Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn have now been together for five years, and many believe that the two are secretly engaged. Well, at least most Swifties do.
In honor of these rumors, let’s breakdown their five-year relationship:
May 2, 2016: Taylor and Joe meet at the Met Gala
Swift’s sensual track “Dress” alludes to the first time she met Alwyn, saying, “Flashback when you met me / Your buzzcut, my hair bleached.” This lyric is definitely a nod to her 2016 Met Gala look, where she rocked a bleach-blonde wavy bob and a metallic, snakeskin dress. Meanwhile, Alwyn was indeed sporting a buzzcut and black and white tuxedo.
Oct. 12, 2016: The two attend the same Kings of Leon concert
It had been a little over a month since her breakup with Tom Hiddleston when the singer attended a Kings of Leon concert with friends such as Dakota Johnson, Cara Delevingne, Lorde, Zoe Kravitz and Suki Waterhouse, while Alwyn was reportedly close by. After the show, they all went to a party at the Bowery Hotel. Since then, many fans have cracked the code that Alwyn was there too and was staying at the same hotel as Swift.
Nov. 12, 2016: Swift goes to Alwyn’s screening of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
Once again accompanied by friends, Swift attended Alwyn’s latest film, but the press coverage of the premiere was so limited that the actor wasn’t even mentioned in any stories. It was also not clear if he was actually at the premiere, but the fact that Taylor was, is another clue to their mysterious relationship.
May 16, 2017: Reports say Swift and Alwyn are dating
The Sun released information after a close source to Swift and Alwyn told the news outlet that they had been together for a few months and that even their friends and family knew. After having very public relationships during the release of 1989, the source said Swift decided that from now on she’d be more private with her dating life, protecting Alwyn from the media that usually swarm her.
June 5, 2017: The paparazzi catches the two in Nashville
Swift and Alwyn were pictured together on a coffee date sitting on a balcony. The two looked at ease with one another and like they were madly in love. Apparently, this was the day that Alwyn was meeting Swift’s parents for the first time.
July 25, 2017: Once again, the paparazzi get a snapshot of the two in New York.
The two were seen leaving Swift's apartment with hoodies pulled over their faces as they headed to the gym together in New York. Swift and Alwyn clearly like to be incognito.
Oct. 20, 2017: Swift tells fans her newest single “Gorgeous” is about Alwyn
At the time, Swift was about to drop Reputation, but she gave fans of hints of what was to come with “Gorgeous.” The singer also had hosted her famous “secret sessions” for the album already, where fans allegedly said Swift told them the song was about Alwyn.
A fan went to Tumblr to verify the claim, saying, “Basically Taylor made us all promise that if anyone made any accusations of who this song is about, we tell them it is 100 percent about her angel boyfriend of one year. This isn’t a secret. She wanted us to tell people."
Oct. 27, 2017: Ed Sheeran confirms who “Gorgeous” is about
Swift’s longtime friend and singer Ed Sheeran revealed on a British radio show that she did in fact write the song about Alwyn. Sheeran even said, “He’s really nice. Really, really friendly, really good dude,” about the actor.
Dec. 11, 2017: The couple is seen snuggling together during an Ed Sheeran performance
At iHeart Radio’s annual Jingle Bell Ball in New York City, Swift and Alwyn were seen snuggling close together during Ed Sheeran’s allotted performance time. Swifties in attendance were over the moon, tweeting, “THEY LITERALLY SLOW DANCED TO ALL EDS SONGS WITH THEIR ARMS AROUND ONE ANOTHER AND JUST KEPT LOOKING AT EACH OTHER AND KISSING.”
May 8, 2018: The two post coordinating cactus photos on Instagram
Both the singer and actor posted a photo of them individually standing next to a cactus, with Alwyn saying that he didn’t even realize the photos were identical.
“I didn’t even think of that until I was in New York and someone else mentioned it,” he said. “It wasn’t purposeful at all!”
Sept. 19, 2018: Alwyn acknowledges Swift for the first time in an interview
In an interview with British Vogue, the star was reluctant to talk about his supposed girlfriend. “I’m aware people want to know about that side of things,” Alwyn said. “I think we have been successfully very private and that has now sunk in for people … but I really prefer to talk about work.”
