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Taylor Swift’s 10 minute rendition of “All Too Well”, which was apparently inspired in part by her relationship with Jake Gyllenhaal has drawn praise and criticism. Others have long-lasting, passionate relationships which they treasure.

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’m sure I have. Sorry to my therapist, who was forced to hear me rant about a man I had dated for only four months and for almost a whole year.

Taylor SwiftIt has also been there a few times. (Sorry, couldn’t pass up that “Style” reference.) Swift was a decade ago. reportedly datedThe actor notable scarf thiefJake Gyllenhaal was born in February 2000, at the age of 20. She was then 29 and Jake was just 23. (The difference in age has led to 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 catalog ― Swift includes a 10-minute rendition of the song.

“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.’”)

Swift received praises for both the extended cut and analogue version. accompanying short film for the song she directed herself ― both are lovely, detailed and relatably lovelorn. But she’s gotten quite a Bit of flak online, too: for bringing Gyllenhaal back into her narrative almost a decade later, and for writing a 10-minute song about a relationship that lasted the extent of a seasonal drink’s run at Starbucks. It’s a bitThese people say that they have become too involved.

OK, fine, Twitter. But if feeling crappy about the end of a whirlwind but promising three-month relationship is “weird,” I am absolutely a weirdo. I’ve been in a relationship that lasted almost a decade. I’ve also been in one that lasted a few months. I remember the one lasting a few weeks with the same power as the longer-term.

There’s no time’s up!For when it is okay for something to matter. Grief is a complex and unpredictable phenomenon. It can also be complicated to reflect on your own romantic history.

Yes, of course All breakups are rough but there’s something uniquely difficult about the end of a short-term relationship, therapist Liz HigginsShe told me. Those early days of a relationship is “love without knowledge,” she said, and ignorance (and blind faithSwift said that bliss was the best form of happiness, and it is, baby.

“We experience infatuation, so much possibility, and a wide range of the unknown with this person,” Higgins explained. “That short time span is full of opportunities for play, exploration and connection.”

Higgins pointed out that even long-term relationships can be difficult because we grieve losing the initial, all-consuming, and quixotic phase of a relationship. It’s legitimately heady and euphoric to be with someone new, and monogamous (or monogamous-ish) couples are forever trying to capture it.

Plus, as Higgins added, “some people define as impactful interactions with others they have only met once. So it would be silly for us to disregard this due to the length of time alone.”

Ehren Minkema, a 30-year-old podcaster from Minneapolis, experienced something like that almost a decade ago: The summer before his senior year of college, Minkema spent 72 hours with a guy he’d been chatting with on a dating app. The couple ate breakfast together, watched films, sat down on campus and cooked dinner together. You’d think there’d be weirdness or lots of awkward moments of silence, but it all felt so natural and right, Minkema was sure he’d stumbled on something lasting.

After that, the guy ghosted him completely. He later spotted the fling, but categorically. NotHe recalls being almost paralyzed even when he was far away from the scene.

“I think the reason why it stung so hard and for so long was that this was the first time in my life I had truly felt swept off of my feet so quickly and the first time in my life that I had to cope with the realization that no matter how much I may want answers and closure, a lot of times, I may never get it,” he said.

Minkema thinks Swift does a masterful job of bottling up that feeling in “All Too Well.”

“She captures that trauma of running through a forced playback of all the memories of a past relationship, when you’re desperately trying to make sense of what went wrong,” he said. “That line, ‘And I was thinking on the drive down, any time now, he’s gonna say it’s love. You never called it what it was’ hits me in all the places.”

Jasmine MelodySwift was defended by a young 25-year-old, who told me via Twitter that her greatest heartbreaks came from short-term relationships that didn’t work out. She thinks that’s ultimately why they were so difficult to move on from.

“When you have a long, healthy relationship that just simply runs its course, you’re not left wondering what could’ve happened in the future, whereas if you have a short but very passionate relationship, you are always left wondering what could’ve been,” she said.

As emo boy John Keats famously put it, “Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard, are sweeter.”

Or, as Jess from Los Angeles at 27, said on Twitter, “It’s the potential ― we don’t see flaws, so it hurts the most.”

When I reached out to Jess ― who didn’t share her full name for privacy reasons ― about this story, she told me her most painful breakup was over a relationship that lasted three months, just like Swift’s.

“He spent two months telling me I was his soulmate and the love of his life and then his dad died and he wouldn’t let me support him,” she recalled, describing what sounds a whole lot like love bombing. “I went to see him and when he picked me up from the airport, he broke up with me.”

“I was blindsided because he spent the last two days saying any problems we would work through together,” she said. “It sucks. It hurts.”

Jess thinks that people who are being hypercritical of Swift don’t understand what it’s like to fall in love with someone without the benefit of seeing the more complicated, messy side of them — or the burgeoning issues that would inevitably destroy the relationship anyway.

“Incompatibility doesn’t show up for six to eight months typically, in my opinion,” she said.

With these quickie relationships, in the end, you’re mourning your ex, the future they may have sold you on, and the fantasy you projected onto them.

