Love triangles can consist of various scenarios, including cheating with someone else, being secretly in love with someone other than your partner, falling in love with someone in a relationship, or being unable to decide between two people. Here are the best songs about love triangles ever.
1. Someone Like You by Adele
Song Year: 2011
Someone Like You is a passionate, emotional, mesmerizing, and highly relatable song about still being in love with someone who has moved on and is seemingly happy with someone else.
The song perfectly conveys the back-and-forth emotions between feeling sad and desperate, wanting to get back with this person somehow, and feeling resolved and wanting to move forward, perhaps by finding someone just like this person.
2. I'm Not The Only One by Sam Smith
Song Year: 2014
I'm Not The Only One is one of Sam Smith's most popular hits, perhaps because it hits a chord for many people who've felt like their spouse or partner was seeing someone else.
It depicts being let down by someone you love because they decided to be with someone else while they were still “committed” to you.
The chorus also speaks to the gaslighting that some cheaters do, calling the other person “crazy” to try and deflect from what they're doing.
3. When I Was Your Man by Bruno Mars
Song Year: 2012
Bruno Mars' When I Was Your Man is about regretting not being a better person for the one you love and realizing it when it's too late and she's happy with someone else.
The slow piano instrumentals and Mars' crisp yet emotive voice expresses his regret in this situation, which perfectly conveys that the narrator of the story is not over the relationship.
4. You Belong With Me by Taylor Swift
Song Year: 2009
Taylor Swift is known for her relatable storytelling and catchy tunes about love and heartbreak, so it's no surprise that she makes several appearances on this list.
You Belong With Me tells the story of a teenage love triangle in which a girl is madly in love with a boy dating someone entirely different.
Swift points out that this other girl is a cheerleader, wears high heels, and doesn't get this boy's humor, and she believes she and the boy would make a better match.
5. Break Up With Your Girlfriend by Ariana Grande
Song Year: 2019
Ariana Grande is known for making some of the catchiest pop/hip-hop hits about several different topics, especially about nuanced feelings around love and attraction.
Essentially, she wants someone to break up with their girlfriend because she's attracted to him.
She doesn't advocate that he cheats on her, so breaking up would be the best move in her eyes so she can finally get with him. Why? Well, she's bored.
6. Beautiful Liar by Beyoncé & Shakira
Song Year: 2007
Beautiful Liar is an iconic collaboration between Beyoncé and Shakira, two of our generation's most popular and well-loved singers.
The song is about finding out the one you love has been going behind your back and seeing someone else, and the two women seem to know and respect each other.
Instead of fighting, screaming, crying, or giving this man any more of their energy, they decide it's best to simply call him what he is – a beautiful liar – and let him go.
7. Irreplaceable by Beyonce
Song Year: 2006
Irreplaceable is about kicking a man out after finding out he was seeing another woman behind her back.
The song has a strong and fierce message, as she sounds confident that she doesn't need this man and that he's not irreplaceable to her.
It also depicts the idea of not letting a man get away with trying to see two women at once but also not letting him take anything that she bought for him.
8. Hold Up by Beyonce
Song Year: 2016
It starts by sharing how she tried to change herself to make her more ideal so that she could feel more secure in the relationship, then how she started to change because her insecurities were growing more each day.
It's a highly emotional and poetic description of the insecurities one faces when they have strong suspicions that their partner is going behind their back to be with a third party.
The song continues with lyrics about how this other person can't love her partner the way she loves him, and his behavior is making her feel worthless, pathetic, jealous, crazy, and more.
9. I Know What You Did Last Summer by Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello
Song Year: 2015
This Shawn Mendez and Camila Cabello collaboration is about both a cheater and the person she's cheating on.
In the story, Cabello plays the role of the one who is hiding an affair from her partner, and Mendez is the partner.
It's a riveting, dynamic, and introspective song that encapsulates the complicated emotions behind this sort of scenario.
10. Take A Bow by Rihanna
Song Year: 2007
Take A Bow is about how “her” partner isn't sad for being unfaithful and sneaking another woman behind her back but is just sorry that she caught him.
The sassy expression in Rihanna's vocals made this song an instant hit, especially for people who've also found out about “the other woman” or “the other man” in their relationship.
Instead of a sad tone, however, this song has a strong and confident one. The narrator is resolved in her decision to kick this guy out for what he did.
11. Unfaithful by Rihanna
Song Year: 2006
Unfaithful is another Rihanna song about love triangles.
It's a slow, melancholy, melodic track written from the perspective of someone who is being unfaithful, and it expresses the complicated emotions that that person feels, knowing that they are guilty and are hurting someone they love.
The narrator in this story knows that their partner knows about their unfaithfulness and is simply not saying anything about it – which makes the narrator feel even more guilty about seeing this other guy.
12. Don't by Ed Sheeran
Song Year: 2014
Ed Sheeran writes about a whirlwind romance with signs of red flags from the start, but he jumps into the relationship anyway.
In the second verse, he sings about how confused he is about her kissing another man. And the chorus is a plea to be kind to his heart and not take advantage of him.
Many people in a love triangle can resonate with this plea. By the third verse, he confronts her about cheating and realizes that she isn't different from the women that have hurt him in the past.
13. Stacy's Mom by Fountains of Wayne
Song Year: 2003
Stacey's Mom is an iconic, humorous, pop-rock song about a love triangle between the narrator – a teenage boy, his girlfriend – Stacey, and Stacey's mom, with whom the boy is secretly infatuated.
The song lyrics are the boy talking to Stacey, presumably in his head, about how beautiful her mom is and how he thinks he's man enough to be with her.
14. Before He Cheats by Carrie Underwood
Song Year: 2005
One of Carrie Underwood's most popular songs is Before He Cheats, probably because many people can relate to feeling or finding out that their partner is with someone else behind their backs.
