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India.Arie - Ready For Love - Lyrics Meaning

Taken from her 2001 album Acoustic Soul, India.Arie's "Ready For Love" is a favorite at her live performances. The song is a sultry number without much in the way of accompaniment or processing. While many interpret the song as a simple affirmation of the desire to be in a relationship, the actual meaning is a bit more layered and complex.

Instead of focusing only on the hopeful, idealized version of romantic love, the song also addresses many of the realities of a serious relationship. For example, in one line she croons, "I am ready for pain", acknowledging that at some stage in every one of your relationships your partner is going to let you down and disappoint you. This is hardly standard torch song fodder.

Incorporating elements of the challenge of a relationship into the song imbues it with a darker meaning. While most relationship songs simple focus on idealized and surface affections, this song draws the listener into a contemplation of all of the facets of love, even the unpleasantness. It is this additional layer than communicates more to the listener with each repeat hearing and keeps this number as a fan favorite that is requested over and over.