Meaning of “Training Wheels” by Melanie Martinez

Written By Michael Miller

Michael is a music teacher and professional cellist. He loves uncovering the deeper meaning of popular songs.

“Training Wheels” by Melanie Martinez is a rich, emotional track that unpacks the complexities of young love and the desire to move a relationship to the next level. Using the metaphor of training wheels, Martinez talks about the vulnerability and hesitancy we all feel when taking emotional risks in a relationship. She’s saying, “Hey, let’s be real, drop the safety nets, and go all-in with our feelings.” Essentially, it’s about crossing that line from casual to committed.

The songwriter, Melanie Martinez, likely wrote this to articulate the fragile state of young relationships, full of both insecurities and bold steps.

Tempted to dig deeper into this lyrical gem? Stick around. We’re peeling back the layers of Melanie Martinez’s “Training Wheels,” and trust me, you don’t want to miss this ride.

“Training Wheels” Lyrics Meaning

Martinez opens the song by setting the scene—riding bikes together. It’s a shared experience, sweet and simple. She mentions carrying band-aids, showing that she’s ready to offer support when things get rough. But the band-aids are more than literal; they symbolize her emotional readiness to heal wounds, too.

As we slide into the next lines about wheels not touching the ground, she touches on hesitation. The “training wheels” are a metaphor for the safeguards we put up in relationships. She suggests both are scared to let go, but these wheels are “so worn down.” They’re a safety net that neither really needs anymore.

The chorus is a declaration of love but also an acknowledgment of the flaws they see in each other. “I love everything you do, when you call me f***ing dumb for the stupid shit I do.” It’s raw and honest. Love isn’t about being perfect; it’s about embracing each other’s imperfections.

By saying, “Fully undressed, no training wheels left for you,” she extends an invitation to be emotionally ‘naked.’ To be genuine, without the security measures that have been keeping them from fully diving into the relationship.

The part where she says, “Letting go, letting go, telling you things you already know,” again shows vulnerability. She’s opening up, even if it makes her feel exposed or redundant. And in doing so, she asks where they’re headed: “asking you where you want us to go.” She wants to know if they are on the same page.

Finally, when she says, “It’s not like I’m asking to be your wife,” she cuts to the chase. She’s not asking for everything at once—just a step closer. A removal of the training wheels, so they can ride, wobble, or even fall together. But they’ll be more authentic for it.

Why Was “Training Wheels” Written?

Melanie Martinez, at the time she crafted this masterpiece, was capturing the essence of youthful relationships, where vulnerability meets desire. The song is steeped in the ambivalence of young love, the craving to advance but also the fear of falling. “Training Wheels” came from a space of understanding that love is a risk, but one worth taking, especially when you’re young and figuring out the world and yourself.

So there you have it. The song serves as a tender, poetic commentary on the anxieties and thrills that come with taking a relationship to a more sincere and vulnerable place.