Make some room for another Ex-Boyfriend Prayer Candle, folks: Taylor Swift and One Direction’s Harry Styles have broken up. Apparently, they had a big fight on New Year’s Day and flew to the British Virgin Islands for a vacation together, but Swift left early and now they’re through.
Now, something that I did not actually realize until I was reading about this just today: Swift is 23 and Styles is only 18. First of all, I had no idea she and I were the same age; when somebody writes a song with a title that starts with the words, “We Are Never, Ever, Ever–” you kind of assume they’re leaning toward the younger side. Second, as much as I personally think it’s a bit odd to date somebody who’s practically in high school while in your twenties, I also find it interesting that Swift seems to not fall into typical celebrity dating conventions.
When it comes to age gaps, let’s be honest: a huge percentage of Hollywood relationships involve an older male and a younger female. Obviously, not everyone is a child bride a la Stodden, but it’s on the rarer side to find famous men who are dating famous older women (thus why it’s always a huge deal, like with Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher). Not only is she dating somebody younger that she, but she’s also dating quite a few people for short spans of time. Again, there are plenty of famous men who are serial daters, but it’s much rarer to find a woman who will continuously date new people. Of course, because she’s not John Mayer, she gets called “unlucky-in-love” — because, naturally, all women who date several men are exclusively trying to find love versus just attempting to have a good time.
I may not love Taylor Swift, and I may think she’s a bit out of touch at times, but it’s genuinely nice to see a famous young woman, one who’s widely considered to be a “good role model” for other, younger women, have multiple relationships for short spans of time and not feel ashamed of that fact. As a big proponent of trying lots of different experiences — especially when it comes to dating — I’m increasingly thinking she’s a better role model than I originally wrote her off to be.