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Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn: A full timeline of their relationship

It was thought that Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn would one day say, “I do,” but the notoriously private pair ultimately went their separate ways in April 2023 after more than six years together.

Here is a breakdown of the Grammy-winning singer and the British actor’s love story:

When they met

Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn attended the 2016 Met Gala separately. Getty

Fans believe that Swift and Alwyn first crossed paths when they attended the 2016 Met Gala separately. At the time, the singer was dating Calvin Harris, but he did not attend the event with her.

Swift seemingly alluded to the theory in her 2017 song “Dress,” in which she sings the lyrics, “Flashback when you met me / Your buzzcut and my hair bleached.” At the gala, where the theme was “Manus X Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology,” the actor notably attended with a shaved head, while Swift showed up with a bleach-blond bob.

To this day, Swift has never confirmed the lyrics were about Alwyn.

Putting on a show

The duo kept their relationship on the low at first. Hewitt /

After Swift and Harris broke up in the summer of 2016, she and Alwyn raised eyebrows when they were seen attending the same private Kings of Leon concert in October of that year.

At the time, a video on a fan account showed Alwyn leaving the New York City venue where Swift was also at with her pals Dakota Johnson, Martha Hunt, Cara Delevingne and Lily Donaldson. It’s unclear whether they interacted during the show.

Breaking news

They were reportedly wearing disguises to hide their relationship. Edward Opi /

The Sun was the first to report in May 2017 that Swift and Alwyn had been secretly dating for months.

A source told the outlet at the time that she flew to visit the England native “via private jets, and her security has made it a military-like mission to prevent her from being seen.”

The source added that they both used disguises to keep the news of their relationship a secret.

Swift previously had very high-profile relationships with Harris, Tom Hiddleston, Jake Gyllenhaal and Harry Styles, among others, before retreating from the spotlight with Alwyn.

PDA at play

The duo, seen here in 2019, first showed PDA after the 2017 Jingle Ball. GC Images

While they were able to stay under the radar in the beginning, the duo were finally spotted showing some serious PDA in December 2017, further confirming their relationship.

They were photographed holding hands after Swift’s performance at Z100’s Jingle Ball. Then in March 2018, they looked very cozy while on a hike in Malibu.

A witness told Page Six at the time that they “seemed very intimate and deep in conversation – despite having her bodyguard trailing 20 feet behind them.”

That May, Swift serenaded Alwyn during the first show of her “Reputation” tour.

Confirmation station

Alwyn eventually confirmed they were dating during an interview but remained private about any details. Best Image / BACKGRID

In August 2018, the duo gave a glimpse into their relationship when they both posed in front of the same cactus in photos posted to their respective Instagram accounts.

A month later, Alwyn finally confirmed he was dating the country-turned-pop superstar but stayed mum on any details.

“I’m aware people want to know about that side of things,” the actor told British Vogue. “I think we have been successfully very private, and that has now sunk in for people … but I really prefer to talk about work.”

Lyrical love

Swift’s 2019 album, “Lover,” is believed to tell the full story of her relationship with Alwyn, from her song “Cruel Summer,” which seems to allude to the early stages and having “no rules,” to the title track, in which they seem to become official as she croons, “This is our place, we make the rules.”

She closed out the album with “Daylight,” in which she suggests that she found the one with the lyrics: “I don’t want to look at anything else now that I saw you / I don’t want to think of anything else now that I’ve thought of you / I’ve been sleeping so long in a 20-year dark night, and now I see daylight.”

Engagement rumors swirl

Rumors started swirling in 2020 that they got engaged. 247PAPS.TV /

In January 2020, the couple first sparked engagement rumors when Swift wore a massive diamond ring on her left hand in her Netflix documentary, “Miss Americana.” Fans later believed the pair had actually tied the knot after she wore a wedding dress in her “Willow” music video.

However, Alwyn addressed the chatter in April 2022 in an interview with WSJ. Magazine, saying, “The truth is, if the answer was yes, I wouldn’t say, and if the answer was no, I wouldn’t say.”

Public comment

Swift spoke about her relationship with Alwyn and how they navigate dating in the public eye during an October 2020 interview with Paul McCartney in Rolling Stone, though she did not mention him by name.

“I think that in knowing him and being in the relationship I am in now, I have definitely made decisions that have made my life feel more like a real life and less like just a storyline to be commented on in tabloids,” she said at the time. “Whether that’s deciding where to live, who to hang out with, when to not take a picture — the idea of privacy feels so strange to try to explain, but it’s really just trying to find bits of normalcy.”

She added, “That’s what that song ‘Peace’ is talking about. Like, would it be enough if I could never fully achieve the normalcy that we both crave?”

Cat’s out of the bag

Alwyn shared with his Instagram followers that he was quarantining with Swift during the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020.

Alwyn posted a photo of the singer’s cat Benjamin Button hiding inside a cardboard box and in a paper bag, confirming that he and Swift were enjoying lockdown together.

Swift has two other cats who were not seen in photos named Olivia Benson and Meredith Grey.

Award-winning boyfriend

Swift gave a rare look into her relationship with Alwyn when she thanked him during her acceptance speech at the 2021 Grammy Awards, where she took home Album of the Year for “Folklore.”

“Joe, who is the first person that I play every single song that I write,” Swift said, adding, “And I had the best time writing songs with you in quarantine.”

Alwyn co-write two songs on “Folklore,” “Exile” and “Betty,” under the pseudonym William Bowery. He also helped write the tracks “Evermore” and “Champagne Problems” on “Folklore’s” sister album, “Evermore.”

