Taylor Swift and Harry Styles' Relationship (Turned Friendship!) Timeline

From a flirtatious X Factor rehearsal to a friendly reunion at the 2023 Grammys, here’s everything to know about Taylor Swift and Harry Styles’ relationship through the years

Taylor Swift and Harry Styles
Photo: Denise Truscello/WireImage/Pascal Le Segretain/Getty

In 2012, Taylor Swift and Harry Styles briefly formed one of pop's most iconic power couples — dubbed "Haylor" — the legacy of which is speculated to live on in songs written by each of the Grammy award-winning musicians.

Swift has been happily dating actor Joe Alwyn (another Brit!) since late 2016, and the exes have long been supportive of each other. Most recently, the "Watermelon Sugar" singer was asked about his former flame during a visit to The Howard Stern Show in May 2022, though he quickly shut down the speculation that any of the songs on his latest album, Harry's House, were inspired by Swift.

From their first meeting at the Kid's Choice Awards to their friendly reunion at the 2023 Grammys, here's everything to know about their whirlwind romance and where things stand between the stars now, nearly a decade later.

March 31, 2012: Taylor Swift and Harry Styles meet backstage at the Kid's Choice Awards

The pair reportedly first crossed paths backstage at the 2012 Kids Choice Awards, where Swift and close pal Selena Gomez were spotted dancing and singing along as One Direction performed their hit, "What Makes You Beautiful."

September 6, 2012: Taylor Swift and Harry Styles both perform at the MTV Video Music Awards

Taylor Swift and Harry Styles perform at 2012 MTV Video Music Awards
Christopher Polk/Getty / Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Sparks may or may not have been flying when Swift and Styles each took the stage at the 2012 VMAs, where a swooshy-haired Styles performed alongside the rest of One Direction and a newly single Swift performed her breakup anthem, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together."

November 17, 2012: Taylor Swift and Harry Styles spark romance rumors

The pair's relationship seemed to go in a new direction when Styles paid Swift a visit during The X Factor rehearsals ahead of her performance on the show. (The original British version of the singing competition series is where One Direction first formed two years earlier.)

Swift and Styles were spotted getting cozy by onlookers, who told PEOPLE that they weren't shy about showing PDA. "He was smiling at her while she rehearsed. When she was done he jumped up on stage, picked her up, put her over his shoulder and carried her off stage," said the source. "The whole crew was really surprised."

The young singers were also spotted by X Factor host Mario Lopez, who confirmed Styles' presence at rehearsal on his 104.3 MY FM radio show, noting that he saw the musicians "hand-in-hand."

December 3, 2012: Taylor Swift and Harry Styles are spotted on a date in Central Park

Taylor Swift and Harry Styles are seen walking around Central Park on December 02, 2012 in New York City
David Krieger/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

A few weeks later, the duo's "Love Story" began in earnest when they were spotted on a date fit for a T-Swift love song: an afternoon at the Central Park Zoo in New York City. The new couple were all smiles as they walked around together and later met up with friends.

December 6, 2012: Taylor Swift and Harry Styles smooch at a friend's birthday party

Taylor Swift and Harry Styles at the Crosby Hotel, celebrating a friends birthday. They left holding hands and smiling at each other, before heading back to their hotel in NYc
Splash News

Following their park date and late-night karaoke session, the pair were spotted for the third time in one week at a pal's birthday party at New York's Crosby Hotel on Dec. 6, where a source said they "definitely looked like a couple."

December 13, 2012: Taylor Swift and Harry Styles celebrate her birthday in England

To ring in the "All Too Well" singer's 23rd birthday, the young couple jetted off to Northern England, where they were spotted holding hands while out and about on a romantic stroll, PEOPLE reported at the time. Styles appeared to introduce Swift to his mom, who was photographed feeding birds alongside the couple.

December 2012: Taylor Swift and Harry Styles hit the slopes during a Park City getaway

As the pair's romance heated up, they spent the holidays cooling down on the snowy slopes of Park City, Utah, where they enjoyed a ski trip over Christmas. As PEOPLE reported at the time, the vacation soon turned into an epic double date when they were joined by pop's other major power couple of the era, Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez.

