Taylor Swift & Joe Alwyn’s Relationship Timeline: From Secretly Dating To 6 Year Romance to Split

Look back at the milestones in Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn's relationship amid their reported breakup.

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  • Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn began dating after meeting at the 2015 Met Gala
  • They chose to keep their romance private and never walked a red carpet together
  • The pair reportedly broke up at the beginning of 2023 due to their differing personalities

Swifties were heartbroken when reports that Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn broke up after six years of dating. Fans thought Taylor had finally found “The One” in Joe, but a person close to the former couple said their differing personalities and lifestyles got in the way. “Joe has struggled with Taylor’s level of fame and the attention from the public,” the source divulged to PEOPLE. “The differences in their personalities have also become harder to ignore after years together. They’ve grown apart.”

Taylor and Joe were notoriously private about their relationship and never walked a red carpet together, although they were spotted at award shows, such as the 2020 Golden Globes. The notoriously private relationship is a far cry from Taylor’s highly-publicized relationships and subsequent breakups of the past, such as her romances with  Tom Hiddleston and Calvin Harris. Nevertheless,  there are some sweet tidbits about Taylor and Joe’s relationship out there. Scroll on to look back at the timeline of their romance.

When Did Taylor Swift & Joe Alwyn First Meet?

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift arrives at the 2016 Met Gala in New York City (Photo: AP)

While neither Taylor nor Joe ever confirmed exactly how they met, fans have theorized that her 2017 hit “Dress” describes the couple’s first meeting at the 2016 Met Gala. “Flashback to when you met me, your buzzed cut and my hair bleached,” she sings. As seen above, Taylor’s hair was bleached bright blonde that fateful night, and Joe, who attended with his Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk co-star, Garrett Hedlund, sported a buzzcut.

Taylor was in a relationship with Irish DJ Calvin Harris at the time, and would go on to date Tom Hiddleston briefly that summer. In October of that year, she and Joe both attended a Kings of Leon concert, and fans believe the pair reconnected at an after-party held at the Bowery Horel in New York City.

The First Photos Of Taylor Swift & Joe Alwyn Emerge In 2017

Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn
Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn were rumored to be dating beginning in 2017 (Photo: AP)

After speculation the pair were dating, fans finally got confirmation when paparazzi photos emerged of the new couple in June 2017. The duo was seen sitting on a balcony in Nashville, reportedly meeting Taylor’s parents for the first time. Photos of their date in Taylor’s hometown can be seen here. Just two weeks later, they were spotted again, this time in New York City. The couple attempted to shield themselves with oversized hoodies and sunglasses as they exited Taylor’s Tribeca apartment.

Joe Alwyn Speaks About Taylor Swift For The First Time

Joe Alwyn and Taylor Swift bundled up for a stroll together
Joe Alwyn and Taylor Swift bundled up for a stroll together in New York City in 2018 (Photo: LRNYC/MEGA)

In the fall of 2018, the British actor confirmed he was dating the “Lover” songstress, but confirmed that he plans to keep that part of his life private. “I’m aware people want to know about that side of things,” he 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.”

He dismissed speaking about his personal life again in a Nov. 2018 interview with GQ. “Someone’s private life is, by definition, private. No one is obliged to share their personal life,” he stated.

However, he surprised fans when he spoke more directly about their romance in a December interview with Esquire.  “I didn’t seek out advice on that,” he replied ot the interviewer’s question about if he sought advice for dating a global superstar. “Because I know what I feel about it. I think there’s a very clear line as to what somebody should share, or feel like they have to share, and what they don’t want to and shouldn’t have to.”

Taylor Swift & Joe Alwyn Step Out At The 2019 BAFTAs After Party

Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn step out at a 2019 BAFTAs after-party
Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn step out at a 2019 BAFTAs after-party (Photo: AP)

Taylor and Joe were spotted holding hands while walking into a BAFTAs after-party in London in Feb. 2019. Taylor stunned in a pale blue Stella McCartney gown, while Joe looked dapper in a suit and tie. The PDA shot was rare for the super low-key couple.

