Five songs that sound romantic if you don't listen to the lyrics

Making a Spotify playlist for your beloved? Avoid these tunes which will demonstrate you’re a terrible listener:

Every Breath You Take – The Police

Debunked as the voyeuristic ramblings of an obsessive stalker years ago, this still inexplicably retains its status as a love song. If the listener purposefully tunes out every line about clingy behaviour and focusses solely on ‘I long for your embrace’ they may be able to kid themselves Sting doesn’t sound victim to several overlapping restraining orders.

God Only Knows – The Beach Boys

Though it gives the impression of being a charming love song, a close listen quickly reveals that it’s actually about a relationship soon to be crushed under the weight of the singer’s toxic co-dependency. Will make the object of your affection run a mile and get into casual sex.

My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion

My Heart Will Go On is about love lasting forever, right? It’s deeply romantic. Well, yes, until you remember that it’s actually about love continuing after someone has died and cast forever to the floor of the freezing Atlantic. Not appropriate for the honeymoon phase of your new relationship.

Don’t Marry Her – The Beautiful South

‘The Sunday sun shines down on San Francisco bay’ is a beautiful image, and because it’s the first line of the chorus it’ll distract the attention-deficient from the adulterous thrust of the song. Don’t be surprised if the title alone sends your beau into a paranoid tailspin.

With or Without You – U2

The music is full of passion and yearning but with lines such as ‘My hands are tied, my body bruised’, this track is far too dark to sit neatly alongside Robson & Jerome’s version of Unchained Melody. Giving the impression that you’re a brooding psychopath is not the path to true love, except in movies.

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So what the f**k will impress your parents?

You have a job, you aren’t a criminal, you remember their birthdays, and your parents still aren’t impressed. What can you do?

Buy them the boat they’ve always joked about

If your parents have a hilarious running joke about how the hard, miserable work of bringing you up will be worth it when you buy them ‘that yacht’, call their bluff and send them a 60-foot clipper. It will ruin your finances but you will feel briefly loved at last.

Marry someone with an incredibly stressful job

Your parents have always wanted you to marry a doctor, lawyer or stockbroker. It will be something impressive for them to show off to their friends about, while for you it will mean you never get to see your spouse until they’re signed off sick for three months due to burnout.

Have some children

Your parents will be incredibly pleased and impressed with you if you have a baby. This will last for ten whole minutes until they begin a decades-long campaign of criticism over your parenting style, all the while doting on your child so much that it turns out to be a spoiled little shitbag.

Buy a house you can’t afford

Your parents don’t like you living in that pokey little flat which is incredibly convenient for the train and local nightlife. They will be far more impressed if you get an eye-waveringly expensive mortgage on a nice big house in the suburbs and spend your evenings crying in your large kitchen about how crushingly bored you are.

Tell them you think they did a good job raising you

You don’t have to mean it, and the chances are you don’t, but telling your parents they made all the right choices when you were growing up is sure to amaze them, not least because they will be impressed by the sheer audacity of your lie.