There's nothing like when a love song perfectly describes your situation. With so many love songs out there, it’s hard to know where to find the tune that will perfectly speak to you.
To help, TODAY picked songs for every stage of the romantic journey: crushing on someone and hoping for a first date, dating someone but not official yet, in a relationship and things are going really well ( ... or not so well, it happens), falling in love and getting married, going through a rough patch with the person you love, still loving someone you're no longer dating and how to love the same partner in a new way.
The songs also range in genre, including R&B, country, rap and oldies but goodies, songs from the likes of Etta James, Smokey Robinson and the Beatles.
Below, find some of the best love songs of all time, separated by genre — and in no particular order.
R&B Love Songs
‘Exchange’ by Bryson Tiller
Reciprocal energy is what Bryson Tiller wants in 2015 song “Exchange.” He says relationships were complicated for him before he reframed it into a more mutual “give me all of you in exchange for all me.” Just agreeing to that established a baseline to grow from, together.
‘Tryna Be’ by Giveon
Giveon’s 2022 album “Give or Take” includes song “Tryna Be,” in which he gets vulnerable about trying to be the best man for a woman while also being honest about his own past hurt and mistakes. But Giveon wants credit for at least trying, even if it doesn’t work out.
‘Always and Forever’ by Luther Vandross
In 1994, Luther Vandross captured hearts with “Always and Forever,” an ode to how “each moment with you is just like a dream to me that’s somehow made true. I know tomorrow, we’ll still be the same because we’ve got a life of love that won’t ever change.”
‘Earned It’ by The Weeknd
The Weeknd wrote “Earned It” for film “Fifty Shades of Grey” in 2015. In the song, he says his partner has his undivided attention because “girl you perfect. You always worth it. And you deserve it. The way you work it.” And he earned it with the way he treats her.
'Die With You' by Beyoncé
Beyoncé released "Die With You" in 2017 to celebrate her 10 year wedding anniversary with Jay-Z. She sings, "I don't need hands if I don't get to keep you warm / Cause darling I wake up just to sleep with you / I open my eyes so I can see with you / And I only live so I can die with you." Accompanying the heartfelt lyrics are home videos of them and their first child Blue Ivy. Other great love songs by Beyonce include "1 + 1," "Love on Top" and "Crazy In Love," all classics she has become known for.
'I'll Make Love to You' by Boyz II Men
The lyrics are the definition of "unapologetically romantic," and Boyz II Men's harmonies are like honey. This chart-topper is lush and sweeping.
'My Boo' by Usher and Alicia Keys
"My Boo" was on Usher's 2004 breakout album "Confessions," for which he won the Grammy for best R&B album. Usher and Alicia Keys sing about how, after falling in love at a young age, a person will always have an important place in the others' heart — better phrased as, "You will always be my boo."
'Adorn' by Miguel
Harry Styles wants to "adore you," but Miguel wants to let his love "adorn you." Miguel's utterly romantic song is about feeling so loved, it's practically an accessory.
'Teach Me' by Musiq Soulchild
The lyrics of "Teach Me" describe a man learning to love for the first time and asking for patience — and a romantic education.
'The Point Of It All' by Anthony Hamilton
"The Point Of It All" by Anthony Hamilton show how love is best demonstrated through attention. Released in 2008, Hamilton says "I can't stay away from you too long / even if I do, I'll always call / Checking on you, making sure you're okay / Be the one to brighten up you day / And the point of it all /I love you."
'Pretty Wings' by Maxwell
Maxwell's "Pretty Wings" from 2009 tells the story of loving hard while it lasts and learning to let it go when it's no longer a healthy.
'The Truth' by India Arie
India Arie's "The Truth" from 2002 describes the joy and privilege of "doing life" with someone. She sings, "I know it’s God’s gift to breathe the air he breathes" and lists all the reasons why she loves him: "He is the truth / said he is so real / and I love the way that he makes me feel."
'Weight in Gold' by Gallant
Singer Gallant released "Weight in Gold" six years ago. The song tells the story of a man at odds with his S.O., feeling like he's the only one still fighting for the relationship. He sings, "I'm pulling my weight in gold / Call me anxious call me broke, but I can't lift this on my own." He asks to share the load in order to make the relationship work.
'Part of the List' by Ne-Yo
Ne-Yo's "Part of the List" from 2008 starts with him running into an ex who is now engaged to someone else. Ne-Yo starts making a list of all the things he misses about her, from the style of her hair to the way she stares "right through to (his) soul."
'I Love You More Than Yesterday' by Daniel Lopes
Daniel Lopes' "I Love You More Than Yesterday" describes love's healing powers: "You make me see the sun again / before, my eyes were only crying."
