(Reuters) - Taylor Swift says her new album will be about an "absolute crash-and-burn heartbreak," prompting speculation in the media that the latest subject of her songwriting skills may be her short-lived 2010 crush on Jake Gyllenhaal.
Swift, 22, whose "Dear John" song was seen as a bitter ode to ex-boyfriend John Mayer, told Vogue magazine that she was working on her fourth album, and is currently single.
The country-pop crossover artist, who famously wears her heart on her songwriter's sleeve, said that writing about past loves is a way to ease the pain.
"There's just been this earth-shattering, not recent, but absolute crash-and-burn heartbreak and that will turn out to be what the next album is about," she told Vogue in a cover story for its February edition.
"The only way that I can feel better about myself -- pull myself out of that awful pain of losing someone -- is writing songs about it to get some sort of clarity," she said.
Swift dated "Brokeback Mountain" star Gyllenhaal for about three months in late 2010 before their much-photographed relationship ended suddenly around the Christmas holidays that year. U.S. celebrity magazines claimed that Gyllenhaal had ended the relationship because he was unhappy at the attention the couple was generating.
Swift told Vogue she did not feel like dating at the moment. "I really have this great life right now, and I'm not sad and I'm not crying this Christmas, so I am really stoked about that."
Asked whether she was crying last Christmas, Swift replied, "I am not gonna go into it! It's a sad story!"
Swift gave no details, but media speculation over whom she was talking about quickly fell on Gyllenhaal, her last known relationship.
The Grammy-winning young singer's previous romances with "Twilight" actor Taylor Lautner and singer Joe Jonas are widely thought to have inspired her songs "Back to December" and "Forever and Always".
"I think I am smart unless I am really, really in love, and then I am ridiculously stupid," she told Vogue. But she said she had learned some of the romantic pitfalls to avoid, including obsessive privacy.
"I can't deal with someone who's obsessed with privacy. People kind of care if there are two famous people dating. But no one cares that much. If you care about privacy to the point where we need to dig a tunnel under this restaurant so that we can leave? I can't do that," she said.
(Reporting By Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)