If you haven't listened to T-Swift's new album Red, go clear your schedule and come back to this blog later. My words will be empty and boring if you aren't hearing the refrain of 'All Too Well' or 'Treacherous' on repeat in your head.
If you have been listening to her album, courtesy of iTunes, Target, a Papa John's Pizza, or a YouTube playlist, then we are definitely friends. (If you participated in any sort of countdown to Red, you're instantly elevated to best friend status.)
Miss Swift's album is about more love and heartbreak than I've ever experienced. Like, ever.
Just because she and I are the same age does not mean that we've had the same amount of boyfriends. However . . . I'm okay with that because it means I'm more prepared for when love comes my way. Taylor has taught me (pretty much) everything I need to know about love. Maybe it's more like her songs reiterate what I've learned about love and keep those important lessons fresh in my mind. But . . . you know, those are just technicalities.
Essentially, her love gone right and love gone wrong songs are one of the ways God speaks to my heart and helps me (and by extension – you) navigate the confusing maze of love and relationships.
- Don't stay with someone who doesn't treat you the way you deserve. There are two ways to look at TayTay's music: 1) She's a dramatic young girl ranting about boys, or 2) She knows what she deserves and isn't going to settle for a man who doesn't treat her well . . . therefore, her songs are actually my-heart-hurts-because-I-broke-up-with-another-man-who-failed-to-be-a-man ballads. And that's legitimate. She's used to guys who are 'self-indulgent takers who took all of their problems out on me' so she has a right to rant!
- It's unhealthy to break up and get back together multiple times. It's not good if the two of you are running back to each other's arms when you're lonely at night, but clashing in the daylight when reality sets in. It's healthy to put your foot down and say 'we are never, ever getting back together' when the relationship is full of gossip, late night booty calls, and an 'exhausting' emotional rollercoaster.
- Cheating is bad, bad, bad. Taylor leads by example here, saying 'Don't look at me, you've got a girl at home.' Every girl deserves a man who knows what it means to be committed and faithful. There can be a door open for forgiveness, but love doesn't mean being treated like a doormat. You and I need a guy who's going to 'stay, stay, stay.'
- It doesn't matter what other people think of your relationship, if 'you don't feel pretty, you just feel used' – get out. When a man only wants you because you're hot, it's not real love, it's just real lust. You're not just a pretty face; you were made to be loved and cherished. Taylor knows that . . . do you?
- Love leads to marriage, marriage leads to sex, and sex leads to kids. Contraception leads to use and unhappiness. This is one of God's #1 lessons about love and I already knew it, but a little, subtle reaffirmation from T-Swizzle doesn't hurt. She says 'we could get married, have 10 kids, and teach ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâèÏem how to dream.' (I could totally Catholic-geek-out here about parents being the primary teachers/catechists of their children, but I'll spare you.)
- Love is beautiful and tragic. Love means you sacrifice what you want for what's best. There's no perfect love because we're imperfect people. It's not always easy, fun, and a fairy tale. Make sure you say, 'I just want to know you better' before jumping into a relationship . . . or a make-out sesh. A relationship isn't something you rush into. You won't be very motivated to make sacrifices for your stranger-boyfriend. But if your relationship is based on friendship, you want the best for your boyfriend's soul.
- You're strong enough to pick yourself up even if a broken heart leaves you 'like a crumpled up piece of paper.' Even when your feelings go from blue, to dark grey, to red. You will find out what you're made of when you're tested. You have to swim the hardest when you're about to drown. Life isn't about the next best relationship, it's about living in the hope of Christ that one day all our tears will be washed away (Revelation 21:4).
And . . . this is why she is amazing and why my nails were red over the weekend. To any passerby, it would look like I just randomly picked that color. But Taylor would know why . . . if she knew I existed.