Isn’t it wonderful to love and be loved back? They say experiencing that is such a blessing; however, not all of us get that blessing. Some people love someone who cannot reciprocate their feelings, or they can, but they are not their priority.
Table of Contents
- 21. Heather — Conan Gray
- 20. You Belong With Me — Taylor Swift
- 19. Second Choice (Freestyle) — Anyta
- 18. My Little Secret — Xscape
- 17. Irrelevant — Lauren Aquilina
- 16. Just a Little Bit of Your Heart — Ariana Grande
- 15. Saving All My Love for You — Whitney Houston
- 14. Second Choice — Gavin Hudner
- 13. Pick Up the Phone — Gothurted
- 12. Second Choice — Stonewall Jackson
- 11. Cold Shoulder
- 10. Second Choice — Kree Harrison
- 9. Diary — Bread
- 8. Backup Plan — Tommy Castro
- 7. Is It a Crime — Sade
- 6. JUST A SECOND — Cherry Head, Cherry Heart
- 5. I Can’t Make You Love Me — Bonnie Raitt
- 4. Take A Chance On Me — ABBA
- 3. The Way I Loved You — Taylor Swift
- 2. ghostin — Ariana Grande
- 1. Reckless — Madison Beer
21. Heather — Conan Gray
One-sided love is the first theme for our opening track. When Conan Gray released his folk-pop song “Heather,” it easily earned positive comments and praise. In the song’s lyrics, the persona’s love interest is in love with another girl named Heather. It is clear that the other guy likes him back but likes Heather more. This song from Kid Krow has a highly addictive melody that will capture your attention in no time. Its aesthetic music video is also something you should see!
20. You Belong With Me — Taylor Swift
The 1.4 billion YouTube views prove how popular Taylor Swift’s song “You Belong With Me,” which she wrote after overhearing a conversation between his friend and his girlfriend over the phone. “You Belong With Me” is taken from her studio album Fearless. This country pop track was played almost everywhere during the late 2000s and easily sparked nostalgia until now. It is one of the many songs by Taylor that will never die!
19. Second Choice (Freestyle) — Anyta
R&B singer Anyta recorded her song “Second Choice (Freestyle)” as part of her album titled HUSH. In the lyrics, she expresses how she should be the first choice, not the second. It has an infectious beat and catchy lyrics that a lot of listeners can relate to. This R&B track is also a wake-up call for people who are still bound up in unhealthy relationships.
18. My Little Secret — Xscape
The following song, “My Little Secret,” is a timeless tune from Xscape’s Traces of My Lipstick album from 1998. It has an appealing rhythm that was prevalent in soul music during the 1990s. The vocals of this American girl group are to be commended as they sing this song about two people being unfaithful to their own partners and being each other’s “little secret.”
17. Irrelevant — Lauren Aquilina
Lauren Aquilina’s “Irrelevant” starts with instrumentals that give off a melancholic atmosphere. Lauren’s emotive voice and heartbreaking lyrics will surely shatter your heart into pieces. This ballad from the Sinners album centers on how hurt she is by someone who will be fine without her and how he won’t even notice that she’s gone. Whether you’ve felt the same while in a relationship, with a group of friends, or at work, the words of this song will hit you hard.
16. Just a Little Bit of Your Heart — Ariana Grande
Sometimes, when we love someone too much, we settle for less, even though we know we don’t deserve it. Ariana Grande’s album My Everything includes the track “Just a Little Bit of Your Heart,” which was written by Harry Styles and Johan Carlsson. In the song, she is begging someone to stay and give her even just a bit of love, turning a blind eye to the fact that he is cheating on her. Ariana Grande’s heartfelt vocals, lyrics, and melody in this song will have you crying hard.
15. Saving All My Love for You — Whitney Houston
The line “Though I’ve tried to resist being last on your list” from Whitney Houston’s song “Saving All My Love for You” demonstrates how ready she is to be not just the second choice but also the last for someone who already has a family. She received multiple awards for this timeless work of soul, including the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. You will be transported back in time to when everyone was playing Whitney Houston songs when you listen to this song.
14. Second Choice — Gavin Hudner
Gavin Hudner’s “Second Choice” is a perfect entry for our collection of the best songs about being the second choice, as he sings:
I’m done waiting
I’m done changing for you
I’ve spent too long being the second choice
He talks about how he has now realized that he doesn’t want to be the second choice forever. “Second Choice” from Love Me While We’re Still Young features mellow piano chords and Gavin’s raw voice that will make every listener feel down in the dumps.
13. Pick Up the Phone — Gothurted
Gothurted, an indie musical artist, recorded the electro-pop tune titled “Pick Up the Phone,” which also serves as the title track of his 2020 album. In this new-wave song, even though he says, “Tired of being the second choice,” he still can’t help but wait for her to pick up the phone. The depressing mood it carries will certainly affect you as you listen to it.
