Single Review: Daniel Bedingfield “If You’re Not The One”

If You’re Not The One
Album: Gotta Get Thru This
Year: 2003

Daniel Bedingfield cannot grasp that his girlfriend isn’t interested in a lifetime commitment in the grating ballad “If You’re Not The One.”

He explains with self-serving reasons that they are meant to be together forever. His feelings are the utmost importance in the relationship. His happiness is what the relationship revolves around. His spirit is happy and he’s able to be strong because of her. He reasons that she must have the same intense feelings for him for simply holding his hand and speaking with him. (“If you’re not the one then why does my soul feel glad today?/If you’re not the one then why does my hand fit yours this way?/If you are not mine then why does your heart return my call/If you are not mine would I have the strength to stand at all”).

He tells her that he’s clueless about the future. However, he’s spending time with her now and pleads that the distance between them can be repaired. He knows without a doubt that she’s the one for him and he wants to grow old with her. (“I never know what the future brings/But I know you are here with me now/We’ll make it through/And I hope you are the one I share my life with”). Bedingfield redeems himself here. But not by much, though. He seems to be expressing some thoughts which aren’t entirely selfish.

He tells her he doesn’t want to be pushed away by her anymore and he can’t deal with anything not concerning his self-interests. However, he does love her and wants to cuddle with her for as long as he can. (“I don’t want to run away but I can’t take it, I don’t understand/If I’m not made for you then why does my heart tell me that I am?/Is there any way that I can stay in your arms?”). Bedingfield blames his girlfriend for their communication problems while he acts like a childish, controlling boyfriend. What a jerk.

He’s questioning her for not being upset. He’s sobbing all the time without her. Then, he says he thinks of her all the time which is a surprise. It must be between the one second when he’s distracted and stops thinking of what a catch he is. They have grown distant towards each other and it’s destroying him. He manipulates her into staying by saying he pictures her as his wife. (“If I don’t need you then why am I crying on my bed?/If I don’t need you then why does your name resound in my head?/If you’re not for me then why does this distance maim my life?/If you’re not for me then why do I dream of you as my wife?’).

He doesn’t understand why she simply won’t be with him. Finally, a lyric that’s honest and accurate. It certainly explains a lot about their relationship. He’s so unaware of her emotions that he doesn’t know what she’s thinking. Once again, he tells her this is only a rough patch. He fantastizes that they die together. It’s off-putting and scary, much more so to Bedingfield’s serene delivery. He just made Sting in “Every Breath You Take” into a harmless little puppy. Moving on, he goes back to sanity by wanting to share his home with her. He wants to love her for the rest of his life. It’s a likely possibility he will love her and never leave her alone. (“I don’t know why you’re so far away/But I know that this much is true/We’ll make it through/And I hope you are the one I share my life with/And I wish that you could be the one I die with/And I pray in you’re the one I build my home with/I hope I love you all my life”).

He yearns for her to the point that he’s obsessed. She’s his idol and he finds meaning in his life through her. He’s alone and he doesn’t know what to do without his love possessing her. (“‘Cause I miss you, body and soul so strong that it takes my breath away/And I breathe you into my heart and pray for the strength to stand today/‘Cause I love you, whether it’s wrong or right/And though I can’t be with you tonight/And know my heart is by your side”).

The disturbing “If You’re Not The One” has Daniel Bedingfield in the role of a stalker. He believes his behavior is normal and refuses to leave her alone. To him, the relationship is not over and she’s his property. It’s telling that not once does he refer to her wishes. If the pronouns had been reversed (i.e, ‘If I’m not the one than why does your soul feel glad today?”) it would’ve come across as an external conflict between the couple rather than a self-centered look at a significant who won’t let go without a fight.

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