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Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn reportedly met at the 2016 Met Gala on May 2, 2016. Back then, Swift was in a relationship with Scottish DJ Calvin Harris. Less than a month after the Met Gala, Swift and Harris called it quits, and she started dating fellow British actor Tom Hiddleston, whom she also met at the Met Gala and spent the night dancing with.
Through Swift's lyricism, it is assumed that meanwhile she was dating Hiddleston, Alwyn became one of her closest friends. However, she was already developing romantic feelings for him. In September 6, it is reported that Swift and Hiddleston had ended their brief romance, after not being seen together for almost a whole month.
It is rumoured that Swift and Alwyn began dating—or, at least, went out on their first date—in September 28, due to Taylor's lyric changing while covering "September" by Earth, Wind & Fire to Spotify Sessions. She replaced "Do you remember the 21st night of September?" to "Do you remember the 28th night of September?"
Their relationship has inspired many of Swift's songs. Most songs off her albums "reputation" (2017) and "Lover" (2019) are about him, such as "Gorgeous", "Call It What You Want", "Delicate", "Dress", "Lover", "London Boy", "Afterglow" and many others. A few songs off her albums "Folklore" and "Evermore" (2020) are also speculated to be about it, these being "Invisible String", "Peace", "The Lakes", and "Long Story Short". Her latest album "Midnights" (2022) includes songs such as the opening track "Lavender Haze", "Sweet Nothing", and "Glitch", that are also about their relationship. While talking about "Lavender Haze", Swift said, "My relationship of six years, we've had to dodge weird rumors, tabloid stuff, and we just ignore it," Swift explained in an Instagram video. "So this song is sort of about the act of ignoring that stuff to protect the real stuff."
It was revealed on Swift's documentary "Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions" that Alwyn co-wrote tracks "Exile" and "Betty" with her, under the alias William Bowery. The album's so-called 'sister record' "Evermore" also includes songs they have written together, these being "Champagne Problems", "Coney Island", and "Evermore". On Swift's latest album "Midnights", they collaborated once again. Alwyn co-wrote "Sweet Nothing", also under William Bowery alias.
Despite writing songs about him, Swift's relationship with Alwyn is her most private one, unlike her other highly-publicized relationships. She isn't as open about her romantic life as she used to be, and they aren't papped together as often. Alwyn is known for being "Hollywood's Most Private Leading Man".
In April 2022, when ELLE questioned Alwyn about his discretion and the reason behind it, he replied, "It's not really [because I] want to be guarded and private, it's more a response to something else. We live in a culture that is so increasingly intrusive...the more you give—and frankly, even if you don't give it—something will be taken."
Commenting on rumors about an alleged engagement with Swift, he told The Wall Street Journal: "If I had a pound for every time I think I've been told I've been engaged, then I'd have a lot of pound coins. I mean, the truth is, if the answer was yes, I wouldn't say, and if the answer was no, I wouldn't say."