This is the brain of ghosting and lack thereof

If Swift’s lyrics in “All Too Well” are any indication, she didn’t get much of an ending with her ex.

If there is no closure, a person can struggle to end a relationship. Sarah Spencer NortheyWashington, D.C.-based relationship psychotherapist. It’s as fulfilling an end as you can get.

“Our culture seems to equate time spent together with the level of explanation and closure you deserve with a breakup,” she said. “But our brains don’t necessarily work like that.”

According to her, our brains have a wired tendency to find closure even for the most brief of relationships or romantic affairs.

Spencer Northey pointed at the Zeigarnik effect. First studied in the 1920s by Russian psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik, the psychological phenomenon is the tendency to remember unfinished business better or more through rose-colored glasses than something we’ve put to bed nicely and relatively patly.

“When we don’t get closure, we feel a bit crazy because our brains are kind of short-circuiting, desperate for a conclusion,” Spencer Northey said. “It’s why stories with cliffhangers and ambiguous endings stick with us longer. Our brain is desperate to complete the narrative.”

Ghosting is so awful because of the deep psychological need to be understood.

“Any time you share a deep experience, a day, or three months, the brain jazzes up to start wondering what happens next,” she said. “If the brain doesn’t get to know what happens next, it’s harder to stop thinking about it.”

Other Taylor-following therapists I spoke with said her relative youth when she wrote the song is important to consider: That’s because relationships in our teens and early 20s get stored in our still-developing, extremely neuroplastic brainDifferently and more clearly than people who are older in life.

There’s actually a term in psychology for why we dwell on and have such intense recollections of our teen and 20-something years, said Alexis BleichDr. Kip TherapyNew York City Therapy Group, It’s called the reminiscence bump.

“Some of it is because the brain pays special attention to novel or new memories and some of that is because the brain also focuses on memories that help us understand who we are ― both of which are frequent experiences during this time of life,” Bleich said.

It is because of this that it can feel so emotional evocative to remember driving in your brand-new car and listening to your favourite song as a teenager. Reminiscence bump makes people part of your personal narrative, regardless of whether you like it ― intrinsic, bold-named characters you would 100% bring up if prompted to write an autobiography. Reminiscence bump is why you can’t forget your ex. We are truly sorry for that!

“The idea of Taylor being this open about a three-month relationship is scary to a lot of people ― we’ve been trained to hide any sliver of vulnerability because it’s ‘undesirable’ to show that level of sensitivity and emotion.”

Ashe, 27, a Taylor Swift lover from Redondo Beach (California).

Reminiscence bump is probably why Ashe ― a 27-year-old from Redondo Beach, California, who didn’t share her full name for privacy reasons ― has such deep recall of a short relationship she had when she was 19, with a guy who was older than her, like Swift’s ― ahem ― mystery man. A decade later, there’s still part of her memory bank reserved for that ex and the “intense, almost primal” connection she had with him.

Although her friends never made Ashe feel that the length of their relationship was insignificant to her, she shies away when Ashe brings up her ex-partner with them.

“I have my own hesitancy to talk about how deep the love was because it was so short-lived,” she said over email. “It’s interesting because though the actual relationship was short, the love wasn’t. The love is still there. Not in a ‘I wish we were still together’ way, but in a ‘our love was real and it’s present and I feel lucky to carry it with me’ type of way.”

As for why Swift is getting dragged for putting such a common experience out there, Ashe thinks it speaks to our current dating culture: We’re forever in the “talking stage” or “just hanging out stage” of things, and it’s deeply uncool to care so much and be earnest about someone we like.

“The idea of Taylor being this open about a three-month relationship is scary to a lot of people ― we’ve been trained to hide any sliver of vulnerability because it’s ‘undesirable’ to show that level of sensitivity and emotion,” she said.

Minkema is the man who experienced a remarkable 72-hour-long relationship that was incredibly impactful. Now, Minkema has a lot to criticize a younger generation struggling to understand what it was to be young in love and somewhat dumb.

“I think the dismissiveness comes with age,” he said. “As we get older and those intense feelings and experiences are the size of ants in the rearview mirror, it’s really hard to go back to those feelings and relate to those emotions.”

There’s also a bit of misogyny bakedSwift was criticised for his lyrics. album about his divorce. (An album that is intensely emotional, I should add. “Idiot Wind,” anyone?) Or, Marvin Gaye did it. Oder, Nas did it and he even posed with his ex-wife Kelis’ green wedding gown on the album cover. Draaa-matic.

Leonard Cohen’s willingness to tell his story and have a kiss is not criticized by anyone. alleged one-night stand with Janis Joplin in “Chelsea Hotel.” But when Swift writes about her famous exes, she reliably gets the “crazy ex-girlfriend” treatment.

Swift could write her own stories and we would all be happier if that was possible. Most of us can recall a Swift-type experience from our past relationships, regardless of whether or not we are claiming it. You can luxuriate as long as you like in these vivid memories. (Or just for 10 minutes and 13 seconds ― “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version)” is a Great accompaniment, obviously.)

Source: HuffPost.com.

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