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Why Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn Have Been So Private About Their Relationship

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When you’re Taylor Swift, keeping a new romance completely under wraps is no easy feat.

But over the last several months, the singer, 27, and her new boyfriend Joe Alwyn, 26, have managed to keep their relationship away from prying eyes.

“She wanted to get to know him without any chaos,” a source tells PEOPLE exclusively about Swift, who was longtime friends with the rising star before things turned romantic.

The Grammy winner’s last relationship with actor Tom Hiddleston thrust her into the spotlight last summer, and she’s since been largely under the radar.

According to The Sun, Swift has been renting a house in North London and donned disguises while spending time in the U.K. with Alwyn, who’s been busy shooting his upcoming film, The Favourite, with Swift’s friend Emma Stone.

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Last year, Alwyn — who had his breakthrough role in Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (Swift caught a screening of the film last November with her mom Andrea and the Haim sisters) — opened up to PEOPLE about his growing fame.

“It’s really nice to have people excited about … me,” he said about the newfound attention. “But it’s hard to get caught up in that. Maybe it’s just my nature. I just want to take things a day at a time.”