I was driving today listening to the radio. I haven’t listened to music radio in quite awhile, but there’s an apparently nonthreatening, but really annoying, noise my car is making and I need to not hear  it. NPR is insufficient for drowning-out purposes, usually. My CD player was giving me grief and so I found a station I could take. Mostly, anyway.

A song came on and I can’t tell you who sings it, what it’s called, or what most of the lyrics are, because I had to switch over to NPR for the duration. This woman was singing about how her life revolved around her man, how he was her air, and how could she breathe without him?

I totally understand how when your heart is broken, it feels like you can’t breathe. It’s physically painful, it’s awful, a portion of your heart and life has been ripped from you and it feels like someone did it to your body and without anesthetics. And I also understand how when you’re in an intimate relationship, you need to be mutually interdependent and exhibit a degree of selflessness. I get it.

And I can also enjoy a good wailing “I can’t live if living is without you” kind of song.

And later I was thinking of other sad songs I like — or even still-happily-in-love songs I like — and there’s often a measure of that sentiment in them.

There was something about this song, though — in my passing acquaintance with it — that made it sound as if she wasn’t saying, “Damnit, I let my life revolve around you, now you’re gone, and this sucks!” but that she felt the situation prior to the heartache was a good one. I have a feeling once she gets over this guy, her next guy too will be the center of her life, her air, and all that.

I think I’m oversensitive when it’s a woman singing, too, because in my personal experience, it’s the woman who tends to center her life around a man, rather than the other way around. Not saying the reverse never happens, but both from what I know personally and have read and seen in fiction and reality, a man is more likely to be himself for himself, and a woman to be the more pliable partner. Sometimes to her detriment and sometimes even to the annoyance of her lover.

There was a time in my life when I felt that I  had no purpose because I had no one to share that life with. And I’d still love to be in a real relationship again; I have lonely times and sadness like anyone else. But life does have purpose, regardless, and if there’s no you, what can you bring to a relationship?

For a breakup song, I much prefer Alanis Morrissette’s “You Oughta Know.”