As my grandfather says, "Everyone has to be good at something." Taylor Swift is good at a lot of things: Singing, songwriting, performing, and being commercially successful. Relationships? Errrrr, not so much.
However, Swift is really, really good at crafting songs out of her relationship experiences, and then making lots and lots of money off those songs. "Red" sold more than a million copies in its first week. It's also the only album I ever recall being able to buy with a Papa' John's pizza. She's going to gross well over $50 million in touring and endorsement income this year. And you know what? Good for her! That's the American Dream. In terms of sheer numbers, she's more successful at writing empowering songs about "never ever ever getting back together" then I'll ever be successful at, well, anything in my life.
However, that doesn't mean I think she'd make a good girlfriend. In fact, I'm pretty sure she'd be a lousy one, which is why I've never understood many a man's infatuation with Swift, the dreamgirl. What's the appeal here? Is it the homespun, girl next door charm? The seeming lack of putting on airs in an industry that's dominated by people who put on airs?
For starters, there's all that uncomfortable tabloid gossip. Though she will certainly never come out and say it, it sure seems like she has a history of serial-dating Hollywood A-listers just to give her new material to work with. She's never really tried to combat that public perception either, which cements the perception in my mind even further.
Swift has been on a PR blitzkrieg promoting her new album over the past few months. She's been the subject of many-a magazine and TV shows profile. Out of all those interviews, I've compiled a nine pullquotes by Taylor Swift indicating why you might not want to date Taylor Swift.
She has horribly immature taste in booze, even for a 22-year old:
"I don't drink much alcohol. If it doesn't taste like candy or sparkles, I usually don't drink it." -- Esquire, October 2012
What a girl orders at the bar can be a telltale sign of maturity. Swift admits she doesn't drink alcohol that doesn't taste like "candy or sparkles," which means her drinking options start and stop with Appletinis and spiked Cherry Limeade from the brightly-colored cocktail menu at T.G.I. Fridays. "Candy or sparkles" is what someone says when they haven't developed a grown-up palate for booze, usually in college. Sure, call me an elitist douchebag, but it's a big warning flag when a girl's go-to drink of choice looks like antifreeze. You don't need a sophisticated taste to know how to compliment a dinner with a $10 bottle of cabernet or tailgate on Gameday with a cold, refreshing beer.
She goes against her word, lying that she's not going to write about you and then writing about you:
Do boyfriends ever say, “Look, whatever happens, just don’t write about me”?
The only time that has ever crossed someone’s mind was when we were in the process of breaking up.
And what did you tell him?
Of course I was like, “Oh, don’t worry, I won’t.” And then I did. Look, it’s not like it was written somewhere in the fine print that I write songs about my life. If we break up, I’m going to write about it. But I’m probably also going to write about when I fell in love with you. So there’s an upside. -- New York Times Magazine, November 2012
Big, big warning flag here. So she told a guy she wasn't going to write about him, then she went ahead a did it anyway? Et tu, Brute? Even worse, Swift doesn't seem to display a tinge of remorse for stabbing this guy in the back with a tell-all breakup song. Instead, she gloats about the "upside" of falling in love with her because she'll write about it.
Win or lose, you're getting a song written about you. How lucky! Swift's attitude reeks of selfishness and comes across as completely ignorant of the feelings of the other person in the relationship.
She's kinda insecure about other people's taste:
"In that song, you also make fun of the ex-boyfriend who finds peace of mind “with some indie record that’s much cooler than mine.” Do you think there’s a special circle of hell reserved for hipsters?
That all came out of this one relationship I was in. This guy was just, so, so cool. It kind of gave me a bit of a complex for this album, because he was always going on and on about this new band that was so cool because they were so underground. I have so many indie bands on my iPod. What I don’t really understand is the attitude that if a band is unknown, they’re good, and if they get fans, then you move on to the next band." -- New York Times Magazine, November 2012.
Surprise! People have different tastes in music, just like they do food, clothes, movies, etc. The wonderful part of any intimate relationship is exploring another person's unique interests. How many people are turned on every day to a new band, DJ, or rapper simply because a love interest pressed play and the other party happened to like it? In this case, Swift pokes fun of a boyfriend's preference for an indie band with a "cool" underground following. She doesn't name names, but why even mention it? Why does it even matter? Could she not accept that her man was a fanboy of a musical act that wasn't her? Why did his enthusiasm toward the band bother her? When she tells the New York Times that it "gave me a bit of a complex for this album," it smells like a tinge of professional artistic jealousy. No sense in dating someone who's musical tastes have ossified at the age of 22.
By her own admission, she doesn't even know how to have a normal relationship:
"I don’t know how to have a normal relationship because I try to act normal and love from a normal place and live a normal life, but there is sort of an abnormal magnifying glass, like telescope lens, on everything that happens. So I don’t know how to do that correctly or anything. I don’t really know that much about love, it turns out." -- Interview with Katie Curic, October 2012
I completely understand that the modern celebrity magnifying glass is huge, pressure-filled beast with many heads. However, it's tough be sympathetic with Swift's cries that she "doesn't know how to have a normal relationship" after reading how she threw a guy under the bus why writing about him after agreeing that she wouldn't. It seems like she only has herself to blame for her relationship instability.
