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‘Just the kind of thing’

I’m really liking this mash-up thing. This week I’m talking about a well-worn topic that might be on everybody’s minds as Valentine’s Day approaches. Some of my favorite songs are love songs, in fact. In that way, I’m not much different from the Eli Young Band (in reference to their song that goes “It was always the love songs, every time/ made everybody feel something inside…”). However, I’m not talking about them today. We’re going to go with two classics, one is a niche artist most well known for her stylings on the TV show “Ally McBeal,” and the other a classic rock pianist. Their songs? “Tell Him” by Vonda Shepard and “Tell Her About It” by Billy Joel.

“I know something about love/You’ve gotta want it bad./If that guy’s got into your blood/Go out and get him./”

Both songs are very upbeat, though with very different and individual tones. Vonda Shepard’s song is meant to empower women to go after the man they want, while Billy Joel’s song is all about making sure you won’t lose the one you already have. Still, the theme is pretty consistent between the two: if you want to keep someone’s interest, you need to tell them how you feel about them. When it comes to romance, this means saying “I Love You.”

“Listen, boy,/I’m sure that you think/ you’ve got it all under control./You don’t want somebody telling you/ the way to stay in someone’s soul./You’re a big boy now/and you’ll never let her go./But that’s just the kind of thing/she ought to know.”

I’m not saying that everyone has this problem; many couples are very good at communicating. However, there are a lot of people who still struggle with both the communication and commitment parts of relationships, romantic or otherwise. That’s why couples therapists still have so many clients. It’s been the basis of so many films. Honestly, the part that frustrates me most about romantic comedy films or TV shows is when there are misunderstandings caused by lack of proper communication because they could be fixed so easily, yet they aren’t. I understand that those are written that way on purpose, but it’s still frustrating, especially because I’ve seen the same thing happen to relationships in real life.

“If you want him to be/Always by your side./Take his hand tonight./Swallow your foolish pride.”

Needless to say, commitment is scary. Long-term relationships are scary. You have to really love one person to be willing to spend the rest of your life – or at least plan to spend the rest of your life – with that one person. Still, when you realize that you’re ready for it, it can be the greatest feeling in the world: as long as your significant other is ready at the same time. If not, well, nobody likes rejection. Even if they say they just aren’t ready at this point in time, if you’re ready and they aren’t, it generally still feels like a rejection. Which is too bad, because sometimes you can be so right together but if the timing isn’t right, it can ruin the whole relationship , and then you both miss out. Of course, sometimes it’s best just to move on because maybe the timing will never be right. That really depends on each individual relationship, though.

“Tell her about it. /Tell her everything you feel./Give her every reason to accept/that you’re for real./ Tell her about it./ Tell her all your crazy dreams./ Let her know you need her:/ Let her know how much she means.”

If you really love someone and you’re ready to move forward with them, and you think they are too, scary as it may be, you should tell them. That person needs to know how you’re feeling about the relationship and deserves to know you think they are worthy of spending a life with; that they are worthy of love. Not telling someone these things will eventually lead to losing that person. As Zac Brown Band and Alan Jackson say, don’t be falling in love as she (or perhaps, in this case, he) is walking away.

“Tell him that you’re never gonna leave him./Tell him that you’re always gonna love him./Tell him, tell him, tell him, tell him right now.”

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