Joe Alwyn Appears In Taylor Swift’s ‘Miss Americana’ Documentary

taylor Swift joe alwyn miss americana
(Photo: Netflix)

After almost four years of dating, fans got a rare glimpse into the couple’s relationship during the 11-time Grammy winner’s 2020 documentary, Miss Americana. Taylor spoke about what made her fall in love with Joe in 2016, following her very public feud with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, which essentially sent her into hiding for a year. “I felt alone, I felt really bitter,” she explained.

“I felt sort of like a wounded animal lashing out. I figured I had to reset everything. I had to reconstruct an entire belief system for my own personal sanity. I also was falling in love with someone who had a wonderfully normal, balanced life,” Taylor continued. “We decided together we wanted our relationship to be private. Even though it [Swift’s public image in 2016] was really horrible, 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.”

Taylor Reveals The Secret To Her And Joe’s Longevity

(Photo: Photographer Group/MEGA)

The “Bad Blood” hitmaker opened up about her and Joe’s secret romance once again while chatting with Paul McCartney for their 2020 Rolling Stone cover story. Taylor applauded the Beatle for being able to keep his life with his wife under wraps and admitted she thinks maintaining a balanced and quiet life has to do with working “normalcy” into her and Joe’s lives. “I know you have done a really excellent job of this in your personal life: carving out a human life within a public life, and how scary that can be when you do fall in love and you meet someone, especially if you’ve met someone who has a very grounded, normal way of living,” she said.

“I, oftentimes, in my anxieties, can control how I am as a person and how normal I act and rationalize things, but I cannot control if there are 20 photographers outside in the bushes and what they do and if they follow our car and if they interrupt our lives. I can’t control if there’s going to be a fake weird headline about us in the news tomorrow,” she continued.

“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 noted. “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 her 2020 song is about exactly that. “Like, would it be enough if I could never fully achieve the normalcy that we both crave?” she furthered explained.

Taylor Names Joe For The First Time

Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions
Taylor Swift spoke candidly about creating music with Joe Alwyn in ‘Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions) (Photo: : Disney+ / Everett Collection)

Taylor shouted out Joe in her 2020 documentary, Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions. While speaking about her song, “Exile”, she confirmed that Joe co-wrote it with her and used a pseudonym for his writing credit: William Bowery (Note that the bar they reportedly met at in Oc.t 2016 was called The Bowery). She then gushed about working with him. “Joe plays piano beautifully, and he’s always just playing and making things up and kind of creating things,” she said. “It was pretty obvious that it should be a duet ’cause he’s got such a low voice and it sounded really good sung down there and in that register.” Joe has helped write songs for 2020’s Evermore and 2022’s Midnights as well.

Taylor Thanks Joe

As Taylor and Joe’s relationship progressed, Taylor seemed more comfortable with publicly saying his name. For instance, she thanked Joe when accepting her Album Of The Year Grammy for Folklore in 2021 and beamed with pride when she revealed he’s the first person she plays songs for. Taylor also shouted Joe out when she received the Global Icon Award at the 2021 BRIT Awards. And in May 2022, Taylor took to her Instagram Story to support Joe’s new Hulu series, Conversations with Friends, in which Joe stars opposite  Alison Oliver, Jemima Kirke, and Sasha Lane. She shared a positive review of the show to her Story and wrote, “Can confirm it’s phenomenal,” according to PEOPLE.

Taylor And Joe Reportedly Split

Taylor Swift Joe Alwyn
Taylor Swift is reportedly focused on her tour amid her split from Joe Alwyn (Photo: Javier Vicencio/Eyepix Group/Brett Cove/SOPA Images/Shutterstock)

As mentioned above, an insider claimed that Taylor and Joe realized they were no longer the right fit earlier in 2023 — perhaps before the start of her record-breaking Eras Tour, which kicked off on March 17. “Taylor didn’t see them working out in the long run,” the source noted to PEOPLE. “They are friendly. She doesn’t have anything bad to say about Joe,” they continued. “They just grew apart. Taylor is staying very focused on her tour right now.” The split was reportedly “not dramatic”.

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