'Let Me Love You' by Mario
Mario's 2004 blockbuster hit "Let Me Love You" is a passionate plea to take on an elevated role in his crush's life: "Let me be the one to show you everything you want and need."
'One Wish' by Ray J
Ray J had "One Wish" in 2005: That "you would be my boo." The song then lists all the many details of that wish.
'Fallin' by Alicia Keys
"Fallin'" by Alicia Keys in 2001 literally sounds like it's falling down the musical scale as the singer comes to terms with "falling in and out of love" with someone.
'Superstar' by Usher
Usher's hit love song "Superstar" released in 2004. Even though he is the superstar, he just wants his significant other to feel that way. He sings, "I'll be your groupie baby / Cause you are my superstar / I'll be your No. 1 fan / Gimme your autograph / Sign it right here on my heart."
Pop Love Songs
‘Find Someone Like You’ by Snoh Aalegra
Snoh Aalegra captures the relief at meeting someone who feels "right," and she wants to experience it for as long as possible. She sings, “I’ve been waiting my whole life to find someone like you. I want this to last forever. Can we make this last forever?”
‘Leave the Door Open’ by Silk Sonic
“Leave the Door Open” by Silk Sonic took was the Grammy Award-winning song of 2021. Anderson Paak and Bruno Mars joined up to form the duo Silk Sonic.
'All of Me" by John Legend
John Legend said he wrote this classic for his wife, Chrissy Teigen. Now a staple at weddings, he said it was in the running for his own ceremony.
‘Boo’d Up’ by Ella Mai
Ella Mai released “Boo’d Up’ in 2018 as an ode to how comfortable she is when the person she loves. She says the evidence of her feelings is in her heartbeat, in how she rejects other suitors and in how “I think I might die without you,” she says.
‘Too Good At Goodbyes’ by Sam Smith
And now, for a love song that will make you cry. Sam Smith sings from the perspective of a person who struggles to get close after being hurt: “I know you’re thinking I’m heartless / I know you’re thinking I’m cold / I’m just protecting my innocence / I’m just protecting my soul.”
'Make You Feel My Love' by Adele
Adele is known for her booming, powerful anthems. This cover of a Bob Dylan song combines poignant lyrics with Adele's one-of-a-kind voice. We feel the love.
'Green Eyes' by Coldplay
The lyrics in this early Coldplay song describe the difference in life "before" and "after" the singer met his love: "Honey you should know / that I could never go on without you."
‘What A Man Gotta Do’ by the Jonas Brothers
The Jonas Brothers are just trying to lock it down in “What A Man Gotta Do," a lighthearted and catchy song. The brothers offer countless options of what they’re willing to do in order to forever win the hearts of their significant others.
'Just the Way You Are' by Bruno Mars
You don't need to change — not according to Bruno Mars. This is an ode to loving someone as they are, no edits required.
'Thinkin' Bout You' by Frank Ocean
Frank Ocean's song exudes melancholy, but it will speak to you if you're in love from afar.
‘If the World Was Ending’ by JP Saxe and Julia Michaels
This song had uncanny timing. Artists JP Saxe and Julia Michaels released this song in Oct. 2019, just six months before the pandemic hit — when the world certainly changed. The song is about an estranged former couple who wonders if the other would still check on them in a life or death situation, hoping the love they once shared is still enough.
‘Thinking Out Loud’ by Ed Sheeran
There’s a reason why “Thinking Out Loud” is such a popular wedding song: It’s all about someone reflecting on what love will be like in old age, from the vantage point of youth. Sheeran sings, “I will be loving you until we’re 70” and uses the song to describe growing old together.
“I Want It That Way’ by Backstreet Boys
You know how it opens: “You are my fire / the one desire / believe when I say / I want it that way,” the boy band members sing in megahit “I Want It That Way.”
Country Love Songs
‘You’re Still The One’ by Shania Twain
Shania Twain is loving the same partner in a new way in 1997 song “You’re Still The One.” After all the years of ups and downs, she still chooses him. She says, “we’re still together, still going strong. You’re still the one I run to, the one I belong to. You’re still the one I want for life.”
'Island In The Stream' by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers
Country legends Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers collaborated on a cover of the Bee Gees' "Island In The Stream," all about two people supporting each other through life — and having fun while doing so.
'Love You Like I Used To' by Russell Dickerson
Singer Russell Dickerson married his wife, Kailey, in 2013. This 2020 song is about how he can't love his wife like he used to — simply because their relationship is deeper now..