12. Second Choice — Stonewall Jackson
Regarded as one of the best country performers, Stonewall Jackson released a song titled “Second Choice” in his 1962 album Sadness in a Song. This track deals with the struggle of being the second choice to someone he loves, as heard in its lyrics excerpt: “I’m always second choice, I’m never first with you.”
11. Cold Shoulder
It’s more than just brokenness to be in a relationship where the other person cheats. It affects one’s confidence in themselves and other people. Adele captured that anguish fifteen years ago in the pop song “Cold Shoulder” off of her 2008 album, 19. Whether it stems from Adele’s own life or not, it’s impossible to deny that you’ll feel her heart tearing apart over the way he treats her.
10. Second Choice — Kree Harrison
Thankfully, there comes a time when our eyes will be opened and we will realize what our worth is. As for artist Kree Harrison, she refuses to be the second choice of a toxic partner. She expressed it in the lyrics to her song “Second Choice” as follows:
I’ll be the broom that sweeps up the mess you’ve made
The cigarette that takes you to your grave
When no one cheers for you I’ll make some noise
But I won’t be your second choice
This beautiful yet harrowing ballad is taken from Harrison’s album, Chosen Family Tree. You will appreciate how great of a singer and how stunning Kree’s voice is after listening to “Second Choice.”
9. Diary — Bread
Many of us have experienced unrequited love. In 1972, the soft rock group Bread issued an album titled Baby I’m-a Want You. It includes the song “Diary,” which tells the story of a man who discovers his love interest’s diary. He initially believed the person she was referring to in the diary to be her, but in the end, he realized she was actually referring to someone else. This song’s vocal performance by David Gates is so light that it resembles a bird humming or a gentle breeze.
8. Backup Plan — Tommy Castro
A mixture of classic rock and blues music styles comprises Tommy Castro’s “Backup Plan.” When most people won’t ever want to be her second choice, in this song from Hard Believer, he even offers to be her “backup plan” when things don’t work out for her. The compelling instrumentation and Tommy’s voice will catch your ears and attention.
7. Is It a Crime — Sade
Another song from 1985 will be added to our playlist. It is the jazz ballad “Is it a Crime” by the well-known British group Sade. “Is it a Crime” from Promise asks if it’s forbidden to love someone who already belongs to someone else, much like the previous song, where the persona is also willing to be the second option. The mellow backing track and the female lead singer’s airy voice have a classical music feel to them.
6. JUST A SECOND — Cherry Head, Cherry Heart
Even though “JUST A SECOND” is not that popular compared to the other songs in this list, this pop song by the musical band Cherry Head, Cherry Heart best describes how it is to be the second choice, as the singer mentions, “Am I just the second for you? Second best, is it true?” Their album, It’s Complicated, features this fun track with upbeat instruments and a catchy tune.
5. I Can’t Make You Love Me — Bonnie Raitt
Mike Reid and Allen Shamblin penned the song “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” which was recorded by American singer Bonnie Raitt for her album, Luck of the Draw. It is a depressing ballad about a relationship where one person is already losing interest while the other is struggling to make it work. You will feel depressed after listening to this song from 1991 because she does a good job of telling the sad tale.
4. Take A Chance On Me — ABBA
The gripping, harmonious vocals and instrumentals of the song “Take A Chance On Me” will have you singing along. It came out in 1977 on the Swedish supergroup ABBA’s album titled The Album (Digitally Remastered). Even though “Take A Chance On Me” was uploaded online 13 years ago, it is still getting views today, with a YouTube view count of almost 150 million. A timeless disco song, indeed!
3. The Way I Loved You — Taylor Swift
A different perspective on a second option is expressed in Taylor Swift’s “The Way I Loved You” from her 2008 album Fearless, which she re-recorded in 2021. In this country-pop song, she contrasts two people she likes: one who does everything by the book and one who catches her off guard, with the former being the second choice. You won’t be able to resist this song’s infectious melody, whether you are a Swiftie or not.
2. ghostin — Ariana Grande
Prepare your tissues, as Ariana Grande will leave you crying with her song “ghostin.” This ballad belongs to her 2019 album, Thank U, Next. The fact that she personally tackles how Pete dealt with her mourning for Mac Miller’s death while they were in a relationship makes it more heartbreaking. It is impossible to listen to this masterpiece without getting emotional.
1. Reckless — Madison Beer
“Reckless” took the top spot on this list. It is the lead single and the title track from Madison Beer’s 2021 album. With its poetic and musical artistry, this song had no trouble winning the hearts of the listeners. In addition to the catchy melody, Madison Beer’s vocals deserve praise. “Reckless” is a breathtakingly beautiful ballad that describes how devastated the singer was when someone who promised not to hurt her left her for someone else.