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October 19, 2010 01:25 PM

It’s never been a secret that Taylor Swift writes her songs about guys who come in and out of her life.

In fact, her new album, Speak Now, is filled with tunes about her last two years of relationship ups and downs, and she doesn’t hold back. “This is album number three, so I figure that these people have had fair warning,” the singer tells PEOPLE.

So is her new song “Dear John” – a biting ballad with lyrics about an older guy who “messed with” her. Could it be inspired by John Mayer?

The pair collaborated on a song together last year, and bonded over a dinner in Nashville in January.

When asked by PEOPLE if the song was about the singer, Swift, 20, widened her eyes and avoided answering the question.

PHOTOS: D’oh! John Mayer’s Top 5 Cringe-Worthy Moments

“A lot of times when people’s relationships end, they write an e-mail to that person and say everything that they wish they would have said,” she explains. “A lot of times they don’t push send.”

The message on “Dear John,” which is due out Oct. 25, includes lines such as “Don’t you think I was too young to be messed with” – Mayer is 33 – and “Maybe it’s you and your sick need to give love and take it away.”

“This was a tough one to write,” says Swift, “and I guess putting it on the album was pushing send.”

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