love advice from taylor swift

At home, my roommate Maddie and I have a “House Quotes of Note” board.  One of the quotes on there says, “I’m crying.  I just love T. Swift so much.  She gets me.”  This quote was from yours truly.

The pathetic part is that I really was crying.  As I listened to All Too Well and I Almost Do and Last Kiss and all the other heartbreaking songs on Red for the first time, the night that it came out, I couldn’t help but cry.  I am a female.  I was, at this point, 20 years old.  Hopelessly romantic.  Hopelessly single.  I can’t remember right now (and how awesome does that feel) but I probably had feelings for someone who didn’t return them.  I have had a lot of that in my lifetime.

As Taylor Swift grows up, it seems to me that many are waiting for her to fail — or at the very least, have a misstep.  But I continue to watch year after year as Taylor becomes an even sparklier, more admirable best friend-I-wish-I-had.  Not to replace my current best friends of course, just to join our clique, clique, clique.  (Is it bad that I just referenced Kanye in a T. Swift blog post?  I digress.)

Well, recently, Taylor Swift has been responding to fans’ posts on Instagram, supplying sweet comments, thoughtful advice and humorous captions.  I came across this comment recently, that Taylor wrote to a fan asking about unrequited love.  Taylor’s view on the topic struck a chord with me (music pun fully intended) and I thought I’d share it here.

“I think we grow up thinking the only love that counts as true love is the kind that lasts forever or is fully realized. When you have a broken heart, the first thing a stranger will ask is ‘how long were you two together?’ As if your pain can be determined by how long you were with someone. Or if you were with them at all. I don’t think that’s how it works. I think unrequited love is just as valid as any other kind. It’s just as crushing and just as thrilling.

No matter what happens in this situation, I want you to remember that what you are doing is selfless and beautiful and kind.  You are loving someone purely because you love them, not because you think you’ll ever have your affections reciprocated. You are admiring something for its beauty, without needing to own it. Feel good about being the kind of person who loves selflessly. I think someday you’ll find someone who loves you in that exact same way.”

I agree wholeheartedly with Taylor’s perspective, particularly the point she makes about how long you were with someone not necessarily having a correlation with the amount of pain that relationship’s end brings you.

I think that Taylor takes some of her cues from Cheryl Strayed, an author that my friend Nicole introduced me to.  Reading the words of both of these women, my mind races and my heart swells.  My romanticism may nag at me but I’m not interested in curing it.

Cheryl Strayed said: “Don’t be strategic or coy. Strategic and coy are for jackasses. Be brave. Be authentic. Practice saying the word ‘love’ to the people you love so when it matters the most to say it, you will.”

She also said, “You cannot convince people to love you. This is an absolute rule. No one will ever give you love because you want him or her to give it. Real love moves freely in both directions. Don’t waste your time on anything else.”

Between these two ideas, you’ve got how I’m living my life and what I’m trying to fully realize in my life.  I suppose I need to find the middle ground between the two.

For now, I’ve got to go, but if you need me, I’ll be the grown woman driving in the car, windows down, single tear streaming down my cheek because “T.Swift just gets me.”

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