She loves the friend-zone and constantly puts the ball in the other person's court:
“Remember that people have to fall in love with you because they want to, not because you want them to. Don’t chance ruining your friendship by chasing him before he’s ready. You just have to wait for him to turn it into something more, if and when he wants to.” -- Cosmopolitan, December 2012
Taylor Swift basically gave a ringing endorsement for the friend-zone in an advice column for Cosmopolitan Magazine. She advises people wait for the guy to make the move for something more vs. transparency and being forthright. Life's too damned short for a relationship to get stuck in the DMZ emotional minefield that is the friend-zone. Rather than passing the ball to another person's court, make the move already.
She is majorly insecure about what she's wearing:
“I’m in a predicament where I can’t wear a dress twice or else it’s pointed out in magazines. So unfortunately I have to shop for dresses all the time. There's just something so feminine about a dress."Whether it's a summertime dress that makes me feel carefree, an evening cocktail dress that makes me feel fancy, or a vintage dress that makes me feel like a '50s housewife— which I enjoy feeling like, for some reason— I just really like dresses." -- Harper’s Bazaar, December 2012
I get it, I get it: Universally, almost every single girl in the planet is picky about clothes. And that's fine! But something about the whiny neediness of this quote: "I can’t wear a dress twice or else it’s pointed out in magazines. So unfortunately I have to shop for dresses all the time." OH THAT'S JUST TOO DAMN BAD! Talk about a first world problem.
She can't tune out the heat of her own celebrity:
“And then it gets really bad if you go through a breakup and those blogs have these polls asking, ‘Who should they date next?’ And you’re just sitting there staring at the laptop bawling," she told the magazine. “But you can live in a normal world where a breakup is just a breakup if you don’t expose yourself to what’s being speculated about yourself. That’s where I live now.” -- Harper’s Bazaar, December 2012
Oh, boo hoo! It's so tough being a well-managed celebrity who makes $50 million a year! The last thing you want to hear on a date is "Ermahgerd, did you see what TMZ, US Weekly, and Perez wrote about me today?! Ermahgerd!" It'd be cool for approximately twp hours, but then it'd be like, "So... Uhhh.... Let's talk about something else." No one wants to date an egomaniac. Love it or hate it, all that press -- positive and negative -- is a big part of what created Taylor Swift's celebrity. Bottomline: She's high enough on the A-list that she should be able to tune out the entertainment media chit-chat. That's why you participate in some true celebrity escapism, like buying a yacht, renting a hut in the Maldives for a month, or taking a jungle-trek through Costa Rica.
She admittedly doesn't think things through, including if she's too busy for a relationship
“I don’t think there’s an option for me to fall in love slowly, or at medium speed. I either do or I don’t,” says the chart topper, who calculates that her longest relationship to date lasted six months. “I don’t think it through, really, which is a good thing and a bad thing. You don’t look before you leap, which is like, ‘Yay, this is awesome! Let’s not think twice!’ And then you’re like, ‘We used to be flying. Now we’re falling. What’s happening?’” It comes with the territory when life moves as fast as it does for her, she adds. “I’m never in the same place for more than, like, three days at a time. Things can change from one minute to the next.” -- Parade Magazine, November 25, 2012.
Swift is one of the most successful female artists of all time; Not a lot of people are going empathize with being in her shoes. Self-awareness is important. Really important. Nothing sucks more than wishy-washiness.
In the quote above, she admits to not thinking relationships through. That's not good. If her touring and work schedule is way busy for a relationship because "’I'm never in the same place for more than, like, three days at a time," she should be forthright enough to throw in the towel and say "I'm just too damn busy for this shit."
She defines herself by relationships:
"There's a song that's the first track on the record, and it says, 'Love is a ruthless game unless you play it good and right.' That's been my whole philosophy on love this whole time anyway." -- Cosmopolitian Magazine, December 2012
This is a big one, if not the biggest one. Every week the world hears about Taylor Swift's love life to the point of ad nasuem. The media is a huge culprit here, but this is also a beast of Swift's making. Is there anything that interests Taylor Swift besides boys and relationships? Anything? Movies? Books? Hiking? Real estate? Horses? Scrapbooking? Pinterest? What it would have been like if she would have gone to college? Certainly music, but you never see anything about her checking out some other artists' set or sitting in with some hot Nashville up-and-comer. Surely there's some hobby she can talk about to the mainstream media besides the men she dates.
A relationship shouldn't define a person. A person should define a person. Though a happy relationship is a pretty big chunk of the life wholeness pie, it's still just a slice. There's more to a person's entire character and personality than just people they chose to be romantically involved with. This is the ultimate reason why it'd be a drag to date Taylor Swift: Besides her career, what else would you talk about besides the relationship drama she's sculped into a big part of her public persona? Would she even express any interest in you?
So please, Taylor: Stop talking about you love life or doling out relationship advice when you admit you don't even know how to have a normal relationship. It's time to ditch the cliched love songs and work on a new swagger. And maybe, on your next album, write a song with a story that's a little substantive than just girl-meets-boy-girl-dumps-boy. Good songwriting doesn't have to be about an emotion; It should invoke an emotion. Maybe try writing a song about outlaws or pirates or politics or about how the times they are a-changin'. Something that has an actual story besides some melodramatic fluff. If that doesn't work, just write songs about how awesome it is to be a rich celebrity. With the commercial success of "Red," you can write the mainstream Top 40 music version of "N*iggas in Paris" about how GREAT your life is.
After all, Middle America needs a new Kanye West.