Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn's Relationship Timeline

From secretly dating to co-writing music together, here’s a breakdown of Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn’s famously private relationship

Taylor Swift has found her "Love Story."

The Grammy-winning musician was first linked to British actor Joe Alwyn in May 2017, when it was revealed that the pair had reportedly been quietly dating for months. Though it's not clear exactly when they met, fans have speculated that Swift and Alwyn first crossed paths at the 2016 Met Gala.

Since then, the couple has shared a number of sweet moments in public, but they've kept many of the details about their romance private. In a 2019 interview with The Guardian, Swift explained why she doesn't like to talk about her relationship with Alwyn, saying, "I've learned that if I do, people think it's up for discussion, and our relationship isn't up for discussion."

However, the pair has given fans a few glimpses into their sweet love story — Alwyn briefly appeared in Swift's Miss Americana documentary, and the couple even co-wrote a few songs together for her album Folklore.

From their subtle moments of support to their joint Grammy win, here's the complete timeline of Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn's relationship.

May 16, 2017: Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn's relationship is first reported

Mike Marsland/Getty; Steve Granitz/WireImage.

In May 2017, The Sun reported that Swift and Alwyn (who were 27 and 26 years old, respectively, at the time) were in a relationship. A source also told the outlet that the couple had been secretly dating for months prior.

Swift seemingly later confirmed this timeline in a diary entry she included in the deluxe edition of her album, Lover. "I'm essentially based in London, hiding out trying to protect us from the nasty world that just wants to ruin things," she wrote in an entry from January 2017. "We have been together and no one has found out for 3 months now."

While it's never been confirmed, many have speculated that Swift and Alwyn first met at the 2016 Met Gala, a theory that's mostly due to the lyrics of Swift's song "Dress" from her album Reputation: "Flashback to when you met me / Your buzz cut / And my hair bleached." At the 2016 event, Swift had bleached blonde hair and Alwyn was sporting a buzzcut.

The news of their relationship came eight months after Swift's whirlwind romance with actor Tom Hiddleston ended in September 2016.

June 2017: Joe Alwyn spends time with Taylor Swift's family

Shortly after the news of their romance broke, the couple headed to Nashville to visit Swift's parents. "They arrived in Nashville on Friday and spent the weekend there together," a source exclusively told PEOPLE at the time. "Joe hasn't spent very much time with her family before, so it does seem they are getting more serious."

December 8, 2017: Joe Alwyn supports Taylor Swift at her concert

In a rare public appearance, Joe Alwyn was in attendance during Taylor Swift's performance at iHeartRadio's Jingle Ball in New York City.

"Taylor and Joe are spending time together in N.Y.C. Taylor was in the best mood. She was smiling and waving to fans," a source told PEOPLE at the time. "Joe stayed for the whole show and they later left together as well. They are staying at Taylor's N.Y.C. apartment."

May 8, 2018: Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn makes things Instagram official

Almost a year after their relationship was first reported, Swift and Alwyn quietly made their romance Instagram official.

In matching posts on May 8, 2018, Swift and Alwyn — whose Instagram account was previously private — both shared shots of themselves standing next to a giant cactus. While Swift's caption was about her Reputation tour kicking off, Alwyn's included only a single cactus emoji.

May 8, 2018: Joe Alwyn supports Taylor Swift on the opening night of her Reputation tour

On the opening night of Swift's Reputation tour in Glendale, Arizona, audience members spotted Alwyn in full incognito mode, wearing a baseball cap to conceal his face. As she performed the song "Gorgeous," which is said to be about Alwyn, fans caught Swift pointing to her boyfriend in the crowd as he proudly recorded the moment.

July 2018: Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn vacation together in Turks and Caicos

In July 2018, Swift took a break from her Reputation tour to relax on a beach vacation with Alwyn. The couple jetted to Turks and Caicos, where they were spotted frolicking in the ocean together.

"They were lovey-dovey," a source told PEOPLE at the time.

Days earlier, another insider revealed to PEOPLE that Swift was in a "great place" with her career and her love life.

"She is still super happy and excited about her tour," the source said, noting that Joe is an "amazing boyfriend."

"He is very supportive. Taylor adores his family. She's in a very good place," the insider added.

