Taylor Swift is annoying. I get it. She dates a really hot guy for a month or two, it ends, then she writes a song about how deep their love was and how broken her heart is and how she can never love again. Well, at least until she does love again a couple weeks later with some new hot guy. Adding insult to injury, the song isn’t even that good but is just catchy enough to stay in your head all day. Lather, rinse, repeat.
As annoying as all of that is, I can’t be mad at her. For years, I was a less skinny, less tall, and less rich Taylor Swift. A lot of us were. In high school and college, instead of recording hit albums that made me millions of dollars, I was writing all of these same feelings in my LiveJournal that got me nothing but shame and judgment from my friends who were bored enough to read it. By the way, if you ever had a LiveJournal, you should go back and read it immediately. I did just that one night when I had too much tequila and trust me, you’ll be both horrified by who you once were and delighted by how far you’ve come (hopefully). Then I advise you to delete it and never speak of it again. Some things are better left in a time when Dashboard Confessional was more than just a high school throwback joke.
T-Swift and I have something in common: we are into the same type of guy, whom I like to refer to as the “Attractive Asshole.” For the sake of brevity, we will call him the “AA” because in order to stop being attracted to them, you basically need rehab. We tend to like them younger, but we aren’t opposed to the occasional older asshole, just as long as he’s really attractive and has a well-established bad reputation. Taylor would likely disagree with this and instead call these guys “aloof artists” or “tortured souls.” That’s cute, Taylor. Just like all your ex-boyfriends.
The appeal of the AA is the excitement and the drama; they are never boring. They argue with you. Women are always all over them, giving them no real reason to commit to anyone long-term, so then when you actually can tie one down (which many times is defined as “get to sleep with him more than once”), it feels like you’ve won the ultimate woman prize. The AA always looks good next to you. You never have to be afraid that your friends will judge you for being with someone ugly, which is much worse than actually being with someone ugly. In fact, you don’t really even care how physically attractive the guy you date is, you mostly just care about what people think when they see you with him. They give you a good reason to go to the gym and an even better reason to eat your feelings and whine to your friends when they do something asshole-ish. Ninety-eight percent of them are fantastic kissers (the other 2% are still above average). Pictures of them look amazing through any Instagram filter.
I now recognize that everything in that last paragraph is bad. I know that I have a toxic pattern, but I’m not sure Little Miss Swifty has figured it out yet. Just like all those people who tried to tell me what I was doing wrong years before I realized it myself (which finally happened almost three years ago when I was 25), some of us simply have to learn the hard way. Once she finally figures out she has this pattern, she’ll have to go through the hard part of figuring out how to not only be attracted to a different kind of guy, but also how to stop attracting the AA. That’s the worst.
What Taylor probably needs to do is take some time away from romance and be single for a while. She needs to get to know herself and figure out what she really needs, which includes concrete things more than just “he’s really cute.” She should broaden her horizons and try dating an older music producer instead of a young heartthrob singer. Mariah Carey did it and not only did that work out well for her, she was able to go back to cute younger men once she solidified herself as a timeless music legend. She should take up tennis.
But she won’t do any of that. At least not now. She’s going to date Harry Styles, an 18-year-old who is not only gorgeous, rich, popular, and British; he also dated a 32-year-old when we was 17. Oh, and that relationship ended when he cheated on her with another 32-year-old. She’ll be with him for three months tops when he’ll be undoubtedly be an asshole and do something stupid, and then she’ll have her next #1 album. We’ll roll our eyes the whole time because we all saw it coming, but when that next single gets in your head and you find yourself singing along in the car, make yourself feel better by reminding yourself how grateful you are that you deleted your old LiveJournal.