No one can say Taylor Swift doesn’t have a way with words. Or lyrics, rather.
Now, I’m probably in the chorus of critics Taylor sings about on her new pop track, “Shake It Off.” I’m a “hater” who insists she goes “on too many dates” and “can’t make ’em stay” — in fairness, I say it with a lot of love and respect for her talent — but I still adore Taylor’s music. It speaks to the range of emotions I have in regards to all things relationship-related. (Who else is with me?)
And to salute her new, soon-to-be-chart-topping single, I thought I’d flip through the Taylor Swift songbook to help you with whatever you’re going through in your love life right now. No matter your mood, Taylor has a tune. Here’s the definitive guide to finding one that speaks to your relationship stage:
When that promising new guy totally pulls the slow fade on you…
Play: “Shake It Off”
Why: Because when you suddenly realize, “OMG, this is a slow fade,” all you can do is accept it, resist the urge to text him, save your dignity, have some Ben & Jerry’s and… shake it off.
Key lyric: “Heartbreakers gonna break, break, break, break, break / And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake / Baby I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake / Shake it off, shake it off.”
It’s been six months and you still can’t move on from your last breakup…
Play: “All Too Well”
Why: Let’s face it, most of Tay’s album Red is dedicated to this very sentiment, but there’s something about this track in particular. Maybe it’s the bittersweet images of reminiscing about “plaid shirt days,” “autumn leaves falling down like pieces into place” and still being able to picture it “after all these days” that hits so hard? Ugh, been there.
Key lyric: “Time won’t fly, it’s like I’m paralyzed by it / I’d like to be my old self again, but I’m still trying to find it… It was rare, I was there, I remember it all too well.”
When you’re thisclose to texting your ex…
Play: “I Almost Do”
Why: The fallout will be way worse than the itch you’re feeling to call him/text him/casually grab coffee by his place of work. Trust me. (Er, trust Taylor.) Just say no.
Key lyric: “And I just wanna tell you / It takes everything in me not to call you / And I wish I could run to you / And I hope you know that every time I don’t, I almost do / I almost do.”
When you go for the bad boy, and really you should’ve seen it comin’…
Play: “I Knew You Were Trouble.”
Why: Because you really should have seen it coming. In fact, you probably did, because there is no other way to interpret, “I’d be a horrible boyfriend” other than “I’d be a horrible boyfriend” — but he was hot and charming, so you ignored it. Bad move. Let the self-scolding ensue.
Key lyric: “I guess you didn’t care, and I guess I liked that / And when I fell hard you took a step back / Without me, without me, without me… I knew you were trouble when you walked in / So shame on me now.”
When you FORGET TO GET THAT CUTE GUY’S NUMBER at the party…
Why: You have my full permission to kick yourself for 10 minutes, and then revel in the evening of magic that was (and what could have been, sigh).
Key lyric: “This night is sparkling, don’t you let it go / I’m wonderstruck, blushing all the way home / I’ll spend forever wondering if you knew… I was enchanted to meet you.”
When nobody seems to “get” why you’re with your guy…
Why: Sometimes relationships don’t make any sense at all. (Whoever said they would, BTW?) And sometimes love grows between two total opposites — and it works. It can even be great. So listen to your heart, not the naysayers.
Key lyric: “Seems like there’s always someone who disapproves / They’ll judge it like they know about me and you / And the verdict comes from those with nothing else to do / The jury’s out, but my choice is you.”
When you break a good guy’s heart and realize he’s going to end up as your “one who got away”…
Play: “Back to December”
Why: Because, although the breakup sounded good at the time (when single life/another guy/career/friends seemed so appealing), it’s finally hitting you how much you took his “amazing partner” qualities for granted. Now you’re alone and directly responsible for your own heartbreak — and he’s probably out there making some other girl really, really happy… Yeah. Some other girl. As in, not you. O-U-C-H.
Key lyric: “It turns out freedom ain’t nothing but missing you / Wishing I’d realized what I had when you were mine / I’d go back to December, turn around and change my own mind / I go back to December all the time.”
When you find out he (*gasp*) cheated…
Play: “Should’ve Said No”
Why: An oldie but a goodie, this tune basically sums up everything you’re thinking, feeling and want to say when you find out your man did the un-freaking-believable and cheated on you.
Key lyric: “I can’t resist / Before you go, tell me this / Was it worth it? / Was she worth this?”
When you like a guy who is so clearly meant for you, but he is obliviously in love with some other chick… ?!
Play: “You Belong with Me”
Why: Not only is this song so catchy that it’ll numb the pain, it’s totally spot-on in terms of pleading confusion of, “How does he not see we’d be perfect together?!?!?” Whether you’re 16, 26 or 36, it’s always true.
Key lyric: “Have you ever thought just maybe / You belong with me?”
When you’re finally totally over him…
Play: “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”
Why: Because eventually, you reach that brilliant day when you can see all the reasons it was never going to work out anyway — and no amount of pleading will sway your heartstrings. And when you do get to that day, you deserve this song! *confetti*
Key lyric: “I’m really gonna miss you picking fights / And me falling for it screaming that I’m right… This time, I’m telling you, I’m telling you / We are never, ever, ever getting back together.”
When you meet a special guy who is truly your weakness, no matter how hard the relationship is to maintain…
Play: “State of Grace”
Why: Because sometimes great love is worth fighting for, plain and simple.
Key lyric: “So you were never a saint / And I’ve loved in shades of wrong / We learn to live with the pain / Mosaic broken hearts / But this love is brave and wild / And I never saw you coming / And I’ll never be the same.”