After years of being labeled as a “serial dater” and making headlines for the men she’s dated, Taylor Swift has settled down with Joe Alwyn in a big way. The two have been together since they secretly started dating in the fall of 2016, and have made a point to keep their relationship out of the public eye. For the most part, fans only know intimate details about Taylor and Joe’s relationships from the (many) songs that she’s written about him. Find out more about the pair’s relationship below!
Taylor Swift & Joe Alwyn
Taylor Swift is undeniably one of the biggest superstars on the planet. After beginning her career as a country star when she was just 15 years old, Taylor skyrocketed to fame. Since then, she’s switched genres to become a pop star, and has even dabbled in the indie music scene with her two most recent albums, Folklore and Evermore. Because of her major celebrity status, Taylor has been dealing with living a life within the public eye for years, and it all came to a head when she started feuding with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West in 2016.
At that time, Taylor was “cancelled” by the masses on social media. She was branded as a “snake” by Kim, which led to thousands of fans coming after her on the regular. Around this time, Taylor also broke up with her longtime boyfriend, Calvin Harris, and started dating Tom Hiddleston just weeks later. She had formed a ‘squad’ friend group, filled with supermodels and other A-list stars. It didn’t take long for the public to label her as “overexposed,” and it caused her to essentially go into hiding and “disappear” from the public eye.
Enter: Joe Alwyn. Joe is an actor from England, who lives a much more low-key life than Taylor. He didn’t even start studying acting until his late teens, and didn’t make his acting debut until 2016. Unlike Taylor, Joe was able to go to college (he studied English literature and drama at the University of Bristol), and live a relatively normal life. Around the same time he started dating Taylor, he began making a name for himself with roles in movies like The Favourite and Mary Queen of Scots. Of course, his relationship with an international pop star helped with his notoriety, as well.
How Did Taylor Swift & Joe Alwyn Meet?
Taylor and Joe met at the Met Gala in May 2016. Taylor was the co-chair of the event that year, and she was dating Calvin at the time. Fans didn’t know it, but Taylor and Calvin’s relationship was at the end of its rope. In the 2017 Swift song, “Dress,” Taylor sang about meeting Joe at this very event. “Flashback when you met me, your buzz cut and my hair bleached,” she croons on the track. Indeed, Taylor did have bleached hair, and Joe a buzz cut, at that year’s Met Gala. In 2017, Taylor released the song “Gorgeous,” where she admits that she was infatuated with Joe from the start. “You should think about the consequence, of your magnetic field being a little too strong, and I got a boyfriend, he’s older than us, he’s in the club doing I don’t know what,” she sings. In the chorus, she adds, “You’re so gorgeous, I can’t say anything to your face.”
However, it wasn’t Joe who Taylor spent the night dancing with at the Met Gala. Rather, she was caught spending quite a bit of quality time with Tom on the dance floor. Videos surfaced of the two dancing up a storm. By the beginning of June, news broke that Taylor and Calvin had split, and she was photographed kissing Tom in Rhode Island just two weeks later. In Swift’s song “Getaway Car,” she sings about the situation. “The ties were black, the lies were white, in shades of grey and candlelight, I wanted to leave him, I needed a reason,” she says in the song’s first verse. In the chorus, she also makes it clear that she was just using Tom as her “getaway car,” and notes that he shouldn’t be surprised that she wound up leaving him just months later.
Throughout her summer fling with Tom, Taylor appears to have stayed friends with Joe. “I hate accidents, except when we went from friends to this,” she sings about the actor in her 2019 track, “Paper Rings.” However, the song “Cruel Summer” makes it clear that there were deeper feelings beyond friendship being harbored. The song’s bridge hints that she was keeping her feelings for Joe a secret all summer long. “Said I’m fine, but it wasn’t true, I don’t wanna keep secrets just to keep you, and I snuck in through the garden gate, every night that summer just to seal my fate,” she sings, hinting that she may have even been sneaking off to see Joe without Tom knowing. “Paper Rings” also features the lyrics, “The wine is cold, like the shoulder that I gave you in the street, cat and mouse for a month or two or three,” which seems to reveal that Taylor felt she had to ignore and evade Joe while secretly being in love with him.
It wasn’t until October 2016 that Taylor and Joe were publicly connected. The two both attended a private Kings of Leon concert in New York City, as well as an after-party at the Bowery Hotel. Taylor was photographed at the event with some friends, and it was later uncovered that Joe was also in attendance. At the time, though, there was no connection between the pair. It wasn’t until May 2017 that news outlets began reporting that Taylor and Joe were an item. They had been able to keep their relationship a secret for eight months.
The exact timing of when Taylor and Joe’s relationship began is unclear, but in April 2018, Taylor hinted that their anniversary is Sept. 28. She released a cover of Earth, Wind & Fire’s song “September” and changed one lyric from “Do you remember, the 21st night of September” to “Do you remember, the 28th night of September?”
It’s clear from Taylor’s music that she credits Joe with getting her through the hardest time of her life after the drama with Kim and Kanye. In her 2017 song “Call It What You Want,” she sings, “All the liars are calling me one, nobody’s heard from me for months, I’m doing better than I ever was” and “Bridges burn, I never learn, at least I did one thing right, I’m laughing with my lover, making forts under covers, trust him like a brother, yeah you know I did one thing right.”
