Lyric discussion by Lanta 

Great interpretations for the most part. I also tend to think it's about a love-triangle situation - specifically between a couple and a third party. (Although according to Stipe he has addressed this scenario in other songs such as Pretty Persuasion and 7 Chinese Brothers).

However, as far as the protagonist of Fretless goes... he seems to be the interloper in a three-sided relationship that may have begun merely as a bit of fun, but now it's all turning sour.

The narrator now perceives the damage the situation has caused to his friends' relationship. Also he knows deep down that, although the other couple may be at odds, they really only have true feelings of love for each other - while he is the third wheel. ("Don't talk to me about being alone")

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