Interpretations:I Love You For Psychological Reasons

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Psychiatrist love[edit]

I believe that this song is about a guy who is in love with his therapist as he lets out his inner feelings, fears, and dreams while throwing in that he loves her. -- Hou (talk) 00:25, 18 June 2016 (EDT)

Love is Complicated[edit]

This song has always reminded me of all the complicated feelings that come up in love, especially in new love. It details the compulsion of nitpicking every part of one's appearance, trying to look perfect in order to be liked. It details how torturous it can be to keep entertaining the idea of a stable, happy relationship when one is surrounded by uncertainty. Kicking oneself in the foot about things one said at first that might have given a bad impression of oneself. Backpedaling, backpedaling, backpedaling and feeling helpless to make things work.

The singer knows these aren't healthy feelings, nor do they necessarily correspond to anything true. The singer also realizes that their love is just a combination of psychological processes, same as their worries, but who wants to talk about that on an early date? All that can be said for sure is that these feelings are powerful, psychological, and they are real in their effects. --Alfalfascouting (talk) 13:33, 28 February 2017 (EST)

They Might Be Giants I Love You for Psychological Reasons[edit]

I believe he is repeativly doing something in hopes of making it seem as if they are getting better, however they are simply regressing or resigning to an inocouse act such as saying I love you which seems to make progress but is only saying it to appear brave. Almost culminating in getting close to perfect but insteads choose's to again resign to looking down at their shoes instead of holding their head up high. Mumbling while in their own prison while inside their body is very much trying to break free. Flailing an screaming. huddled under the table, unwilling to get out feeling unable to get out. The torture of living day today in isolation and the dream is fake and unable to soar. The mouse shares a house with the louse because of the pyscholocial problem all human being suffer from. The fear of being alone. They are together because they are unable to love each other but would rather not be alone. Hence why one in not willing to admit to it. They feel bad that they feel how they are but one is trying to surmount courage to get out, however they are stuck in the car talking themselves through progression of why they are together even if it isn't true love. When two people are people because of the alternative that they love them for reasons that make since instead of love. -- 23 October 2017‎

An abusive/unhealthy relationship[edit]

"Why does the mouse share the house with the louse?" The louse is a parasite for the mouse, yet it "Doesn't subtract from the fact that/ I love you for psychological reasons". The speaker also doesn't want to talk about it because they want to avoid talking about this uncomfortable topic because it will likely lead to arguing. "Reasons I can't really go into now/ Reasons we should probably not get into right now" (talk) 14:25, October 27, 2018

Philosophy of Mind[edit]

Given the song's psychological bent, the line "brain in a jar" is likely a reference to the "brain in a vat" thought experiment in philosophy of mind. Namely, if a brain in a vat were hooked up to a computer, which fed the brain all the same impulses that it would receive from the senses if it were in a human body, would it have any way of figuring out that it WAS in a vat and not in a human body? And if not, then how can we truly know that anything we "know" is true? The next line, "in a car in reverse", while it may not be a direct reference, certainly evokes another philosophical thought experiment, the "trolley problem". -- 18:20, 28 August 2019 (EDT)

Unhealthy/Abusive Relationship?[edit]

A louse is not only a parasite, but the word also has a slang usage referring to a contemptible person, while a timid person is sometimes referred to as a mouse. The speaker wonders why the abused stays with the abuser, and of course it's for psychological reasons such as shame and low self esteem, both of which are also reflected in other lyrics.--Kaylum (talk) 08:57, 7 May 2020 (EDT)