What is the Breakup Bitterness Window?

Just a little warning: Last night’s VMAs provided me with such good raw material that I might end up riding this train all the way to the end of my “31 Write Now” challenge. That being said, let’s get to our first subject: Taylor Swift.
 
Oh, Taylor!
 
Taylor Swift looked so beautiful last night at last night’s VMAs. When Pop Culture Dad and I saw her being interviewed on the red carpet, at first we didn’t even know who she was. Miss Swift has certainly grown up nicely. Or so we thought…
 
Barely 10 minutes into the show, One Direction took the stage for the first time. Insert Taylor’s first recorded f-bomb of the night. One of many, it seemed. Throughout the night, you could see gorgeous, grown up-looking Taylor whispering to her bestie, Selena Gomez, some version of “f*** you,” “f*** off,” or “shut the f*** up” EVERY TIME One Direction (and ex-Harry Styles) took the stage. Pop Culture Dad mentioned it after the first time: “Didn’t that look like Taylor Swift just said, ‘F*** you”? Why is she saying that? Is it to Selena Gomez?? Why?”. That’s when I had to explain the One Direction connection to him. Pop Culture Dad was as instantly confused as anyone with any sense of rationality should be, “I mean, did they date a long time? How many guys has she dated since then? Did they just break up or something?” Exxxxxxxxxactly. And, if the F-bombs weren’t enough, when Taylor accepted her award for the video for “I Knew You Were Trouble,” she decided to give a virtual f-you to the man who inspired the song who “knew who” he is [which is pretty odd, since according to many sources, the song could easily be about one of three guys, even though the most likely and most famously suspected source is the fabulous Mr. Gyllenhaal… see more on this below].


 
Along with Miley’s awful “twerking” incident (more on that tomorrow), Taylor Swift’s rage was a hot topic of conversation this morning. Nicole on the Morning Mashup asked, “How long exactly should you still be bitter? A couple of months, maybe?” My answer to Nicole (via Twitter) was, “You’re right about Taylor Swift’s window. You should never be bitter longer than the relationship lasted!!! She has issues.” That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
 
Taylor Swift and Harry Styles started dating in late-November/early-December 2012. They broke up in early January 2013. Are you doing the math here? That’s approximately less than two months (depending on how early their courtship really began). Sure, they’d been on a couple of dates in the year prior to that, which apparently didn’t go anywhere and had no lasting affect on Taylor (as evidenced by the lack of songs about Harry Stiles), but for all intents and purposes, their “relationship” was that two-month period. And, more math here, that was more than seven months ago. Let me break this down: Taylor Swift has been bitter about her breakup with Harry Styles more than three times as long as the relationship lasted. That ain’t right.
 
Not only that, but Taylor has dated since then. I mean, not that I guess that means anything.
 
Honestly, I don’t know why I’m surprised she’s still raging after only a couple of months with some guy. In Taylorland, the majority of hunnies don’t seem to last very long as it is—but most seem to be around just long enough to get a song (or three) out of her. Billboard.com has put together a list of some of Taylor’s loves (rumored and confirmed) and the songs it suspects are attributable to these very short relationships [others have been supplemented from a Taylor Swift ex-love Wiki]:
 
  • Brandon Borello (? to ?) is the man behind “Tim McGraw.” This one was a sweet memoir of a past relationship, because young Taylor had not yet learned the bitter way of the worlds. Also, dear Brandon was only going to college, not dumping her because she was cray cray, so why do more than “something to remember her by”?
  • Unamed-“Redneck”-Who-Wouldn’t-Let-Her-Drive-His-Pickup-Truck (? to ?) is the inspiration behind “Picture to Burn.” Let the bitterness begin!
  • Sam Armstrong (? to ?) was the guy to whom she “dedicates” “Should’ve Said No,” and Taylor made it so clear that every time an S, A, or M appears in that order in the CD booklet, it was capitalized to spell out his name. Uh-oh, girl… We’re getting a little crazy now.
  • Joe Jonas (July 2008 – October 2008) inspired “Last Kiss” and “Forever and Always” (later she made nice with “Holy Ground”… guess she got over him? Well… Until she wrote “Better than Revenge” about his ex-girlfriend, Camila Belle. Damn girl! Put the claws back in.
  • Lucas Till (March 2009 – April 2009) managed to escape the song curse. I guess one undramatic month doesn’t provide enough song material?
  • Taylor Lautner (August 2009 – December 2009) — “Back to December,” an apology for dumping him (guess there’s a better treatment when the breakup is her idea?)
  • John Mayer (December 2009 – February 2010) is the guy for which “Dear John” (“Don’t you think I was too young to be messed with.” Uh… isn’t that your call, too, honey?) was written. There’s also some speculation that “I Knew You Were Trouble” (see also Jake Gyllenhaal and Harry Styles) may be about him
  • Cory Monteith (suspected April 2010 to May 2010) is thought to be the guy behind “Mine” (even though he was, if the unconfirmed rumors were true, not even hers for very long)
  • Jake Gyllenhaal (October 2010 to January 2011) apparently provided an entire album for Taylor in their very brief time together: “The Last Time,” “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” “State of Grace,” “All Too Well,” “Girl at Home,” “The Moment I Knew,” and “I Knew You Were Trouble” (in fact, the VMA she received for “Trouble” last night was dedicated to him)
  • Conor Kennedy (July 2012 – October 2012) “Begin Again”
  • Harry Styles (November/December 2012 – January 2013) – none as of yet, though there has also been speculation that “I Knew You Were Trouble” is about him.
 
None of these relationships even lasted a year. I mean, the girl is 23 now. Isn’t the time for high school obsession and infatuations to be over? Just because she dates teenagers doesn’t mean she needs to still act like one. Or, as one wise person pointed out, maybe her next song should be called, “Maybe I’m the Problem?”

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