Forbidden love is always the most tempting.
And it often starts with a simple ‘hello’ that advances to frequent meet-ups, and before you know it, you’re stuck in a steamy affair with someone you shouldn’t be seeing in the first place.
Sadly, it often ends with painful heartbreak, shame, or even death in the worst-case scenario.
Committing to someone for the rest of your life takes a lot.
That’s why many popular singers have released songs about affairs to vent their frustration with their cheating partners, croon about the enticing power of forbidden love, or empower others to know their self-worth.
Here are the 40 best songs about affairs you should listen to right now.
1. “A Thing Goin’ On” by Coolio
You guessed that right.
Whatever’s going on in Coolio’s song is a secret affair between the American rapper and a woman named Mrs. Jones.
They plan frequent meet-ups to celebrate their thing despite knowing it is an illicit affair.
The two lovebirds share a common love for weed and wine, making them crave each other’s company even more.
The track’s relatable lyrics have made it one of the best songs about affairs.
2. “She Doesn’t Have to Know” by John Legend
John Legend never lets his fans down when crafting those slow, piano-driven songs with an instant emotional pull.
And the American singer maintained it in this 2004 song about affairs, oozing emotional lyrics about a man in the middle of a secret affair with another woman.
Like all forbidden romance stories, the new relationship comes with an immense burden and unsolvable moral dilemma, with the protagonist wondering if he should confess to his lover or stick to the plan.
It’s one of those songs that captures everyone’s attention with the raw lyrics and an emotive delivery in the classic John Legend style.
3. “This Kiss” by Carly Rae Jepsen
The power of a good kiss is unmatched.
When it’s from a perfect partner, you won’t get over it, craving it every day to celebrate your new affair.
And before you know it, you are stuck between pleasing your new lover and maintaining your old relationship.
Carly Rae Jepsen’s song isn’t about an actual kiss but a longing for one.
That one kiss that would set them up for something special for the rest of their lives.
The only problem is that both of them are committed to serious relationships, which creates a dilemma.
4. “My Little Secret” by Xscape
“My Little Secret” is the quintessential song about cheating.
The narrator admits that everybody cheats, and what matters is how smart you are while at it.
The song was part of Xscape’s 3rd studio album, Traces of My Lipstick (1998), and peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #2 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks.
Overall, the song’s message is a bold declaration of forbidden love with seductive lyrics that resonate with many listeners.
5. “Cry Me a River” by Justin Timberlake
Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River” became a breakup anthem with lyrics about a heartbroken lover who feels betrayed and lied to.
The use of the popular phrase sums up the singer’s feelings about the cheater and his desire to move on.
The song’s popularity was fuelled by the assumption that it was about Justin’s ex-girlfriend, Britney Spears.
6. “You Know I’m No Good” by Amy Winehouse
Amy Winehouse’s “You Know I’m No Good” is one of the best songs about affairs.
The self-introspective tune expresses the feelings of pain, regret, and disappointment for cheating on your partner.
The narrator is heartbroken and knows she should have done better.
Talk about the inevitable regrets of forbidden romance.
7. “Call Your Girlfriend” by Robyn
Songs about affairs can be funny, with a little bit of everything.
Just like in Robyn’s 2010 masterpiece.
In the 3-minute track, the singer has fallen head over heels with a man in a stable relationship.
Fortunately, she cares about the other girl’s feelings and asks the man to break up with his girlfriend to set them free in their new affair.
She wants the man to do it gently and in the best way.
The raw and honest lyrics and the resonant theme made it one of the best songs about unfaithfulness.
8. “Secret Lovers” by Atlantic Starr
“Secret Lovers” is a soulful song about just that; secret love.
The lyrics describe two married individuals in a secret affair and longing to be together.
They just can’t stop seeing one another despite knowing the consequences of their actions.
9. “Magnets” by Disclosure ft. Lorde
Forbidden love has a little bit of everything, from the never-ending fear of getting caught to the sweetness of shared memories.