Oct. 18, 2018: Alwyn speaks briefly about Swift’s political activism
During this time, Swift publicly endorsed two Tennessee congressional candidates after a career-long silent stance on politics. A few days later, a journalist asked Alwyn how he felt about her political awakening.
He said, “I think it’s great, and I think it’s important,” awkwardly moving away from the interview.
Nov. 23, 2018: Swift acknowledges Alwyn’s social media presence
At this point, it had been two years since Swift became known to Alwyn, and she finally decided to post in honor of him. The Instagram post consisted of a clip for his new movie The Favourite, with a caption saying the film was “phenomenal.” She even encouraged her fanbase to go see the film, tagging the movie’s account along with Alwyn’s.
Dec. 7, 2018: The actor opens up a little bit more about his relationship with Swift
When Alwyn talked with Esquire, the actor was asked if he sought out any advice from friends before he began dating Swift. He said, “I didn’t seek out any advice on that because I know what I feel about it. I think there’s a very clear line as to what somebody should share, or feel like they have to share, and what they don’t want to and shouldn’t have to.”
Dec. 11, 2018: Swift attends Alwyn’s premiere yet again this time in London
Swift made a surprise appearance at the Cineworld Leicester premiere of Mary Queen of Scots, as well as an after-party, with Alwyn present.
Jan. 6, 2019: Swift and Alwyn go to the Golden Globes, but separately
Alwyn was seen at the awards show for his movie The Favourite, while Swift presented Best Original Score and Best Original Song during the ceremony. While they didn’t walk the red carpet together, US Weekly said the two were flirting while she was on stage presenting.
“While Taylor presented, Joe watched the teleprompter near him and smiled and (his Favourite costar) Nicholas Hoult patted him on the back,” the source said. “After Gaga walked on stage, Joe shifted his gaze to the stage near Taylor.” The insider added, “She was smiling at him while she walked off the stage. She looked over her shoulder and gave a sassy cute little smile at his table’s direction.”
Feb. 10, 2019: The couple make an appearance at a BAFTAs after party
Swift skipped the grammy awards and attended a BAFTAs after-party with Alwyn instead. Stealing the show in a pale blue Stella McCartney gown, the singer looked like a princess next to Alwyn. The two were even photographed holding hands as they walked into the event together.
March 2019: Their first engagement rumors are documented
Reports began to make headlines as they all hinted that Swift was ready to marry Alwyn. US Weekly said, “Taylor’s friends are all talking about a proposal and how she really wants to marry Joe.”
People Magazine also published a similar sentiment by Taylor saying, “Taylor really got lucky to meet Joe, and she is the first one to say it. Joe really is one of a kind.”
August 2019: Swift drops Lover, and fans everywhere go searching for clues
Before the release of Lover on Aug. 23, Swift had been saying that this album would address her current relationship. During a YouTube Live, she said, “It’s a really romantic album, but it really celebrates love in all its complexity. Not just flowers and sunshine but the patchwork emotions that go into any love you feel.”
Oct 5, 2019: The two were seen together after Swift’s Saturday Night Live performance
After Swift’s romantic rendition of “Lover” and “False God” on SNL, the singer was seen holding hands with Alwyn after her performance. They shortly headed to New York’s Zuma for the show’s after-party.
Dec. 26, 2019: The couple spends Christmas together
According to E!, the couple spent Christmas in London together, following their joint Thanksgiving celebrations. The singer spent time with Alwyn’s friends and family and even some of Swift’s family flew from Nashville to visit the two.
Jan. 5, 2020: Taylor and Joe attend the Golden Globes — together this time
This was the couple’s first official public outing together, where Swift was a presenter and nominee for Best Original Song - Motion Picture for her and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new original song for Cats called “Beautiful Ghosts.”
Even though they didn’t walk the red carpet together, Swift and Alwyn did sit at the same table right next to each other. Later, the two were spotted at the Golden Globes CAA after party.
Jan. 31, 2020: Miss Americana provides glimpses into Swift and Alwyn’s relationship
In her Netflix documentary Miss Americana, Swift let viewers in on her love life, detailing its start in 2016 as her life and reputation were falling apart. She spoke vaguely on falling for Alwyn saying, “I felt alone, I felt really bitter. I felt sort of like a wounded animal lashing out. I figured I had to reset everything. I had to reconstruct an entire belief system for my own personal sanity. I also was falling in love with someone who had a wonderfully normal, balanced life.”
