Who was Taylor Swift dating before Travis Kelce? Timeline of ex-boyfriends in order, from Joe Jonas to Matty Healy – Sporting News

Contrary to popular belief, not every Taylor Swift song is about a breakup. 
But she does have a long list of ex-lovers. And in her decades-spanning career, she has written songs inspired by them — though she is vocal about critics who judge her for that. “No one says that about Ed Sheeran. No one says that about Bruno Mars,” she said in 2014.
Still, if her new Chiefs fan friends have noticed anything during her budding relationship with Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce, it’s that her love life will always be a topic of conversation, for better or worse.
MORE: How much money has Taylor Swift made for the NFL?
Take a look back at Swift’s ex-boyfriends, who have inspired some, but not all, of her music catalog. And for those who criticize her choice of inspiration? The singer put it best, saying, “If guys don’t want me to write bad songs about them, then they shouldn’t do bad things.”
Swift’s romantic relationships first came into the limelight when she began dating Joe Jonas. Swift and Jonas began their relationship in July 2008, and it ended three months later. Swift spilled the tea about the breakup, revealing that Jonas called it off with a 25-second phone call.
She later apologized to Jonas for sharing that tidbit, and the two remained on good terms despite what seemed like a messy breakup. That may not be the case now, though, as she’s good friends with Jonas’ ex-wife Sophie Turner.
Many songs on Fearless, her second album, are presumed to be about Jonas, including “Forever & Always” and the vault track “Mr. Perfectly Fine (Taylor’s Version).”
Taylor and Taylor took the world by storm in fall of 2009. Their relationship began after the two starred in the movie “Valentine’s Day,” in which they play a high school couple. The two didn’t date for long, and it can be inferred Swift broke up with Lautner in December 2009 thanks to the track “Back to December.”
The duo remain friends nowadays, with Lautner starring in the music video for “I Can See You (Taylor’s Version)” and even coming on stage during the Eras Tour stop in Kansas City. Lautner’s wife, Taylor Dome, is a fan of Swift, too.
Taylor Lautner, his wife Taylor Lautner, and Taylor Swift recreate Spider-Man! #SpeakNowTaylorsVersion pic.twitter.com/ACawIr04Ol
One of the most controversial of her relationships, Swift dated John Mayer from December 2009 to February 2010. He remains one of the Swifties’ most hated ex-boyfriends due to the 12-year age gap between the couple. She name dropped him in her third album with the song “Dear John.” 
Dear John, I see it all now that you’re goneDon’t you think I was too young to be messed with?The girl in the dress, cried the whole way homeDear John, I see it all now, it was wrongDon’t you think nineteen’s too youngTo be played by your dark, twisted games when I loved you so?I should’ve known

Mayer denied any wrongdoing after the song’s release and even fired back with his own song, “Paper Doll,” but the damage was done.
In fact, it only worsened for the famed musician when Swift released “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve.” In the song, she references a toxic relationship from when she was 19 years old. It doesn’t directly tie back to Mayer, but Swifties are convinced.
Jake Gyllenhaal is arguably Swift’s most notorious ex-boyfriend. How can you forget the subject of a 10-minute heartbreak anthem?
The two dated from roughly October 2010 to January 2011, but even in that short time, he inspired much of “Red,” Swift’s fourth studio album. Most notably, he inspired “All Too Well,” which was transformed from a five-minute track to 10 minutes with the release of “Red (Taylor’s Version).”
In the song, she refers to a scarf she left at his sister’s house. In real life, after the breakup, Gyllenhaal was spotted wearing a scarf (supposedly Swift’s) many times. Additionally, the actor is nine years older than the singer, which is also referenced in the song.

Swift directed and produced a short film for the song, which starred Dylan O’Brien and Sadie Sink. It won multiple MTV music and awards and the 2023 Grammy for Best Music Video. 
Swift briefly dated Robert F. Kennedy’s grandson Conor Kennedy during the summer of 2012. It’s presumed a handful of songs on “Red,” of the few that were not inspired by Gyllenhaal, were written about Kennedy, including “Starlight” and “Begin Again.” The duo drew some criticism due to Swift being 22 and Kennedy being 18 at the time of their relationship. 
Swift purchased a house near the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, despite what turned out to be a short-lived relationship.
Of course there was a Swift-One Direction crossover. The singer dated band member Harry Styles for a few months starting in 2012. Naturally, it inspired a handful of songs, including “I Knew You Were Trouble” and “Style.”
While the two are on good terms now, Swift dissed her fellow musician during her 2013 Grammys performance by mocking his accent.

Swift’s relationship with DJ Calvin Harris lasted from March 2015 until May 2016.
The two hit it off at the Elle Style Awards after being introduced to each other by Ellie Goulding. They clicked, and a few months later they made their debut as a couple at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards.
Swift and Harris soon after their one year mark. It started as a relatively drama-free breakup, as Harris tweeted he had “love and respect” for the singer. But when Swift was spotted with Tom Hiddleston two weeks later, things got messy. The two co-wrote the lyrics and music for Rihanna’s hit “This Is What You Came For,” which resulted in drama on social media about who truly wrote the song.
A few months after their split, Harris released a song called “Olé” with John Newman. It seems to accuse Swift of cheating with Hiddleston. There were never any further allegations.
Swift met the actor at the 2016 Met Gala, and the two danced the night away. After her breakup with Harris, Swift was photographed with Hiddleston in Rhode Island. Things moved quick, as the couple did parent meet-and-greets and attended Selena Gomez’s concert together. During a beach day, Hiddleston’s infamous “I Heart T.S.” tank top was born.
During the couple’s relationships, questions arose about whether it was real or not. Some believed it was a fake relationship, since the only pictures that were ever taken of the two were paparazzi photos. Either way, Swift and Hiddleston split in September of that year.
For a while, British actor Joe Alwyn seemed to be end game for Swift. They dated for nearly six years starting in May 2017, so it shocked the world when they called it quits in April 2023.
Alwyn was the inspiration for songs on “Reputation” and “Lover,” and he even collaborated with Swift as a writer for “Folklore” and “Evermore.” The two kept their relationship private most of the time, as Alwyn was not a fan of the public eye. With a status like Swift’s, that was hard to keep up with. 
During their years together, there were often rumors of an engagement or marriage. Swift had another tell-all in “You’re Losing Me” when she sang:
And I wouldn’t marry me eitherA pathological people pleaserWho only wanted you to see her
Though their breakup was described as not very dramatic, it seems her newest album, “The Tortured Poets Department,” takes shots at Alwyn. The tracklist includes a song titled “So Long, London,” and Alwyn was in a group chat titled “The Tortured Man Club.”
April 19 🤍https://t.co/WdrCmvLHyA pic.twitter.com/1qSQqzYgEf
MORE: A timeline of Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce, from concert to Super Bow 58
Soon after Swift’s split with Alwyn, she began hanging out with The 1975 frontman Matty Healy. He went to many of her Eras Tour concerts, and the two were often spotted together at outside parties and get togethers. It never became anything serious, and their relationship ended in June.
Healy received backlash from Swifties during the duo’s short time together due to his problematic behavior and comments, which included a dig at Ice Spice, with whom Swift collaborated on “Karma.”
Emily Dozier is an editorial intern at The Sporting News



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