What does Half of My Heart mean?

John Mayer: Half of My Heart Meaning

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Album cover for Half of My Heart album cover

Song Released: 2010

Featuring: Taylor Swift

Half of My Heart Lyrics

I was born in the arms of imaginary friends.
Free to roam, made a home out of everywhere I've been

Then you come on crashing in
Like the realest thing
Try my best to understand
All that your love can bring

Oh, half of my heart's got a...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Aug 26th 2011 !⃝

    I understood this song in the only way I could relate to. He was cynical and didn't believe in romance and he felt like he was in love with her but always gets second thoughts..One moment he feels he should marry her and the other he thinks he doesnt love her because he isn't even able to do so.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
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    Jun 29th 2012 !⃝

    To me, this is about a man who had been selfish his entire life and in an unexpected twist of fate, met a girl who opened up his eyes to what love could feel like. However, he couldn't love her with his whole heart because he always put himself first. This really was the best he could give her and that half of his heart was still the real thing. He knew she deserved more, but he couldn't give it to her, even though she hoped one day she'd see the man she thought he could be. So, because he didn't want to hurt her, he did one of the most selfless things he'd ever done and let her go.


    #3 top rated interpretation:
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    Feb 15th 2017 !⃝

    I've been listening to this song quite a bit lately and I've analyzed it to try and understand it. My interpretation is that this guy (John) has always had trouble loving because maybe he was hurt and it changed his perception on love . So he learns to live being lonely and he's content with it. But then a girl (taylor) comes along unexpectedly and she shows him a love he's never seen. Its alot to handle since its so real and different. Although he loves her he only loves her with half of his heart because he's still got his gaurd up and its hard for him to fully understand it. She seems to love him with all she's got but he only loves her with half of him, he knows that she'll hold it against him later on hints ( down the road later on , you will hate that I never gave you more than half of my heart ) and he seems to know that she deserves more but he can't seem to ever fully love her with all he's got.

  4. anonymous
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    Sep 26th !⃝

    I feel like a lot of these are interpretations are of John Mayer the person, or the outcome of the relationship between John/Taylor. I see it as a love song, of his hearts rebellion against his doubts

    Beginning the song as someone who has always been guarded to protect themselves from being hurt ("I was born in the arms of imaginary friends", "I was made to believe I'd never love somebody else"). That the protective half always keeps him from getting too close to anyone the one

    Then when he meets her and experiences real love ("Til the day you came showing me another way, and all that my love can bring"), and inspires him to start to believe and won't be held hostage by doubts any longer ("I can't stop loving you with half of my, half of my heart"). Basically a war within himself, of loving her, but being scared to be vulnerable

    Ending with the realization that love is beginning to win out, and forcing him to commit to her ("Half of my heart is a shotgun wedding to a bride with a paper ring"). The doubts starting to falter, as love is starting to warm his whole heart ("And half of my heart is the part of a man who's never truly loved anything")

  5. anonymous
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    Jul 30th !⃝

    I was made to believe I'd never love somebody else
    Made a plan, stayed the man --who can only love himself

    He is narcissistic and will never truly give all of himself to anyone. A player.
    And no matter how much she gives of herself he will never be fully committed or fully love her.

    Shotgun wedding to a bride with a paper ring.

    If he ever did marry her he would be forced to at gun point and the paper ring is meaning he didn't want to do it.showing his lack of enthusiasm or commitment to this. Usually when a guy buys a ring he buys the best he can get or afford to show her he loves her. Every jewelry commercial is a girl with her breath taken away seeing the ring. A paper ring is showing he doesn't care enough to give his best.or give at all.thats why the paper ring

    The thing is too when you're famous and traveling and recording and making new music it takes a lot of your focus and your time. You don't make music "on the side" it's a full time commitment. Record companies wanting new hits and tours and appearances to promote your music. It can be all consuming and exhausting.

    I believe I read an article about the break up where many people like prior girlfriends of johns who were famous had told Taylor he was a player and wouldn't commit and stay away but she was naive &dated him anyway and got burned and it was an ugly breakup.

  6. anonymous
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    Feb 24th 2022 !⃝

    Reminds me of the situation I was in the guy is married, he said he's divorced when I met him. I thought everything was so magical everytime we spend time together we were just happy and in love until one day the wife came back in the picture and then he gets conflicted he loves me but he can't choose me so he sets me free thinking he doesn't deserve to have me. That it's not fair to me, that I deserve better, someone that can be there for me as a whole, so he sets me free.

  7. anonymous
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    Jan 6th 2022 !⃝

    It describes a narcissistic relationship. The person offering half of their heart will never truly "love" the other, only rewards them with breadcrumbs for whatever supply/validation/ego-stroking/chores they perform. It is future faking. There will never be true commitment.

  8. anonymous
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    Feb 2nd 2021 !⃝

    I have an (apparently) unusual take on this song due to a prior relationship. I wonder about sexual addiction and "half of my heart" reflecting the foregone conclusion that this guy will not be faithful if and when opportunity presents itself. I think the individual was born to parents who may not have loved one another, hence "imaginary friends," and were maybe neglectful, hence this guy being "free to roam." I think sometimes this type of family environment leaves the child/adolescent anxious and looking for the feeling of love & belonging, hence his having "made a home out of everywhere I've been"-- and possible set-up for compulsive sexual behavior.

