Over the weekend, we lost one of the moving, relatable vocalists in the history of pop music. Whitney Houston’s music resonated because of how she sang, but also because of what she sang. Many of us learned a lot about the way love works from Whitney, without even realizing it. Here are a few things I picked up.
1. Ask for Advice
How Will I Know
Dating can drive you nuts if you keep all of your feelings to yourself. It’s so easy to lose perpective. The good news is that everyone’s been through it if they’re not going through it now. If you’re confused by what you’re feeling and what you should expect, check in with people you trust. Like your godmother, Aretha Franklin.
A short term thing can really affect you, especially if you give yourself over to it completely. The way that Whitney puts so much emotion into this song, which is essentially about a one-night stand, showed me that impulsive does equal meaningless. The emotional impact of a romantic or sexual relationship has only to do with how much you feel (or let yourself feel) about it, not how long it lasts.
3. Emotions Don’t Always Match the Reality
Saving All My Love For You
It’s hard to argue with what Whitney’s feeling here. She knows what she wants, she can’t settle for anything less but she also knows she’s never going to get it. Even as a kid this song made me sad at the thought — what you feel about someone can overpower you, but you can’t stay with them forever if they won’t let you have them. And knowing that still won’t always stop you trying.
4. Know When You’ve Got a Good Thing
You Give Good Love
Don’t settle, but don’t pass up something that’s going to make you happy because you’re looking for something perfect either.
7. Letting Go Doesn’t Necessarily Mean You’re Over Someone
I Will Always Love You
When we break up with someone, it seems that we’re expected to go through a mourning process, come to terms, and then be done. We all know it not always like that, though. Making the decision to move on doesn’t mean that you won’t always have feelings for a person. Sometimes, knowing that can be a source of strength — something that leaves you more open to love in the future.