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Meaning of ‘What Lovers Do’ by ‘Maroon 5’ feat. SZA

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Released: 2018

Features: SZA

Maroon 5’s “What Lovers Do” featuring SZA dives into the game of love and the uncertainty that comes with it. It’s all about figuring out if the feelings are mutual and taking risks in the name of love, with a catchy beat to back it all up. They invite us into this playful yet intense questioning of love’s true presence.

The song kicks off with an energetic call to get the attention of their love interest. The repetition of “Say, say, say, hey, hey now, baby” is like a nudge, hoping to clear up where they stand in the relationship. The phrase “Ooh mama, don’t play now, baby” is a playful way of asking to be taken seriously. It’s this back and forth of wanting to define the relationship but also enjoying the thrill of the chase.

As we dive into the heart of the song, we hit the dilemma “Tell me, tell me if you love me or not”. It’s a gamble—like betting the house on a hunch that the love is real. The phrase “am I lucky or not?” perfectly captures the uncertainty in love, where the stakes are high, and you’re hoping you’re not making a mistake. The desire to transition from wishing for a relationship to actually doing “what lovers do” shows a longing to move past the guessing games into something real and tangible.

The bridge brings a dose of reality with it, posing mature questions like “Aren’t we too grown for games?” It speaks to the frustration of being stuck in a cycle of uncertainty and wanting clarity. “Young enough to chase but old enough to know better” sums up being caught between the excitement of pursuit and the wisdom to seek a deeper, more meaningful connection. This part of the song reminds us that, despite the fun of the chase, there comes a time when playing games gets old, and finding a genuine connection becomes the priority.

Ultimately, “What Lovers Do” is an anthem for those navigating the uncertainties of love, trying to figure out if their affections are reciprocated while daring to dream of what could be. It captures the essence of modern love—confusing yet exhilarating—with Maroon 5 and SZA voicing the universal longing to simply do what lovers do, whatever that may entail.

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