September 2018: Joe Alwyn shares why he and Taylor Swift keep their relationship private

In an interview with British Vogue, Alwyn briefly mentioned his relationship with Swift … only to say that he'd rather not discuss it. ​​

"I'm aware people want to know about that side of things," the actor 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."

Shortly after, during an interview with Total Film, Alwyn offered a bit of insight into why he and Swift are so private. "For me, I just don't feel it's something I want to offer up to be picked apart by people who don't know about it, and it's just not theirs to have," he said.

September 28, 2018: Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn hold hands at his movie premiere

Celebrity Sightings in New York City - September 29, 2018
Jackson Lee/GC Images

After Alwyn supported Swift at several of her summer tour dates, the singer returned the favor when she appeared at the premiere of Alwyn's film, The Favourite, at the New York Film Festival. Though she didn't walk the red carpet with Alwyn, Swift attended the screening and the pair were later spotted holding hands as they left the afterparty together, a rare moment of PDA for the super-private couple.

December 30, 2018: Taylor Swift spends time with Joe Alwyn's family in N.Y.C.

Clearly getting cozy in their relationship, Swift and Alwyn were seen walking arm-in-arm (and holding hands) through N.Y.C. on a chilly December day. They later had lunch with Alwyn's brothers, Thomas and Patrick Alwyn.

January 6, 2019: Taylor Swift supports Joe Alwyn at the Golden Globes

Though she opted not to walk the red carpet with Alwyn, whose film The Favourite had earned five nominations, Swift was spotted slipping inside the venue at the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards to support her boyfriend. She also later presented the awards for best original score and best original song in a motion picture alongside Idris Elba.

February 10, 2019: Taylor Swift skips the Grammy Awards to attend the BAFTAs with Joe Alwyn

Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn. Hewitt/Splash

For the second consecutive year, Swift opted out of attending the Grammys in 2019. Instead, the singer supported Alwyn at the BAFTA Awards, where his film The Favourite received seven awards.

Swift and Alwyn were spotted together at the BAFTAs afterparty in London just hours before the Grammys took place in Los Angeles.

March 2019: Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn go hiking together

The next month, Swift and Alwyn were spotted holding hands as they hiked through a trail in the Santa Monica Mountains in L.A. The pair looked fit in baseball caps and T-shirts, while Alwyn had a camera slung around his neck.

May 24, 2019: Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn hold hands in Paris

During a trip to Europe, Swift and Alwyn were seen walking hand-in-hand around Paris. After having breakfast at the iconic Café de Flore, the couple strolled through the city in matching baseball caps, sunglasses and sneakers, seemingly trying to keep things low-key.

August 2019: Taylor Swift says her relationship with Joe Alwyn "isn't up for discussion"

After over two years of dating with very few public appearances, Swift explained that keeping her relationship ultra-private helps her maintain a boundary between her personal and professional life.

"I've learned that if I do, people think it's up for discussion, and our relationship isn't up for discussion," the singer said in an interview with The Guardian. "If you and I were having a glass of wine right now, we'd be talking about it — but it's just that it goes out into the world."

Swift added, "That's where the boundary is, and that's where my life has become manageable. I really want to keep it feeling manageable."

October 5, 2019: Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn attend the Saturday Night Live afterparty

Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn
Taylor Swift, Joe Alwyn. Jackson Lee/GC Images

Following her appearance as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live, Swift stepped out in N.Y.C. to attend the show's afterparty with Alwyn. The pair was spotted holding hands on their way to the event at the Japanese restaurant Zuma, dressed to the nines and looking as smitten as ever.

December 16, 2019: Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn leave the Cats premiere together

At the N.Y.C. premiere of the movie Cats, Alwyn was right by Swift's side to show his support. Following the screening, the pair left Lincoln Center walking hand-in-hand, with Alwyn smiling softly as he guided Swift through the crowd. The actor wore a blue suit while Swift stunned in an Oscar de la Renta dress and coat.

December 2019: Joe Alwyn says he finds Taylor Swift's songs about him "flattering"

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Alwyn said he doesn't mind being the subject of songs on Swift's latest album.

"No, not at all. No. It's flattering," the actor said. In regards to the media attention on their relationship, Alwyn stated that he simply doesn't pay attention to it.

"I turn everything else down on a dial," he said. "I don't have any interest in tabloids. I know what I want to do, and that's this, and that's what I am doing."

