Ex-Factor is a beautifully composed song by the queen herself, Lauryn Hill. This song has helped many of my friends get through break-ups. I can remember BBM convo’s starting off with “Tash, if it could all be so simple. Lauryn said it best.” This is one of my favourite tracks off of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, released in 98’. I present to you now, my interpretation of Ex-Factor.
It could all be so simple
But you’d rather make it hard
There will always be that one person who keeps trying in the relationship giving their 110%, but the other partner doesn’t seem to want to meet halfway. It then becomes difficult to the one who wants to make things work.
Loving you is like a battle
And we both end up with scars
I would consider this part to be beautiful imagery. The metaphor describing love as a battle is very true. When you go to battle, you’re going to try and conquer the other side with machinery, bombs and whatever else you need to beat your opponent. Once the battle starts, both sides attack each other whether you kill or injure. It’s the same with love. You wouldn’t kill your partner (let’s HOPE not) but maybe verbal abuse, not showing enough affection or cheating (whether emotionally or physically). At the end of the day, both people in the relationship are hurting.
Tell me, who I have to be
To get some reciprocity
When you love a person and you want it to work, you will do anything to keep them. Whatever you do, you just want them to feel the same way back.
No one loves you more than me
And no one ever will
Once you know your ex in and out, you put up with their ignorance and attitudes. You feel as though the next person they meet won’t have the time nor the patience to truly know the person who you were once with. Overall, you think they won’t find another woman who will be down for them like you were.
Is this just a silly game
That forces you to act this way?
It’s either you’re mature or immature. Lauryn questions the relationship trying and whether it’s worth her time or not. Based on her partner’s immature actions, she believes it must be his way to get rid of her. Since he continues to keep hurting her.
Forces you to scream my name
Then pretend that you can’t stay
Sexually, she puts it down on him like no other. However, the sex will not keep him – That’s for sure.
I keep letting you back in
How can I explain myself?
At some point in your life, you have had an ex to whom you keep running back. You’ve tried to go on dates with other people, but you keep comparing them to that ex of yours. Afterwards, you start questioning yourself when he doesn’t stay in your life.
As painful as this thing has been
I just can’t be with no one else
When you have broken up with your partner, you feel as though you really can’t move on. You think the person you were with was the ONLY one for you. Therefore you will sit there, be miserable and cry yourself to sleep.
See I know what we’ve got to do
You let go, and I’ll let go too
The only way for you to move on is to have no communication with your ex. Communication with him or her will only bring back unwanted feelings.
‘Cause no one’s hurt me more than you
And no one ever will
Women need to know their worth and Lauryn proclaims that she doesn’t want to hurt anymore, not even in the next relationship that she will have. After all, relationships are a learning experience.
Care for me, care for me!
I know you care for me!
There for me, there for me!
Said you’d be there for me!
Cry for me, cry for me!
You said you’d die for me!
Give to me, give to me!