Meaning of “love is embarrassing” by Olivia Rodrigo

In the song “Love is Embarrassing”, Olivia Rodrigo sings about the pain and embarrassment she feels from a failed romantic relationship. The lyrics of the first verse and chorus detail how she quickly fell for someone and ended up feeling foolish when they showed interest in someone else.

Throughout the song, she expresses regret over her actions and feelings, calling herself a “goddamn fool” for waiting for calls that never came and for getting involved with someone she refers to as a “weird second string loser”. The overall sense is that love has made her do embarrassing things and feel humiliated.

In the continuation of the song, we see Rodrigo recounting the time she consoled this person over their ex even though she had feelings for them, a situation that left her feeling “stupid”. Rodrigo narrates the self-sacrifice and pain she went through, signaling a loss of self-esteem and highlighting the embarrassing lengths she went to for love, including imagining a wedding with someone she wouldn’t marry.

The bridge and outro underline a cycle of giving up and coming back, portraying an agonizing loop of holding onto hope and getting hurt, showing the confusing and often embarrassing aspects of young love. The repetitive proclamation of “giving up” but “coming back for more” captures a conflict between acknowledging the painful reality and an unyielding attachment to hope.

“Yeah, it don’t mean a thing
God, love’s fuckin’ embarrassing
Just watch as I crucify myself, hey, hey, hey
For some weird second string
Loser who’s not worth mentioning
My God, love’s embarrassing as hell”

When was “love is embarrassing” released?

Marking the ninth track of Olivia’s second album, “Guts”, this was released on 8th September 2023.

Writing Credits

Olivia co-wrote this track with Dan Nigro. Nigro also produced it.

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