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10 Best Songs About Bad Boyfriends

10 Best Songs About Bad Boyfriends

Having a lousy boyfriend can wreak havoc on your time, energy, and even self-love.

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Unfortunately, it’s common enough that many artists have written songs about it. But fortunately, these songs help many listeners by providing a piece they can relate to, cry to, and, hopefully, learn from.

Here are ten of the best songs about bad boyfriends.

“Cardigan” – Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift has written a long list of hit songs about being treated bad in a relationship, including but not limited to “I Knew You Were Trouble,” “White Horse,” “Picture to Burn,” and “Should’ve Said No.”

But what makes “Cardigan” stand out is the more mature lyrical composition, creatively painting the images of different clothing items to depict the appeal and the fallout of a relationship, then comparing herself to a cardigan that was neglected, worn, then neglected again.

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The relationship started exciting and fun, but eventually, he played her, gave her little attention, and cheated by having two girls instead of one.


“Take a Bow” – Rihanna

Rihanna is another top-selling singer who isn’t a stranger to songs about being treated badly, with tracks like “Russian Roulette” and “Unfaithful.”

The song “Take a Bow” conveys a relationship in which the boyfriend was cheating. He was lying for an extended period and is not trying to get her back by saying he’s sorry. This is why she says that he’s putting on a great performance.

This song is an excellent anthem for anyone who has been cheated on because she stands up for herself and refuses to get back with him.


“Irreplaceable” – Beyoncé

Beyoncé is one of our generation’s greatest singers, artists, and performers. She’s made many songs about deserving better in a relationship, including a whole album called “Lemonade” about Jay-Z’s mistakes in their marriage.

However, “Irreplaceable” is a classic for many reasons. She sings about a bad boyfriend who is trying to prove that he is irreplaceable. However, she knows she is a queen and can get a better, less toxic relationship.

Like Rihanna’s “Take A Bow,” Beyoncé depicts a cheating relationship that she refuses to go back to.


“Rolling in the Deep” – Adele

Adele is a powerful ballad singer with a laundry list of awards and accolades for her songs, many of which speak to the complex nature of love and relationships.

She has plenty of songs about bad boyfriends and complicated relationships, including her whole most recent album, 30, about divorce.

Like Beyoncé’s Lemonade, 30 was about a husband. But as far as bad boyfriends go, “Rolling in the Deep” stands out. Adele sings loud and clear about a boyfriend who played her, even though they could have had a fantastic relationship.


“I Miss the Misery” -Halestrom

Halestrom’s “I Miss the Misery” is one of the best rock songs about toxic relationships and a true anthem. 

The song is about someone who felt the pain of the abusive relationship, yet still misses being involved in it. The lyrics say, “I love the way that it hurts. I don’t miss you, I miss the misery.”

Needless to say, this powerful anthem has helped many people relate to the push and pull of an unhealthy relationship. However, the message is not one of recovering from a toxic relationship.


“Gunpowder & Lead” Miranda Lambert

When it comes to songs about toxic relationships, country artist Miranda Lambert is the queen. She made her debut to country music in 2001, and gained fame from a TV singing competition. 

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Lambert is well known for her songs about seeking revenge on past boyfriends. Among the most popular are “White Liar,” “Little Red Wagon,” and of course “Gun Powder & Lead.”

“Gun Powder & Lead” is about a women who is waiting with her shotgun for an abusive man in her life to return home from jail. The lyrics and tone of the song portray grit, freedom, and willpower.


“Hot N Cold” – Katy Perry

Katy Perry’s 2008 hit “Hot N Cold” depicts a frustrating relationship in which she is all in, but the guy is hot and cold, i.e., says he’s all in one day and then becomes non-committal the next.

This type of boyfriend is not ideal because people want to be with someone who wants them back fully, not just sometimes.

Perry speaks to this in the song by singing about this type of guy being no good for her. She also sings about a cycle of fighting, breaking up, and getting back together, making this one of the most relatable and popular songs about toxic relationships.

Often, a partner might purposefully act hot and cold as a form of manipulation, so some might argue that this is one of the most popular songs about abusive relationships as well.


“Say My Name” – Destiny’s Child

Destiny’s Child depicted a frustrating, suspicious boyfriend very accurately in their hit song, “Say My Name.”

The lyrics sing about how the protagonist of the story is always the one trying to contact him and wondering where he is. It seems like he’s being shady and playing with her heart, which is a stressful experience.

She can tell whether or not he is cheating if he can say her name when he’s on the phone with her. If he had another girl there, he wouldn’t be able to say her name, which would prove that something was up.

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Having to do that in a relationship probably means there are problems in the relationship. The protagonist seems to be already convinced that this is a shady, lying boyfriend.


“Traitor” – Olivia Rodrigo

Olivia Rodrigo has been in the music game much less than most of the artists on this list, but her debut single “Drivers License” took the world by storm and made her an instant star in the pop, indie pop, and pop-rock world.

While the son “Driver’s License” is mostly about her missing an ex, her song “Traitor” is a song about a bad boyfriend who didn’t treat her well and moved on way too quickly — two weeks to be exact.

Since he moved on so fast, she believes he was interested in this other girl the entire time.

Rodrigo says in the song that even if a boyfriend doesn’t technically “cheat,” they can still be a traitor.


“She Gets the Flowers” – Beth McCarthy

Beth McCarthy is an up-and-coming artist with passionate lyrics and an even more passionate voice.

Her song, “She Gets the Flowers,” is about how after her ex-boyfriend moved on to a new girlfriend, he treats the new girlfriend so much better than he ever treated her.

The new girlfriend gets flowers, social media posts, and attention that she deserved but never received. He was a bad boyfriend to her, and it hurts her to see him being a good boyfriend to someone else.

Final Thoughts

Having a bad relationship is painful and heartbreaking, even sometimes when it’s in the past. Hopefully, listening to some of the best songs about bad boyfriends brings you some form of solidarity or relief.

And, if you’re in a bad relationship right now, please get out. You deserve so much better than that.