December 31, 2012: Taylor Swift and Harry Styles share a New Year's Eve kiss in Times Square

Taylor Swift and Harry Styles
Mike Coppola/Getty / Kevin Mazur/Getty

Back on the East Coast, the two shared a kiss at midnight in Times Square after her performance on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest.

December 2012: Taylor Swift and Harry Styles go on a Caribbean vacation

Next up: a New Year's getaway to the Caribbean, where the couple cozied up at a resort in the British Virgin Islands. Fans were delighted to spot the megastars, who happily posed for photos during their trip.

January 4, 2013: Taylor Swift leaves the Caribbean alone, sparking split rumors

Rumors of trouble in paradise began when Swift was spotted leaving the Caribbean alone, while Styles stayed behind and paid a visit to Richard Branson's private island. Swift was seen sitting solo on a boat outside of customs, while Styles was photographed with Branson and others in a hot tub.

January 7, 2013: Taylor Swift and Harry Styles break up

A source soon confirmed to PEOPLE that Swift and Styles had indeed split following their Caribbean getaway.

While their romance had seemed hot and heavy, a source close to Swift told PEOPLE of the relationship, "No one is taking it seriously."

August 25, 2013: Taylor Swift and Harry Styles attend the MTV Video Music Awards separately

Taylor Swift (L) and Selena Gomez attend the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards at the Barclays Center on August 25, 2013 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City
Andrew H. Walker/WireImage

Months after their highly-publicized breakup, the A-listers reunited for the first time at the 2013 MTV VMAs at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, though they kept their distance.

October 27, 2014: Taylor Swift releases 1989, which fans speculate was inspired by her newly single life

Swift released her fifth studio album, 1989 — her birth year — in October 2014, cementing her move from country to pop in the process. Fans were quick to decode the album's lyrics in an attempt to gauge which songs could have been inspired by her relationship with Styles, and ultimately landed on "Style" (partly due to its title) and "Out of the Woods," among others.

December 2, 2014: Taylor Swift and Harry Styles are spotted at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show afterparty together

Singer Taylor Swift performs during the 2014 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at Earl's Court exhibition centre on December 2, 2014 in London, England
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

It looks like there's no "Bad Blood" here! Following Swift's strut down the runway with her model friends, the former duo were spotted sitting at the same table and dancing with friends at the 2014 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show afterparty, one year after the height of their romance.

October 16, 2015: One Direction releases "Perfect"; fans speculate that Harry Styles wrote it about Taylor Swift

After One Direction dropped "Perfect" — with the lyrics "And if you like cameras flashin' every time we go out/ Oh, yeah / And if you're looking for someone to write your breakup songs about / Baby, I'm perfect" — fans immediately assumed that the song, co-written by Styles, was about Swift.

But the One Direction star's lips were sealed: "I think people interpret songs in different ways," Styles told PEOPLE about the rumors. "I'm never going to tell someone what a song's about because I feel like it's up to them."

April 18, 2017: Harry Styles opens up about his relationship with Taylor Swift to Rolling Stone

Taylor Swift and Harry Styles
Todd Williamson/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty / Frazer Harrison/Getty

Over the course of a year-long interview with iconic music journalist Cameron Crowe (of Almost Famous fame) for Rolling Stone, Styles candidly discussed his relationship with Swift for the first time.

"When I see photos from that day," he told Crowe, referencing their first date in Central Park, "I think: Relationships are hard, at any age. And adding in that you don't really understand exactly how it works when you're 18, trying to navigate all that stuff didn't make it easier. I mean, you're a little bit awkward to begin with. You're on a date with someone you really like. It should be that simple, right? It was a learning experience for sure. But at the heart of it – I just wanted it to be a normal date."