‘You’re Still the One’ by Shania Twain
This is a love song and a defiance anthem. Everyone doubted them, Shania Twain sings at the start — but he’s “still the one” after all these years.
‘You Belong With Me’ by Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me” from 2008 tells the story of how she just wants her friend to see her as a viable dating option. Relatable!
'Caught up in Your Storm' by Mickey Guyton
Mickey Guyton sings about being in love for real in "Caught Up In Your Storm." She says love is beautifully intoxicating and she wants to experience the full strength of it. "I don't need no shelter from you," she sings, and a storm of good love is just what she wants.
'Next to You' by Little Big Town
"Next To You" is all about feeling better when your significant other is next to you. Little Big Town released this song in 2020, describing how even going through rough patches is a little easier when there's someone doing it with them. "I breathe a little deeper when I'm next to you," the chills-inducing song goes.
'Rumor' by Lee Brice
"Rumor" tells a story of a rumor floating around a small town that Brice is actually dating his crush. He tries to win her over by convincing her they might as well date since everyone in town thinks they are anyway — plus, he wants to!
'Details' by Billy Currington
Billy Currington sure has been paying attention. In "Details," Currington lists out all the small attributes of his love interest, such as her exact height and why she leans to the left sometimes. He can't remember details from daily life, but he knows her like an encyclopedia.
'Ring of Fire' by Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash's classic was written by his wife, June Carter, to describe the feeling of their relationship. “There is no way to be in that kind of hell, no way to extinguish a flame that burns, burns, burns,” she wrote, per Rolling Stone.
Rap Love Songs
'Folding Clothes' by J. Cole
Rapper J. Cole got married in 2015 to Melissa Heholt. His song "Folding Clothes," released a year later, is an anthem to the Acts of Service love language. Love is helping out around the house. "I wanna fold clothes for you," he sings.
'I Need Love' by LL Cool J
LL Cool J was one of the most respected rappers in the game before pivoting to acting full-time. In "I Need Love" from 1987, he debunks the myth that he and his friends do not need love, spelling out all the reasons why he wants to experience true love more than clout or fame. And looks like he meant it: He's been married to his wife, Simone Smith, have been married since 1995.
'All I Need' by Method Man and Mary J. Blige
This 2010 hit with rapper Method Man and singer Mary J. Blige gives an "us against the world" feeling. Both people are going through a lot and lean on each other to make it through. That experience makes them even more trusting that someone in the world really has their back.
'Always On Time' by Ja Rule and Ashanti
In "Always on Time," rapper Ja Rule and singer Ashanti sing about being there for the other person, and really keeping their word. Consistency is sexy.
'It's Over' by D-Nice and Dawnn Lewis
Before DJ D-Nice rose to fame during the pandemic for his virtual parties, he released "It's Over" in 1990 with Dawnn Lewis on his album "Call Me D-Nice." (Fun fact: Lewis played Jaleesa in "A Different World.") The song celebrates the end of a relationship with someone who treated him poorly. Sprinkled in between what went wrong, he raps about how he feels so much better now that the relationship is over, and the kind of love he wants next.
'21 Questions' by 50 Cent
In this classic rap love song, 50 Cent asks his girlfriend, played by Meagan Good in the music video, 21 questions to see if she really loves him. Spoiler: She does!
'Best I Ever Had' by Drake
"Best I Ever Had," a song from the 2010 album "Thank Me Later," became one of Drake's breakouts. "We could do it real big," he sings — encapsulating the feeling of a future looking brighter due to a relationship.
'I'll Be Missing You' by Diddy and Faith Evans
Faith Evans is the widow of the late great Notorious B.I.G. Months after his death, Evans released "I'll Be Missing You," a song about much she loved him and how much she's going to miss him. Diddy raps about what a presence he had in their lives.
'Teenage Love' by Slick Rick
"Teenage Love" was rapper Slick Rick's debut single in 1988, recounting all the drama of young love.
'Dilemma' by Kelly Rowland and Nelly
"Dilemma" came out 20 years ago and is still heralded as one of the best duo love songs in rap. Rapper Nelly and singer Kelly Rowland tell the story of dating other people while they're really in love with each other and how, somehow, some way, they will find their way back to each other.
Classic Love Songs
‘Love T.K.O’ by Teddy Pendergrass
In 1980, Teddy Pendergrass sang about what happens when you love and lose in hit song “Love T.K.O.” He says he loved someone so hard, for so long, only for it to end in a necessary breakup to protect and rebuild who he is as a person.
'When A Man Loves A Woman’ by Percy Sledge
Percy Sledge released this smash hit in 1966 all about the power he gains from loving.
