Taylor Swift is one of the most successful recording artists ever: Billboard places her chart successes in the all-time top ten and she also held the distinction of the youngest artist ever to win Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards, per Biography. For almost as long as Swift has been in the spotlight for her music, she’s also been in the spotlight for her high-profile relationships. Things can get pretty weird when dating Taylor Swift, and the publicity isn’t the half of it.
After a career in the tabloids, almost out of nowhere came news that Taylor Swift was dating actor Joe Alwyn. Up to that point, the British actor was relatively unknown, but even more surprising was the lack of news coverage surrounding the pair. With the two celebrities doing their best to hide their personal lives from the public eye, you can bet there have been some odd details about the couple. Here are strange things about Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn’s relationship.
Did Joe Alwyn know what he was walking into?
Sure, Joe Alwyn could walk into dating someone with a reputation, but this isn’t normal, what with Taylor Swift being one of the most publicly followed bachelorettes. Much internet ink has been spilled about Taylor Swift’s alleged and confirmed boyfriends prior to dating Joe Alwyn. Did she date actor Eddie Redmayne? As Redmayne said on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, definitely not. What about musical artist Calvin Harris? Absolutely, Cosmopolitan UK details.
Going further, these suitors are rumored to have been an inspiration for many of Swift’s most popular songs. The song « Forever and Always » off her album Fearless is about Joe Jonas, according to People. How about « We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, » her first Billboard #1 single? That’s likely about Jake Gyllenhaal, according to Rolling Stone. Ouch!
A number of songs on her seventh album, Lover, could easily be talking about her relationship with English actor Joe Alwyn. Songs like « London Boy » or « Paper Rings » (« I like shiny things, but I’d marry you with paper rings ») even have some fans spreading engagement rumors. Time will tell!
Joe Alwyn is secretive about their relationship
Joe Alwyn got his big break as an actor in 2016 playing the lead character in Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Halftime Walk. This was 10 years after Taylor Swift’s self-titled debut album, so there wasn’t a lot of natural fanbase crossover between the two. In an interview for Mr. Porter, Alwyn explains that he is a private person and still doesn’t consider himself famous, even after pairing up with Swift. He is however, an expert on not specifically answering any questions about relationship details. As he says, people out in public don’t just « spill their guts out to you, therefore why should I? »
According to an interview with Vogue UK, tabloids refer to Joe Alwyn as « Taylor Bae » but he still remains silent on any hints about his girlfriend. He understands why the public is interested in details, but he isn’t letting that sway him. In his words, « I think we have been successfully very private, and that has now sunk in for people. » Consider us still unsatisfied — we want more juicy details!
Taylor Swift is also tight-lipped
Taylor Swift is self-aware of the publicity that comes with her relationships, but she also doesn’t like seeing her supposed romances in the headlines. As Swift told Rolling Stone, she doesn’t like it when an article will say « Careful, Bro, She’ll Write a Song About You » because she feels it devalues her work. She goes on to explain how the high visibility of her life builds up so much pressure in a new relationship that it gets « snuffed out » before it can even begin.
It seems like she took her own advice to heart after having so many relationships constantly under public scrutiny, since Taylow Swift has played her match with Joe Alwyn completely low-key. Much like her boyfriend Alwyn, Swift seems to be an expert in deflecting any direct questions about their relationship. As she definitively told The Guardian, « Our relationship isn’t up for discussion. » She further explains how keeping her romantic life out of public discussion has led to a more manageable life.
If you’ve noticed there is usually no discussion about her relationships on television appearances, that’s on purpose. As hinted by Elle, even on shows like Ellen DeGeneres, the topic of Swift’s relationship with Alwyn is never even mentioned. In fact, one of the only times Taylor Swift has addressed romance was when she apologized for a previous Ellen DeGeneres appearance in which she criticized Joe Jonas for the way he had broken up with her.
Where did Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn meet?
Since Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn are each very private when it comes to discussing their relationship, there are no definitive details available to the public. Fans then are left to use whatever is available to try and crack the case of the mysterious couple. One seemingly simple question that people have been trying to figure out is where the two first met.
