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Joe Alwyn ‘struggled’ with Taylor Swift’s ‘level of fame’ ahead of breakup, according to sources

The Grammy winner was first romantically linked to the British actor in 2017

Meredith Clark
New York
Monday 10 April 2023 21:11 BST

Taylor Swift dives into stage during Eras concert

This week, Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn shocked the world when it was reported the couple have gone their separate ways after six years of dating. Now, inside sources claim to have intimate details about what led to their breakup.

According to a new report from People, the 33-year-old singer and the 32-year-old actor allegedly split due to “differences in their personalities”.

“They’ve had rough patches before and always worked things out, so friends thought they would take some time apart but eventually come back together,” the source told People on 10 April, adding that “ultimately” the two “weren’t the right fit for one another.”

The Grammy winner was first romantically linked to the British actor in 2017, but fans have speculated that Swift and Alwyn first met at the 2016 Met Gala. “

They had plenty in common and fell in love in a safe bubble while she was retreating from the world during Reputation,” the source continued, referring to Swift’s 2017 studio album. “Then the pandemic hit, and they were locked down together and able to continue growing their relationship in this insulated way. But he didn’t really ‘know’ her yet outside of that bubble.”

Although Alwyn is known for his acting roles in films such as The Favourite, and most recently starred in the Hulu adaptation of the Sally Rooney novel, Conversations with Friends, the source claimed that the actor preferred his personal life to be out of the spotlight.

“Joe has struggled with Taylor’s level of fame and the attention from the public,” the source said. “The differences in their personalities have also become harder to ignore after years together. They’ve grown apart.”

Swift and Alwyn were also “talking about marriage as recently as a few months ago” before their split, according to People. However, the “Lavender Haze” singer reportedly “didn’t see them working out in the long run” and they remain “friendly”.

“There is a lot of respect still between them,” they said.

On 8 April, Entertainment Tonight first reported that Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn called it quits several weeks ago, once again maintaining that the “relationship had just run its course”. The outlet explained that their recent split is the reason why Alwyn has not been present at any of Swift’s Eras shows. The “Bejeweled” singer is currently playing across the US as part of her Eras Tour, which Alwyn has not been spotted at since she began touring on 18 March.

Throughout their six-year-long relationship, Swift and Alwyn kept details about their romance private. Last year, Alwyn avoided questions about Swift in an interview with The Guardian, saying he didn’t want to discuss their relationship because it “feeds into a weird part of the culture”.

“It’s just not for other people. And I don’t say that with aggression. I don’t know how best to talk about it,” he said. “I mean, I’m aware of people’s…of that size of interest and that world existing. It’s just not something I particularly care about, or have much interest in feeding, I guess, because the more it’s fed, the more you are opening a gate for intrusion.”

In 2018, Alwyn admitted to British Vogue that he’s “aware” that fans “want to know” about his relationship with Swift, but the two have been “successfully very private, and that has now sunk in for people.”

The “All Too Well” singer made a rare comment about her romance with Alywn last October, ahead of the release of her latest album, Midnights.

“Like my relationship for six years, we’ve had to dodge weird rumours, tabloid stuff, and we just ignore it,” she said in an Instagram video at the time. “So this song is about the act of ignoring that stuff to protect the real stuff.”

While the former couple worked to keep their personal life out of the spotlight, Alwyn has often supported Swift professionally. He appeared on writing credits for several of Swift’s tracks under the pseudonym William Bowery – including six songs on the album Folklore, three songs on Evermore, and “Sweet Nothing” on Midnights.

Swift’s 2019 track “London Boy” is also rumoured to be about Alwyn, as well as the song “Dress” from her 2017 album, Reputation. The song includes the line, “Flashback when you met me, your buzz cut and my hair bleached,” in reference to their hairstyles at the 2016 Met Gala.

Last year, it was rumoured that Swift and Alwyn were engaged, though neither party confirmed or denied the reports.

Following the news of their breakup, many Swifties have appeared to spot changes in the singer’s setlist as she performs across the US as part of her Eras Tour. She initially started out the tour performing the song “Invisible String” – about the intrinsic connection between two lovers – from her 2020 album, Folklore. However, since her show in Arlington, Texas, on 31 March, she has instead played the Folklore track, “The 1” – which details a breakup as Swift sings about “waking up alone”.

Others have claimed to see Swift tearing up while performing the breakup song “Champagne Problems” from her 2020 album, Evermore, in the wake of their rumoured split.

The Independent has contacted representatives for Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn for comment.

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