Taylor Swift may have four best-selling albums, six Grammy Awards, and 11 American Music Awards, but that doesn't stop her critics from endlessly harping on her for one silly thing: She has a revolving door of boyfriends. She's often portrayed as burning through a string of high-profile guys, only to turn each relationship into a chart-topping single. Her Campus doesn't see it that way -– instead, we see a girl who's learning a lot about relationships as she grows up, just like us. Be thankful she writes so honestly about her relationships, because now it's our turn to steal seven major love lessons from her lyrics.
1. Trust your gut.
“Cause I knew you were trouble when you walked in.
So shame on me now...”
– “I Knew You Were Trouble,” "Red"
Some relationships are doomed before they even begin (Ahem, may we remind you of your last drunken hook-up? His name was... Jake? John? Jared? He never texted you back.) If a guy's bad rep precedes him or you just get a weird vibe from him, it might be best to save yourself heartbreak and avoid getting too involved in the first place.
Rumor has it that these particular lyrics were inspired by Harry Styles, who may or may not be Taylor's new beau. Come on, Taylor, we know you know better than to get involved with a womanizer like Harry. You said it yourself!
2. Leave the past behind.
“I remember when we broke up the first time
Saying this is it, I've had enough, 'cause like
We haven't seen each other in a month
When you, said you, needed space, what?
Then you come around again and say
Baby, I miss you and I swear I'm gonna change
Trust me, remember how that lasted for a day
I say, I hate you, we break up, you call me, I love you...”
– “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” "Red"
We know how tempting it is to get back together with your ex: you can't stop re-reading his old texts, you miss being with him, and –- this is the clincher –- he's begging to have you back. But before you jump back into the relationship, give Taylor's words serious consideration. Do you really think he's going to have changed? Will the relationship be better this time around, or will it eventually lead to another painful break-up?
Taylor supposedly wrote this hit about her on-again, off-again relationship with Jake Gyllenhaal. After a second attempt at a relationship, she said goodbye for good. If you're struggling to get out of an on-again, off-again relationship, consider a period of no communication until you've both moved on.
3. Break-ups suck, but there's light at the end of the tunnel.
“I've been spending the last 8 months
Thinking all love ever does
Is break and burn and end
But on a Wednesday in a cafe
I watched it begin again...”
– “Begin Again,” "Red"
You went through a pint (or two) of Ben & Jerry's, wore black on Valentine's Day, and declared that love isn't real. Those are all completely valid ways to deal with nasty break-ups. But before you swear off dating for the rest of your life, remember that you won't always feel as hurt and depressed as you do right now. One way to get through those low moments is to completely distract yourself from anything related to dating. Have a movie night with your best friend (no rom-coms allowed), call your little brother, or channel your mood into an awesome workout at the gym.
Need a little real life inspiration for finding love again? Check out Taylor's track record. After a summer fling with Conor Kennedy, she got back into the dating game with Harry Styles.
4. It might not be too late to apologize.
“Because the last time you saw me
Is still burned in the back of your mind
You gave me roses, and I left them there to die
So this is me swallowing my pride
Standing in front of you, saying I'm sorry for that night
And I go back to December all the time...”
– “Back To December,” "Speak Now"
You threw a low blow at your boyfriend during a heated fight last night... but now that you've had a chance to cool off, you feel awful. Your boyfriend deserves an apology, just like in Taylor's lyrics. (Note: Her Campus cannot guarantee the success rate of apologies sung outside dorm windows. For best results, try a face-to-face conversation.) You know the drill: March over there and tell him how sincerely sorry you are.
But not every situation warrants an apology. If the fight or break-up happened months ago, digging it up will only re-ignite hurt feelings. And if he's already moved on, so has the expiration date for the apology. (For the record, “Back To December” is most likely about Taylor Lautner. After the pair called it quits in December 2009, they didn't make any attempts at getting back together -– some relationships should simply stay in the past.)
5. It's okay not to have everything figured out quite yet.
“Cause when you're fifteen and somebody tells you they love you
You're gonna believe them
And when you're fifteen feeling like there's nothing to figure out
Well, count to ten, take it in
This is life before you know who you're gonna be
– “Fifteen,” Fearless
T-Swift wrote this song during her freshman year of high school when she and her best friend Abigail both were dealing with heartbreak. “The thing about high school, you don't know anything,” Taylor said in an interview, “You don't know anything, but you think you know everything.”
Eight years later, it looks like Taylor is still figuring out relationships. It doesn't matter how old you are or how long it takes you to find love – it's one hundred percent okay to still feel fifteen, metaphorically speaking. So, when a guy totally stumps you or you feel like you're never going to find The One, don't worry. Everything will fall into place sooner or later
6. Say what's on your mind.
“Hey Stephen, I've been holding back this feeling
So I got some things to say to you
I've seen it all, so I thought
But I never seen nobody shine the way you do...”
– “Hey Stephen,” Fearless
Go talk to that one guy you've been crushing on forever. Best case scenario, you ride off into the sunset together and all your dreams come true. Worst case scenario, you learned how to be brave enough to speak your mind. That's not so bad, is it? Here are a few ways to jumpstart the conversation:
Offer to study with him before your next test.
Invite him to a party or a group outing.
Ask if he wants to join you for coffee after class.
If you're already talking but you're not sure how to make things official, check out these tips on how to define the relationship. Good luck!
While the lyrics may suggest otherwise, “Hey Stephen” actually isn't about a former flame. Taylor penned the song in 2008 about her celebrity crush, Stephen Barker Liles of the group Love and Theft. In a dreams-come-true kind of twist, Stephen returned the favor by writing a song about Taylor! We wonder if any of Taylor's future musician boyfriends will do the same.
7. You're way better than she is. (Duh!)
“But she wears short skirts, I wear t-shirts
She's cheer captain and I'm on the bleachers
Dreaming about the day when you wake up and find
That what you're looking for has been here the whole time...”
– “You Belong With Me,” Fearless
We see you eyeing Mr. Crush across the party and that girl hanging onto his every word. Just saying, we totally agree that you're ten times as girlfriend-worthy as she is. Hang in there! If you don't think he's noticed you yet, it's time to introduce yourself. If you're already on his radar, it's time to relax: even if he's too busy wasting his time with another girl now, that doesn't mean that he (or someone even better) isn't going to come along any moment now.
“You Belong With Me” was inspired by a phone conversation Taylor overheard. While she didn't end up with the guy on the phone, she did briefly date Lucas Till, the male lead in the song's music video.
We love Taylor for her honest lyrics about being young and in (and out of) love. Even though Red was just released a few months ago, we're already counting down the days until her next album – and next round of love lessons. Rock on, Taylor!