Butterfly Boucher – I can’t make me love you

Check out Butterfly Boucher’s “I can’t make me love you” on youtube. She’s right in the first line of the refrain (title), wrong in the second. Overall this is an example of a woman’s honest attempt to express her contradictory feelings.

“All the things I want to say but I can’t
All the things I want to do but I won’t
Hold me tight, but not too tight

She needs to feel her desire to be stronger than his in order to be attracted to him. This reminds me of a girl I dated who would embrace me with true passion and longing and then urgently whisper “Go! go! go! go! go!” under her breath, instructing me to push her away (against her longing embrace), so that she could feel the loss and attraction she craved. (Thank you, G., this was helpful.)

“I’m in knots and you tie me in bows
I feel pretty
I know that you care
You’re so sweet
You’re so so sweet”

Too sweet. When a woman tells you, you are “sweet”, you know you are in trouble. The next thing you’re going to hear is that you’re “too sweet”. And this does not mean “very sweet, thank you”. No, “too sweet” means suboptimal, unattractively sweet. Do not drown her attraction in that vanilla sauce.

“It’s not a hurry that we’re in
It’s the pollen
It’s the spring
I can’t make me love you

Truly spoken. She cannot make herself love him anymore than he can make himself love a woman he doesn’t.

And you can’t make me either

Quite clearly she has not met any of us.

“Patience, boy, I need it”

Patience will not help here.

“I can’t make me love yooooooou

Oh oh oh

Paper pen and a piece of your heart
I can read it but where do I start?
What to do
What do I do?
And I am going but I’m gonna come back
And maybe then this maybe that
Hold me tight
Not too tight

It’s not a hurry that were in
There’s no problem
That’s the thing!

But I can’t make me love you
And you can’t make me either
Patience, boy, I need it
I can’t make me love yooooooou

Oooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
Everyday there’s something new to hold onto toooooooooo a little more of yoooooooouu”

She’s pushing the theme of patience, attraction developed through extended exposure. I do not believe this will ever generate the kind of wild desire I personally prefer to be the object of. But mere exposure can make things appear more beautiful. More importantly, developing a relationship of some depth will give him emotional power over her. Such power could translate into a modest measure of sexual attraction.

“I can’t make me love you
And you can’t make me either
Patience, boy, I need it
I can’t make me love yooooooou
Patience, boy, on strange days
I can’t make me love yooooooooouu
Oh oh oh”

Bonnie Raitt – I can’t make you love me

Consider Bonnie Raitt’s “I can’t make you love me” for another female perspective. Here the man has the power. I recommend against listening to the song. The sentimentality is hard to bear. Nevertheless the lyrics and perhaps also her vocals do authentically express a common female experience.

“Turn down the lights, turn down the bed
Turn down these voices inside my head
Lay down with me, tell me no lies
Just hold me close, don’t patronize – don’t patronize me”

This means: “Please fuck me, alpha animal. And don’t pretend to have any plans to provide for me.” The voices are her better judgment, which her sexuality has nothing but contempt for.

“Cause I can’t make you love me if you don’t”

This is the central quality that lends him the power he has over her: He does not love her. We don’t know if he has other qualities beyond this lack of love for her. But he might not need other qualities. His lack of love implies a judgment: That he is superior to her. Her sex module will automatically copy this judgment. If she read this description of the psychological mechanism behind her emotions, it would not feel right to her; it would feel bloodless and meaningless. This is because the emotions caused by said mechanism are genuine and intense and deep. They include sexual desire and love itself, a much more comprehensive longing: the feeling that he is “the one”. Female physical beauty causes the same genuine, intense, deep emotion in men. It is a common fallacy that the emotion cannot be deep and true if its causes are as mundane as looks or lack of love.

“You can’t make your heart feel something it won’t
Here in the dark, in these final hours
I will lay down my heart and I’ll feel the power”

But you won’t, no you won’t”

She will feel his power: his lack of love and his penis inside her. The last line here reaffirms the power asymmetry that is the cause for (1) her love and heartbreak as well as (2) her sexual desire and orgasm.

“cause I can’t make you love me, if you don’t”

I’ll close my eyes, then I won’t see
The love you don’t feel when you’re holding me
Morning will come and I’ll do what’s right
Just give me till then to give up this fight
And I will give up this fight

Cause I can’t make you love me if you don’t
You can’t make your heart feel something it won’t
Here in the dark, in these final hours
I will lay down my heart and I’ll feel the power
But you won’t, no you won’t
cause I can’t make you love me, if you don’t”

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