Body Language Expert Dives Into Taylor Swift's Past Relationships

Taylor Swift fans know they can learn a lot about her past relationships by listening to her music. Sometimes, she also unintentionally relays information about her love life through her body language.

When Swift appeared on "The Jonathan Ross Show" in 2022, we found out why we learn more about her romances through her music than from interviews. "It goes everywhere, and then it gets turned into all of these other things," she said. "I would much rather my personal life be sung about. I think it sounds nicer that way." Swift has been linked to a number of men who also make a living in the public eye, so there's no shortage of photographs of the singer getting affectionate with her beaus. However, she also started making an effort to give us fewer of these public moments to analyze. "Having the world treat my love life like a spectator sport in which I lose every single game was not a great way to date in my teens and twenties, but it taught me to protect my private life fiercely," she said during her 2022 New York University commencement speech at Yankee Stadium, per Billboard.

But because Swift's love life is just so fascinating, obsessing over the men in her orbit will likely remain one of Swifties' favorite pastimes. And thanks to Jess Ponce III, body language expert, communication coach, and author of "A.W.E.S.O.M.E.," Nicki Swift can exclusively reveal some deets about the singer's past relationships gleaned from pictures that she can't burn.

Joe Jonas

Taylor Swift's relationship with former Disney Channel star Joe Jonas lasted just three months in 2008, but there were a number of signs that the Jo Bro was not just a casual fling for the "Mr. Perfectly Fine" singer. During the 2008 MTV VMAs, for example, Swift was openly affectionate with him. When the Jonas Brothers approached her on the red carpet, the embrace she greeted Joe with clearly wasn't the same brief, cordial hug his siblings received. "The hug at the VMAs was very tender and sweet," Jess Ponce III observed. "Taylor gently put her hand on the back of his neck, bringing their faces closer together. Often you will see people lean in only with their shoulders."

The way Swift couldn't resist touching Joe and drawing him near wasn't the only sign that he had her heart all aflutter. "She also had a very soft gaze in her eyes, indicating that she was somewhat smitten," said Ponce.

We saw some other indications that Swift had it bad for Joe after he broke her heart. During an appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," she called him out for spending less than thirty seconds on his breakup call. A few of her songs are also about him, including "Forever and Always." And perhaps there's still a little bad blood there after all these years; at an October 2023 Kansas City Chiefs game, Swift was accompanied by Jonas' estranged wife, "Game of Thrones" star Sophie Turner. (The North remembers.) 

Taylor Lautner

Taylor Swift started dating her "Valentine's Day" costar Taylor Lautner in 2009, but their romance didn't last long enough for us to get an epic Tay-Tay Valentine's Day celebration the following year. While their relationship was short-lived, Swift's behavior around the "Twilight" star made it obvious that what they had was no showmance. "Taylor² had some serious vibes happening. She seemed almost giddy around him — in every single interaction. Far more comfortable in the spotlight than he, she comfortably and easily revealed her affection toward him," Jess Ponce III told us. "She made body contact, looked into his eyes, held his face, and had the biggest smile when the two were together." Even when the paparazzi were swarming their car and clicking away, Swift was able to ignore the irritating flashing lights and smile contentedly because she was with her boo.

"Back to December" is believed to be about Lautner, and it's no scathing breakup song. Instead, it's Swift's way of saying that she's sorry for something she did wrong. "Up until now, I haven't really felt like I really, really needed to apologize to someone and someone deserved that from me. It's just necessary," she told Yahoo! Music in 2010.

Lautner created Taylor Times Two, Part Two, when he married Taylor Dome in 2022, and it looks like he accepted Swift's apology; in 2023, the trio of Taylors recreated the Spider-Man pointing meme on the set of Swift's "I Can See You" music video and shared it on Instagram.

John Mayer

You might think that Taylor Swift became so infatuated with John Mayer that it clouded her judgment. When she started dating the "Gravity" singer in 2009, it was after Mayer gave that controversial Playboy interview in which he used a racist slur and overshared about his sex life with Jessica Simpson. But Jess Ponce III believes that Swift didn't fall madly in love with Mayer as a person. "To me, it seems her feelings are more respect and admiration, than romantic," said Ponce. "While the two of them are comfortable around one another, including typical signs of affection, such as hugs and touches of the hand, her facial features indicate more friend zone than anything else." Swift and Mayer recorded the song "Half of My Heart" together before going public with their romance, and Ponce believes this detail might be the key to understanding their relationship's dynamic. "I suspect ultimately that's why their relationship was more about being creative, collaborative spirits than romantic partners."

