James Devaney/GC Images; JB Lacroix/WireImage
James Devaney/GC Images; JB Lacroix/WireImage
Taylor Swift has been my spirit animal, at least when it comes to love.
But now she's gone from an intense, mildly private romance with Calvin Harris to, in a matter of weeks, a public free-for-all with Tom Hiddleston. And now I'm wondering if, in the wise words of Jennifer Aniston post Brad Pitt breakup, Taylor's missing a sensitivity chip.
My own love life can be a shambles at times—but that's ok, because Taylor Swift's was too.
Through her lyrics, she had been by my side through every woe. She seemed to truly understand the topsy-turvy nature of relationships. She was my ultimate torchbearer, she understood love can be transcendental and complicated, heartbreak both paralyzing and cleansing.
She sang about the longing, the yearnings, the mess that's left behind when things fall apart…she seemed to get it. She made me feel better about my own romantic disasters as I experienced hers through her music.
I thought I knew Taylor all too well, but… I'm not sure I can even listen to her songs at the moment.
I've always been a huge fans of hers. Over the years I've defended her as haters pointed out her reputation for jumping from famous boyfriend to famous boyfriend. She's a single girl in her 20s, she can date whomever she wants. She's successful, confident and intelligent, I would do exactly the same if I were in her shoes.
But then she met Tom.
Full disclosure, I loved Calvin and Taylor together. I was totally pulled into their happily-ever-after story, a world where they etched their names in the sand and he gave her a heart-shaped locket.
So when pictures of Taylor and Tom appeared on my desk, I was surprised to say the least. But it wasn't Taylor's fault! The long lens of the paparazzi had found her and Tom at the exact moment they were gazing out over the horizon of the Atlantic Ocean together. It wasn't like she was flaunting her new romance in Calvin's face and parading down the street holding hands with the actor. Right?
But then, a few days later, she was.
After Rhode Island, Taylor and Tom flew to New York City and then onto Nashville. And then Taylor introduced Tom to her parents. What had at first seemed like a rebound fling suddenly looked like it was turning serious—and at lightning speed.
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Suddenly Taylor and Tom were in London and snapped arm in arm with Tom's mother. The next day the new couple wore matching outfits as they meandered along the seaside in windy Sussex. And my heart started to ache a little. I couldn't help but feel sorry for Calvin. He might be a world class DJ who is presumably surrounded by women everywhere he goes, but no ex deserved this, right? Whether Taylor was the dumper or the dumped, everything felt too soon. Like the DVR had got stuck on fast-forward. Taylor's new in-our-face love affair felt inconsiderate, as if the roughly 15 months Taylor and Calvin spent together didn't matter.
It didn't feel like the actions of someone who was supposed to be tenderhearted. Tenderhearted enough to write lines like, "I can't say hello to you and risk another goodbye."
Not to mention, "You think you're all alone…You think that you're the only person in the world feeling this way."
I don't know Tom personally, but I know others who do. He is said to be lovely, super-classy and intelligent. A man who went to school with Prince William and hangs out in the same thespian crowd as Benedict Cumberbatch and Eddie Redmayne. I always imagined Tom and his friends spending their evenings working their way through expensive bottles of red wine and reciting Chekov to one another. I never, however, envisioned Tom becoming the central character in his very own tabloid story, a modern day Shakespearean farce.
The far too rapid emergence of Hiddleswift reminds me of a conversation I once had with a top Hollywood power player. At the time I argued the benefits of a celebrity's personal life being in the news, my point being that any coverage was good for them, it kept them relevant, it made us want to know more about them.
But the bigwig argued just the opposite, claiming the more we cover certain celebrities' private lives, the more we are unable to suspend disbelief when it comes to their professional life.
In this case, the power player is right. I no longer see Tom as the thespian-with-a-double-first- from-Cambridge-University; instead I feel like I'm watching a soufflé collapse.
And I certainly no longer believe Taylor is just like you and me when it comes to love.
Bear in mind: Taylor is not the victim in this situation. The interest in her and Tom's whistle-stop tour of Europe is because of her. Over the past 10 years, she's made her love life a central character in her songs, and thankfully helped many of us through bitter heartbreaks in the process. She knows how to attract the media and how to evade us. She has her own private jet and has proved she can escape unnoticed if she so desires.
Case in point: we had no idea where Taylor and Calvin celebrated their one-year anniversary until after they had returned. That's the thing. Fame can bring celebrities a huge amount of attention, but the money also affords them privacy.
So the pictures of Tom and Taylor swanning around Rome are not a sign of bad luck, a case of unfortunate timing or weird coincidence. They chose to stay in the best hotel in the center of the city, a place they would've known would be the first stop the press will flock to when a high-profile couple is in town. On Monday, as Taylor and Tom took a private tour of the coliseum, and paused so she could wrap her arms around his neck and kiss him, it was all for the cameras. A few steps to her right and they would have been out of view of the swarm of paps on their tail.
Taylor knows that.
For the first time, I feel somewhat manipulated. This love story feels disingenuous. I am not saying her feelings for Tom are not real, but the public telling of their romance feels inauthentic.
It makes me question almost every lyric she has ever written. I feel slightly duped. It makes me wonder if she didn't actually feel the depth of emotion she told us she experienced through her songs because if she did then how could she be so careless with her ex's heart… unless Calvin did something particularly terrible.
Taylor and Tom might look really good together but something authentic has been lost in her latest rebirth and now I really don't believe she's anything like you and me when it comes to love.
I want to hear your views in the comment section below. Am I wrong? Sway me back into the comfort of believing in Taylor's songs again. I'm certainly open to it.
For all the latest details on Taylor and Tom, tune into E! News tonight at 7 & 11 p.m.