June 22, 2016 08:00 AM

Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston‘s budding romance continues to be the talk of the town.

The pair set tongues wagging last week when they were photographed cuddling and kissing in Rhode Island and again on Tuesday when they were spotted dancing and cuddling together at Swift’s pal Selena Gomez‘s concert in Nashville, all just weeks after the singer’s split from Calvin Harris.

So what’s behind this surprise connection?

“Tom’s a very smart, attractive guy with a fun personality,” a pal of the Night Manager actor tells PEOPLE. And although “dating the most famous singer in the world feels slightly out of character” for the charismatic Brit, the pair have may more in common than meets the eye.

“He can’t meet new people without them having preconceived ideas of him, and I’m sure Taylor feels the same way,” says the friend. “It’s a tightrope he’s learning. He keeps more to himself now, though is generous with his time and attention to people.”

For much more on Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

After Swift split from Harris, a source close to the 26-year-old singer said she “is an independent young woman” who “realizes it will take a very secure man to handle her success.” Coincidentally, Hiddleston, 35, told Ireland s TV3 last fall his ideal woman is “strong, immensely independent and very capable” like his mother and sisters.

Swift and Hiddleston’s chemistry first made headlines in May when their friendly dance-off at The Met Ball to T.I.’s “Bring Em Out” was captured on video. After news broke of Swift and Harris’ split a month later, multiple sources told PEOPLE there was “no drama” or cheating involved.

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