For: The ex you never thought you’d see again

Memorable line: And all of these memories come rushing like feral waves to your mind, of the curl of your bodies, like two perfect circles entwined.

You’re having a great night out with your friends, and then all of a sudden, there she is: the one who broke your heart all those years ago. And even if it’s already been so long, the image of her and how she used to be with you is so vivid that your friends start to ask you if you’ve seen a ghost. The truth is, you kind of did. [Read: 14 things to keep in mind when you run into your ex]

#8 Every Little Thing by Dishwalla

For: The one whose changes you wish you could keep up with

Memorable line: I wish I could be every little thing you wanted.

Have you ever felt like you’re in a relationship with someone who has transformed into someone completely different from the one you once fell in love with? And what’s worse, you wish you could change to make them love you the way you still love them? This heart wrenching alternative song is all about wishing you could be the one your partner still wants, despite the fact that you know it’s hopeless at this point.

#9 Motorcycle Drive By by Third Eye Blind

For: The one who changed you

Memorable line: That’s when I knew that I could never have you. I knew that before you did. Still, I’m the one who’s stupid.

Stephan Jenkins, the vocalist of Third Eye Blind, says that this song is about a visit to New York to see a girl he used to go out with, and, suffice to say, things didn’t work out. It’s a song about realizing how different you are, and still trying to make things work, despite the odds. And even if things didn’t work out between you, the failed relationship and all the things you had to go through because of it made you feel more alive. [Read: What I learned when you broke my heart]

#10 Cool by Gwen Stefani

For: The ex you’re actually on good terms with

Memorable line: It’s such a miracle that you and me are still good friends. After all that we’ve been through, I know we’re cool.

Okay, so let’s end this feature on a more positive note. Just because someone got away, doesn’t mean you’ll always be pining for them. There will come a point when you’ll realize that things have become better, now that you’re no longer together. And sure, you may sometimes think about all the good times you had together. But in the end, you know that parting ways is a necessary step for you to find someone who’s better suited for you. [Read: 16 circumstances when you should and shouldn’t be friends with an ex]

In time, the one that got away will turn into the one you got over. But in the meantime, you can give these songs a good listen to let out all those bottled up emotions. Do you have a favorite “the one that got away” song? Let us know what it is in the comments below! 

Liked what you just read? Follow us on Instagram Facebook Twitter Pinterest and we promise, we’ll be your lucky charm to a beautiful love life.

LovePanky icon
Team LovePanky
The editorial team of LovePanky comprises relationship experts and real-life experts that share their experiences and life lessons. If you want the best love ad...