The Weeknd – “Real Life” Lyrics Meaning

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Written By Joanna Landrum

Joanna holds a BSc in English Literature and uses her expertise in literary analysis to uncover the deeper meaning of her favorite songs.

“Real Life” by The Weeknd is a powerful exploration of self-destructive tendencies in relationships. The song talks about an internal battle with commitment and the realization of one’s own flaws. The artist’s acknowledgment of his destructive patterns emphasizes a struggle between desire and reality. In this melody, The Weeknd conveys his feelings of unworthiness and acceptance of a solitary life, deeming it as real life, in a blend of soulful tunes and earnest lyrics.

Follow along as we unearth the emotional richness embedded within the song!

“Real Life” Lyrics Meaning

The opening lines of “Real Life” present a persona “meant for loving,” but with a heart that doesn’t “stay to one,” establishing a dichotomy in character. The Weeknd exposes his perceived unchanging and destructive nature, reflecting a profound internal conflict. These lyrics unveil a struggle with commitment and a realization of self-destructiveness, highlighted by the words “Mama called me destructive.”

The chorus, “That’s real life (real life), oh woah oh. Real life (real life), ooh,” serves as a poignant refrain, emphasizing the harsh reality of his relationships. It acts as a mirror to his own acknowledgment of pushing loved ones away and his acceptance of his real, flawed life.

The second verse continues to dwell on the themes of love, regret, and choice. The artist confesses his inability to regret his choice, portraying a vivid image of a man trapped in his own reality and deemed unworthy of love and the accompanying emotions. He conveys a poignant sense of acceptance of his fate, demonstrating a deep understanding of his own character and the repercussions of his actions.

The lines, “Heaven only lets a few in. It’s too late for me to choose it,” further emphasize a sense of lost opportunities and a state of unworthiness. The Weeknd sees himself as undeserving of sympathy, deciding that he is “better off when I’m alone.”

The repetitive chanting of “real life” throughout the song accentuates the underlying acceptance of his flawed existence and his constant battle with his destructive tendencies, cementing the song as a candid reflection of his emotional landscape.

The Story Behind “Real Life”

Understanding the creation of “Real Life” involves exploring The Weeknd’s artistic journey and his unique approach to portraying human emotions and experiences. Known for his honest and often raw depiction of relationships and individual struggles, The Weeknd crafts narratives that resonate on a profoundly emotional level.

“Real Life” is no exception, representing his inner turmoil and his perspectives on love and self-worth. The song exemplifies his inclination to delve into the darker aspects of human existence, revealing a layered and multifaceted exploration of the self.

The lyrics of “Real Life” reflect a potent blend of regret, acceptance, and solitude, offering a glimpse into The Weeknd’s own perceptions of his relational dynamics and his inherent destructive patterns. His inability to change and acceptance of being better off alone serve as profound insights into his mental and emotional state during the song’s conception.

The song’s composition, paired with its emotionally charged lyrics, renders “Real Life” a powerful musical piece that enables listeners to connect with The Weeknd’s experiences and emotions, potentially seeing reflections of their own struggles within his words.

The exploration of such complex and intricate themes within “Real Life” highlights The Weeknd’s commitment to creating music that is both sonically appealing and rich in depth and meaning, solidifying his standing as a visionary artist in the contemporary music scene.