I've loved this song for as long as I can remember. Well since I heard it the very first time anyway.
As for the meaning. I never really knew until recently. This is what I think it is about. The girl he is in love with is suffering from chronic depression. She does love the singer, and he obviously loves her, but for whatever reason, probably do to her depression, she is afraid of their love, and she always holds back. "Love Restrained"
She instead always seems to end up in relationships with people that are bad for her. They may cheat on her, or beat her, but they are not good for her. Some people commonly do this subconsciously, because they sabotage themselves from having the real love with the right person who truly does love them like the singer. That's where the lines:
"We've been through this such a long long time
Just tryin' to kill the pain
But lovers always come and lovers always go
An no one's really sure who's lettin' go today
Basically, he knows he can love her, but he knows she needs to learn to love herself first. That's what he is saying in this part. She brings him so much love and happiness, but never enough, as she is always holding her love back. Walking in the cold November Rain is him being alone waiting for her to come back to him and love him.
"If we could take the time to lay it on the line
I could rest my head
just knowin' that you were mine
So if you want to love me
then darlin' don't refrain
Or I'll just end up walkin'
in the cold November rain"
The singer has spent a good bit of time by himself in the meantime, and he has learned to love himself, and being alone. That is a big problem for people that are chronically depressed, and that is why they are often depressed. They let fear over power their love, and fear brings negativity, and pain. That's where the whole last part of the song comes together:
"Sometimes I need some time.. on my own
Sometimes I need some time.. all alone
Everybody needs some time.. on their own
Don't you know you need some time.. all alone
And when your fears subside
and shadows still remain
I know that you can love me
when there's no one left to blame
So never mind the darkness
we still can find a way
'Cause nothin' lasts forever
even cold November rain
Don't ya think that you need somebody
Don't ya think that you need someone
Everybody needs somebody
You're not the only one
You're not the only one"
So basically he is hoping she can overcome her depression, and let love into her life, and they can finally experience true, real, deep, passionate, love together.
I may be way off on this, but it makes sense to me, and that is what I get out of it.
Makes perfect sense to me