Two things happened to my youngest daughter this fall — she started sitting in the front seat of the car and she developed a taste for the music of Taylor Swift. You can see where this is going, I’m sure. Every weekend we drive around and I listen almost exclusively to the biggest pop star in the world. Unlike other people in my family, I have no strong feelings about Taylor. Except this one: I want her to get married soon.

Swift, who is 33, has been dating in the public eye for the better part of 15 years. When she started going out with Travis Kelce a few months ago, a number of magazines helpfully offered a timeline of all her relationships, from Joe Jonas to Matty Healy. As a piece in Cosmopolitan magazine put it, Swift has been criticized for writing songs about her boyfriends, but “without Taylor’s openness and honesty about her romantic life and exes, we wouldn’t have some of her best lyrical work.”

Of course, it can’t be easy having your love life be the subject of so much scrutiny. And maybe some pain is necessary to produce great art. But it’s also not easy being in relationship after relationship, particularly those that last a long time. Just listen to Swift’s song “All Too Well” (the 10-minute version, of course):

And you call me up again just to break me like a promise

So casually cruel in the name of being honest

I’m a crumpled up piece of paper lying here

‘Cause I remember it all, all, all

Too well

Time won’t fly, it’s like I’m paralyzed by it

I’d like to be my old self again

But I’m still trying to find it.

To be romantically involved with someone for more than a year — as Swift was with both Calvin Harris and Joe Alwyn — is to let yourself become vulnerable, to start to see your couplehood as potentially permanent, to depend on someone else for emotional fulfillment, to assume that the other person feels the same way. It is hard after long-term relationships to become your old self again. Indeed, maybe you never will. 

For women, in particular, there is no way around this. We are biologically programmed to form attachments more easily than men, and we tend to be more devastated when those attachments end. Obviously Swift doesn’t have the dating problems that most 30-something women do. She certainly doesn’t have to worry about taking care of herself financially. And it’s not like there isn’t a steady stream of men out there who would be happy to pick up where the last one left off.

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But she still might be interested to know that women with more sexual partners before marriage are more likely to divorce and women who wait until after age 32 to marry are also more likely to divorce. Training yourself to see even relationships that last years as impermanent seems to impact the way you view marriage. 

Also, despite having achieved almost superhero status, Swift does have a biological clock. She has said in interviews that she doesn’t want to get asked about having kids because no one asks men those questions. I’d be fine with asking men those questions, but frankly women are on a tighter timeline. If you get to be 33 without having settled on a partner, it’s going to be harder to get pregnant as the years go by. And Swift seems to be from a happy, loving family and continues to have a good relationship with them. Her parents both managed to work and care for their children.

It was reported while she was dating Alwyn that the couple discussed having children. But even if she doesn’t want children, a nice long marriage — à la Dolly Parton’s — would be lovely and add to her satisfaction with life.

In August 2016, Parton released an album called “Pure & Simple,” which was dedicated to her husband of more than a half century, Carl Thomas Dean. “I was just trying to think about all the different colors of love through the years,” Parton explained during an interview with Rolling Stone, before adding, “I’m dragging him kicking and screaming into the next 50 years.”

Truthfully, of course, I’m being selfish. I want my daughters and all the other Swifties out there to see marriage as a logical step in adulthood. I want them to know that even as they experience the heartbreak of youth — which is both inevitable and tragic — that there is light at the end of this tunnel. We don’t have to be perpetually stuck in a cycle of romantic love and loss. There is a better way. 

Naomi Schaefer Riley is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Deseret News contributor and the author of “No Way to Treat a Child: How the Foster Care System, Family Courts, and Racial Activists Are Wrecking Young Lives,” among other books.