January 2020: Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn spend New Year's in the Maldives

Swift and Alwyn reportedly rang in 2020 together at a luxury resort in the Maldives.

The couple was spotted in the audience of British singer Matthew Crane's intimate New Year's Eve performance. Crane later shared about his experience on social media, saying: "So I can now finally reveal who I sung to on New Year's Eve in the Maldives, probably the most notable Pop Star at the moment, the one and only @taylorswift and @joe.alwyn."

"They were both so friendly and kind to me when I performed, they even gave me a standing ovation and complimented on my voice," he continued. "It was truly an honour and an experience that I will never forget."

January 2020: Joe Alwyn appears in Taylor Swift's documentary

NBC's "77th Annual Golden Globe Awards
Christopher Polk/NBC/Getty

The release of Swift's Netflix documentary, Miss Americana, offered a rare glimpse into her relationship with Alwyn. While Alwyn doesn't take up much screentime, viewers enjoyed some sweet moments, such as the couple cuddling backstage at one of Swift's concerts and the singer kissing her boyfriend's hand during a car ride.

July 2020: Fans speculate that Joe Alwyn co-wrote two songs on Taylor Swift's album Folklore

The release of Swift's eighth studio album, Folklore, had fans buzzing with theories — one of which being that Alwyn was a secret co-writer. After Swift listed "William Bowery" as a collaborator in an Instagram post, internet sleuths quickly discovered that there was no registered songwriter or producer under that name, and therefore began speculating that Bowery was a pen name for Alwyn.

November 2020: Taylor Swift opens up about her private relationship with Joe Alwyn

Taylor Swift, Joe Alwyn
Taylor Swift (L); Joe Alwyn. Steven Ferdman/Getty Images; Keith/Getty Images

During a conversation with Paul McCartney for the cover of Rolling Stone, Swift spoke candidly about maintaining a "real life" with Alwyn.

The singer opened up about how "scary" it can be to fall in love with someone who has a "very grounded, normal way of living" and hasn't been exposed to the kind of attention she faces.

"I, oftentimes, in my anxieties, can control how I am as a person and how normal I act and rationalize things, but I cannot control if there are 20 photographers outside in the bushes and what they do and if they follow our car and if they interrupt our lives," Swift shared. "I can't control if there's going to be a fake weird headline about us in the news tomorrow."

Swift also told McCartney that Alwyn "absolutely" understands and sympathizes with Swift's life as a public figure.

"But I think that in knowing him and being in the relationship I am in now, I have definitely made decisions that have made my life feel more like a real life and less like just a storyline to be commented on in tabloids," she shared.

November 2020: Taylor Swift confirms that Joe Alwyn was her co-writer

Months after the release of Folklore, Swift finally confirmed that Alwyn was, in fact, a co-writer on the album. In Disney+'s Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions, the singer gave fans an inside look at her process while dropping a few fun facts along the way.

"There's been a lot of discussion about William Bowery and his identity, 'cause it's not a real person," Swift said in the film. "William Bowery is Joe, as we know." She also revealed that Alwyn worked on two songs, "betty" and "exile."

March 14, 2021: Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn win a Grammy Award for Folklore

taylor swift grammys
Taylor Swift. Kevin Mazur/Getty

At the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards in L.A., Swift made history when she took home her third album of the year award for Folklore. The occasion also marked Alwyn's first Grammy win for his contributions on the album.

Though Alwyn didn't appear on stage with his girlfriend to accept the award, Swift gave him a sweet shoutout in her speech. "Joe is the first person that I play every single song that I write, and I had the best time writing songs with you in quarantine," she said.

September 2021: Taylor Swift visits Joe Alwyn in Ireland

While Alwyn was in Belfast filming Hulu's upcoming adaptation of Sally Rooney's novel Conversations with Friends, Swift paid him a visit in Ireland. Not only did she support her boyfriend on his latest project, but she also gave restaurant workers in the Northern Ireland city quite the surprise when she stopped in for a drink.

"On Thursday evening we had the pleasure of serving Taylor Swift!" Shu Restaurant shared on Instagram along with a series of selfies the singer took with staffers. "Taylor was so lovely and really is a beautiful person inside and out and she kindly agreed to get photos with all our staff!"

