Why Taylor Swift Knows More About Relationships Than You Do

In times of distress, stress or psychological regression, many people turn to Taylor Swift.

It’s understandable.

She has appeared to navigate the stormy waters of love by, well, making lots of money out of them.

Her ark of triumphant retribution seems to float through the torrents that might drown lesser beings and sails happily onto the dry land of the next awards show stage.

She has admitted to limiting herself to relationships that inspire songs.

Some might say that one’s ability to write a song only depends on one’s imagination. So I can hardly believe that she stared John Mayer and Harry Styles long and hard and first considered: “Can I at least get a ballad out of this?”

I fear she one thought that might have crossed her mind would have been: “That’s John Mayer/Harry Styles. I wonder what they’re like, stripped down to their undies.”

Still, Swift claims not to have a thick skin. She’s an artist, after all.

Which would suggest that she reacts only with emotion when the seemingly inevitable scythe of break-up appears on her horizon. Often, it seems, after a relatively short time.

Yet, my entirely irregular reading of Glamour magazine tells me that there might be a touch of illogic in Swift’s self-expression.

She tells Glamour: “I think everyone should approach relationships from the perspective of playing it straight and giving someone the benefit of the doubt.”

Don’t we all do that? Don’t we sit there, hoping beyond all expectation that the person who will shortly nuzzle against our napes will turn out to be playing it straight too?

It seems, though, that Swift is ready to pen a sequel to “The Art of War” called “The Art of War In Love.”

For she added that her commitment to playing it straight has something of an expiry date.

She claims that she maintains her honorable course “until he establishes that this is a game. And if it’s a game, you need to win.”

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You see, this is why she’s a star and you’re not.

While you might not have a clue who the man or woman you covet really is, La Swift is able, like a Stradivarius nestling on a velvet cushion, to seize on the very moment that she’s being played.

She never does any of the playing herself. No, no. She is as honest as a judge and as open-hearted as a transplant patient during surgery.

She is, however, so adept at switching gears from loving lady to competitive fiend that the dastardly male player will suddenly realize that what he thought was ping-pong was, in fact, MMA.

Swift will “walk away from the table.”

She will then cut him with her silence, till his ears bleed from the sound of his own heartbroken ululations.

She explained her tactic like this: “Silence speaks so much louder than screaming tantrums. Never give anyone an excuse to say that you’re crazy.”

If wisdom was a video game, this is a level that so few will ever attain.

It comes with special prizes and a sense of inner peace that few earthly rewards can bring.

Swift never raises her voice, walks away calmly and no one ever, ever thinks she is in the remotest way crazy — least of all the men she has openly, honestly and whole-heartedly smeared her love over.

There is one small kink, though, I suppose.

I wonder whether, within her construct of confidence, the notion had ever crossed her mind that singing about her lovers slightly contravenes the vow of silence.

I sense that they might be able to hear her. I sense that one or two might even think that her songs — deeply melodious though they are — are also, in their way, malodorous tantrums.

You might imagine that, for these few men, Swift seems crazy.

Oh, but you’d be so wrong.

For it is these men who are crazy. They’re the ones who needed to start playing games. These are the men who thought they could wield power over the unimpeachably good-natured composer.

Swift thinks that the power of her silence lies in the fact that they probably think the song is about them.

But they can never be sure.

In essence, then, Swift thinks she has reached the higher ground that Stevie Wonder so craved.

Yet one small doubt still drifts in my mind. I was listening to her magnum opus “We Are Never, Ever Getting Back Together.”

In it, she describes how little she will allegedly miss her ex.

“I’m really going to miss you picking fights,” she sings, her wise sarcasm drifting on the wind.

The next line: “And me falling for it, screaming that I’m right.”

Oh, she does have screaming tantrums.





Image: Taylor Swift/Vevo Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk