My girls are big fans of Taylor Swift. My 6-year-old daughter just got the album Red for her birthday. It’s a really good album. All the songs are about relationships. Taylor Swift has a LOT of dating experience.
Like, a LOT.
Her experience is priceless. I’ve gleaned as much as I can from her reflections on love and dating, and there are some real gems. Check out 10 things Taylor Swift taught me about dating!
Dating Advice From Taylor Swift 1 of 11
Love Is a Ruthless Game Unless You Play it Good and Right 2 of 11
It's important to know going into it that "love is a ruthless game/ unless you play it good and right." I'm not sure if Taylor Swift plays it good and right. Judging by almost all her songs, she's getting hurt a lot, so maybe she hasn't quite learned how to play it good and right yet.
This wise heads-up on dating comes from "State of Grace." It's probably about Jake Gyllenhaal who Taylor was linked to for a while. As a boyfriend I guess he's pretty ruthless (according to Red).
Love is Like Driving A Maserati Down a Dead-End Street 3 of 11
Taylor sometimes dispenses her dating wisdom through simile, like here with her sage comparison between love and driving a Maserati (down a dead-end street). So, what I gather from the song "Red" is that love can be passionate and heady, just like driving a Maserati, (which is, presumably, awesome.) However, you're driving it down a dead-end street and THERE'S THE RUB.
What have we learned? Love = good and fun at first, but then it ends (too soon) and that is a major bummer. Sigh. Jake Gyllenhaal, why couldn't you have been more long-term for Tay? Like freeway-length long term?
Nothing Safe is Worth the Drive 4 of 11
OK, so we are 3 songs into the album Red and already I'm seeing the emergence of a theme. In "Treacherous," Taylor Swift seems to be saying that love is treacherous -- Fraught. Dangerous. Risky. Reckless.
But guess what, folks? She likes it. Awwwwwwww snap.
"Nothing safe is worth the drive." Get it? Love without risk is not worth it. I guess that is sort of true, but not exactly what I'm going to teach my little girls.
Stay Away from John Mayer 5 of 11
According to "I Knew You Were Trouble," which is allegedly about Taylor's brief fling with John Mayer*, he's quite horrible as a boyfriend and you shouldn't ever go on a date with him. This song has wider implications for any girl who likes the bad boys: Stay away from them, unless you want trouble. (Which Taylor Swift, apparently, does want. )
*Who knows, it's hard to keep track.
Leave Your Scarf at the House of a Boy You Like 6 of 11
I learned about this effective strategy in the song "All Too Well." If you leave your scarf at the house of a boy you like, he will always smell it and remember you even after you break up because he's 10 years older than you and your relationship turned rather toxic in the end.
But he'll always have that scarf.
Keep Dancing 7 of 11
Specifically, "if we just keep dancing like we're 22," everything will be okay. It's as simple as that. Don't forget!
Oh, also from the song "22," if you see someone who "looks like bad news" and you feel like "I've got to have [the person who looks like bad news]," see #5.
Sometimes Taylor Swift gives conflicting advice. But everything will be all right if we just keep dancing.
Don’t Get Back Together With Jake Gyllenhaal 8 of 11
"We Are Never Getting Back Together" is also reportedly about Jake Gyllenhaal. In this song we learn that he is selfish and condescending. He gives mixed messages, promises to change, and picks fights relentlessly. It's all very turbulent -- Fraught. Dangerous. Risky. Reckless. But in this case, not worth it.
Don’t Call 9 of 11
Don't call your boyfriend or, as the case may be, your ex-boyfriend. Instead, write a song about how you wanted to call and, in fact, almost called. No one will know who or what you are talking about, and you will effectively string them along for a little while longer. It's a lot like vague-booking your status on Facebook. Say something like, "It takes everything in me not to call you. And I wish I could run to you. And I hope you know that every time I don't. I almost do. I almost do." This advice comes from the song "I Almost Do" and it really helps you keep your options open.
Everybody Loves Pretty, Everybody Loves Cool 10 of 11
Taylor is being a little bit ironic in "The Lucky One," but the advice is sound. Everybody does love pretty and everybody does love cool. And she is pretty and cool, and she keeps getting boyfriends who are teaching her the hard life lessons she's made a career singing about. So this might just be the best advice ever. It's a developmental milestone in every young pop singer's life to start calling themselves "lucky" ironically. Cause you don't feel pretty. You just feel used.
I feel a bit bad, but cry me a river, pop queens—preferably on or near Hyannis Port, vacation home of one of Taylor's latest flings: Conor Kennedy.
Apologize 11 of 11
Some of Taylor's most mature advice actually comes from an album she released when she was younger. "Back to December" is an earnest apology to Taylor Lautner. I guess girl Taylor dumped boy Taylor rather insensitively. Girl Taylor acts like a big girl when tells him she is sorry in this song.
Is it too little too late for Boy Taylor? Probably. One word: Renesmee. (Whisper it.)
Photos Courtesy of Pacific Coast News