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Valentine's Day

12 Love Songs About Romances That Are Now Over

The relationships fizzled, but Taylor Swift, Christina Aguilera, Future, Fleetwood Mac and more wrote great songs about their love when it was still going strong

NEW YORK - DECEMBER 11: John Mayer and Taylor Swift performs onstage during Z100's Jingle Ball 2009 presented by H&M at Madis
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

You know how you shouldn't get a tattoo of a lover's name because it's going to be there forever... whether or not you two stay together? Songs about a specific romantic partner are kind of like that, too.

Not that artists should regret the music inspired by a past flame: Love is one of the most inspiring emotions an artist can feel and, as history and the charts prove, love has produced incredible music. And even when the relationship fizzles, the song remains.

From Fleetwood Mac to Rita Ora, take an in-depth look at famous and obscure love songs inspired directly by then-current romances that ultimately would not stand the test of time.

For more ways to change the lovey-dovey narrative this Valentine's Day, don't miss 16 Essential Pop Breakup Anthems or tune into our Valentine's Day Playlist for Single People. There's also the Pop Star Breakups That Broke Our Hearts.

1 / 12

Rita Ora, "I Will Never Let You Down"

Having a super-producer like Calvin Harris as your boyfriend is a pretty sweet deal, and Rita Ora earned one of the biggest and best hits of her career with Harris behind the boards. The adorable pop star/producer relationship was spelled out in the lyrics, "When you say you've had enough / And you might just give it up/ I will never let you down."

It all stings just a little more when you remember this heartbreaking quote from Ora about her ex-boo: "The fact that he got something out of me that I never thought I had. Yes, like falling in love. I just didn’t think I had it. I'd never experienced it before. And I was just like in the wilderness, thinking, 'Will it ever happen?'"

2 / 12

Rihanna & Chris Brown, "Nobody's Business"

If people were pissed when Rihanna allegedly reunited with former boyfriend Chris Brown (who was arrested for assaulting her in 2009), well, the title of this defiant duet did the talking. 

"Your love is perfection," the couple declare to one another, delighting Chrianna supporters and making the rest of our stomachs churn.

3 / 12

Katy Perry, "Hummingbird Heartbeat"

While the pop star admitted that most of the material on sophomore album Teenage Dream was in-part inspired by then-fiance Russell Brand, this album track—that totally sounds it could have been the LP's sixth No. 1 single—is directly about him. 

"He gives me that 'Hummingbird Heartbeat,'" Perry said. They wed in October 2010, two months after the album dropped. Brand filed for divorce in December 2011.

4 / 12

Sonny & Cher, "I Got You Babe"

Ah, Sonny and Cher: one of the most famous couples in show business. Their marriage didn't last, but this song—penned by Bono—remains one of the most recognizable duets in music history.

5 / 12

Jennifer Lopez, "Dear Ben"

It might have been the highest-profile romance of the '00s, and J.Lo's surprisingly heartfelt ballad is the one of few remnants of it.

Hey Ben, could Jennifer Garner sing you a love song like this!?!

6 / 12

Billy Joel, "Uptown Girl"

Billy Joel originally wrote his famous hit with supermodel Elle Macpherson, his then-girlfriend, in mind. But when they split, the one-man Madison Square Garden franchise later dedicated the song to then-wife Christie Brinkley.

Neither relationship lasted. Two for the price of one!

7 / 12

John Mayer & Taylor Swift, "Half of My Heart"

A 19-year-old Taylor Swift and 32-year-old John Mayer put their relationship on record with this pop-rock duet. 

"Lonely was the song I sang 'til the day you came / Showing me another way / And all that my love can bring," Mayer croons, dissing all his other high-profile romances with Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jessica Simpson, Minka Kelly, Jennifer Aniston and the other countless women.

8 / 12

Madonna, "Miles Away"

This guitar-driven electro-pop jam was inspired by the long-distance relationship that was Madonna and director-hubby Guy Ritchie's marriage. "So many people have to deal with long-distance relationships, it's not easy. You have to work hard to make it work," Madonna said of the track. "Miles Away" was selected as the third single from Madge's Hard Candy album, released in April 2008. The couple filed for divorce just six months later.

9 / 12

Bow Wow & Ciara, "Like You"

Both Bow Wow and Ciara's careers were blazing while dating and this lovey-dovey duet is the rapper's highest-charting single to date. But when it cooled in April 2006, so did their success. Ciara staged a serious comeback in 2013... coincidentally, the same year she started dating Future.

10 / 12

Fleetwood Mac, "Say You Love Me"

While Fleetwood Mac's 1977 Rumours album is famous for songs chronicling the romantic breakups in the group, singer Christine McVie's ode to the band's bassist/then-husband John McVie, "Say You Love Me," is the one of the few Mac tracks that details actual love. The couple divorced in 1977.

11 / 12

Christina Aguilera, "Save Me From Myself"

Christina Aguilera said most of her 2006 LP Back to Basics was inspired by her 2005 marriage to music marketing exec Jordan Bratman. While she dedicated everything from the brassy first single "Ain't No Other Man" to epic choral piece "The Right Man" to her now-ex-hubby, we think the whispery acoustic ballad "Save Me From Myself" is a special gem. 

Xtina actually tones down her famous diva pipes to coo touching lyrics like, "Don't ask me why I'm crying / 'Cause when I start to crumble, you know how to keep me smiling / You always save me from myself."

12 / 12

Future feat. Kanye West, "I Won"

"I won me a trophy," Future crooned while singing about his then-fiancee, Ciara, before Kanye West slid to pay homage to Kim Kardashian. Kanye and Kim are still together... Future and Ciara are not. One year after this track appeared on Honest in 2014, Future delivered a series of scathing blows to Ciara on his Dirty Sprite 2 album.

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