Two main theories exist around the location of Swift and Alwyn’s first rendezvous. The first is that the pair bumped into each other at the Met Gala — the exclusive yearly fashion fundraiser. Fans of this theory are reading into the lyrics for her song « Dress » and pointing to the fact that both Swift and Alwyn attended the 2016 gala, according to Cosmopolitan UK. In the song, the lyrics « Flashback to when you met me/Your buzz cut/And my hair bleached » seem to reference the platinum blonde hair that she first sported when co-hosting the gala.
The second theory is that the two actually met at a secret Kings of Leon concert. As Bustle reports, eagle-eyed fans impressively used video footage to place Swift and Alwyn at the same NYC bar — Lovers of Today — at the same time. Neither of the two has ever commented on these theories, so you’ll have to pick your favorite.
When did Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn start dating?
Taylor Swift’s diehard fans — Swifties — seem to be more obsessive than parents asking a child about a new boo. The relentless fan quest to pinpoint all relationship details surrounding Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn’s coupling leads to some pretty amazing (bordering on creepy) detective work. Fans use an amazing mixture of paparazzi photos, news stories, song lyrics, and other sleuthing techniques to try and figure out when the pair started dating.
As detailed by PopSugar, Swift released a cover of the song « September » by Earth, Wind, & Fire with the slightest lyrical change. The original song goes « Do you remember the 21st night of September? » while Swift’s version changes the date to the 28th of September. Us Weekly reported Swift and Tom Hiddleston broke up in early September 2016, so the theory goes that Swift may be referencing a significant date with Alwyn.
As part of her album Lover, Swift released personal diary entries, outlined by People. Swift writes in an entry from January 2017 that she and Alwyn had been together for three months at that point. Doing the math, this seems to agree with the « 28th of September » line that perhaps this is the exact date of the start of their relationship.
Taylor Swift disguised herself in public early on
What would you do to hide a romantic relationship? What if you were one of the world’s biggest pop stars? In 2017, The Sun first reported that Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn had already been dating for months at the time of the article. Taylor Swift’s boyfriends and relationships had usually been heavily documented before, so this news was somewhat surprising. Even better were the steps to keep the relationship under wraps.
A source told the magazine that Swift had been renting a home in London to spend more time with Alwyn. When out-and-about in town with her new man, Taylor Swift was supposedly wearing wigs, scarves, and hats to disguise herself. Whether this worked on the street isn’t clear — Taylor’s looks have changed plenty over time — but it at least kept the paparazzi from finding out for some time.
Going even further, Taylor Swift was flying into London in private jets and using extreme security measures. In the source’s words, Swift’s security made it a « military-like mission to prevent her from being seen. » If the theories are true that the pair started dating in September 2016, this means that all these precautions earned Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn about eight months of secrecy.
Taylor Swift teasingly uses social media about her romance
Taylor Swift’s fans are known for deciphering her lyrics and coming up with theories on her relationships. The singer knows it as well. As she explained to Rolling Stone, when a song of hers comes out people « obsess over who it’s about. » This is also true regarding her relationship with Joe Alwyn, and since she rarely goes on record talking about her significant other, fans are left to make their own hypotheses.
What is surprising and only adds to the overall mystique is when Swift likes these theories on social media. As Elle details, a Tumblr user posted an incredibly detailed explanation as to why the fan thought Swift’s song « …Ready For It? » was all about her relationship with Joe Alwyn after breaking down most of the lyrics. Then Swift’s Tumblr account liked the post. A few other posts with theories about lyrics or general thoughts about Swift also received likes from the singer’s Tumblr account. It proves nothing, of course, but it fans the flames and flames the fans, and the fans love it.
Did a cactus prove that Taylor and boyfriend took a vacation together?
Never has a picture of a plant caused such a commotion online. In 2018, Taylor Swift posted a photo on Instagram of herself standing next to a gigantic cactus in the desert — the shot taken by an unspecified photographer. One day later, Joe Alwyn posted a photo on his Instagram standing solo next to what else, a cactus. Coincidence? Sure, there’s more than one cactus in the world, but this was the same cactus Taylor Swift had been standing next to, even taken from roughly the same position.
Naturally, fans went crazy and considered these posts proof of a vacation together and a happy relationship. When GQ UK asked Alwyn during an interview if the dual Instagram photos was in order to send a message, the actor claimed he didn’t even realize the significance. He said upon returning to New York from the desert, someone pointed out the scenario to which Alwyn clarified, « No, no! It wasn’t purposeful at all! » Alwyn likely found out that nothing gets by unnoticed in the Swift universe.
