The difference between a boy and a man

Every now and then I’ll listen to the radio when I’m not in the mood for any of the playlists on my phone, so when a Taylor Swift song comes on, I shut up and listen. Sure, I have all of the ninety-something songs by her in my iTunes library, but when she comes on the radio, it’s like my special magic eightball. Because I don’t get to decide what song or when it plays, whenver I flip through stations and hear her by chance, I treat it as if it’s a direct message from Taylor herself that I need to hear these lyrics. Some how, in some way, if dissected enough, it must be relevant to me and I need to listen.

Last night on my way to Kroger for a pizza roll run, Blank Space came on and I immediately  thought of something Taylor said in an interview that should be in the back of all college-aged girls’ minds.

“I was thinking about this — boys only want love if it’s torture and a constant chase. Men want love if it’s real, right, healthy and consistent,” she said. “Any girl who’s really thought a lot about romance and relationships and break-ups has determined that the male species has divided into two groups — and it’s boys and men.”

That quote stuck with me, and she reminds me of this with every listen to Blank Space. It’s a silly song that satirizes the media’s perception of her reputation, but she’s completely right.

I’m young and clearly not a ring-by-spring girl, but I still carry those lines with me everywhere I go. Anytime a relationship goes south, I think to myself, well I can’t say she didn’t warn me. 

Boys play games. I don’t think Taylor’s saying a real, honest relationship is easy, but there aren’t any games involved. There is no “he waited an hour to text me back so I’m going to wait and hour and a half.” There isn’t any “well we aren’t technically dating so I can’t be upset if I notice him with somebody else.” There is no fuzzy line between friend and girlfriend–it’s either one or the other.

If you find yourself playing the “are we a couple?”, “the silent treatment” or “the put on layaway” game, leave. Chasing after your crush on the playground in elementary school was fun, but playing catch-me-if-you-can when you’re older is plain sad.

“You can have a 40-year-old boy and a 20-year-old man — it depends on their emotional DNA. I have so much love in my life without having a love affair in my life. I think it’s important to find romance and magic in your life without there being a relationship that constitutes that.”

It’s not necessarily just boys and men; it could be replaced with girls and women and still be true. Succumbing to playing games with someone is like settling for McDonald’s because you don’t want to wait in the Chick-fil-A line. Wait for an original chicken sandwich with pickles and a lemonade instead of accepting oddly shaped chicken nuggets and fries with the shelf life of ten years.

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