Full disclaimer: these views are not the views of Ring Cam, just the opinions of their curmudgeon of a blog writer. I happen to like this song. I really do. However, I’m still going to editorialize that this is one of the WORST love stories I’ve ever heard. I sincerely think that it’s also a terrible message. I truly do. Why? “It’s a cute, romantic story of heart break, right?” Au contraire, dear reader. Au contraire.
Reason 1: “She wants to get married, but she don’t wanna marry me.”
I mean, yeah, this happens. People sometimes don’t want to marry other people. It’s unfortunate and painful, but it happens.
Reason 2: “And I know her daddy’s been dreading this day.
Oh, but he don’t know he ain’t the only one giving her away.”
Yikes…..I can guarantee that his love for this girl does not come close to the love her father feels for her. I don’t care how many coffee dates they went on, how many secrets they shared, or how many times he held her while she cried. Her father (and mother) would lay down their lives for this girl without a second thought and without expecting anything in return. This is very different from the very conditional love the main character of “Marry Me” feels for the women he’s chasing. This lyric is oblivious at best, entitled at worst.
Reason 3: “I could try to find her, get it off of my chest now
But I ain’t gonna mess it up, so I wish her the best now.”
While I am sincerely glad that this lyrical character did not yell “I object” at the wedding of someone he supposedly loves, the fact that he considered it does not bode well. She loves someone else. Accept it and move on. Don’t ruin her big day out of selfishness.
My biggest objections to this song are more to the underlying messages that underpin this admittedly pleasant song. Feel free to disagree with me about this; I have been known to miss the mark before. Still, here are some of the messages with this song that I object to.
Message 1: Love is as simple and logical as A=>B=>C
This isn’t how life works. It’s not as simple as checking the right boxes and having the right CV. You don’t become “qualified” to be someone’s boyfriend or girlfriend, wife or husband through character endorsements, time spent as their friend, or being nice. Even if the protagonist of “Marry Me” was the most “qualified” of the bride’s suitors, she still gets to decide who she marries. She made her choice. Maybe it was the right choice. Maybe it was the wrong choice. It’s still her life. Respect her decision and move on. It’s best for both of you.
Message 2: The best way to deal with rejection is to not move on.
Actions speak louder than words. The bride may have never told our protagonist that she wasn’t interested, but I’ll hazard a guess the feeling’s not mutual. She’s marrying another guy, after all. Rather than going out and meeting someone else, this guy stays and pines for a girl who is not available. I get it, rejection sucks. You know what’s worse? Staying in an unhealthy situation to your own detriment. Our protagonist probably passed on meeting and dating plenty of nice, pretty, and intelligent women in favor of pining for this girl. I’m sure she’s nice. I’m sure she’s talented and great. But so are plenty of other girls. This guy is sabotaging his love life to chase a woman who has made it abundantly clear that things will not work between them.
Message 3: The best move is not making one.
“I remember the night when I almost kissed her
Yeah, I kinda freaked out, we’ve been friends for forever.”
Herein lies the problem, friend. At this moment, our protagonist had two options. The first was a simple path. Tell the woman in question that he loved her, get rejected, and then move on with his life. The second option? A frustrating and depressing cycle of loving this woman but never having the spine to risk rejection. I’ll let the following Theodore Roosevelt quote from “The Man in the Arena” sum up my thoughts on this: “If he fails, at least he fails while failing greatly, so that his place will never be with those cold and timid souls who neither knew victory or defeat.” Better to profess love and know this woman was not interested than timidly sulk and skulk in the church pews while she marries someone else. He only has his own cowardice to blame at this point. (Sorry, not sorry.)
Love is confusing, frustrating, and wonderful. But in real life, the “good guy” doesn’t always get the girl. (He did consider ruining a church service and compared his love for her to her relationship with her dad, so I put good guy in quotation marks.) Yes, sometimes romance requires persistence. But don’t pine for a person who clearly loves someone else. Rejection hurts, but it’s much better to risk rejection than never take a chance and end up in a church pew while they marry someone else. Fortune favors the bold. Take a chance, get your heart broken, and move on with life. You’ll meet your person in that process. You won’t if you stay in a quagmire of self-pity.
Jon Tilden is head blog writer at Ring Cam and lives in Holland, Michigan. In his free time, he enjoys exercising, hiking, playing with his cats and having strong opinions about country songs. Just remember, when you do meet that person, use a Ring Cam to help capture that moment.