Swift and Alwyn attended the same event but separately
With several major events on most celebrities’ social calendars, it was only a matter of time until Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn were both invited to the same party as a couple. At the 2019 Golden Globes award show, Alwyn showed up on the red carpet solo in support of his movie The Favourite. Taylor Swift also showed up on the red carpet … but not in person. The singer surprised Elisabeth Moss with a video message in which she told Moss how much she loves her show The Handmaid’s Tale.
During the ceremony, Taylor Swift then made a surprise physical appearance as a category presenter alongside her Cats co-star Idris Elba, as told by E! News. Joe Alwyn was in the audience, but it’s unclear if he knew that Taylor Swift was going to end up on stage. The couple was spotted together at several of the Golden Globe afterparties, reports E! News. Maybe these two will eventually give the world cute couple photos, but until they’re ready for it, it’s safe to say we aren’t getting any.
Emma Stone has a history with Taylor Swift’s boyfriend, Joe Alwyn
Taylor Swift and Emma Stone first met in 2008 and quickly became friends, says Cosmopolitan UK. The actress has attended at least one of Taylor Swift’s concerts. Swift, meanwhile, showed her support by attending the Los Angeles premiere of The Favourite, which stars Emma Stone and Joe Alwyn. People reported that during the afterparty, an onlooker saw Swift and Stone « chatting up a storm » and that Swift was by Alwyn’s side the entire evening.
If Taylor Swift was chatting with both her friend and her boyfriend after the movie, perhaps she mentioned the sex scene she had just witnessed between Alwyn and Stone. Um, awkward. The two actors played a delicious cat and mouse game during British period royalty film The Favourite, leading to the scene in question on the characters’ wedding night. Emma told ET Live about the steamy on-screen encounter, saying it was a little too « racy » to talk about on TV. You’ll have to watch the movie, or you can guess based Salon’s suggestion that Emma Stone be given a hand for her gripping sex scene.
How much of Taylor Swift’s art is about boyfriend Joe Alwyn?
As Rolling Stone pointed out in an interview with Taylor Swift, the singer « prides herself » in never revealing whom her songs are about. That didn’t stop fans from searching through her lyrics the second Swift’s relationship with Joe Alwyn was announced. The song « Gorgeous » from her Reputation album seems almost certainly about Alwyn. Swift appeared to break her secretive streak by revealing the meaning of the song to fans. According to a post on Tumblr, Taylor Swift told the audience during an album listening session that the song is « 100% about her angel boyfriend of 1 year. »
Fans also theorize that there are clues in two of Taylor Swift’s music videos from the Reputation album. First, in the video for « …Ready For It? » there seem to be many Easter eggs alluding to her relationship with Alwyn, as summarized by Billboard. One highlight is the spray painted numbers « 89 » and « 91 » appearing right next to each other, which also happen to be the birth years of Swift and Alwyn, respectively. Second, in her « Delicate » video, some fans think Swift spells out « Joe » via dancing, described by Bustle. And that doesn’t even touch her 2019 work. What do you think? Is the writing on the wall or are these two dancing toward a happy future?
Did Taylor Swift reveal that she’s married to Joe Alwyn?
In early 2019, roughly two years after the public learned of the relationship between Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn, rumors started to swirl about the couple being close to engagement, according to Us Weekly. A source told the magazine that friends of Swift insisted that the singer « really wants to marry Joe » and believes that he is « the one for her. »
Prior to Swift’s seventh album, Lover, Swift then posted to Twitter a little rhyme about something borrowed (« my heart ») and something blue, which of course made fans go absolutely crazy with connections to wedding superstitions about borrowed things and blue things respectively. The rhyme turned out to be a lyrical segment from the album’s title track « Lover. » This song also contains the lines « I’ve loved you three summers honey / And I want them all » and a bridge with « I take this magnetic force of a man to be my lover, » explains Slate. These words are quite heavy on the wedding overtones, leading to fans thinking Swift and Alwyn’s nuptials are coming soon, with some speculating that the two uber-private people are already married.