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They Got It Right: “Dancing On My Own” by Robyn

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The media has always been a platform for misinformation and fantasies that set impossible standards for dating and relationships. Every once in a while, however, some lone voice in the wilderness steps up to the mic and actually tells it like it is. This week, we’d like to show our appreciation for the most naked and vulnerable club hit of all time — Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own.”

Don’t do it.

It’s what our friends say to us. It’s what we say to ourselves.

Just let it go.

But we know we can’t. It’s not that we have any hope that we’re going to be able to do anything to change the facts. What ever we had with our ex, it’s over now. We know that. We knew it even before we heard the rumors that they’re with someone else.

We know it’s stupid, but we’ve just gotta see it for ourselves.

We get all kinds of advice — that we should just go sleep with someone else. That time will heal all wounds. It’s like trying to put out a wildfire with a squirtgun.

Then are crueler voices, too. Voices that tell us we’re being obsessive. That we’re pathetic. That we’re hopeless. That having had our heart torn out has become a burden to the rest of the world who has now moved on and accepted the new reality.

You’re acting like a psycho.

This is where Robyn steps in on our behalf and says “That’s enough.” She’s telling the unapologetic story of what it’s really like. No one is going to tell her how she should feel or at what point it’s no longer acceptable to feel that way. She is going to go to the bar and watch her ex make out with the new girlfriend. And she’s going to dance. By herself. All night.

“Dancing On My Own” stands out from the pack of break up pop songs by not telling us that it’s going to get better once we “feel the rain on our skin,” embrace our independence, or mess up our ex’s car. Instead, Robyn celebrates the fact that sometimes we don’t want it to get better. We want to throw ourselves right smack dab into the center of the shitstorm and just be there.

And maybe, if we don’t have to feel ashamed of ourselves on top of all the other painful things we’re feeling, things will get just a little easier.

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