If you’ve religiously followed the Taylor Swift boyfriend chronicles, you’ll know that the singer has endured her fair share of high profile romances since breaking onto the music scene in 2006. While Swift’s early years consisted of writing about heartbreak, her current love life (or, shall we say Love Story?) is a bit more positive.
After a string of relationships with stars like Taylor Lautner, Harry Styles and Calvin Harris, Swift quietly started dating British actor Joe Alwyn in 2017. While the couple originally kept their romance out of the public eye, they’ve slowly opened up with the progress of their relationship, which we document below.
May 2016: When Swift and Alwyn First Met
Swift and Alwyn reportedly first met at the 2016 Met Gala. We know what you’re thinking: Wasn’t that the night that Swift and her soon-to-be boyfriend Tom Hiddleston went viral for their after-party dance moves? Yes. Swift and Hiddleston began dating shortly after the Met Gala, but their whirlwind romance ended in September 2016 (after a summer of PDA). But, we have good reason to believe that Swift met her current beau at this event based on these lyrics from her song “Dress” off her 2017 album Reputation: “Flashback when you met me/Your buzzcut and my hair bleached.” Swift sported a short, bleached fringe at the Met Gala—and can you guess who attended with a buzzcut? We’ll let you make the connection.
May 2017: They Start Dating Undercover
While it’s not exactly clear when things started to heat up between these two, The Sun reported about a year after the 2016 Met Gala that Swift and Alwyn had been together for a few months, with Swift traveling to London to go on dates with her rumored boyfriend—going so far as to wearing hats, wigs, and scarves to keep their budding romance on the down low.
June 2017: A Coffee Date in Nashville
A month later, Alwyn traveled to Swift’s hometown in Nashville where they were spotted on a quiet coffee date. The two giggled and sipped on their drinks on a private balcony while looking completely smitten. It was also rumored that, by this time, Alwyn already met Selena Gomez and Gigi Hadid, two very important members of Swift’s girl squad.
— Daily Mail Celebrity (@DailyMailCeleb) June 4, 2017
October 2017: Swift Starts Dropping Hints in Her Music
Swift proved she was ready to start revealing hints about her boyfriend in the music video for her song “…Ready for It?” During the production, Swift stands next to a wall with her birth year (‘89) written in graffiti next to Alwyn’s (‘91). She also types “2-1” into a phone… and Alwyn’s birthday happens to be February 21.
December 2017: Swift and Alwyn Enjoy a “Perfect” Date Night
Swift and Alwyn were caught dancing while Ed Sheeran performed “Perfect” at Jingle Ball in 2017. Alwyn was also seen recording his leading lady’s performance at the show, showing off his Instagram-boyfriend skills.
TAYLOR AND JOE ARE SWAYING WHILST ED SINGS PERFECT pic.twitter.com/PWKUGpqp2c
— crystal 🦋 (@swiftsoras) December 10, 2017
— big reputation (@burningwitxhes) December 10, 2017
March 2018: Swift Sports a New Necklace
While the two had yet to speak publicly about their relationship up until this point, Swift left another reference to Alwyn in the Spotify video for the song “Delicate” off of her Reputation album. She can be seen wearing a necklace with a “J” initial—and in another song off the same album, “Call It What You Want,” she sings, “I want to wear his initial on a chain ‘round my neck/chain ‘round my neck.”
View this post on Instagram
May 2018: Swift and Alwyn Match Instagram Posts
A day before Swift’s Reputation stadium tour began, she and Alwyn separately posted pictures of themselves standing next to the same exact cactus tree. Of all the cacti in the desert, it didn’t appear to be a coincidence.
View this post on Instagram
July 2018: Independence Day Together
For four consecutive years, Swift has been known for celebrating the Fourth of July with Instagram-worthy, star-studded summer bashes at her Rhode Island residence with the singer’s last “Taymerica” party held in 2016. Since then, Swift has traded her sparklers for something smaller like in 2018, when she and Alwyn spent the Fourth together in Turks and Caicos. (She still sported a patriotic bikini to mark the day).
— Cosmopolitan (@Cosmopolitan) July 6, 2018
September 2018: Swift Supports Alwyn’s Work
Swift kept a low profile at the premiere of Alwyn’s film The Favourite. Though she attended with her boyfriend, she skipped the red carpet and instead used a private back door to get in. Have no fear, though: they were still photographed sneaking in together, hand-in-hand.
Taylor Swift and Boyfriend Joe Alwyn Celebrate His Film The Favourite in L.A. with Emma Stone pic.twitter.com/TtITlk4WHp
— Taylor Swift Fan (@swiftiess8) November 18, 2018
September 2018: Alwyn Speaks Publicly About Swift
In the same month, Alwyn also spoke publicly about Swift for the first time to British Vogue, saying, “I’m aware people want to know about that side of things. I think we have been successfully very private, and that has now sunk in for people.”
November 2018: Swift’s First Social Shout-Out
Proud girlfriend alert! Swift gave Alwyn a very public shoutout on Instagram for his work in his film. “The Favourite is absolutely phenomenal, and it opens in NY and LA tomorrow— Swipe to see cities and dates! @firstname.lastname@example.org @nicholashoult,” she raved.
February 2019: The Couple Displays PDA
Despite their tendency to keep things private, Swift and Alwyn packed on the PDA during the 2019 awards season. Not only were they affectionate at a BAFTAs party in London, they couldn’t keep their hands off each other at an Oscars party in Los Angeles.
📷 IG | danwootton: SUPER CUTE! Taylor Swift just snuck into the #eebaftas dinner and was very affectionate with her boyfriend Joe Alwyn on The Favourite table next door. The most affectionate they’ve been yet. #taylorswift pic.twitter.com/Z1CGtHAJFi
— Taylor Swift News (@TSwiftNZ) February 10, 2019
— Taylor Swift News (@TSwiftNZMedia) February 25, 2019
May 2019: More Hints to Come in Lover
We know that Swift loves leaving Easter eggs for her loyal Swifties to decode, and the music video for her single “ME!” featured plenty of wedding references (including a proposal involving a ring and a cat!). She also announced that her latest album, set to be released in August 2019, will be titled Lover. Though we don’t know much more about her upcoming music, it’s not unlikely that it’ll feature some more hints about her love life.
While these two aren’t officially engaged quite yet, we can’t help but imagine how beautiful their future wedding could be. But if you happen to be a major Swiftie who’s in the middle of your own wedding planning process (or you just love a good ballad to get you in your feels), check out our roundup of the best wedding-worthy Taylor Swift songs.