Conversations about her man

Alwyn opened up about how Swift is very supportive of his acting career, specifically his role in Hulu’s “Conversations with Friends,” in May 2022.

“I mean, [Taylor has] read the book and she loves the book, so she knows it,” the actor told “Extra,” referring to the sex scenes in the series. “[Taylor] just, like, couldn’t be a bigger fan of the project.”

Swift confirmed that she was behind her man’s involvement in the show by promoting “Conversations With Friends” on her Instagram Story.

“Can confirm it’s phenomenal,” she wrote.

Island kisses

Swift and Alwyn, seen here in 2020, rarely show PDA but shared a steamy makeout session while vacationing in the Bahamas in 2022. Photographer Group/MEGA

In another rare move, the couple were spotted locking lips while enjoying a romantic getaway in the Bahamas in June 2022.

The pair were believed to have been staying in Lenny Kravitz’s Airstream trailer.

It’s a love story

They reportedly kept their engagement a secret for months. BACKGRID

In June 2022, The US Sun reported that Swift and Alwyn had been secretly engaged for months and only told their inner circle about the news.

“Basically immediate family and trusted, very old friends,” a source told the outlet. “Everyone has been sworn to secrecy, too.”

Alwyn allegedly presented Swift with a “beautiful ring” that she only wears in private.

The source added, “They want their love to stay away from the cameras as much as possible. This is just for them. And if and when they do exchange vows, there most definitely won’t be any Vogue, Rolling Stone or Hello! magazines there.”

Neither Swift nor Alwyn have confirmed the report.

The love story ends

The pair called it quits in April 2023. GC Images

Swift kicked off her sold-out Eras Tour in March 2023, but fans couldn’t help but notice that one person was missing in the crowd — Alwyn.

A few weeks later, Page Six confirmed that the pair had called it quits after more than six years together.

“It wasn’t dramatic,” the source said. “[The relationship] just ran its course.”

The aftermath

Taylor Swift’s longtime publicist Tree Paine has slammed rumors that the singer secretly married her ex-boyfriend Joe Alwyn before their breakup. Getty Images for dcp

Seven months post-split, Swift and Alwyn were still making headlines for rumors they had secretly tied the knot before breaking up — and the singer’s publicist, Tree Paine, stepped in to set the record straight.

“Enough is enough with these fabricated lies about Taylor from Deuxmoi,” Swift’s rep wrote on X in November 2023. “There was NEVER a marriage or ceremony of ANY kind.

“This is an insane thing to post,” she continued. “It’s time for you to be held accountable for the pain and trauma you cause with posts like these.”

Jack Antonoff may have dropped a clue about Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn’s breakup timeline. Getty Images for The Recording Academy

That same month, fans speculated that the former couple had been on the rocks for years due to a hint from Jack Antonoff.

The Bleachers frontman revealed to his Instagram followers that he and Swift wrote “You’re Losing Me,” a breakup ballad believed to be about Alwyn, in December 2021.

The song, which debuted in May 2023, featured lyrics about the “final blow” in a relationship that wouldn’t “rise from the ashes” again.

Swift sings about the split

Swift sang about her breakup with Alwyn on her 2024 album, “The Tortured Poets Department.” Taylor Swift

Fans think Swift dedicated at least three songs to Alwyn. Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

In true Swift style, she seemed to address the breakup by singing about it on her album “The Tortured Poets Department,” released in April 2024.

Swifties theorized that the pop star included at least three songs about Alwyn: “So Long, London,” “LOML” and “I Can Do It With a Broken Heart.”

In “So Long, London,” Swift sings about saying goodbye to the British city where she and Alwyn lived for years.

“I left all I knew you left me at the house by the heath,” the lyrics read, seemingly referring to their private life there.

Swifties think “So Long, London,” “LOML” and “I Can Do It With a Broken Heart” were written about Alwyn. Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

The Grammy winner hasn’t confirmed who any of her “TTPD” songs are about. Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

Swift also alludes to the two not being able to settle on their future together in “LOML” when she sings, “You s–t-talked me under the table / Talking rings and talking cradles / I wish I could un-recall how we almost had it all.”

Finally, in “I Can Do It With a Broken Heart,” Swift recalls starting her Eras Tour right before Page Six confirmed that they had broken up.

“Lights, camera, bitch, smile / Even when you want to die,” she sings, before adding, “All the pieces of me shattered as the crowd was chanting, ‘More!’”

Alwyn breaks his silence

Alwyn addressed the breakup for the first time in June 2024. AFP via Getty Images

“I would hope that anyone and everyone can empathise and understand the difficulties that come with the end of a long, loving, fully committed relationship of over six and a half years,” he told the Times. Getty Images

Alwyn addressed the highly publicized split for the first time in an interview with the London Times published in June 2024.

“I would hope that anyone and everyone can empathise and understand the difficulties that come with the end of a long, loving, fully committed relationship of over six and a half years. That is a hard thing to navigate,” he told the outlet.

Alwyn admitted that their breakup was particularly “unusual and abnormal” because it was “suddenly in the public domain and the outside world is able to weigh in.”

“So you have something very real suddenly thrown into a very unreal space: tabloids, social media, press, where it is then dissected, speculated on, pulled out of shape beyond recognition,” he continued. “And the truth is, to that last point, there is always going to be a gap between what is known and what is said. I have made my peace with that.”

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