Why I Don’t Like “Treat You Better” by Shawn Mendes

Y’all have heard me talk about Shawn Mendes’ music once before, and I couldn’t help but address another one of his hit singles, “Treat You Better.” This song is a little dated, but it’s still playing on the radio all the time. And honestly, it’s a goldmine for me—full of zingers that I could share with you. But I’ll try to keep my sass to a minimum.

Get ready to hate Shawn Mendes’ guts. (Just kidding—that’s a joke. I’m not encouraging you hate him—just to evaluate his music with fresh eyes!)

Be Still My Heart

I won’t lie to you
I know he’s just not right for you
And you can tell me if I’m off
But I see it on your face
When you say that he’s the one that you want
And you’re spending all your time
In this wrong situation
And anytime you want it to stop

When “Treat You Better” begins, I’m swooning. Shawn’s playing the protector role, and it’s definitely attractive. He wants Girl A to get out of a bad relationship, and he’s willing to help her leave Boy A behind. How romantic, right? The chorus just gets better.

I know I can treat you better than he can
And any girl like you deserves a gentleman
Tell me why are we wasting time
On all your wasted crying
When you should be with me instead
I know I can treat you better
Better than he can

Gosh, now I’m really swooning. Shawn says he can treat Girl A better than Boy A treats her. What really gets me is that he says she deserves a gentleman—and he clearly wants to be that gentleman to her. According to Shawn, all her tears are wasted because he’s waiting for her to break up with Boy A so that she can be with him.


I’ll stop time for you
The second you say you’d like me to
I just wanna give you the loving that you’re missing
Baby, just to wake up with you
Would be everything I need and this could be so different
Tell me what you want to do

Yeah, Verse 2 is a bummer. I definitely stop swooning when I hear the fourth line of Verse 2. This would be my gut reaction if I was Girl A and Shawn was singing Verse 2 to me: Remind me, Shawn—how can you treat me better than “he” can? Because it sounds like all you want to do is make empty promises and flatter me so that you can sleep with me. And if sex is all that you want from me, how are you treating me any better than “him”?

By the time I hear Chorus 2, I’m pretty disgusted. And Girl A should be too.

‘Cause I know I can treat you better than he can
And any girl like you deserves a gentleman
Tell me why are we wasting time
On all your wasted crying
When you should be with me instead
I know I can treat you better
Better than he can

Yes, Shawn, I do deserve a gentleman. But you’re not even close. Apparently, Shawn can’t treat Girl A better than “he” can. Because it sounds like Boy A is a manipulator, and funnily enough, so is Shawn.  

By the bridge, I’m no longer just disgusted; I’m ticked off.

Give me a sign
Take my hand, we’ll be fine
Promise I won’t let you down
Just know that you don’t
Have to do this alone
Promise I’ll never let you down

Are you for real, Shawn? “Promise I won’t let you down”? If all that he wants is to have sex with Girl A, then that’s all she is to him—a body that he can fulfill his sexual desires with. If there’s no wedding ring, there’s no promise that he won’t let her down. 

Of course, then we hear Chorus 3 again and the song comes to a close. And all I can think of is sassy remarks and clever comebacks. But I promised I would attempt to keep my comments to myself.

Closing Thoughts

Friends, I don’t write posts like these to be negative and hateful. Actually, quite the opposite! I want us to listen to uplifting music that aligns with Paul’s letter to the Romans:  

Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts. (Romans 13:13-14 NASB 1995)

So no matter what you’re listening to, even if it’s not “Treat You Better” by Shawn Mendes, know that sex is sacred. And you deserve sacred sex. You deserve to be treated the best—and you can’t find that kind of treatment from “Treat You Better.”

P.S. Y’all still have time to enter the giveaway for a free copy of Real Recovery: What Eating Disorder Recovery Actually Looks Like! All you have to do is fill out this quick form by June 6, 2022 to be entered in the giveaway! You can find out more info here!

Lyrics from AZ Lyrics.

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