Hi friends! Taylor Swift recently re-recorded and re-released her album “Red (Taylor’s Version)” in an effort to regain ownership of her own music. On this album, a 10-minute version was included of the infamous song “All Too Well.” I am not claiming to be a die-hard fan or a “swiftie.” I have always had so much respect for her and listened to a few of her popular songs; however, I have gained more admiration for her music after listening to this song. This song subtly raises awareness for unhealthy relationships. Especially, considering this song is about her unhealthy relationship with Jake Gyllenhaall. As a person who has experienced two unhealthy relationships in my lifetime, I relate to a lot of the lyrics. I believe that the majority of people who endured the same experience could agree with me. I will be pointing out lyrics that best demonstrate what an unhealthy relationship is like.
- “Time won’t fly, it’s like I’m paralyzed by it; I’d like to be my old self again; But I’m still trying to find it” : This line shows how traumatic experiences permanently impact and shape your life. I am not the person that I used to be prior to my unhealthy relationships. I used to be extremely outgoing, confident, and energetic. I am now way more reserved (at least until I trust you enough to open up to you), insecure, and dulled down. There is nothing wrong with not being the person you used to be. The healing process is long. It has been over a year now, but I still do not feel like all of the damage has been fixed. I am surely happier and stronger than I was but there are still parts of my life that I miss.
- “He’s gonna say it’s love; you never called it what it was”: People always assume that people cannot be heartbroken by unofficial connections ending. That isn’t true, I would even argue that it hurts just as much as official relationships ending. When you have feelings for someone and they don’t reciprocate those feelings enough to commit to you, it hurts deeply. You start to wonder if something is wrong with you, and you begin to question your worth. You constantly think about why the person did not love you or want to commit to you.
- ‘But I’m in a new hell; every time you double-cross my mind”: Reliving the memories surely scar you the most. There are so many times where I go to a place and think “Oh [x] happened here when I was with [x]” or “I got to do [x] with [x] back then” or whatever. It is like “hell” as Taylor says. It is so triggering at times, but you just have to face the pain every time it happens. It gets easier as time goes on, but you will never forget these moments.
- “Cause there we are again in the middle of the night; We’re dancin’ ’round the kitchen in the refrigerator light; Down the stairs, I was there; I remember it all too well”: I think this is a good line because it shows that there are good moments in every relationship. To be frank, I am not saying that you should stay in an unhealthy relationship because of the good moments. However, people don’t understand that the good moments are what makes it so hard for people to remove themselves from unhealthy relationships. Everyone is so quick to say, “break up with them,” “leave them,” etc., but may not realize how love can blind someone who is experiencing this. Unhealthy relationships constantly go back and forth between having good and bad moments. That is what makes the relationship unhealthy in the first place.
- “You who charmed my dad with self-effacing jokes”: This line discusses how someone could be so charming to everyone else surrounding you but be such a hurtful person to you behind closed doors. Nobody knew what was happening to me because my previous partners were so good at upholding an act in front of my friends and family. You would not be able to tell that I was hurting from the outside. This is why you should always check up on your friends and family because you may never know what they’re going through.
- “You said if we had been closer in age, maybe it would’ve been fine; And that made me want to die”: In modern society, people do not see how there can be a problem with a large age-gap in a relationship. People always say, “as long as you’re legally an adult, you can do whatever you want” or ‘age is just a number.” While those statements are true, it can invalidate the experiences of young girls who were manipulated by older men. It can be so easy for an older man to convince a younger girl “Oh, I’m older than you and I have had more life experiences than you so trust me” which allows them to do something shitty to them. I’m not saying to not date someone who is older than you but be cautious as well as aware.
- “After three months in the grave”: A lot of people are hating on Taylor Swift for being so heartbroken over a relationship that lasted only three months. What people do not understand is that sometimes the shortest relationships are the most toxic. So much can happen in a time span of three months. One of my past relationships was only five months yet I was hurt in unimaginable ways. You truly do not understand until you find yourself experiencing the same exact thing.
- “And you call me up again just to break me like a promise; So casually cruel in the name of bein’ honest”: This line shows how unhealthy relationships can exhaust you, tear you apart and ‘break” you. I also like how Taylor Swift brings up promises as well in these lyrics. Obviously, there are promises made in relationships and a lot of the time, those promises are, unfortunately, not kept. Your partner can promise you in the beginning to always love you and always care for you yet end up hurting you in the end. It’s confusing but the way of life unfortunately.
Please listen to Taylor Swift’s re-released album, “Red (Taylor’s Version).” I hope you can learn things from these songs and relate your own experiences to them like I did. Thank you for reading!