Taylor Swift’s Past Relationships
Before Joe, Taylor was in a number of high-profile relationships. Her first public romance was with Joe Jonas during the summer and fall of 2008. Taylor made a surprise appearance at the Jonas Brothers’ tour that summer to sing her hit “Should’ve Said No,” and she and Joe began being spotted out and about together after that. Unfortunately, the relationship was short-lived, as Taylor revealed that Joe “broke up with her over the phone” that October. She penned songs like “Forever & Always,” “Better Than Revenge,” “Last Kiss” and “Mr. Perfectly Fine” about the relationship, and now, the two are friends!
Following Joe, Taylor was in a relationship with Taylor Lautner, who she met on the set of the movie Valentine’s Day. They were together for the second half of 2009 before splitting that December. Swift wrote her first apology song, “Back to December,” about the breakup. Next came a fling with John Mayer, although fans didn’t even know that relationship existed until months later when Tay released the heartbreaking song “Dear John” in Oct. 2010.
From the end of 2010 until the beginning of 2011, Taylor was with Jake Gyllenhaal. It’s no secret that he broke her heart, which fans know from the fan-favorite track “All Too Well.” Several of the songs on Taylor’s 2012 album, Red, were about her relationship with Jake, including “We Are Never Getting Back Together”, “State of Grace,” and “The Moment I Knew.” After Jake, Taylor was with Conor Kennedy during the summer of 2012. They were seen hanging out in Rhode Island together quite a bit, and Taylor even got to know Conor’s famous family. She penned the song “Starlight” for his grandmother, Ethel Kennedy, who was Robert F. Kennedy’s widow.
Of course, Taylor also dated Harry Styles. Although the two had been linked a few times prior, their relationship strengthened at the end of 2012. They were together for just a couple of months before calling it quits, but Harry inspired most of Taylor’s 2014 album, 1989. In Feb. 2015, Taylor met Calvin Harris via their mutual friend, Ellie Goulding. They started dating the following month and were together for more than a year before splitting in June 2016. Then came the summer fling with Tom, which featured a lot of jet-setting and very public displays of affection. None of this matters now, though, that Joe is in the picture!
Taylor Swift’s Top Moments With Joe Alwyn
Even though Taylor is not shy when it comes to singing about Joe on her songs, the two have made a point to be photographed together as little as possible. They’ve never once shared a picture together on social media, and have not walked a red carpet together yet, either. However, despite their attempts to stay private, the lovebirds have been caught out in public a few times during their relationship.
At the end of 2018, Taylor supported Joe at the premiere of his movie The Favourite. She didn’t walk the red carpet, but she got glammed up and was photographed leaving a post-premiere party with her man. The Favourite was a big award show-nominee in 2019. Joe attended that year’s Golden Globes solo for the film, but Taylor made a surprise appearance as a presenter, and the two were spotted leaving an after-party together. She was also by his side at an after-party for the BAFTAs in Feb. 2019.
Of course, Joe has gone out of his way to support Taylor quite a bit, as well. He was there to watch her performance on Saturday Night Live in Oct. 2019, and they were photographed heading to the after-party together. Joe also supported Taylor at the premiere of Cats in 2019, although he did not walk the red carpet. In 2020, the two were at the Golden Globes once again, and this time, they sat next to each other at the same table. Photographers caught Taylor looking lovingly at Joe inside the award ceremony, and there were even some cute PDA moments! That February, Joe was by Taylor’s side at the NME Awards, and a fan inside the event caught them kissing on video!
In Taylor’s 2020 documentary Miss Americana, she opened up a bit more about her relationship with Joe. Footage revealed that Joe was there for the opening night of Taylor’s Reputation tour, and when she got off stage, the first thing she did was find him so she could run into his arms. In the doc, Taylor discusses her drama with Kim and Kanye, but adds, “I also was falling in love with someone who had a wonderfully normal, balanced life.” She also says, “Even though it was [a] really horrible [time], I was happy. But I wasn’t happy in the way I was trained to be happy. It was happiness without anyone else’s input. We were just…happy.”
During the coronavirus in 2020, Taylor and Joe’s relationship crossed over from personal to professional when they started collaborating on songs together while quarantining. When Taylor surprised fans with her album, Folklore, in July 2020, there was a mysterious co-writer named William Bowery on two of the tracks. Fans began theorizing that William Bowery was Joe due to one of the pair’s first public hangouts taking place at the Bowery Hotel in 2016. Plus, Joe’s grandfather, William Alwyn, was a composer, conductor and music teacher. When Taylor released live recordings of Folklore for her Disney+ movie, Folkore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions, she confirmed that William Bowery is, indeed, Joe. William Bowery returned to co-write three more tracks on Taylor’s next album, Evermore, which was released in Dec. 2020.
When Folklore won the award for Album of the Year at the Grammys in March 2021, Taylor made sure to shout Joe out in her speech. “I wanna thank Joe,” she said. “The first person I play every single song that I write. I had the best time writing songs with you in quarantine.” It was the first time she publicly mentioned him in this manner. She shared a similar sentiment while being honored with the Global Icon Award at the BRIT Awards in May.
Taylor Swift & Joe Alwyn’s Future
After more than four years together, things are clearly very serious between Taylor and Joe. Although they haven’t publicly talked about their plans for an engagement or marriage, it definitely seems to be in the cards. “They have this understanding that they are going to be together forever,” a source told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY in 2020. “As for their future together — they have absolutely talked about getting married and starting a family down the line. It will happen.”
Considering how private this relationship has been so far, though, it’s likely that any engagement or marriage news will be kept under wraps when it does happen. For now, Taylor and Joe seem more than content with the life they’ve created together!