'Here, There and Everywhere' by The Beatles
The Beatles have so many love songs, but "Here, There and Everywhere” is particularly sweet, sung from the perspective of someone who just can't get enough of the other person: “I want her everywhere / and if she’s beside me I know I need not ever care."
'The First, the Last, My Everything" by Barry White
Chances are, Barry White's song will inspire you to get up and dance to the idea of everlasting love.
'Something' by the Beatles
"Something in the way she moves / attracts me like no other lover:" Will they ever find out what that something is? The mystery is part of the appeal.
'You Make Lovin' Fun' by Fleetwood Mac
This song is all about the everyday miracle of love and the challenge of opening yourself up to it: "I never did believe in miracles / But I’ve a feeling it’s time to try."
'At Last' by Etta James
At last — two words that perfectly describe a stage of love. Etta James released this classic in 1960 all about finally, after living a full life of ups and downs, finding "the one."
'I Will Be Right Here Waiting For You' by Richard Marx
"I Will Be Right Here Waiting For You" is a song about a man looking to redeem himself after taking love for granted. He sings, "Wherever you go / whatever you do / I will be right here waiting for you."
'Your Love' (Keeps Lifting Me Higher)' by Jackie Wilson
This song radiates infectious positivity. It's both love song and a "falling in love with life" song.
‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’ by Chris Isaak
Chris Isaak puts a haunting spin on Elvis Presley’s classic song, “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” You get the feeling, while listening, that he really can’t help it.
‘Cruisin’ by Smokey Robinson
Roll down your window and cruise along with Smokey Robinson in his 1979 hit song "Cruisin," which compares love to a drive in a car. "Glad you're going my way / I love it when we're cruising together," Robinson sings.
'Unchained Melody' by Elvis Presley
Many, many singers have covered "Unchained Melody" over the years. Elvis' rendition in 1977 is particularly moving.
'Maybe I'm Amazed' by Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney wrote about the writing of this 1969 song in his book "Lyrics," saying it's not the "conventional way of presenting a relationship." It's about the "fragility of love."
'Your Song' by Elton John
Elton John has a huge oeuvre of love songs — but we'll go with the poignant, earnest one that launched his career.
'That’s the Way it Is' by Celine Dion
"That's the Way it Is" is a love song for people who aren't in love — yet. It delivers a message of faith. "It's an uphill climb and I'm feeling sorry, but I know it will come to you," Dion sings. That's just the way it is!
'Hello' by Lionel Richie
Before Adele's "Hello," Lionel Richie released a song with the same title in 1983. Richie sings from the perspective of a lovelorn man too shy to make eye contact with his crush, let alone have a conversation. "I want to tell you so much I love you," the lyrics go. Still, he knows she's supposed to be with him: "In my dreams I've kissed you a thousand times / I sometimes see you pass by my door / Hello? Is it me you're looking for?"
'I Will Always Love You' by Whitney Houston
The late great Whitney Houston covered Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" in 1992. It's technically a break=up song, but on good terms (so that makes it a love song, right?): "If I should stay, I'll only be in your way / So I'll go/ But I know / I'll think of you every step of the way / And I will always love you."
'Same Ole Love' by Anita Baker
Anita Baker's 1986 "Same Ole Love" is a moving song about long-lasting love. Now that they're over the growing pains of new love, Baker sings how she wants the "same old love."
'That Girl' by Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder has so many great love songs — "My Cherie Amour," "Knocks Me Off My Feet" and "I Just Called To Say I Love You," to name a few — and "That Girl" is one of them. In the 1982 song, he sings that his partner knows he will say "I love you" soon, even though he hasn't worked up the courage just yet. The song lists all the ways that she's made him confident to say it and fully commit.
'I Like It' by DeBarge
The sibling musical group DeBarge released "I Like It" in 1982, listing out the "little things" that demonstrate a person's affection. "It’s just the little things you do that show how much you really care," the song goes.
'Let's Stay Together' by Al Green
Al Green says it like it is at the beginning of this song of utter devotion: "I am so in love with you / whatever you want to do, is all right with me."
'God Only Knows' by the Beach Boys
"God Only Knows" famously plays out during the end credits of "Love Actually," a classic rom-com. "God only knows what I'd be without you," the song goes — and the singer never hopes to find out.
'A Love So Beautiful' by Michael Bolton
Rounding out TODAY’s love song selections is singer Michael Bolton's "A Love So Beautiful" from 1995. He says just thinking of a strong love from earlier in his life sustains him now: "The summer sun went down on our love long ago / But in my heart I feel the same old afterglow / A love so beautiful."