When news first broke that Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston were dating, admittedly, I was shocked. Like the rest of the world, I couldn't believe she was kissing the internet's boyfriend on random rocks in Rhode Island. Regardless of whether fans wanted the British star all for themselves, #Hiddleswift began. And by "began," I mean the couple really went for it. They traveled the globe, spent 4th of July weekend together, and met one another's parents. Swift and Hiddleston may have had a whirlwind romance, but that doesn't make it any less legitimate. The end of their relationship has become a punchline, which isn't just unfair — it's insensitive.
(When reports that they broke up came out, Bustle reached out to reps for Swift and Hiddleston for comment. Hiddleston's rep told Bustle that he does not comment on his client's personal life; we have not yet received a response from Swift's rep.)
To start off, I understand that Swift isn't everyone's favorite person right now. After the whole Kim Kardashian and Kanye West incident, she had a bit of a fall from grace. In other words, people realized her picture-perfect reputation might have some cracks in it. Yet despite that, she's kept her head down and moved forward. Staying true to wanting to be "excluded from this narrative," she skipped the MTV Video Music Awards and served jury duty instead. Just because she's had a rough summer, that doesn't mean people shouldn't have sympathy during her heartbreak. Why kick her while she's down? By mocking the length of Hiddleswift's relationship, it belittles her experience and makes an already upsetting situation even worse.
Sure, three months is not the longest time for a couple to be together. Hiddleswift isn't going to win a Guinness World Record or anything. But while it wasn't years or decades, it was still something. When you think about it, a ton can happen in that time. Three months is how long the entire summer lasts or how long fans usually have to wait for new Pretty Little Liars episodes. In those instances, months feel like a lifetime.
Further proving that a lot can happen in a short period, consider the timeline of The Bachelor and its subsequent spinoffs — The Bachelorette and Bachelor In Paradise. The most recent season of BiP was filmed in only 18 days, according to Reality Steve. Yet by the end of the show, three couples became engaged and are planning to spend the rest of their lives together. The show itself is an extreme, condensed version of dating, but that doesn't mean those feelings aren't real. Look at Jade and Tanner from last season of Bachelor in Paradise. They may have filmed Season 2 in a reported three weeks, but this pair formed the foundation to a solid marriage.
Similar to contestants on The Bachelor, Swift is dating in the spotlight; it's a whole different ball game. She has the money to spend on extravagant dates or travel plans. She also deals with cameras in her face 24/7. Just because she's a celebrity, that doesn't mean it's all a ploy for attention or any less real. In fact, Swift's relationship with Hiddleswift was easily the most public she has ever been with a guy — so much so that it sparked all those conspiracy theories. Her behavior was so unlike herself that people believed there had to be some other explanation. But what message does it spread if the one time she puts herself out there, it blows up in her face? She's young and should be able to have fun and embrace her feelings.
Sure, Hiddleston wearing that "I <3 T.S." tank top felt like he was trolling everybody, but the opposite is a possibility too. They could've been so swept up in their love that they were making the most of it. That's no reason to dismiss or diss what they had. After all, Hiddleston told The Hollywood Reporter in July, "The truth is that Taylor Swift and I are together, and we're very happy... That's the truth. It's not a publicity stunt."
When Swift dated Harry Styles, their relationship only spanned the course of two months, but that time was enough to impact both of them and spark several songs. So, why are some relationships considered legit and others not so much? The reaction to Hiddleswift's breakup is reminiscent of what happened when Kardashian married Kris Humphries for 72 days. Like Swift, she became the butt of jokes. I'd have to imagine dealing with a public breakup is worse than the average person's (which is already awful), so it's unfair to diminish their feelings.
Let's stop relationship-shaming T. Swift once and for all. Just because she broke up with a guy, it doesn't mean it was for attention or that an album will soon follow. But hey, if it does, it'll probably be a great one. Maybe it'd even silence critics who say there weren't any real feelings involved.