“Magnets” is a song about unfaithfulness written along the same lines, describing the instant attraction between two lovebirds, even if forbidden.
It sums up those feelings of falling head over heels for someone, even when it’s a secret affair.
10. “Say My Name” by Destiny’s Child
Did someone just cheat on Beyoncé?
The pop icon suspects her lover is cheating on her and wants him to “Say My Name” to prove that he’s alone in the room.
The song was part of Destiny’s Child’s 2nd studio album, The Writing’s on the Wall (1999), and became a commercial success in the US, with many relating to the lyrics.
11. “Heard It Through the Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye
Which one hurts the most?
Is it discovering your lover is cheating on you or finding out through the grapevine?
It’s a double tragedy for Marvin Gaye as he finds out that his partner has been cheating on him.
While many people love Gaye’s version, the original song is credited to Gladys Knight in the 1960s.
12. “Careless Whisper” by George Michael
George Michael’s “Careless Whisper” describes the regrets of an unfaithful partner.
The man in the heartbreaking song is remorseful for his actions in the relationship.
The song’s lyrics still resonate with many listeners, especially the guilty ones regretting their hurtful actions from a failed relationship.
13. “Part-Time Lover” by Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder isn’t hiding anything in his 1985 R&B song.
The lyrics describe the singer’s double role as a husband and part-time lover.
The two lovebirds see each other regularly and have kept their little secret from the public eye for the longest time.
They’ve even devised a new way of communication that other people will never understand.
But in a classic twist of fate, Stevie soon realizes his partner also has a part-time lover.
Talk about karma doing its thing.
14. “Never Again” by Kelly Clarkson
You won’t want to listen to the heart-wrenching lyrics in Kelly Clarkson’s song after being lied to.
Or maybe you will need the relatable lyrics to give you the strength to keep pushing after being cheated on.
Either way, “Never Again” is one of the best songs about affairs, expressing the raw emotions and pain of being cheated on by the one you trusted the most.
Clarkson’s emotive vocals make it a must-have in your list of the best breakup songs.
15. “Little Lies” by Fleetwood Mac
Maintaining a relationship built on lies and empty promises is never easy.
Fleetwood Mac’s song about unfaithfulness explores that concept, with lyrics about the emotional torture of unstable relationships.
The narrator is mourning a failed relationship that ended because of little lies.
While the song isn’t specifically about affairs, the lyrics relate to anyone cheated on by their partner.
16. “Thinking of You” by Katy Perry
This isn’t an outright song about affairs.
But it’s weird that the narrator still can’t get over her ex even after their failed relationship.
Katy still loves her ex-partner and speaks about how she constantly thinks about him even though she has moved in with a new lover.
It’s a song about those lingering memories when you thought you had moved on from an ex-lover.
17. “Girlfriend” by Michael Jackson
Here’s a bold move you don’t want to try at home.
In “Girlfriend,” the King of Pop takes it to a new level when declaring his love for a woman.
He sings about stealing a beautiful girl from another guy.
MJ doesn’t just want to steal the lady but also wants her to make it clear to her boyfriend that they are moving in together.
It’s probably not the worst thing to do, but it could easily have a terrible ending.
The flirtatious lyrics, upbeat tempo, and danceable rhythm have made this MJ masterpiece one of the best songs about unfaithfulness.
18. “Beautiful Liar” by Beyoncé and Shakira
“Beautiful Liar” is a female empowerment anthem and one of the best songs about affairs.
The lyrics find the two pop singers crooning about this one man who told them the same sweet nothings while promising to be with them forever.
It’s just a diary of a serial cheater who will charm you with sweet words before cheating on you with the next lady on sight.
The song was widely acclaimed and peaked at #3 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.
It was also nominated for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals in 2007.
19. “Unfaithful” by Rihanna
Rihanna wasn’t left behind in the soulful crooning about infidelity in relationships and marriages.
The Queen of Barbados sings about a dying relationship because of unfaithfulness.
