Love is a many splendid, tumultuous, beautiful, complicated, breath-taking, heart-wrenching thing. Just look at how many songs are written about it. Even more, look at how many listeners, head-nodders and hand-lifters find community in those songs once they’re written.
It’s fascinating how something so entirely personal can also be so wholly universal, and we truly appreciate when musicians choose to dive into the complicated parts of love instead of staying around the edge. Long-time Darling friend Katelyn Tarver is one such example, releasing with us today her new single, “Love Me Again.” In it, Katelyn sings about the vulnerability required of a long-term relationship, and the ups and downs that inevitably color it and give it life along the way.
We chatted with Katelyn on a deeper level of what this song means to her, what she hopes it means for others and why “hard” isn’t always wrong:
Darling Magazine: What inspired this song? Why is it special for you?
Katelyn: I’ve always been fascinated by people and relationships and how they work. How do people stay in love? Is it actually possible to love someone your whole life?
I was a couple years into dating my now husband and it had hit that point that every relationship eventually hits. You’ve both shown the uglier sides of yourself and you’re wondering if the other person is going to stick around. I was asking a lot of questions at the time which are reflected in the chorus of the song… Are you going to know me better than I know myself? Are you going to forgive me when I go too far? Basically, you’ve seen my flaws, are you going to love me still? It’s special to me because I feel like it’s very representative of that time in my life, and it still holds meaning for me today.
DM: What do you think is a downfall of relationships today? Speaking generally, of course.
Katelyn: I am almost always met with shock when I tell someone I’m married. I get it. I got married young, and it’s not for everyone. But, there seems to be this widely held idea that it’s a better choice to keep your options open when it comes to love. To “have fun while you’re young!”to “keep it casual!” to “find yourself!”
There’s so much pressure to choose the right person and live the right life and work the right job that, ultimately, it can feel paralyzing. I think it makes it hard to commit to someone when you’re constantly confronted with the idea that maybe there’s someone better for you somewhere else. I know there’s a balance. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to focus on yourself and meet different types of people and figure out who you are. In fact, I think that’s good advice. But at some point, I think it can keep you from seeing the beauty in commitment and sacrifice and that there’s a lot of fun and freedom in that, too.
I think it makes it hard to commit to someone when you’re constantly confronted with the idea that maybe there’s someone better for you somewhere else.
DM: If a relationship is hard, is it wrong? How do you know?
Katelyn: This question plagues me. Every person is so different, therefore every relationship is so different. How DO you know if it’s wrong? It can be a tough call to make but, there are a couple of questions/thoughts I like to consider. First, if it seems to be hard right off the bat, maybe it’s just not the right fit. There’s nothing worse than holding on to something for too long when you know in your gut, it’s just not working. Second, honestly ask yourself if you like this person for who they are right now. Not after they’ve changed into who you want them to be, but for who they are today. Third, do you feel free to be yourself? Do you feel like they like the parts of you that you like? Can you admit something that feels scary to admit?
I’m definitely no expert, but I think these are helpful guidelines for gauging if it’s worth wading through the hard stuff.
DM: What kind of love do you hope to see more of in the world?
Katelyn: Selfless love. Empathy. Seeing others as human and complex and not something to just stick a label on.
DM: When do you, personally, feel the most loved? How do you best like to show love to others?
Katelyn: I feel loved when those closest to me feel safe enough to share themselves with me. Their hopes, fears, exciting days, bad days, half thoughts, frustrations… I like to share those parts of myself, so I l feel loved when I’m given that in return. Which naturally leads into how I best like to show love to others. Giving the benefit of the doubt, giving second (third, fourth…) chances, trying to focus on the good parts, and accepting the not-as-good parts, too. We’re all going to mess up and hurt each other. The more we can show up and love each other, the better.
You can pre-order Katelyn’s new EP, Tired Eyes, HERE on vinyl, as well as pledge to receive additional merch, show opportunities and thank you acknowledgements!
Album Image via Luca Venter