She describes various scenarios that she imagines with her (ex) man and his side chick, such as cozying up at a bar and helping her shoot pool.
Meanwhile, the iconic chorus describes Underwood keying, slashing, and bashing up his car, not only for revenge but also so that he thinks twice the next time he tries to cheat on another woman in the future.
15. Two Black Cadillacs by Carrie Underwood
Song Year: 2012
Perhaps due to the success of Before He Cheats, Carrie Underwood made another hit years later about cheating. This time, instead of the narrator destroying his car after finding out, she and the other woman decided to kill the man.
The chorus highlights the funeral, in which the preacher, the brother, and other loved ones are speaking highly of him, while the two women he was cheating with don't care to cry because they know that he wasn't as honest and true as he seemed.
16. Cardigan by Taylor Swift
Song Year: 2020
In the lyrics of Cardigan, Swift conveys how when a man chooses two girls at once, he will likely lose one of them.
Swift paints the picture of this man playing “hide and seek” and only giving the narrator his weekends, implying that there was another person in the mix.
This song has many other vivid literal and metaphorical imagery that makes it heart-wrenching to listen to, especially if you can relate to the narrator.
17. You Make Me Wanna by Usher
Song Year: 1997
You Make Me Wanna is one of Usher's earlier hits, and it has a classic r&b sound that never gets old.
In the song, Usher sings about how he's currently with someone, but he's slowly realizing that he's falling for one of his best girlfriends.
He reflects on how she's the one he wants to call when he's having problems and how she's all he thinks about when he goes to bed, as opposed to the woman he's with.
18. Leave Your Lover by Sam Smith
Song Year: 2014
Sam Smith not only sings about love triangles when it comes to cheating, as he does in Not the Only One, mentioned earlier, but he also sings about being on the outside looking in.
Leave Your Lover is an aptly named song title because the narrator in this story is actively begging the one he loves to leave their love and be with him instead.
It's a slow, pleading song that sounds like something you might want to say, but you probably wouldn't ever say it aloud.
19. Jessie's Girl by Rick Springfield
Song Year: 1981
Jessie's Girl is a popular, timeless song by Rick Springfield about falling in love with your friend's partner and feeling powerless.
The iconic chorus conveys the desire to be with this person you clearly can't be with, not only because they're taken but because your friend takes them!
20. Kerosene by Miranda Lambert
Song Year: 2005
Kerosene is another song about finding out there's another person involved in your relationship and resorting to giving up on love because you feel like it's just not working out for you.
It's called kerosene to depict the imagery of burning your past and leaving it behind, which is what many people want to do in this scenario.
Instead of a sad or even disappointed feeling, this song by Lambert has an assertive, matter-of-fact tone that's eerie in its way.
21. Lying Is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off by Panic! at the Disco
Song Year: 2005
The long title, Lying Is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off, was taken from the movie Closer with Natalie Portman.
The movie involves several characters sleeping around, and the song deals with the theme of cheating.
The narrator mentions imagery of his partner cheating, such as sheets, body sweat, and all the intricate details of what he imagined her doing with this other man.
22. Illicit Affairs by Taylor Swift
Song Year: 2020
About the inner workings of an affair, in which you're trying to hide your traces, have to lie to your partner and friends, and like illicit drugs, it becomes almost addictive. It makes you feel bad, but you're in so deep that you can't stop.
The narrator is the perspective of the other woman, who now feels like she's in love but also figures that the person she sees sneakily will never give up this life that he's created.
It's a poetic and hauntingly realistic picture of what an affair means to the person often forgotten in the story.
23. I Heard It Through the Grapevine by Marvin Gaye
Song Year: 1968
I Heard It Through the Grapevine starts with the narrator's friend, Franky, telling him that he saw his lady sneaking into a hotel with another man.
This is a fitting segue into a song about how the narrator knows something's up in the relationship and that his woman is sneaking behind his back.
It's, unfortunately, a relatable song for many people who've found out about a third person “in” their relationship.
24. My Best Friend's Girl by The Cars
Song Year: 1978
In My Best Friend's Girl, The Cars sings about an attractive, alluring woman who catches the attention of many people.
The narrator is clearly into her, but he soon reveals she's his best friend's girlfriend.
Later, he also reveals that he used to date her as well. He still has feelings for her, resulting in conflicting, jealous emotions.
25. Escape (The Pina Colada Song) by Escape
Song Year: 1979
This interesting, cheeky song tells the story of a man finding an ad about a woman that sounds appealing. He starts writing to her and wants to meet up with her – behind his current wife's back.
The relationship is getting stale and boring, so he wants to spice up his life with someone else.
Funny enough, the person he ends up meeting is, in fact, his wife!
26. Jolene by Dolly Parton
Song Year: 1973
Dolly Parton's famous Jolene is an iconic and upbeat song with a catchy yet somber and desperate sound.
In the song, Parton describes a gorgeous, stunning green-eyed woman she's jealous of, as she feels like she can easily steal her man away.
Because the lyrics describe the man talking about Jolene in his sleep, the listener can infer that this man sees her on the side and is only not with her because it's Jolene's final call.
27. Rumour Has It by Adele
Song Year: 2011
Adele tells the audience that people were spreading rumors about her sleeping with a taken man, which she thought was ridiculous.
However, she made art out of it by making a song where she takes this person's perspective.
By the song's end, she switches up the narrative and shares that she's leaving this man for another man.
Top Songs About Love Triangles, Final Thoughts
Love Triangles are complicated and messy, often igniting confusion, sadness, pain, regret, or even revenge.
These songs about love triangles perfectly convey the ins and outs of love triangle situations. Which one resonates with a story in your life?