Taylor Swift


Taylor Swift is 23 and she's dated plenty of guys. So why has she said she's never been in love? Is that odd?
—Hangman, via Twitter

Swift did say something like that in her a wide-ranging interview with Elle. But Swift, who has been linked to Harry Styles, John Mayer and Jake Gyllenhaal, among others, isn't the first musician to proclaim, in her 20s, that she has never been in love. Before finding her fiancé, Brandon Blackstock, Kelly Clarkson announced in 2011 that she'd never found anyone worth those kinds of feelings. She was 29 at the time.

As for how unusual this type of admission may be, I found out for you.

According to relationship experts, including psychologists and couples therapists, people fall in love on average zero to five times over the course of a lifetime.

"It depends on how deep your definition of love is," psychiatrist Carole Lieberman says, adding that, "If, by first love, you mean puppy love, then it would be somewhere between sixth grade (12 years old) and early high school (about 15-16 years old)."

Deeper types of love usually strike a few years later.

"By 23, a woman would usually have fallen in love already," relationship expert Dr. Gilda Carle tells me.

Does that mean that Swift is somehow outside the norm? Not necessarily. According to human behavior expert Wendy Walsh, author of The 30-Day Love Detox, there are precisely four kinds of love and, maybe, Swift has only experienced one or two.

"There's a sexual attraction type of love, and that often melds into romantic love," she explains. "And then once that dopamine rush goes down, around the six-month mark, then you might make an intellectual decision of love.

"And finally, there's a mature, companionate love, and that holds people together for years and years."

Whatever the deal is with Swift, one thing is for certain: There's no reason for her to be in any hurry. She's at the top of her game.

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