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Thursday, 6 February 2014

Taylor Swift's Guide to Dating Is Kind of Fascinating

Signature red lips aside, pop star Taylor Swift, 24, is known for her tumultuous, controversial, and very public love life. And while her romances don’t exactly scream “Happily ever after” — her dating roster includes noted playboys John Mayer, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Harry Styles — they do look fun (for the most part). Whether you find her relationships fascinating or exhausting, the girl has game. We rounded up Swift's most noteworthy relationship advice and had Bethany Marshall, PhD, a Los Angeles-based psychotherapist and the author of "Deal Breakers," weigh in on Swift's dating smarts. Marshall has some words of wisdom for the pop star, but Swift is a bit of a dating savant all on her own. Feel free to decide for yourself who gives the best advice.
On Knowing When a Guy Is Interested
Swift says: “Freeze-out: You don’t respond to any of his texts or calls until he does something desperate [like] shows up. Or he calls and leaves a voice mail. Something that makes it very clear to you that he’s interested.” — Glamour, 2014
The doctor says: “There’s a difference between being independent and letting a man pursue you and cutting him off completely, which will make him insecure and clingy. And who wants a guy like that?”

On the Rules of Attraction
Swift says: 
"I need that unexplainable spark. ... I just need to see someone and feel Oh, no, uh-oh. It's only happened a few times in my life, but I feel like if I was gonna be with someone forever, it would be because I saw them and I thought, Oh, no.” — Cosmopolitan, 2012
The doctor says: “Physical attraction is important, but that’s only one aspect of falling in love; in fact, that’s the easiest part of falling in love. If you rely only on sparks, that’s all you’ll get. It’s also a lot to expect in the beginning when you barely know the person.”

On Playing the Game
Swift says:
 “I think everyone should approach relationships from the perspective of playing it straight and giving someone the benefit of the doubt. Until he establishes that this is a game. And if it’s a game, you need to win. The best thing to do is just walk away from the table.” — Glamour, 2014 The doctor says: “At first, her advice makes sense — you should give a man the benefit of the doubt. However, she’s also agreeing to participate in the dysfunction, should it — or, in her words, ‘until’ it becomes so. She may feel it’s inevitable for her relationships to combust.”

On Not Playing the Game
Swift says: “Deciding not to play games is the best way to go because it keeps things simple: If he messes it up by playing around with your heart, you’ll know he doesn’t deserve you. You were real with him, and he didn’t return the courtesy. Someone else will!” — Seventeen, 2012
The doctor says: “This contradicts her previous advice. She also implies that she’s vulnerable to losing perspective in relationships — maybe she has a history of dating men who make her feel unimportant. But she’s reminding herself that she can always walk away.”

On Getting the Guy
Swift says:
 “I never chase boys. They don't like it!" — ELLE, 2013
The doctor says: “It’s true that men have a biological drive to pursue women in the beginning of the relationship — making the first call, setting up the date — but they also have to feel encouraged. Women can give men positive reinforcement by flirting. It’s an effortless way to keep them interested.” 

On Picking the Right Guy
Swift says:
 “When someone seems mysterious, we like to romanticize that he’s 'deep' or 'complicated.' But a lot of the time, things are exactly as they seem. ... For a long time I was drawn to — and still am drawn to — people I find very interesting. [But] someone who sits and talks about themselves for an hour, you start to maybe wonder if, rather than trying so hard to be interesting, they could be a little bit more interested." — Glamour, 2014
The doctor says: “She’s talking about her tendency to idealize men who seem mysterious, but she’s beginning to see that that trait can sometimes mask selfishness — that’s good! Let’s take a note from her playbook that the beginning of a relationship is a time to learn about the man. He’ll give you valuable information about himself on the first date; women just need to pay attention.” 

On Fighting in Relationships
Swift says:
 “Never yell. ...Silence speaks so much louder than screaming tantrums. Never give anyone an excuse to say that you’re crazy.” — Glamour, 2014
The doctor says: “It sounds like she’s dated someone in the past who made her feel crazy for speaking her mind. Women should always feel heard by the person they’re dating.”
On Role Playing
Swift says: 
"If I feel too much like I'm wearing the pants, I start to feel uncomfortable and then we break up.” — Harper's Bazaar, 2012
The doctor says: “This is a common desire. In the beginning of a relationship, men should be demonstrating their ability to provide and care for a woman. If he can’t, he’ll be a passive partner, which isn’t fulfilling.”

On Jealousy
Swift says: 
“Never be jealous. You can be competitive, but never be jealous. If you’re jealous in a relationship, it’s because you’re not confident in yourself." — Tiger Beat, 2013 The doctor says: “Jealousy usually arises if a person is naturally insecure or if her partner is intentionally trying to provoke her. In a good relationship, one should feel that they are number one, without being the only one in their partner’s life.”

On Boundaries
Swift says:
 "[Guys] can be a part of your life, but never let the guy be your life. They can live in your world, but never make the guy your world. Knowing who you are and being independent and strong will be attractive to the right guy." — ABC News, 2012
The doctor says: “She’s right — men fall in love with women who have their own lives. That autonomy is attractive.”

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