The Danger of Dating an Artist: The Case of Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift

According to most of my cool kid friends it’s not OK to admit that you appreciate the musical genius of Taylor Swift. So, basically I am committing social suicide by admitting that Taylor Swift’s 1989 album was what got me through an epic break-up, where I spent days driving around Cape Town with tears streaming down my face while blasting ‘Shake it Off’ on a rude boy sound system. At some point, I felt that every single song on that album was written about my life (a lot of the tracks are about girls who wear pretty dresses and fall in love with bad boys).

But I am not here to convince you to go buy her music. Taylor Swift doesn’t really need any more fans. She is probably more successful than those more socially acceptable artists anyway. I do however wish people would stop hating on her so much and be grateful that she (like yours truly in these blog posts) uses her real life experiences to enhance the quality of her songs. Love her or hate her, she really is putting herself out there to do a service to humanity by letting all those brokenhearted teenage girls and 20-somethings (I’m not quite 30 yet;)) know that they are not alone in their tumultuous journey in search of true love.

Anyway the real reason I am blogging about Taylor Swift is I think her case provides a good insight into the dangers of dating an artist who’ll prioritise their craft over a fleeting ‘love’ affair. Taylor has become famous for using her experiences with past boyfriends as inspiration for her music (The John in ‘Dear John’ is said to be about John Mayer and ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back’ together was supposedly about Jake Gyllenhaal). It’s even rumoured that her latest beau Calvin Harris has made her sign some non-disclosure agreement stating that she won’t refer to their relationship in a future song.

Haters may hate on this approach as immature (even on the verge of sinking (relation) ship type behaviour) but I believe that there really is some credibility that comes with drawing on personal experiences in your work. From the outset, when my esteemed colleague #zlotybaby and I started this blog we made it clear that we would be sharing real-life dating stories (without explicitly revealing the identities of the men/boys we’d dated). Furthermore I’ve never hidden the fact this blog exists from any of my Tinder boys (it’s part of a clever marketing strategy to get more followers). Yet on more than one occasion I’ve faced a backlash from these poor rejected souls, with the most recent saying (and I quote): ‘you are ugly, presumptuous and no one will EVER marry you’. Cheers dude, you just gave me more excellent blog matter. Love it.

To conclude, there are risks when it comes to dating any sort of artist. The way in which an ‘artist’ expresses themselves might be the very thing that draws you to them in the first place but you need to understand that you may simply end up as part of their story.  If you want to date safe, go find yourself a doctor (although they may have access to some drugs that could be used to kill you) or a rocket scientist (might blow you up or something). Appreciate an artist’s honesty, understand love is a dangerous game and that there are risks associated with everything/everyone we do. And if you find that you provide some inspiration for a song/blog post be happy and use it to  boost your fragile ego instead of crying like a mama’s boy.

Over to you now Rinsers… Give us your thoughts on the Taylor Swift approach. Is it unethical to share one’s personal experiences of love/dating in the public domain? Or is it fine as long as you are open with the other party from the get go? Answers in the comments below.


  1. It maybe unethical to put your business out there like that Tayloe Swift isn’t the first artist that does that and nor will she be the last. It is no different dating a best selling or least selling writer and you break up you become a story for them to write about. The thing that gets me about Swift and others is how many people the run through in such a short time frame and how quickly relationships end…Maybe she likes the thought of relationships but doesn’t work hard at it and moves on to the next .

    Liked by 3 people

    • I don’t believe putting your stories out there is unethical really. Its as much her story as it is his. I don’t think I am wrong to share my experiences with the tinderverse here on RinseBeforeUse….it’s obvious that these are my stories from my perspective. I thing the key thing is that I am being respectful enough to disguise the identities of the characters in my story and I even go a step further by letting them know that I have a blog from the get go… so if at the end of the day, they happen to vaguely see themselves in some story, they shouldn’t really lose it. Plus, as in the case of Taylor’s man friends, there is nothing stopping these people from also using their art to give us a taste of their music. As long as their blog/songs were entertaining, I think its fair game…

      E.g. There were plenty of male versions that responded to Beyonce’s song ‘Irreplaceable’.

      Oh and as for you comment about how quickly she moves on from one guy to the next…she is still young let her have her fun, chasing stories and LOLs makes the task of searching for Prince Charming that little bit more bearable.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yup, I don’t think we need to spell it out for our readers. These blogs are our personal opinions which have been shaped by our experiences and things that others have shared with us. And although these accounts aren’t unbiased they are still valuable. There are two sides to every story and as an artist we should be willing to hear the other party out, even if we don’t agree with them. These public forums also force us to be accountable for our actions and the opinions we put out there…so I am open to CONSTRUCTIVE criticism on my work from my Tinder Boys. But telling me I’m ugly isn’t going to make me get a face transplant (why was he dating an ugly girl in the first place?) and hating on my friends for having PhDs only serves to show his insecurities and that won’t send me running into his embrace 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Tell me something …what is about people that when they break up they resort to calling the person they just dated , slept with, kissed whatever with names like ugly or the bword etc. That never made sense to me. Anytime you call someone names that you chose to be with for some time it says a lot about you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ll never know. As you say, its say more about their taste in women, than it says about me.

