Politics

In Defence Of Still Feeling Sad About A 3-Month Relationship

Let’s have an honest conversation: Who among us hasn’t had a short-term relationship that shattered us more than it should have when it ended? (I know I have. Oof, apologies to my therapist who had to listen to me carp about a guy I dated for all of four months for the entirety of a year.)

Taylor Swift has been there, too, a few times. (Sorry, couldn’t pass up that Style reference.) Way back in 2010, Swift reportedly dated actor and notable scarf thief Jake Gyllenhaal for about three months, when she was 20 and he was 29. (The age difference has spurred another conversation about when an age gap is inappropriate, but that’s an entirely different article.)

Gyllenhaal and Swift’s short-lived affair reportedly inspired much of the material for her 2012 album, Red, most notably All Too Well. The song is Swift’s sad-girl opus and the track that defined her, for better or worse, as a songwriter who wasn’t afraid to make sport of skewering her exes.

On her recent re-release of that album – part of her ongoing effort to reclaim ownership of her music back catalogue – Swift includes a 10-minute rendition of the song.

Dave Hogan via Getty Images

Taylor Swift’s 10-minute rendition of All Too Well, seemingly inspired by her short relationship with Jake Gyllenhaal, has received praise and criticism. But many of us also have short-lived but passionate relationships they remember well.

All Too Well (Taylor’s Version) reads like a deep dive of the relationship whereas the 2012 version just gave us cursory notes. “Taylor’s Version” is like when you buy a movie with director’s commentary and they don’t skimp on the gossipy, behind-the-scenes details: Now we know The Ex Who’s Probably Jake Gyllenhaal stood her up on her 21st birthday (the gall!), won her dad over with “self-effacing jokes” and apparently still dates women half his age – an allusion that tracks with Gyllenhaal’s dating record post-Swift. (She sings, “And I was never good at telling jokes, but the punchline goes: ‘I’ll get older, but your lovers stay my age.’”)




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