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Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn: A Complete Breakup Timeline

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After six years Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn reportedly called it quits over “differences in their personalities,” which is pretty much code for “Look away, there’s nothing to see here.”

According to a source that spoke with People after the breakup was first reported on April 8, 2023, the 32-year-old actor “struggled” with Swift’s level of fame, while the 34-year-old pop star “didn’t see them working out in the long run.” Still, the source added, “[Taylor] doesn’t have anything bad to say about Joe.”

According to fans, the mass exodus of Swift’s closest allies from Alwyn’s Instagram follower count suggests otherwise. A few weeks after their split went public, Swifties noticed some suspicious timing behind Alwyn’s loss of famous followers. Particularly, Ryan Reynolds and Gigi Hadid seemed to unfollow the Conversations With Friends star immediately after in-person hangs with Swift. “Blondie just going around and telling her friends the tea,” one fan commented on one TikTok explanation of the drama.

While Taylor Swift’s catalog of work is so much more than a collection of breakup songs, it can’t be denied that she's the reigning queen of heartbreak anthems. Is it any wonder fans are looking for any hint that her split from Alwyn is less drama-free than reports suggest? Of course, fans are not just divining Easter eggs out of nothing (though there’s plenty of that going around with each Eras Tour performance).

Here’s a complete timeline of Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn’s breakup…at least, what Swifties have been able to piece together. Speak now, Blondie!

December 5, 2021: Taylor Swift writes “You’re Losing Me.”

Not the Gaslighter Rosé bottle\!

February 2023: This may be when Swift and Alwyn “actually split up,” according to a source who spoke to The Sun in May 2023.

March–April 2023: Alwyn doesn’t make any appearances during the opening leg of Swift’s Eras Tour, but many assume he’s filming or staying hidden due to the private nature of their relationship.

March 31, 2023: Swift makes a switch to the Folklore segment of her performance during the Eras Tour. Swift sang the love song “Invisible String” for her first four shows but replaced it with the melancholy song about past love, “The 1,” during her March stops in Arlington, Texas.

After the breakup was reported in April, fans looked back on this moment as a hint.

April 8, 2023: After Swift and Alwyn’s six years together, People and Entertainment Tonight report they have broken up. “It was not dramatic,” a source tells ET. “The relationship had just run its course. It’s why [Alwyn] hasn’t been spotted at any shows.”

April 10, 2023: According to People, multiple sources say the former couple was “talking about marriage as recently as a few months ago,” but some major personality differences reportedly became insurmountable after leaving their relationship “bubble.”

April 9, 2023: A fan on TikTok shares a video of Swift performing “Champagne Problems” during a previous Eras Tour performance, suggesting Swift was “getting emotional” while singing the lyrics “Sometimes you just don’t know the answer till someone’s on their knees and asks you.”

April 11, 2023: Swift is spotted in public for the first time post-breakup in New York City’s West Village, just four blocks away from the famous Cornelia Street she sang about in Lover. According to People, Swift went out for Italian food with longtime collaborator Jack Antonoff and his now wife, actor Margaret Qualley.

April 13, 2023: This is where the tides start to turn against Alwyn. During a DeuxU podcast episode, DeuxMoi shares a report from an anonymous source that Alwyn initiated their “break” and that Swift thinks he’s behind the leak.

Meanwhile, during a show in Tampa, Swift sends a pointed message to fans before playing “Lover.”

“Some of these songs are about my life; some of these songs are about fictional characters I created,” she tells the crowd. “But my hope in all of this is that, at the end of the day, these songs will be songs that you think are about your own life. And the song that we’re about to play next…it’s just a love song, you know?”

Otherwise, Swift seems to be doing okay. During her time in Tampa, Swift seemingly gives fans a subtle update on how she’s doing. One TikTok user captured Swift giving a thumbs-up to a fan carrying a sign that says, “You OK?”

April 18, 2023: Fans spiral after Alwyn’s costar Emma Laird shares a photo of the actor on a scooter as part of a March photo dump. There are multiple layers to that controversy (which you can read about here), but this is where cheating rumors begin to pick up steam.