        Last night I got a message from one old Tinder boy of mine who’d called me and my friends stupid, asking if we could meet up again when he visited Cape Town. What a joker.


      • Hmmm…

        Yes, I agree women, like men, give out mixed signals and we can be indecisive at times. But honestly, we are not the only ones.

        As for the good boy/bad boy things I’m learning things aren’t quite that simple. Even the ‘good’ boys have their downsides when you get to your 30s.

        The clothes – we can get dressed all sexy for ourselves (although, I admit its mostly for male attention). As for teasing, well that is part of the game. Once we’ve got your attention, we want to play the game on our terms. Exactly the same way, guys will be all nicey-nicey till they’ve got you under their spell, then they start with the game-playing.

        I agree with you about the whole compliments thing. If we wear something nice and a dude compliments you on it, take it like a lady and smile…no need to go all feminist on him. (Ugh, I hate feminists)

        The ‘What are we?’ question. I think its a sign of our times…everyone is afraid to commit and come off looking like a fool. The older we get the more guarded we are.

        But at the end of the day, people are complex and both parties give out mixed signals, not just us girls.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well since I already beat up the guys on Men – Man Up it was the girls turn to get attention. I guess the difference with me now was I wasn’t into playing games with anyone, and right off the bat I let them know what I was all about and what I was looking for and many of them eliminated themselves all expect…The One.:)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for the link. Its a great poem/letter. I agree that bloggers/Taylor Swift are using their art as a way of finding their voice. Some may argue we should just keep a diary but I think putting things out there in the public domain also forces us to be accountable for our views and also getting comments from others regardless of whether they are positive or negative force us to reevaluate our views on things. .

        Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly. Be careful with anyone you date. There are always risks though and the only to avoid such risks is to become a nun or a priest. It’s that my Tinder darlings can’t seem to comprehend this. I am very open about the fact that I like to blog and if they choose to say/do silly things I will use these stories to provide my readers with a good LOL.


  2. I think we all own our experiences and are entitled to tell our stories within a certain amount of privacy and respect for others of course. I write about my life and sometimes that involves people from my past. I never say their names or describe them in detail. They are merely a lady, a man, a clerk, a boss, or a boyfriend/my guy. Unless you know me personally and have a timeline on my life, you will not know who I am writing about. Sometimes I even write about character who is really a mix of my experiences with several people. And sometimes I write fiction that may be inspired by an event or person, but it is not even them exactly. Hence, it is fiction. I just recently started to blog in the last year, so I have only had one relationship since then. And, he has inspired many of blogs since we met. My first post on him, I let him read it before posting. He is a creative type and likes to write himself and was quite happy that I put my feelings onto paper/screen. So, now I write freely and he seems perfectly ok with that. Funny that you wrote about this though, I just touched on why I write about my past as well:

    Great post:) Keep up the blog and tell them boys to embrace all of you (writing and all) or they can move along and become a story. And like a picture I found said: You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the support, us artists need to stick together.

    These silly Tinder Boys are just sore losers. They are all OK with the blog, until they become part of it (or in some cases they read something written by #zloty baby, not me and see themselves in it and so lash out at me).

    I’ve never given out their names or too much revealing information but I have used direct quotes from them when they’ve said stupid things, and I think that’s fair enough. Noone likes rejection or being ridiculed. But seriously, if you’ve experienced some of the ridiculous behaviour I have from men, I feel I would be betraying my women folk if I didn’t share these stories.

    Looking forward to reading your post.


  4. I think that using your personal experiences for your art is just a natural thing. Where would you get ideas from otherwise? I know postmodernism had the idea of death of the author and all that but it’s actually just a bunch of crap and I think that anyone who creates forms of art knows that the author is very much alive in what they make. On the other hand, there’s a difference between using some elements of our private lives and pretty much having a diary out there. We have the right to talk about our experiences publicly, there’s no doubt about that, but sometimes we should think whether dealing with certain things should remain a private thing. After all, it can end up hurting people.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah I get what you are saying. But you’ve seen it as much as I have…even when we are not specifically talking about a particular person we’ve had instances where people have seen themselves in our writing and lost it. So sometimes you lose, either way.

      I think there is a difference between sharing the details of something that meant something and a fleeting Tinder romance. As much as I’ve probably taken things a bit too far on this blog, I also think it’s time for some of these blokes to MAN UP and stop crying like little girls 😉 and start seeing my constructive criticism as a good thing !

      Liked by 1 person

      • Of course! All I’m saying is that there’s a difference between withholding your views because you want to be a people pleaser and maybe saying cruel things that will hurt someone for the song writer’s entertainment and relief. Sometimes there’s a thin line between the two.


      • Yup yup. The world is also a cruel cruel place. And like I said to bklynboy59, the boys have every right to tell their side of the story as well…start their own blog/release their own song. All is fair in love and RINSING. Maybe this is just another case of men having to Man-Up !!!!

        Liked by 1 person

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