There were also brief clips of Alwyn such as those featuring him kissing Swift’s hand in a car and hugging her backstage after a performance of “Getaway Car” during her Reputation stadium tour. Swift also included a sweet moment of her serenading Alwyn with “Call It What You Want,” which was filmed by him.
March 24, 2020: The couple admits they’ve discussed marriage
A source told US Weekly that the two have “talked about their future and marriage.” The news outlet said, “They don’t have a set deadline in place, but they’re very much in love” and that Taylor considers Joe as “one of the only safe constants in her life.”
April 29, 2020: Alwyn provides evidence that the two are quarantining together
Swift is known for her adorable cats and Alwyn gave his Instagram followers a glimpse into her most prized possessions. He posted several photos of Swift’s cat Benjamin Button around her home, proving that he was obviously staying with her during the height of the pandemic.
Jul. 23, 2020: Swift announces her surprise album folklore
After a relatively quiet quarantine with Alwyn, the singer announced folklore, the album she had been secretly working on for months. While fans waited in anticipation for its midnight release, social media rumors began to invade the internet.
Some theories suggested that the track “betty” was a reference to Alwyn’s mother of the same name, while some believed that Swift’s album collaborator William Bowery was a pseudonym for Alwyn himself. The singer credited her co-writers and producers for folklore, but didn’t tag Bowery.
Jul. 24, 2020: folklore is released
folklore’s release answered many fans’ questions about Alwyn and his possible musical influence on the album. “invisible string” referred to the London yogurt shop Alwyn worked at as a teenager, as well as the dive bars they went to during the early days of their relationship. Other songs like “the lakes” and “peace” also alluded to their relationship.
Nov. 25, 2020: Swift confirms that William Bowery is Joe
Within this month, Swift dropped folklore: the long pond studio sessions on Disney+ and discussed the making of the album with its producers Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner. Swift revealed that “betty” and “exile (ft. Bon Iver)” were co-written by Alwyn saying, “So, William Bowery is Joe … as we know.”
When explaining the process of how “exile (ft. Bon Iver)” became a track on the album, Swift said, “Joe plays piano beautifully and he’s always just playing and making things up and kind of creating things. And ‘exile’ was crazy because Joe had written that entire piano part. He was singing the Bon Iver part, the ‘I can see you standing honey, with his arms around your body, laughing but the joke’s not funny at all.’ He was just singing it. And I was entranced and asked if we could keep writing that one.”
It was the couple’s first time working together and proved that they were an exquisite musical team.
Dec. 8, 2020: Swift denies engagement rumors
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Swift shut down the idea of being engaged to Alwyn by still referring to the actor as her boyfriend.
Jan. 11, 2021: Swift and Alwyn are finally photographed together again
Eleven months had passed since the two were photographed together, but to many Swifities’ relief, Swift and Alwyn were spotted in London together on a walk with the actor’s mother, bundled up in winter clothes. According to E!, Swift had been traveling back and forth between Nashville and London to spend time with both their families.
May 11, 2021: The singer gives a shout out to Alwyn in a BRIT Awards speech
After becoming the first woman and youngest person ever to win BRIT Awards’ Global Icon Award, Swift thanked many of her collaborators for folklore and evermore yet again, saying, “The world changed, and I ended up putting out three albums instead, so making folklore and evermore was one of the most unique, cathartic, extraordinary experiences I’ve ever had. I would love the opportunity to thank the amazing creative people that I made those albums with. Thank you, Aaron Dessner, thank you Jack Antonoff, Joe, Justin Vernon, the National, Marcus Mumford, Jon Low, Serban Ghenea, Laura Sisk and HAIM. I want to thank my friends and family who know exactly who they are: whose opinion of me never changed whether my stock was up or down.”
May 20, 2021: Marriage rumors continue to surface about the couple
Entertainment Tonight released a new story that engagement rumors between Alwyn and Swift were still a valid possibility saying, “They grew closer than ever during the quarantine and she really trusts him. They’ve been continuing to be pretty low-key about their relationship to the outside world to continue to protect it. They’ve discussed future plans and Taylor can see herself marrying Joe one day.”
November 2021 - February 2022
Engagement rumors have continued to spread around the internet, but we still don’t know for sure if Swift and Alwyn are actually engaged. Maybe one of these days Swifties will find the answer