April 19, 2023: And so begins the Great Unfollowing of Joe Alwyn. After Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively have dinner with Swift in NYC, fans notice that Reynolds no longer follows Alwyn on Instagram…and neither do the Haim sisters and Swift’s brother, Austin. Keep in mind, Reynolds once wrote a very sentimental tribute to Alwyn in Time.

Where Ryan Reynolds’s and Joe Alwyn’s Instagram accounts stand as of April 21, 2023.
Where Ryan Reynolds’s and Joe Alwyn’s Instagram accounts stand as of April 21, 2023.
Instagram

“Something is going on,” one TikTok user said in their video.

April 20, 2023: Alwyn is spotted in London for the first time since the split, while Swift is photographed in NYC with the Haim sisters, Lively, and Gigi Hadid. According to Page Six, the group spent the evening at the private club and celebrity hot spot Zero Bond.

A source tells Us Weekly that Swift is “enjoying her freedom” following the split. “Taylor is handling the breakup really well and she’s feeling very optimistic about her future,” the source says. “She truly believes whatever is meant to be will be and knows everything happens for a reason.”

[Important note: As of this date, Swift fans and Just Jared report that Hadid still follows Alwyn on Instagram. “If [Gigi] unfollows [Joe] after this encounter, then I’m gonna believe something dirty did go down,” one TikTok user said in a video.]

April 21, 2023: There you have it: Hadid no longer follows Alwyn on Instagram. WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

Gigi Hadid does not follow Joe Alwyn as of April 21, 2023.
Gigi Hadid does not follow Joe Alwyn as of April 21, 2023.
Instagram
Joe Alwyn still follows Gigi Hadid as of April 21, 2023.
Joe Alwyn still follows Gigi Hadid as of April 21, 2023.
Instagram

All the way over in Houston, Swift shoots the “L” for loser sign at the physical representation of her Lovers album during her performance of “Look What Made You Do,” per Us Weekly. Yes, I know that sentence doesn’t make a lot of sense without context. Basically, Swift interacts with dancers dressed as each of her eras during this number, and things got shady when she got to Lover’s glass box. Here’s a video:

Fans take this as a dig against Alwyn, the alleged inspiration behind the romantic album.

April 23, 2023: Fans report that Swift’s childhood bestie Abigail Anderson Berard (you know, the redhead from “Fifteen”) has unfollowed Alwyn. Many also noted that Lively and Alwyn don’t follow each other on Instagram, but it’s unclear if they ever did.

May 3, 2023: The Sun reports that Swift is dating The 1975 front man Matt Healy. “She and Matty are madly in love. It’s super-early days, but it feels right,” the source says. “Both Matty and Taylor have been touring over the past few weeks, so it’s been a lot of FaceTiming and texting, but she cannot wait to see him again.”

May 5, 2023: Healy is spotted at Swift’s concert in Nashville. Looks like Blondie is still into London Boys.

May 12, 2023: A source tells Entertainment Tonight that Swift has fully “moved on” from Joe Alwyn and is “enjoying her time” with the 1975 front man. “Taylor and Matty have known each other and have history, so there’s a comfortability factor there, but also feelings of excitement,” the source says.

May 18, 2023: As things continue to heat up between Swift and Healy, a source tells the Daily Mail that Alywn feels “feels slighted and is distraught” over his ex-girlfriend’s “budding relationship.”

According to the source, Alwyn is not happy she moved on from their relationship so soon, especially with someone she worked with while still dating Alwyn. While Swift and Healy’s Midnights collaboration did not make the final album, she performed “Anti-Hero” live for the first time during The 1975’s London concert in January 2023.

“Joe was aware that Taylor and Matt were making music together and collaborating. She told him that they had become friends and he trusted her,” the source said while denying that the relationships overlapped.

May 23, 2023: Alwyn makes his first official public appearance post-breakup.

