Taylor Swift Is 26 and a Free Woman Yet She's Still Having Trouble Shaking Off That Serial-Dater Rap

Her supporters have been quick to point out that the singer tends to be unfairly singled out for breaking up and then, gasp, trying it again!

By Natalie Finn Jun 16, 2016 7:30 PMTags
Taylor Swift, Met Gala 2016Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for The Huffington Post

Surely we can all agree on one thing: Taylor Swift is a free woman.

She's 26, the face of a one-woman musical empire and rather stunning to boot.

But thanks to the songs that have fueled her rise to the top of the pop-star pyramid, it's become impossible to separate Swift, the woman, from Swift, the starring character in her own long-running, ingeniously packaged relationship drama.

Hence the uproar every time she has broken up with a guy—an uproar that gets even louder when she, gasp, tries again!

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There are of course no rules when it comes to "proper" windows of mourning after one relationship ends and before another begins. When we break up, our first instinct is usually to swear off dating for awhile, but hey, if someone wants to come along and sweep us off our feet...

Shrug, we're open to that, too.

We can't picture Swift—assuming for the sake of argument that, despite her living in a fish bowl, her emotions work the same way as a lot of the rest of ours do—operating all that differently.

But seemingly only a few weeks removed from the end of her approximately 15-month relationship with Calvin Harris, cue the excitement to figure out just when she intended to get all cuddly with Tom Hiddleston on a rock in Rhode Island. Which she did, the evidence of which was first published yesterday by The Sun, the London tabloid seemingly going to bat for Harris (who's Scottish) in tone and tenor.

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First of all, let's go out on a limb and call Taylor what she is: lucky.

Not because Hiddleston's so great (though don't you just love him?!) but because surely she felt bad—no matter who ended it, breakups can be rough on the dumper and the dumpee—and lo and behold, she met someone she liked enough to share a snuggle with.

The fact that she danced with Hiddleston at the Met Gala on the evening of May 4, a few short weeks before she and Harris had broken up, added some fuel to the fire of what happened and when. But while we know Harris and Swift fizzled, we don't know exactly when the fizzling began and, despite certain obvious explanations (long distance, etc.) the ebb and flow of feelings is reliably inexplicable.


And though the photos of her and Hiddleston are certainly romantic-looking, they don't mean Swift has hopped right into another relationship.

"Taylor is hanging out with her friends and keeping busy. She wants to be single for a while and have a relaxing summer," an insider told us earlier this week—and the two aren't mutually exclusive.

If Swift were most other people, there'd be a mass round of applause for how wonderful it is that she's found someone to dry her tears. And if she were Leonardo DiCaprio or George Clooney circa 2012, everyone would have a good smirk and make memes. But unfortunately Swift got saddled with the ever-searching serial monogamist tag years ago and labels can be hard to shake.

Ask Jennifer Aniston, who despite her huge career and other boyfriends carried the stigma of a scorned woman around for years, her marriage to Justin Theroux last summer just barely releasing her from her former life.

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Of course, it's not as if Swift hasn't been at least somewhat complicit in her relationships-as-performance-art persona—Taylor's as shrewd a businesswoman as they come, and like Beyoncé, her lemonade has made her a millionaire.

But she's still had to multitask like a champ, both learning the hard lessons that are part of growing up while in the spotlight, and simultaneously having to shake off whatever pain and anger she might be feeling so that she can put on a great show night after night and then sound measured and rational when she fields the next round of questions about her love life.

Liu Xingzhe/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images

And underneath it all, she'd probably just like to eventually find a guy who she's into, who's nice to her and, most importantly, wants what she does.

In the meantime, however, Taylor Swift's relationship history—or future—shouldn't be used to define her as a person. Her personality factors into what goes on behind closed doors, but meeting someone, trying it out, breaking up and then dating someone else isn't a character trait.

Along the way she'll make mistakes. The men will make mistakes. She might not even be done talking to one when she starts talking to another, making her part of the 99 percent for a change.

Like everybody else, she's just trying to figure it out.

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