On April 8, 2023, shocking news broke that global popstar Taylor Swift and her boyfriend, actor Joe Alwyn, had split after 6 years together. The story was first reported by online magazine Entertainment Tonight and spread like wildfire across many other news sources.
Swift and Alwyn began dating sometime back in 2017, after supposedly meeting in May of 2016. Before Alwyn, Swift was in a long-term relationship with DJ Calvin Harris and then had a short fling with actor Tom Hiddleston. Many denote their first meeting to the weekend of the Met Gala. The pair didn’t start dating until September 28th, as hinted by Swift’s subtle lyric change to “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire during a Spotify music session.
The pair liked to keep their relationship private and out of the spotlight, not commenting much except for the rare interview or more likely through Swift’s music. During their relationship Swift wrote her albums “Reputation”, “Lover”, “Folklore”, “Evermore”, and “Midnights,” all riddled with songs and clues of their relationship.
Since the news broke, there has not been an official confirmation from either Swift or Alwyn, or their representative teams. However, there have been numerous signs pointing to the validity of the breakup. Most notably, Taylor has been spotted by fans and paparazzi in New York multiple times over the past few weeks, often meeting up with friends.
Sleuth fans noted that those friends quickly unfollowed Joe Alwyn on Instagram after meeting up with Taylor. Danielle Haim, Alana Haim, Este Haim, Austin Swift, Blake Lively, and Ryan Reynolds have all unfollowed Alwyn. Even her childhood friend, Abigail, unfollowed Alwyn on social media.
Alwyn has been seen since the breakup, spotted in London seemingly appearing to be in distress. Fans noted the dark circles under his eyes, how he was holding a sweater while already wearing one, and even commenting on how they feel bad for his disheveled appearance. It is unclear whether this look was inspired by the end of the long-term relationship or if it was unrelated.
Additionally, many fans saw actress Emma Laird post a picture of Alwyn on her Instagram. While she had posted the photos with the caption “moments in March,” eagle eyed fans were quick to point out that it is unclear when the photo of Alwyn was actually taken. She had posted a photo in January of herself, and the same scooters pictured next to Joe.
The connection to Laird not only sparked dating rumors, but also cheating rumors. Fans questioned if infidelity on Alwyn’s part had led to the couple’s split, but there is only fan speculation surrounding that idea. Reportedly, the relationship had just run its course as Swift and Alwyn grew apart, likely due to opposing views of how they wanted to live their life. Swift has notably wanted to live a life in the public eye while Alwyn prefers to live more secluded.
The reaction from fans after the split was full of mixed emotions. Some fans immediately accepted the news while others documented their denial in various ways. Across TikTok, Swifties posted many videos stating how they didn’t believe the news, quoting many songs Swift wrote about Alwyn, trying to debunk the rumors, and some keeping track of each on social media to find any subtle confirmation of the couple splitting up. Some Swifties even posted how they could no longer believe in love if the couple was over. Many fan favorite songs, such as “King of my Heart,” “Cornelia Street,” and “Invisible String,” all songs written about Joe, have been used by fans to articulate their shock and denial.
Due to the content of Taylor’s songs, and how long the relationship lasted, many used her as a basis for love. These claims of no longer believing in love if Taylor’s relationship ended are meant from a place of love for Taylor herself, and for how she raised them to understand and wish for love. So, when she found love with Alwyn, many penned him as her soulmate. The relationship ending is shocking for fans globally- but does not signify the end of love itself.
Even if Taylor and Joe are no longer in love, the love was once there. Swift has penned many beautiful songs about her relationships that have since ended, such as “Stay Beautiful,” “Ours,” “Style,” and “Mine.” These songs do not lose their beauty, significance, or meaning just because the love did not stand the test of time, and neither do the songs about her and Joe.
Through our lives, many things come and go. We fall out of love as fast or as slow as we fall into it. We get hired, we get fired, we quit, we move towns and cities and states, and sometimes even countries. We change wardrobes and hairstyles and most of all we change our minds. Time persists and, in that time, people grow and change and realize a better path for their life. Yet no matter what, there was love.
One relationship ending does not signify the end of everything. Swift and Alwyn had love for each other, and just because it ended does not taint the music and does not taint love itself. The most amazing and beautiful part of art, and especially being the muse, is the immortalization of a moment. Swift’s songs about Joe are now relics and proof of a love that once was, that it was there, and it always will be there.
Despite the rumors, Taylor Swift continues to dedicate herself to her brilliant Eras Tour. No matter what headline comes out, what relationship begins or ends, nothing should take away from the love that Taylor shares with her fans. Her career speaks for itself, with or without a man.