In 2016, Taylor Swift took a small break from music. But as a writer, I know there is no such thing as a break from inspiration. And so came about the song “Better Man,” penned by Ms. Swift and performed by the soulful Little Big Town.
T.Swizzle has done it again with her ever-relatable lyrics and “Omg are you hiding in my bedroom?” thought provoking message. Not everybody can relate to this kind of relationship directly, but for those of us who can, let’s all take a shot for coming out on the other side as the better half!
“I know I’m probably better off on my own than loving a man who didn’t know what he had when he had it…I know I’m probably better off all alone than needing a man who could change his mind at any given minute.”
It is so hard to come to terms with the fact that maybe you are better off single and without that guy, you claim to love. It takes days, weeks, or (like in my case) months to be truly honest with yourself about just how much you do not need him. You realize all of the bad things he has said or done all at once, and you realize how he has manipulated you into staying. You know it is all true, and the smartest decision would be to walk away, but each step forward is harder than the last. And with each step, you are praying that he will beg and plead with you to stay, that he will change.
“And I see the permanent damage you did to me; never again, I just wish I could forget when it was magic.”
One of the hardest parts of moving on from one relationship is the memories that remain. Your mind will remind you over and over again of the times when you were in love, the times that were worth it. But the scars will remain, too. As many times as you tell yourself that you are over him, that he doesn’t have a hold on you anymore, you will still feel the pain. When you start to move on, you won’t be able to help the comparisons. You won’t be able to stop judging side-by-side and telling yourself that he is different. Even when you find a good guy, you will be frightened of certain experiences and expressions.
“I’m hanging on every careless word hoping it might turn sweet again like it was in the beginning.”
Forgetting is the hardest part. How are you supposed to move on from all of the good memories? The first time you feel lonely you will want to reach out. To hear his voice, his laugh. In the beginning, he was always there for you, he was still trying to make you fall for him. He would take you out on dates and go out of his way to make you smile. You would sing together at the top of your lungs or cheer on your football team in freezing temperatures. The worst will be when you remember how sweet it was the first time he kissed you, the exact day and location and weather. And how he made your heart flutter. But don’t let yourself forget the times he made you feel like less than yourself. The times he used his words to make you cry. The times he told you that you were not enough, not funny enough, not smart enough, not beautiful enough. You don’t just forget those types of things, but you have to remind yourself that people don’t really change. That he is who he is and that’s probably who he’s always been.
“You’re talking down to me like I’ll always be around.”
There is a point in a relationship where you get so comfortable being with a person you just assume he/she will always be there. You’re no longer just boyfriend/girlfriend but you have become each other’s best friends. It’s not all honeymoon bliss and magical moments, but everyday interactions. You start to settle in. It’s hard to imagine a time when you won’t be in each other’s lives. So small, offhanded comments or rude remarks come with the territory. You figure that every fight will come with a makeup scene and life will go back to normal, so you don’t really pay attention to the little things you say that could hurt the other. Because you assume an apology will always be enough.
“You push my love away like you’re some kind of loaded gun. Boy, you never thought I’d run.”
As mentioned previously, he just assumes this will remain the normal and the “I’m so sorry,” will lead to forgiveness. Men don’t realize how strong women are when faced with independence.
“I gave you my best and we both know you can’t say that.”
What is it about girls putting their whole hearts into something and only getting half the effort in return? It seems so often we have our relationships at the forefront of our minds. Even when we are out with our friends or family or doing something entirely unrelated to the relationship, he somehow wedges his way into our thoughts. Girls give and forgive but guys just get and forget. We will go out of our way so many times and in so many different forms in order to help our men out, but they complain about texting back or spending time with us. Girls are so simple and easy to please, and we go at relationships wholeheartedly, and somehow that still isn’t enough.
But, there is one time I did not agree with this song.
“Sometimes in the middle of the night, I can feel you again. But I just miss you and I just wish you were a better man.”
I do not miss you. I do not wish you were a better man. I am happier without you than I ever as with you. I have truly moved on. There are scars that remain but there haven’t been feelings in a good while. I haven’t uttered the phrase “I miss you,” I do not still love you, and I am so glad you are who you are because after walking out your door the last time I finally discovered who I am without you.
People discredit Taylor Swift often by saying she dates around and cannot keep a man. But I am so incredibly thankful for her talent and her music. Without Taylor’s heart and words, the world would not have been graced with this beautiful song. And let’s be real, the world would have a little less glitter without her.