Taylor Swift is known for writing songs about relationship misfortunes. She gets a lot of backfire about this, but that’s the thing I like most about her lyrics. They’re relatable. As a female millennial, I’ve had many (too many) relationship/flirtationship mishaps, and ever since I first saw the music video for “Tim McGraw,” Taylor has been there for all of them.
I think anyone who’s ever dated me can tell you that I can be a bit needy when I’m in a relationship. I say this, not proudly, but not ashamed to own it and recognize it about myself. I like for my partner to adore me and tell me as much, and when they don’t, I assume that I’ve done something wrong and they’ve decided to move on from me.
Whether I’m in a relationship or in the midst of getting into one, it’s not uncommon for me to have bouts of relationship anxiety. If we’re at the flirting stage, I’ll get stressed about whether he’s flirting or seeing other people as well, and if he is, how do I measure up against them. During the early stages of dating, I’ll catch myself wondering if he actually likes me or not, and I’ll be worried about saying the wrong things. If I haven’t heard from him in awhile, I assume he’s lost interest
or gotten hit by a bus. Even in later stages of a relationship, I get anxiety about whether or not I want the relationship to last forever or when we’ll take the next steps to move in together or get a dog or get engaged. I have a form of social anxiety in general, but it’s at an especially all time high when it comes to romantic relationships.
I’ve gotten better about talking myself down when it comes to my irrational thinking in these situations. When my own words don’t work, I seek rationale from my closest friends, the ones that won’t hesitate to tell me I’m being silly and to stop worrying and creating problems that aren’t there. When that doesn’t work, I turn to my girl, Taylor, because honestly, she’s gotten me through all of my relationship follies. The reason she’s so popular is because her lyrics resonate with those of us who have experienced the good, the bad and the ugly of relationships. And for those of us with relationship anxiety, her words especially ring true.
From Cold As You:
“So I start a fight cause I need to feel somethin’.”
In the past, I’ve been known to be a bit of a relationship saboteur. If I’m not getting any attention from my boyfriend, I’ll start a pointless little tiff just to create some heat in the relationship and make him pay attention to me. Unhealthy behavior, I know, but now I can recognize when I’m doing it (or tempted to do it) and stop myself before things get out of hand.
From Tied Together with a Smile:
“And no one knows that you cry, but you don’t tell anyone that you might not be the golden one. And you’re tied together with a smile, but you’re coming undone.”
Having people see me as a happy person is very important to me, so these lyrics especially resonate with me. I’ve been known to let things pile up before I can
tearfully get things off of my chest. When I become more comfortable in a relationship, this problem usually ceases to exist because I get to the point where I’m able to express myself more often and in a healthier way, but at the beginning, I tend to pick my battles and plaster on a smile even when I don’t really want to. The anxiety kicks in when I expect him to be able to read my mind and know when I’m upset even when I’m smiling. I’m what’s wrong with society.
From Teardrops On My Guitar:
“So I drive home alone. As I turn out the light, I’ll put his picture down and maybe get some sleep tonight.”
“And all I think about is how to make you think of me and everything we could be.”
I’m guilty of liking people more than they like me. I don’t see this as a bad thing. I’m proud of my big heart, and I love making people feel loved, but sometimes this does weigh on me. Anyone with relationship anxiety knows that a little reassurance goes a long way. It’s just nice for your significant other to make it a point to let you know that they’re thinking of you and to show it in a sweet way.
From Forever & Always:
“Was I out of line? Did I say something way too honest, made you run and hide like a scared little boy?”
This has always been one of my favorite Taylor Swift lyrics because it speaks to me so much. I’m a chronic over-sharer, and I’m very aware of it. I fear that when I share too much of myself or I’m too honest about how I feel that the other person will run scared. My anxiety has me testing the waters and seeing how he reacts to certain things I say about myself or listening intently when he speaks about things he doesn’t like about certain people or mishaps he’s experienced in past relationships, hoping that I don’t possess any of those qualities.
From Come in with the Rain:
“I’ve got you down. I know you by heart, and you don’t even know where I start.”
From Other Side of the Door:
“I said “Leave,” but all I really want is you to stand outside my window throwing pebbles screaming “I’m in love with you.””
From Other Side of the Door:
“Me and my stupid pride are sitting here alone, going through the photographs, staring at the phone. I keep going back over things we both said, and I remember the slamming door and all the things that I misread.”
I’ve been guilty of overanalyzing a situation or completely misinterpreting things resulting in a disagreement. I’m a very proud person, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten better with admitting fault and apologizing first.
From You’re Not Sorry:
“And you got your share of secrets, and I’m tired of being last to know.”
From The Last Time feat. Gary Lightbody:
“And all the times I let you in, just for you to go again.”
From The Moment I Knew:
“And it was like slow motion, standing there in my party dress in red lipstick with no one too impress.”
There’s nothing worse than celebrating something and your partner not being able to be there for it, especially when they’ve committed to being there. Heartbreaking.
From I Almost Do:
“I bet it never ever occurred to you that I can’t “Hello” to you and risk another good-bye.”
From Dear John:
“Well maybe it’s me and my blind optimism to blame or maybe it’s you and your sick need to give love then take it away.”
I can relate to these words so much, especially the “blind optimism” bit. I’ve been known to see the positive side of most situations. I go into relationships immediately trusting the other person and seeing only the good in them. Admittedly, I can be naive. All that said, I like that about myself. I wouldn’t date someone if I thought it would crash and burn and blow up in my face. I would rather go into a relationship seeing the good and hoping for the best, but when the anxiety creeps in, I fear that all of the optimism will be for not.
From The Story of Us:
“A simple complication. Miscommunications lead to fall out. So many things that I wish you knew. So many walls up I can’t break through.”
“Come on. Come on. Don’t leave me like this. I thought I had you figured out. Something’s gone totally wrong. You’re all I wanted.”
“Haunted” continues to be one of my favorite songs by Taylor Swift because I can relate so many of my relationship follies to it. So many times I’ve thought I knew so much about a person only to have the rug pulled from under me.
From Last Kiss:
“All that I know is I don’t know how to be something you miss.”
Again, this relates back wanting to be reminded that you’re being thought of. I could spend all day thinking about someone, wanting to text or call or snap them, but not wanting to be that overbearing girlfriend. All the while hoping that they’ll show they’re missing me by sending something my way. This is incredibly unhealthy, and if my relationship anxiety has taught me anything, it’s that relationships, romantic and otherwise, are a two-way street.
From I Wish You Would:
“I wish you would come back. Wish I’d never hung up the phone like I did. I wish you knew that I’d never forget you as long as I love. And I wish you were right here, right now.”
“Didn’t it all seem new and exciting? I felt your arms twisting around me. It’s all fun and games till somebody loses their mind.”
This. This right here. At the beginning of a relationship, everything feels all bright and shiny and perfect then out of nowhere, something comes in and changes everything. Asking yourself rhetorical questions and creating scenarios in your mind is such a big trigger for creating relationship anxiety. It’s important not to look at what could be and focus on what is.
How do you deal with relationship anxiety?