I just have to dissect the lyrics to this Tim McGraw song today. It is a great example of how popular culture (yes country music is popular) usually gets things wrong when it comes to relationship dynamics.
Let’s look at this song verse by verse (it should have been dedicated to Average Frustrated Chumps everywhere).
Artist: McGraw Tim
Song: Just To See You Smile
First Verse: You always had an eye for things that glittered
But I was far from being made of gold
I don’t know how but I scraped up the money
I just never could quite tell you no
Cure Oneitis Interpretation: “I am completely whipped and I think you will like me as much as I like you if buy you stuff”. He is completely demonstrating lower value with this validation seeking behavior. You shouldn’t have to spend big money to form and maintain a healthy connection with the object of your desire. As the song continues, this behavior contributes to the negative outcome.
Second Verse: Just like when you were leaving Amarillo
Takin’ that new job in Tennessee
And I quit mine so we could be together
I can’t forget the way you looked at me
Cure Oneitis Interpretation: “I have no ambitions other than to be with you”. This is not attractive behavior. Doing whatever your gal wants and making big sacrifices for her often has the opposite effect of what the concession intended. Attraction is not a choice. She needs to feel your strength and she can’t do that with you being a wuss and caving into suit her needs all the time.
Chorus: Just to see you smile
I’d do anything that you wanted me to
When all is said and done
I’d never count the cost
It’s worth all that’s lost
Just to see you smile
Cure Oneitis Interpretation: “You are more important than me”. Putting a woman on a pedestal is a bad idea. She is a human being just like you and you should feel confident that you are a prize too.
Third Verse: When you said time was all you really needed
I walked away and let you have your space
‘Cause leavin’ didn’t hurt me near as badly
As the tears I saw rollin’ down your face
Cure Oneitis Interpretation: “You are leaving me, but I am here for you”. I have to read into this one based on what is implied by the other verses, but my guess is that the guy gets dumped and he continues to invest in the relationship. He probably does all he can to make it easy for her and be there for her in her time of confusion. She basically gets to heal from the breakup with his support.
Fourth Verse: And yesterday I knew just what you wanted
When you came walkin’ up to me with him
So I told you that I was happy for you
And given the chance I’d lie again
Cure Oneitis Interpretation: “How come she doesn’t want to be with me after I have done so much for her? Oh well, I will just continue to be her emotional tampon so she sees how great I am and will want to be with me”. No surprise that he doesn’t end up with the girl. His behavior was completely unattractive. First he tries to make her happy by buying her stuff. Next, he uproots his life to be with her. Finally, he makes sure that she feels no pain from dumping him while supporting her emotionally.
While this song is completely over the top, glorifying AFC behavior is not unusual in books, movies, and songs. Many men fall into the trap that this behavior can win a woman over in the long run. Unfortunately for these men, they may never learn how to suppress these wimpy impulses and be the type of confident man that gets the gal.