Taylor Swift is at it again, apparently writing some new songs about her most recent ex-boyfriend, Harry Styles, of the British pop band One Direction. Past boyfriends such as Joe Jonas, Taylor Lautner, John Mayer, Jake Gyllenhaal and Conor Kennedy have all allegedly served as inspiration for Swift's hits, whether they've wanted to or not.
Though I don't care much about Swift, watching her and so many others publicly reveal private information about their exes, often online and often without permission, makes me uneasy. I just did a Google search about blogs, marriage and affairs and, wow, there are some very angry and articulate people out there who are ready, willing and eager to share their pain.
Apparently, it's not only infidelity that drives men and women online to reveal salacious details of their past relationships. All it may take is a regular old breakup (or at least that's what you consider it to be) and your personal life could be out there for the whole world to see. Do you want to roll the dice about whether your partner could be pissed off enough to write about you someday?
It's easy to understand why we read blogs and articles about breakups. The stories are fascinating, in much the same way that watching a train wreck can be fascinating. For people going through similarly tough circumstances, I imagine that certain blogs become a source of support and solace.
But unless the author of the blog remains anonymous, chances are that the person being written about will have to deal with friends, family and even professional connections hearing what is probably a less than flattering version of the couple's story. In light of this, I've come to an unavoidable conclusion: Couples should sign confidentiality agreements at some point in their relationships, preferably at the beginning.
I know, the concept of a confidentiality agreement while dating is weird, but I see no better option, especially when it comes to our kids. In a decade or so, when my daughter starts dating, she's likely to share all sorts of stuff through her phone and Facebook that could potentially come back to haunt her later on. Why not protect her by having signifiant others sign a little piece of paper saying they'll keep quiet about their relationship? It might sound crazy, until you think about revealing photos, explicit texts or the next heartbroken Taylor Swift wannabe with a tuned guitar and a high-speed Internet connection.
The same holds true for adults; men and women should sign confidentiality agreements soon after they start dating. With this contract, there's a greater chance that we'll never have to worry about waking up one day to find our personal drama posted online. And that peace of mind goes a long way. 'What next?,' you might be asking, 'Make our kids, parents, friends and co-workers sign confidentiality agreements too?' Who knows. We've only begun to explore this brave new world.