May 26, 2023: Fans are convinced the latest Midnights vault track “You’re Losing Me” is about Swift’s breakup with Joe Alwyn. One major piece of evidence circulating online is the way the song’s lyrics seem to directly correlate to lyrics from the Lover album, which is widely believed to be inspired by Alwyn.

One TikTok user played the new song at the same time as Lover’s “Cornelia Street” to demonstrate how “You’re Losing Me” seems to respond directly to its predecessor.

Joe Alwyn trends on Twitter the same day the song is released, with many fans calling out the actor for not fighting for the relationship.

Still, some fans have come to Alwyn’s defense, pointing out that “not every breakup has to have a villain and a hero.”

Typically, Swift’s vault tracks are unreleased songs that were written at the same time as the original album. Considering Midnights was released in October 2022, this does not line up with recent reports that the pair likely split in February 2023.

However, early breakup reports did suggest the pair had been discussing marriage before their split, which would make the lyrics of “You’re Losing Me” even more heartbreaking. “I wouldn’t marry me either,” Swift sings during the bridge. “A pathological people pleaser who only wanted you to see her.” You can read the rest of the “You’re Losing Me” lyrics here.

September 5, 2023: Alwyn shares his first Instagram post since May—and everyone makes it about Taylor Swift.

September 24, 2023: The Taylor Swift—Travis Kelce saga officially begins when Swift attends her first Chiefs game with Kelce’s mom, Donna. We’re not going to get into all of the Traylor updates in this post, but you can check out their full timeline here. Let’s just say fans can’t stop comparing Kelce’s loud affection for Swift to Alwyn’s more private approach to their relationship.

Celebrity News

It all started with a friendship bracelet.

November 11, 2023: Swift changes a “Karma” lyric about Alwyn during her second Eras Tour concert in Argentina. With Kelce in the audience, she sings “Karma is the guy on the Chiefs” instead of “Karma is the guy on the screen.”

November 15, 2023: Alwyn makes his first red-carpet appearance post-breakup.

Joe Alwyn arrives at the GQ Men of the Year Awards at the Royal Opera House in London.

GQ Men Of The Year Awards 2023 - Arrivals

Joe Alwyn arrives at the GQ Men of the Year Awards at the Royal Opera House in London.
Karwai Tang

On this day, Swift’s longtime friend and collaborator Jack Antonoff also drops the track list for his next Bleachers album.

Swifties quickly took notice of track 10, titled, “Hey Joe,” which will be followed up by “Call Me After Midnight” and “We’re Gonna Know Each Other Forever.” These all feel very Taylor Swift–coded, considering Swift and Antonoff worked on her album Midnights while she was still dating Alwyn. At the time Alwyn was filming a project with Antonoff’s wife, Margaret Qualley, in Panama while the musicians “found ourselves back in New York, alone, recording every night, staying up late and exploring old memories and midnights past.”

Jack Antonoff's Instagram comments.
Jack Antonoff's Instagram comments.
Instagram

According to Antonoff’s Instagram post, we’ll find out what “Hey Joe” is all about on March 8.

November 29, 2023: Antonoff causes more chaos online when he reveals that “You’re Losing Me” was written in December 2021. Now many fans are convinced Swift and Alwyn were on the rocks for over a year before their breakup.

To make matters more messy, Keleigh Teller, a friend of Swift’s and wife of “I Bet You Think About Me” music video star Miles Teller, reportedly likes a TikTok video theorizing that Antonoff’s verse in the “Anti Hero” remix featuring Bleachers was about Alwyn.

The lyrics in question: “Sometimes I feel like everybody is an art bro lately. And I just judge them on the hill. Too hurt to hang out, talking shit about your famous baby. Pierced through the heart of ’90s guilt.”

Fans seem to believe this lyric implies that Alwyn was disrespectful to Swift, largely tying it back to his refusal to talk about Swift with the press. Honestly, the theory has always felt like a huge stretch until Teller’s TikTok like. Perhaps this is why so many of Swift’s circle have unfollowed Alwyn.