When asked if he had a message for Swift, Styles thanked her for their time together and the ways it has inspired him. "Certain things don't work out. There's a lot of things that can be right, and it's still wrong," he began. "In writing songs about stuff like that, I like tipping a hat to the time together. You're celebrating the fact it was powerful and made you feel something, rather than 'this didn't work out, and that's bad.' And if you run into that person, maybe it's awkward, maybe you have to get drunk … but you shared something. Meeting someone new, sharing those experiences, it's the best s— ever. So thank you."

March 2, 2020: Harry Styles reveals what he thinks about Taylor Swift's songs about him

Three years later, Styles was asked about Swift once again during an interview on The Howard Stern Show. He spoke highly of her songwriting skills when talking about what it feels like to have exes write songs that are allegedly about him.

"I think about what it means to me to write a song about somebody else and for somebody else to do that, it's like flattering, even if the song isn't that flattering, you still spent time on it and ultimately, using Taylor as an example, she's a great songwriter. So at least they're good songs," he said.

March 15, 2021: Taylor Swift and Harry Styles reunite at the 2021 Grammy Awards

Live With Taylor Swift and Harry Styles At 2021 GRAMMY Awards Show
Taylor Swift and Harry Styles. Recording Academy/GRAMMYs/Youtube

"Haylor" fans were delighted to see the former flames reunite at the 2021 Grammy Awards, where they both took home awards. Swift made history with her album of the year win, which made her the first woman to win the award three times. Meanwhile, Styles took home his first Grammy for best pop solo performance.

When Styles' win was announced, Swift showed support for her ex by standing up to applaud him.

The Recording Academy later shared a clip that showed Styles stopping by Swift's table for what appeared to be an amicable catch-up.

April 2021: Rumors swirl that Taylor Swift will soon re-release 1989 — and that Harry Styles might feature on it

In fans' "Wildest Dreams," Swift and Styles would collaborate on a track on Taylor's version of 1989, which they're convinced is next up to be re-released. Swift, who is re-recording her first six studio albums after her masters were bought and sold by Scooter Braun in June 2019, last re-released Red (Taylor's Version) on Nov. 12, 2021.

Ever the queen of Easter eggs, the pop star has dropped what fans interpret to be a slew of hints that 1989 — and its many (allegedly) Harry-inspired hits — will soon be re-released. The clues range from the make of the car featured in the 10-minute "All Too Well" music video (a 1989 Mercedes Benz) to references in an interview with Stephen Colbert. Swift also re-released "Wildest Dreams," a track off of 1989, in September 2021.

May 19, 2022: Harry Styles denies that "Daylight" is about Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift and Harry Styles
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty / Cindy Ord/Getty

During an appearance on Howard Stern's SiriusXM Radio Show to promote his latest album, Harry's House, Styles was asked once again if Swift had inspired any of his music — notably, his new song "Daylight."

Stern was quick to put forth fan theories that the song is somehow related to Swift's anthem of the same name, off of 2019's Lover. "You're reading too much into it," Styles told Stern when asked if the song was about Swift, according to E! News. "You know I'd love to tell you that you're spot on, but I can't. No, sorry."

May 25, 2022: Harry Styles sings a line from one of Taylor Swift's songs at his concert

That same month, Styles delighted fans when he sang a line from Swift's "22" while celebrating the birthday of a concertgoer at one of his shows. In a video shared on Twitter, Styles is seen singing "I'm feeling 22" as the audience erupts in cheers.

February 5, 2023: Taylor Swift and Harry Styles chat at the Grammys

Harry Styles and Taylor Swift speak during the 65th GRAMMY Awards at Crypto.com Arena on February 05, 2023 in Los Angeles, California
Frazer Harrison/Getty

The 2023 Grammy Awards was a big night for both Swift and Styles. The Midnights singer took home the best music video award for "All Too Well: The Short Film," while Styles received the coveted album of the year honor.

The singers were both in attendance at the ceremony, where Styles performed his hit "As It Was" and Swift was seen dancing along in the crowd. Fans also spotted the exes chatting at one point during the evening. The duo also appeared to fist-bump at one point, much to the delight of their fans who took to Twitter to share their excitement.


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