Taylor Swift has continued to keep fans on their toes leading up to the release of her new album Reputation. Between the thinly veiled disses to her peers on “Look What You Made Me Do” to the secretive rollout, its clear that this isn’t the same Swift who released 1989.
On her latest single “Ready for It”, Swift takes a less aggressive approach, and many are theorizing that it may have something to do with her current boyfriend Joe Alwyn.
Here’s what you need to know about Swift and her relationship with Alwyn:
1. Swift’s Lyrics in ‘Ready for It?’ Allude to Alwyn
Swift has made a pastime out of referencing her breakups on record. On “Ready for It?“, however, Swift is giving us lyrics that suggest she is in the midst of a legitimately happy romance. Lyrics like “Some boys are tryin’ too hard / He don’t try at all though / Younger than my exes but he act like such a man so,” seem to be a direct reference to Alwyn, who, at 26, is significantly younger than Swift’s last boyfriend Tom Hiddleston (36).
Elsewhere, Swift sings the lyrics “I-I-I see how this is gonna go / Touch me and you’ll never be alone / I-Island breeze and lights down low / No one has to know.” The last line is especially telling, given that she and Alwyn have gone to great lengths to keep their relationship private (more on that later).
Some fans think that “Ready for It” is about Harry Styles, given that the former One Direction singer referenced Swift on the recent song “Two Ghosts.” That being said, lyrics like “Every love I’ve known in comparison is a failure / I forget their names now / I’m so very tame now / Never be the same now, now” suggest that Swift has moved on from her past romances.
2. They Began Dating During Swift’s Musical Hiatus
In the wake of her messy “he-said-she-said” feud with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, Swift went into hiding. She spent the majority of 2016 in secret, save for a few collaborations and performances throughout the world. It was during this hiatus that Swift reportedly began seeing Alwyn. Their relationship was discovered in May, though according to The Sun, they had already been dating in the months prior.
A friend close to the couple said: “This isn’t a new couple alert or a secret relationship – the only people this has been a secret to is the media because all of us, Taylor and Joe’s closest friends and their families, were aware they have been together for several months and have known each other for a longtime.
“After her 1989 tour and all the attention Taylor received, she learned she had to be more protective of her personal life and she and Joe decided early on to keep their private life private.”
3. Swift Has a Long History of Celebrity Relationships
Swift’s urge to protect her private life should come as no surprise to those who have keep up with her lengthy history of celebrity relationships. Since arriving on the scene over a decade ago, Swift has dated some of the prominent men in show business, ranging from actors (Jake Gyllenhaal, Taylor Lautner, Tom Hiddleston) to fellow musicians (John Mayer, Harry Styles, Calvin Harris).
It was her two latest relationships, with Harris and Hiddleston, however, that have proven most detrimental. Harris had a meltdown on Twitter after Swift revealed she co-wrote the hit single “This Is What You Came For“, putting a blemish on the singer’s previously spotless reputation, while her romance with Hiddleston was widely panned as a publicity stunt.
Swift has yet to address either relationship publicly, but she did reference them in the music video for “Look What You Made Me Do.” Hiddleston had nothing but positive things to say after the breakup, telling Billboard that “Taylor is an amazing woman” who is “generous and kind and lovely and we had the best time.”
Coincidently, both Hiddleston and Alwyn hail from London, England.
4. Alwyn Is ‘Very Supportive’ of Swift’s New Music
A source close to the couple told People magazine that Swift and Alwyn are very supportive of each other’s careers. “He [Joe] is very happy about spending time at home with Taylor,” says the source, “They seem to be on the same page. Joe is getting to know Taylor’s parents and everyone likes him. He is very supportive of her work.”
“Taylor draws a lot on her personal life for her music, so yeah, it’s pretty safe to say the song is about Joe,” an insider told The Inquisitr. “Their relationship is extremely strong and she’s crazy in love with him, and for once, she’s managed to keep it private and out of the media glare, which is definitely helping minimize any drama.”
Alwyn, whose acting credits Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (2016) and The Sense of an Ending (2017), will next be seen opposite Emma Stone and Nicholas Hoult in the biographical drama The Favorite.
5. They Are Keeping Their Relationship Very Private
A source for People magazine made it clear that the young couple are fully committed to keeping their relationship private. “Her decision to keep her relationship with Joe quiet is making her happy,” claims the source, “They have been getting to know each other slowly without any pressure.
“Taylor’s friends all love Joe,” an additional source told The Inquisitr. “He’s a great fit for her, and their relationship is very loving and nurturing, plus he’s very protective of her, and has a really good calming effect on her. Everyone is really excited about them as a couple and it’s easy to imagine this relationship going from strength to strength, there’s no doubting that Joe really could be ‘the one.’”
In addition to their lock-and-key treatment of the press, Swift and Alwyn have rarely photographed together in public. “She’s been walking around with Joe in London using disguises, like scarves and hats, to keep her identity under wraps,” reports The Sun. “Nobody has a clue they’ve been walking past a music superstar – not even her new neighbors.”