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The Relationship Mistake You Should Avoid According to Taylor Swift’s “exile”

The Relationship Mistake You Should Avoid According to Taylor Swift’s “exile”

Madel Asuncion

Posted at July 29, 2020


It’s already been a few days since Taylor Swift caught us all by surprise with the release of her 8th album folklore and singlehandedly saved the worst year ever. I was personally waiting for Lorde to do it, but, lo and behold, Ms. Swift took the reins and brought us a dreamy, take-me-back-to-my-Tumblr-days kind of nostalgia – a mood that we never knew we needed in these dire times.

And if you’re like me who never stopped listening to it since the clock stroke 12 noon on July 23rd, then I’m sure that you’ve already broken your heart way too many times over Taylor’s beautifully excruciating lyrics. She really has a way when it comes to reminding us of our old heartbreaks, doesn’t she? Like, okay, I’m completely over that person, but, you know what? Yeah, there was a time when I’d say that it would’ve been fun if he would’ve been the one. Ya feel me?

But the one song that we really need to talk about is Taylor’s match-made-in-folk-heaven collab with Bon Iver. The track “exile” is a popular favorite among basically everyone in my Instagram Stories feed, and there’s little room to wonder why. Honestly, whatever Bon Iver touches will surely make you ache in all the right places like it’s 2011 all over again, so this shouldn’t come as a surprise.

In “exile,” Taylor and Justin Vernon sing about a relationship that seems to have run its course, with an ending that’s as predictable as your favorite sad indie movie. Some relate this track to Taylor’s “The Last Time,” a duet with Snow Patrol’s Gray Lightbody from the Red album, saying that if the relationship in that song had gone from worse to worst, then “exile” would be its parting soundtrack.


The imaginatively relateble lyrics (“You’re not my homeland anymore, so what am I defending?”) can really screw with one’s feelings. We’ve all had those moments when we feel like we’ve done everything we could, and there’s no saving the relationship that we’ve already lost – whether we’ve accepted it or not.
And in case you already have an allergic reaction to this feeling and you want to avoid it all costs in the future, then a closer look at Taylor’s words may teach you the very thing to watch out for when you find yourself in another relationship.

In the bridge, the lyrics that utterly disturbed me were, “You never gave me a warning sign (I gave so many signs)” and “All this time I never learned to read your mind (Never learned to read my mind.)” This part was probably the most captivating, musically speaking, as Taylor and Justin answer each other in beautiful poetic harmony. But, honestly, I’m just like, “Sis, I love you, but this is literally why you two are breaking up.”

I’ve had my fair share of heartbreaks, and I’ve learned that one of the most important things in making a relationship work is – wait for it – communication. So all that mind-reading and waiting-for-signs crap is your one-way ticket to Splitsville or Toxic City. Don’t romanticize that, I’m tellin’ ya.

Your partner is not meant to guess what’s on your mind when you’re having a hard time. The danger lies right there – when you expect them to be that “soulmate” who will always know exactly what’s in your head and become the missing piece that will magically complete your brokenness. Real love is not about finishing each other’s sandwiches sentences. It’s all about being aware when things go wrong, taking the responsibility of telling the other person what bothers you, and openly fixing the problem together.

Romanticism may have conditioned you to find someone who will understand you without having to say a single word. But, I’m here to tell you that that’s the worst advice ever, and you should wake the hell up from your fairytale idea of what a partner should be. Be real, take matters into your own hands, communicate your needs, and allow the other person to journey along with you without having to guess where you’re going.

I’m sure that Present Taylor would agree, knowing that she’s already found herself a real lover these days. And that’s the kind of ending to a film that we all like, isn't it?

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