The following night, Swift visited a local cocktail bar called The Tipsy Bird. "We can confirm she is just as lovely as you would expect and was kind enough to take a picture with our team," the bar later shared on its Instagram page.

April 20, 2022: Joe Alwyn demurs on the rumors that he and Taylor Swift are engaged

In an interview with WSJ. Magazine, Alwyn remained tight-lipped when asked about the rumors swirling that he and Swift are engaged.

"If I had a pound for every time I think I've been told I've been engaged, then I'd have a lot of pound coins," he joked, before adding, "I mean, the truth is, if the answer was yes, I wouldn't say, and if the answer was no, I wouldn't say."

April 30, 2022: Joe Alwyn opens up about writing songs with Taylor Swift

Later that month, Alwyn discussed winning his first Grammy during an interview with The Guardian, and gave some insight into how he and Swift first started writing songs together.

"It wasn't like, 'It's five o'clock, it's time to try and write a song together,' " he told the publication. "It came about from messing around on a piano, and singing badly, then being overheard, and being, like, 'Let's see what happens if we get to the end of it together.' "

Alwyn added that their collaboration was just something fun to do during quarantine, "like baking sourdough in lockdown." He did note, however, that winning the Grammy with Swift was a "ridiculous bonus."

May 15, 2022: Taylor Swift shout outs Joe Alwyn's show

In May, Swift showed support for Alwyn and his new Hulu series Conversations with Friends by sharing a review from Time to her Instagram Story.

"Hulu's Conversations with Friends Breathes Fresh Life into Sally Rooney's Best Novel," read the headline from Time. Swift captioned the post by writing "Can confirm it's phenomenal."

August 28, 2022: Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn attend a MTV Video Music Awards afterparty

Fans spotted Swift and Alwyn sprinting to their vehicle as they exited the Moxy Chelsea hotel in N.Y.C. The couple were among a slew of celebrities who attended a VMAs afterparty in the hotel's Fleur Room.

Swift was seen holding tightly to Alwyn's hand as they made their way to the car.

October 7, 2022: Taylor Swift talks about "protecting" her relationship with Joe Alwyn

While discussing her new album, Midnights, in a video on Instagram, Swift mentioned the challenges of love in the spotlight.

"If the world finds out that you're in love with somebody, they're gonna weigh in on it," she said. "Like my relationship for six years, we've had to dodge weird rumors, tabloid stuff, and we just ignore it. And so this song is sort of about the act of ignoring that stuff to protect the real stuff."

Swift is referring to her new song "Lavender Haze," which was named after a common phrase from the 1950s that described being in love.

October 17, 2022: Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn go for a walk in N.Y.C.

Swift and Alwyn were photographed in N.Y.C. while on a walk. For the daytime outing, the singer wore a long black sweater, plaid skirt and black tights. Meanwhile, Alwyn was seen in a green sweater, jeans and glasses.

October 21, 2022: Taylor Swift addresses engagement rumors on new album Midnights

In the opening track of her latest album, "Lavender Haze," Swift seemingly told fans that she's not engaged to her boyfriend Joe Alwyn.

"I'm damned if I do give a damn what people say/ the 1950s s— they want from me/ I just wanna stay in that lavender haze," sings Swift. "All they keep asking me is if I'm gonna be your bride/ the only kinda girl they see is a one night or a wife."

The songwriter did, however, collaborate with Alwyn on the album. The pair wrote the song "Sweet Nothing" together. This is Alwyn's sixth songwriting credit (under his pen name William Bowery) on a Swift project.

February 5, 2023: Taylor Swift wears Joe Alwyn's jacket to a Grammys afterparty

tiktok; muna/instagram

After winning best music video at the 2023 Grammys, Swift attended an afterparty wearing a green sequin dress and Alwyn's leather jacket.

The Celine jacket, which Alwyn wore while visiting PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly's Toronto International Film Festival 2022 portrait studio, features zip embellishment and retails for $4,400.

March 22, 2023: Source says Joe Alwyn is "super supportive" of Taylor Swift's career

Swift kicked off her Eras Tour on March 17, and a friend close to the songstress told PEOPLE that Alwyn will "travel with her when he can."

The insider added: "They are great together. Joe is super supportive of her career."

Related Articles