“Unfaithful” was part of Rihanna’s A Girl Like Me (2006) studio album and is still considered one of the best songs about affairs.
20. “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay” by Whitney Houston
A disappointed Whitney Houston sings about her cheating man in “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay.”
Of course, she’s hurt, but won’t allow that to get into her head, choosing to mind her business and be at peace.
It’s probably the best you can do when a cheating partner doesn’t care about your feelings and the pain they’re subjecting you to through their selfish decisions.
21. “Should’ve Said No” by Taylor Swift
Of course, Taylor Swift is the queen of country teen songs, constantly singing about relationships, love, and heartbreaks.
In “Should’ve Said No,” the American singer tells the tale of a woman who ends a relationship after realizing that her partner has been cheating on her.
While the narrator would have been angry for getting betrayed, she uses the opportunity to discuss the moral impact of cheating, encouraging the listeners to keep moving even in the face of adversity.
22. “Rumour Has It” by Adele
“Rumour Has It” is a song about relationship problems.
The lyrics tell the story of a frustrated woman at the endless gossip around her love life.
The song was part of Adele’s 2nd studio album, 21, and received acclaim for its lyrics and catchiness.
23. “I’m Not The Only One” by Sam Smith
Nothing hurts more than being cheated on by the one you trusted the most.
Sam Smith shares the same emotions in his 2014 pop song from the In the Lonely Hour album.
The lyrics describe the narrator’s pain after realizing his partner is cheating.
“I’m Not The Only One” is a moving ballad that resonates with modern audiences.
24. “Perfume” by Britney Spears
Britney Spears suspects that her partner is cheating on her.
But she isn’t mad at him, instead choosing to wear her perfume around her man to make her presence felt.
It’s one of those subtle tactics you can use to get revenge on your unfaithful partner.
But whether it will work or not is debatable.
25. “Secret Love Song” by Little Mix
“Secret Love Song” is Little Mix’s take on forbidden love.
While many listeners have interpreted the lyrics differently, the general agreement is that the song is about being in a relationship with someone you shouldn’t be seeing.
The two lovebirds can’t be together for whatever reason, with the lyrics capturing the hopelessness and disappointment of getting trapped in that situation.
26. “Last Name” by Carrie Underwood
Carrie Underwood’s flirtatious song is about a drinking spree culminating in a Vegas marriage.
It’s about getting hooked on someone and marrying without knowing their last name.
We never know whether the narrator cheated in the song, but the lyrics lead us to a similar conclusion.
27. “4AM” by Melanie Fiona
“4AM” is a song from Melanie Fiona’s 2012 album, The MF Life.
The lyrics find a heartbroken Fiona singing about the pain of dating a disloyal man.
Overall, the song is a tribute to all women navigating the tricky affair that is relationships in the face of adversity.
28. “Saving All My Love For You” by Whitney Houston
The protagonist in Whitney Houston’s song will do everything to be with a romantic interest, a married man.
She’s willing to save her love for this one person who keeps telling her to wait a little longer.
The song’s powerful lyrics, accompanied by Whitney’s vocals, established the American singer as one of the best female vocalists of her generation.
29. “Irreplaceable” by Beyoncé
Beyoncé won’t tolerate her cheating partner because she knows her self-worth.
The lyrics express the singer’s confidence after a breakup that she will find someone better than her ex-lover.
It’s one of those breakup songs you should listen to when someone takes advantage of you because they think they are irreplaceable.
30. “Can’t Do a Thing (to Stop Me)” by Chris Isaak
Chris Isaak simply won’t get over his ex-lover in this song, no matter how hard he tries.
It’s probably not the best mindset after moving on, but he just can’t stop thinking about this special someone who brightened his life.
31. “Follow Me” by Uncle Kracker
Uncle Kracker’s song has different meanings to different listeners.
But the most popular version is an illicit affair behind the scenes.