November 30, 2023: Taylor Swift’s publicist Tree Paine makes a very rare public statement after gossip account Deux Moi posts that Swift and Alwyn had an unofficial wedding ceremony in the UK before their breakup.

“Enough is enough with these fabricated lies about Taylor from Deuxmoi,” she wrote on X. “There was NEVER a marriage or ceremony of ANY kind. This is an insane thing to post. It’s time for you to be held accountable for the pain and trauma you cause with posts like these.”

February 4, 2024: After winning her 13th (!) Grammy, Swift announces the release date and title of her next album: The Tortured Poets Department, out April 19. Fan-theory chaos ensues immediately. The first detail Swifties pick up on is that Alwyn has been a member of a WhatsApp group of actors who call themselves the Tortured Man Club.

The second is that in her announcement, Swift mentions she has been keeping the project a secret for two years, which means she was working on it in some capacity around the time she wrote “You’re Losing Me, Babe.” Breakup album confirmed.

February 5, 2024: Just a day later, Swift drops the track list, which is full of references to her other songs.

The most obvious is “So Long, London,” which stands in contrast to the upbeat lovey-dovey song “London Boy” she wrote about Alwyn for the Lover album.

There appear to be many, many connections to Alwyn in the song titles.

February 16, 2024: Swift fuels those Tortured Poets theories by making an emotional speech before performing the “You’re Losing Me” live for the first time in Melbourne. “I needed to make it,” she said of the upcoming album, per fan-recorded videos. “It was really a lifeline for me. It sort of reminded me of why songwriting is something that actually gets me through life. And I’ve never had an album where I’ve needed songwriting more than I needed it on Tortured Poets.”

Swift also teases new album art for the Tortured Poets bonus track “The Bolter,” which at least one fan connected to a past video of Alwyn and Swift sprinting to their vehicle to avoid paparazzi.

February 17, 2024: Swift says she was “lonely” while writing Folklore—you know, the album that included multiple collaborations with Alwyn. “[I was] imagining that, instead of being a lonely millennial woman covered in cat hair drinking my weight in white wine, I was a ghostly Victorian lady wandering through the woods with a candle in a candlestick holder, and I wrote only on parchment with a feathered quill,” she said, per fan-recorded video.

She continued, “That was in my mind, what I thought I looked like writing Folklore. That is not what I looked like…so that’s all that matters—the delusion."

We're not done yet. During her surprise song set, Swift combined “Getaway Car” from Reputation, “August” from Folklore, and “The Other Side of the Door” from Fearless (Taylor’s Version). Fans quickly begin to speculate that Alwyn cheated on Swift.

“So ‘Getaway Car’ is from the perspective of the cheater, ‘August’ is from the perspective of the other woman, and ‘The Other Side of the Door’ is from the perspective of the woman who was cheated on,” one fan noted, while others quickly recalled previous fan accusations that Alwyn was acting shady with a costar amid his split from Swift.

This feels like a bit of a reach, as none of these tracks have ever been tied to the actor…but we're just reporting what Swifties are saying!

February 24, 2024: Oh naur! Amid those unsubstantiated cheating rumors, Swift does the most hilarious thing possible: She sings “Should’ve Said No” during a performance in Sydney. While some fans took this as confirmation, it feels like she just wanted to sing “no” in an Australian accent….

April 6, 2024: Based on a fan theory that Tortured Poets would document the five stages of heartbreak, Swift drops five corresponding playlists made up of her own music catalog. Swifties are shocked by how many songs believed to be about Alwyn have ended up on the denial-themed playlist, including “Lover.”

“This is a list of songs about getting so caught up in the idea of something that you have a hard time seeing the red flags, possibly resulting in moments of denial and maybe a little bit of delusion,” Swift told fans of the playlist, which is called, “I Love You, It’s Ruining My Life.”

Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn at the Golden Globe Awards in 2020
Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn at the Golden Globe Awards in 2020

Celebrity News

This could change the song's meaning entirely.

April 17, 2024 (daytime): Fans think Swift’s Tortured Poets library pop-up contains a bunch of new Joe Alwyn easter eggs. Check those out here.