  9. anonymous
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    Oct 12th 2020 !⃝

    I think I'm on the other side of this song. I love this girl my best friend with everything in me, and though she loves me and says so she just can't bring herself to commit to a relationship. She's is a strong independent woman and needs to live her own life, at least right now. Career, travel, all the things one would hope to experience in life before settling down. I understand this and it hurts and I can tell she wants to stop my pain but knows at the same time it will hurt both of us to just end it completely. So she loves with half her heart and so then must I. Choosing to love her as a friend and hold on to hope,of something more when she's ready. I would wait eternally for her.But sometimes wonder if I should let her go! Both loving with half our hearts holding on as long as we can!

  10. anonymous
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    Aug 6th 2020 !⃝

    To me, this song is about a guy who no matter what has always had one foot out the door in terms of a relationship. “Half of my heart has a real good imagination,” perhaps this could mean he’s always dreaming about the single life and what that could bring him...“Free to roam made a home out of everywhere I’ve been.” He’s had plenty of experiences and has become accustomed to the lifestyle of independence. On the other hand he has met this incredible girl that shows him unconditional love. “Then you come crashing in, like the realest thing. Trying my best to understand all that your love can bring.” He knows she’s a special girl, but even with her love he still fantasizes about what else there is out there or just the lifestyle of being free. He’s knows this is selfish and feels guilty for loving her with only half of his heart when she deserves much more...” Half of my heart's got a right mind to tell you that half of my heart won't do.” He knows the right thing to do is end it because he can never love her as much as she does him. But then again half of his heart does love her and that’s something he hasn’t found with anyone but her. We all listen differently, of course.

  11. anonymous
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    Jul 26th 2020 !⃝

    Perhaps it’s about a man who is having an affair and meets someone he falls in love with but has no intention of ever leaving his wife.. but feels terribly conflicted knowing the other woman will only ever have half of his heart.

  12. anonymous
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    May 4th 2017 !⃝

    I thinks it's about a guy who doesn't want to trust or belive in love or relationship, may be he was cheated by a girl or heart broken. But then comes a girl who showed him what a true love is. She loves him truly with all her heart. But even if he love her he can't love her with all of his heart. He wanted to love her with all his but can't. Half of his heart have been drowned by his past life. But he still tries to love her fully.

  13. anonymous
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    Jan 25th 2017 !⃝

    I can Identify with this song because i'm in a similar situation... I have someone who loves me and have given me their whole heart.. I've been trying to convince myself to give her my whole heart but i just can't.. I can't come to terms with giving someone only a piece of what they deserve.. We're supposed to get married which i was ok with at first but every time i think of telling her I can only imagine the sadness that it will bring her. Maybe that was his inspiration because it fits my story like a puzzle piece..

  14. anonymous
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    Feb 23rd 2016 !⃝

    Going through the song, it feels like as if its about a guy who doesn't want to believe in love. Why? there can be a lot of reasons. Maybe he was cheated by someone, and now he doesn't want to give his all to someone. Maybe he's always been a player, or maybe he's been a real selfish guy. And then out of the blue, she comes into his life. And she brings love into his life. He knows she's different and that he loves her as well. But he can only love her with half of his heart. Again why? Maybe he's hurt so he doesn't want to give out his all. Maybe He has never loved anyone so he's guarded. But inside him he knows its wrong. To keep her this way, give her half when she gives him his all. So even though half of him has fallen for her, he realizes she deserves better and with the other half of himself, he somehow convinces himself that he needs to let her go.

  15. anonymous
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    May 7th 2015 !⃝

    I've listened to this song so many times but never really heard it until now. I believe that this song is about someone who has always been a player; a bachelor who didn't have many people that cared about him (thus 'imaginary friends'). He promised himself he'd never tie himself down in a relationship - until this girl came along. He knows he loves her but only with half of his heart - if he gives her his 'whole heart' he loses himself and everything he's known. But at the same time he knows she can do better and doesn't want her to hate him in the future because he can only love her with half of his heart.

  16. anonymous
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    Oct 2nd 2012 !⃝

    I think this guy was living the life, single, carefree, roam around the world but never knew real love. Then comes the girl, he loves her but also his old life. So she gets cheated, half of the heart, because his old life will always call out to him. But half doesn't want to let go of her. He's selfish and can't not be. He wants the best of both worlds. But it's not fair to her.

  17. anonymous
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    Jun 28th 2012 !⃝

    Well, as a fellow musician/artist, I interpret the song as him being split between his love for the girl, and his love for his art (in this case, the art is music).

    Artists are constantly torn between their love for their creations and the love for their significant others. It's a constant struggle, and they frequently half to divide the love, because of how difficult it is to say which one is most important.

  18. anonymous
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    May 12th 2012 !⃝

    I was born in the arms of imaginary friends- to me this means that he only trusts himself. From day one, he has always been for himself everything that he needs.

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