You know how when you were little, your mom told you not to touch the stove because it was hot, but you did it anyway and ended up burning yourself? That's the continuous cautionary tale that should be paralleled to Taylor Swift's love life: a proverbial lesson on impulse control. Her penchant for penning scathing hits is the admonitory matriarch to the little children who are the boys that continuously pursue her. Swift's men should know by now that pursuing her can end up in public humiliation; yet they still do it. Every relationship is a two-way street, and the fact that we have YouTubers calling Swift a "whore" is about as fair as the lack of people calling her relationship perpetrators stupid and naïve.
Swift explicitly said, "I never chase boys. They don't like it!" in the context of the media's continuous speculation about her coming on too strong. If the boys are indeed chasing her, then they should pay more attention to the potential backlash that goes with dating this pretty girl before they go forth with trying to appease her desire for a real romance. The media chooses to chastise Swift for cycling through month-long relationship after another, speculating on why she can't seem to keep a guy. But maybe if she didn't have a never-ending supply of them, she would have to start curbing the "habits" that endless magazines, blogs, and news sites continue to speculate about. Swift's biggest weakness is the possibility of romance, and that's hardly surprising to anyone who's listened to any of her hits. An Oct. 6 tweet revealed that she would feel more understood "if people knew 'I Don't Want to Miss a Thing' by Aerosmith is how most of my emotions sound in my head." The epic chorus of the 1998 hit sounds about suiting for how Swift's emotions tend to play out in her lyrics; if that intensity can't scare the flaky guys away, then what better warning could you get?
One theory is that Swift's tendency to place the fault squarely on her ex-beaus' shoulders continuously renders her incapable of sustaining a romance. However, if you listen to Swift's 2006 hit "Picture to Burn," her first big breakup hit, you'll notice her ability to point out details has been long coming. Her seven-year-old reference to continuous fighting with her ex over a "stupid old pickup truck he never let her drive" is pretty obvious, and said ex was the first of many to wince at his humiliation being broadcast on the radio. Swift says in a March 2013 interview with Elle that she's "just writing songs the way I always have... If people want to dissect the lyrics, that's their right, but it's all coming from the exact same place as where I started." Why have none of the guys learned from this?
The only thing that's changed since "Burn" is that the time Swift spends fixated on things has gradually increased: "Back to December" is detailed, but the moments that led to the end of Swift's relationship with Taylor Lautner are still private, but two years later, the five-minute long hit "All Too Well" is chock full of obvious references to paparazzi-captured moments with Jake Gyllenhaal. This isn't necessarily mature on Swift's part, but on the other hand, can we really call all of the guys who "did her wrong" actual victims? Clichéd way to say it, but they might've been asking for it when they started out.
Swift's reputation precedes her more than ever now, and even if she isn't outright catty in interviews, she may still be playing a passive-aggressive game with her secret-message-capitalized lyrics. So if John Mayer, Harry Styles, and all the other Swift admirers knew/know this fact and the many more that add up to a picture of this take-no-crap girl, the media should at least give them a hard time for lacking foresight. If a breakup with Swift is so high-maintenance, and it doesn't end up working out, why shouldn't the men get penalized for not taking extra communicative steps to avoid backlash in the first place? There has been scarce buzz about Swift and Conor Kennedy's relationship; most of the media's speculation was about how this contributes to Swift's romantic track record, but not so much about how badly she'll blast him on her next album. Perhaps Kennedy learned this lesson more so than the others. The rest of the fellas are just as guilty of letting their eventual inability to cope provide fodder for Swift's songs as she is for writing them.
Now Ed Sheeran, British singer of "The A-Team" and yet another famous face Swift has been linked to, may fall victim to everyone waiting for Swift to mess up again. Maybe they can put their romantic-lyric-laden heads together (as they have already) again and find a way to sing out problems to another, rather than let a fleeting affair mark up Swift's quickly declining likeability yet again. Let's hope both Sheeran and Swift will be more levelheaded, or at least have Sheeran seriously contemplate if he'll soon be singing, "So shame on me now!"
Follow Crystal Duan on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@duancries