April 17, 2024 (evening): But wait! Alwyn may be able to sleep easy tonight…or, at least, easier. Based on an alleged Tortured Poets leak, fans now believe the album will focus a lot more energy on Matty Healy. Read all about that here.

April 19, 2024: While the most scathing tracks on Tortured Poets appear to have been aimed at Healy and Kim Kardashian, fans do think multiple songs on the 31-track double album were inspired by Alwyn. Most notably, “So Long, London,” which features lyrics like, “I left all I knew, you left me at the house by the Heath.”

That lyric continues, “I stopped CPR, after all it’s no use. / The spirit was gone, we would never come to, / And I’m pissed off you let me give you all that youth for free.” This appears to reference “You’re Losing Me,” which ends with the lyric, “I can’t find a pulse. / My heart won’t start anymore.”

Here are the complete “So Long, London” lyrics:

I saw in my mind fairy lights through the mist
I kept calm and carried the weight of the rift
Pulled him in tighter each time he was drifting away
My spine split from carrying us up the hill
Wet through my clothes, weary bones caught the chill
I stopped trying to make him laugh
Stopped trying to drill the safe
Thinkin, how much sad did you think I had
Did you think I had in me?
Oh, the tragedy ...

So long, London
You'll find someone ...

I didn't opt in to be your odd man out
I founded the club she's heard great things about
I left all I knew, you left me at the house by the Heath
I stopped CPR, after all it's no use
The spirit was gone, we would never come to
And I'm pissed off you let me give you all that youth for free

For so long, London
Stitches undone
Two graves, one gun
I'll find someone ...

And you say I abandoned the ship
But I was going down with it
My white knuckle dying grip
Holding tight to your quiet resentment and
My friends said it isn't right to be scared
Every day of a love affair
Every breath feels like rarest air
When you're not sure if he wants to be there
So how much sad did you think I had,
Did you think I had in me?
How much tragedy?
Just how low did you think I'd go?
Before I'd self-implode
Before I'd have to go be free

You swore that you loved me but where were the clues?
I died on the altar waiting for the proof
You sacrificed us to the gods of your bluest days
And I'm just getting color back into my face
I'm just mad as hell cause I loved this place

For so long, London
Had a good run
A moment of warm sun
But I'm not the one
So long, London
Stitches undone
Two graves, one gun
You'll find someone...

Celebrity News

“It wasn't a fair fight or a clean kill."

April 22, 2024: The social media manager for The Black Dog implies that Joe Alwyn is a regular at the bar referenced in Swift’s song “The Black Dog,” which is the first song on the extended album, The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology. “I don’t want to give too much away [but] we do have a certain blond regular who frequents,” Lily Bottomley tells Sky News.

While they could mean Swift herself, many believe the regular is Alwyn based on the lyric, “And so I watch as you walk into some bar called The Black Dog and pierce new holes in my heart.” You wouldn’t call your fave spot “some bar,” would you?

April 25, 2023: A source tells The Daily Mail that Alwyn has banned questions about Swift and The Tortured Poets Department on his upcoming press tour for the film Kinds of Kindness, which also stars Swift’s close friend Emma Stone.

“Joe has listened to the album, and he is slightly disappointed, but not surprised at all,” the source says. “She didn’t really trash him or defame him. Joe is not going to react to this.”

While you may want to take this report with a grain of salt, Alwyn famously dodged questions about Swift while the pair were together, so it’s not a stretch to believe he won’t indulge them after the split. The source also says there has been “absolutely zero contact” between Swift and Alwyn, and that she did not share the songs with him before the album’s release.

April 26, 2023: Similarly, a source tells Entertainment Tonight that Swift and Alwyn “are not in touch at this point” but “try to be respectful of one another.”

“Joe wants to keep his personal life private,” the source says. “He is more introverted and the interest about his personal life is a bit overwhelming to him. He is focused on acting and his career.”

This post will be updated.


Originally Appeared on Glamour