Since its release in 2000, the song has debuted on different charts, peaking at #1 in many countries, including Germany, Scotland, Austria, and New Zealand.
32. “Call Out My Name” by The Weeknd
“Call Out My Name” is a song about unrequited love.
The Weeknd shares his frustration in the 4-minute song, talking about getting betrayed by his girlfriend, who moved in with another guy.
Many assume the song targeted Selena Gomez, The Weeknd’s ex-girlfriend who moved on with Justin Bieber after a failed relationship with the “Blinding Lights” hitmaker.
33. “Dilemma” by Nelly ft. Kelly Rowland
“Dilemma” is a song about a male protagonist infatuated with a woman who “just moved right up the block.”
But the problem is, his romantic interest is married with a son.
It was the 2nd single from Nelly’s 2002 studio album, Nellyville, and won a Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Performance at the 45th Annual Grammy Awards.
34. “Sorry” by Beyoncé
“Sorry” is another song about infidelity from one of the best pop singers of all time.
The song was allegedly aimed at Queen Bey’s partner, rapper Jay-Z who had been flirting with fashion designer Rachel Roy at the time.
Beyoncé won’t apologize for her rage or care about the consequences of her actions.
She ends the song by saying, “He only want me when I’m not there/He better call Becky with the good hair.”
35. “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood
Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats” is easily one of the best anthems for anyone with an unfaithful partner.
The lyrics describe revenge on a cheating partner, with the American singer talking about damaging the cheater’s property to get a little justice.
Overall, the song’s message affirms how cheating hurts and how tempting it is to plot revenge on the unfaithful partner.
“Before He Cheats” became a global success, resonating with many audiences and ultimately topping the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for 5 weeks.
36. “Wake Up Call” by Maroon 5
Getting betrayed by your lover hurts the most.
That’s why the man in Maroon 5’s song can’t control his actions after catching his cheating wife in the act.
He shoots and kills the man and isn’t remorseful for his actions.
37. “The Other Woman” by Lana Del Rey
Lana Del Rey’s soulful ballad brings out the jealousy and loneliness in a relationship.
The narrator is in a relationship with a disloyal man who appears to love the other woman more.
To make it worse, the other woman looks more attractive (at least in the singer’s eyes), which makes the narrator jealous, lonely, and worried that she might take her place.
However, her uncertainties are quickly dispelled when she discovers that they will never own the man.
38. “Your Cheatin’ Heart” by Hank Williams
Hank William’s Ballad of pain is another classic song about unfaithfulness, which he wrote after divorcing Audrey Mae Sheppard for Billie Jones as his second wife.
“Your Cheatin’ Heart” became a successful song in Hank’s career, peaking at #1 on the Billboard Country & Western chart.
39. “Muddy Feet” by Miley Cyrus ft. Sia
Miley Cyrus didn’t hold back when describing her cheating partner in “Muddy Feet.”
The song tells the tale of an unfaithful lover who has “watered the weeds and killed all the roses.”
The addressee is always questioning Miley’s questioning, and the American pop singer is done with him.
It is one of those songs you want to dedicate to a cheating partner when you’re fed up with their actions and decide to cut them off from your life.
40. “One Last Time” by Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande wishes to spend one last time with this man and she won’t care if any of them is in a relationship.
“So one last time/I need to be the one who takes you home/One more time/I promise after that, I’ll let you go.”
Best Songs About Affairs – Final Thoughts
Finding a perfect lover is the best moment in life.
But committing to one person for the rest of your life can be challenging.
That’s why many people have failed the test.
There are countless songs about unfaithfulness, covering different themes in a relationship, from heartbreaks to betrayals and pain.
These 40 best songs about affairs cover broad subjects to resonate with your feelings about a relationship.
Whether you were cheated on or a protagonist of a forbidden affair, you’ll find a song that resonates with your situation.
Hopefully, a few tunes will also remind you of the sanctity of relationships and why it helps to be faithful to your lover (Of course, if they share the same feelings).
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