In a 2009 interview with Elle, Swift did come off as the younger artist who was fangirling over the idea of working with a seasoned older singer whom she looked up to. Mayer had tweeted about wanting to collaborate with Swift, who told the outlet, "I freaked out when I heard." Mayer is 13 years Swift's senior, and in "Dear John," she's a student deeply wounded by the way her music mentor treated her; she laments that he's "Never impressed by me acing your tests."

Jake Gyllenhaal

"All Too Well" is one of Taylor Swift's tunes thought to be inspired by her relationship with Jake Gyllenhaal. Before things go south, Swift paints a lyrical picture of an idyllic autumn romance that's all cozy scarves and fluttering leaves. We don't just have to imagine what she and Gyllenhaal were like together, either; paparazzi photos of the exes give us visuals of their fairytale fall. "These two are adorable together — and the photo of the two of them walking the streets of Brooklyn is like a scene out of a rom-com," said Jesse Ponce III. "She has her arms comfortably atop his shoulders and a big smile on her face. They are intimately close as they stroll through the neighborhood. It's picture-perfect, or so we think. There's a connection, but one must wonder was it too much of a Hollywood movie?"

Swift and Gyllenhaal were spied together on Thanksgiving in 2010 but called it quits the following month. So, if their chemistry was so obvious and they were getting serious enough to spend a major holiday together, then why did they split after just a few months? In the extended version of "All Too Well," Swift sings about her former lover explaining that he felt like there was too much of an age gap between them. (Gyllenhall is nine years older than Swift.) Sources also told Us Weekly that Gyllenhaal disliked their relationship getting so much attention, so those magical fall photos may have contributed to their downfall.

Conor Kennedy

Taylor Swift's journey to Camelot didn't end with her riding off into the sunset with a knight in shining armor. However, Jess Ponce III said of the musician's short-lived relationship with Conor Kennedy, "It's the kind of romance that rom-coms are made of." Indeed, photos of the couple looked like scenes from a Netflix movie targeted towards viewers who enjoyed "The Kissing Booth" and "To All the Boys I've Loved Before"; in one shot, the exes are pictured leaning forward and touching foreheads like star-crossed lovers who have just learned that some plot device is about to pry them apart.

In his biography "The Kennedy Heirs," author J. Randy Taraborrelli says that Rory Kennedy, the daughter of Ethel and Robert F. Kennedy, reached out to Swift after learning that she's a bit obsessed with the Kennedy dynasty. Eventually, Swift met Conor, who is Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Mary Kennedy's son, and they started dating in 2012. "Taylor and Conor give off a childhood sweetheart vibe. They are very comfortable together and 100% adorable. They are very affectionate and love, and not afraid to show it," said Ponce. What Conor was reportedly afraid of was Swift's purchase of a property near his family's Cape Cod home, according to Taraborrelli. "It seemed as if she was getting a little too attached," said one of Conor's friends. The then-18-year-old's entire relationship with Swift lasted just two months.

Harry Styles

We knew that Harry Styles and Taylor Swift were trouble from the moment those Haylor rumors started, and nothing will ever be the same as it was before these pop superstars collided and gave us a December to remember in 2012. There wasn't much in the way of PDA when they were photographed together at the Central Park Zoo early that month, but a few weeks later, they provided the fireworks when it was time to ring in the New Year. "The New Year's kiss between Taylor and Harry Styles is sizzling," said Jess Ponce III. "It's as if the world kept on moving, while these two took a moment frozen in time and bottled it for us to see. With millions of people around, these two for a brief second only saw one another."

But, much like a firework, the couple's explosive zenith was brief, and those sparks rapidly dissipated as they made their descent. By mid-January, they had faded into nothing. One source told Vanity Fair that Styles had worked hard to woo a hesitant Swift but seemed to quickly lose interest in her. "This type of momentum is hard to maintain," said Ponce. During their short time together, the pop power couple squeezed in a trip to London for Swift's birthday, a holiday ski trip in Utah, that NYE kiss in Times Square, and a Caribbean getaway. So, yeah, they moved at lightning speed and seemingly hit a wall during the post-holiday lull. 

Calvin Harris

Ellie Goulding is responsible for introducing Taylor Swift to Scottish DJ Calvin Harris. In a 2015 interview with The Sun (via ET), Goulding said one reason she could picture the pair together was because they both towered over her. Swift is 5-foot-10, so it doesn't take much of a heel to make her taller than many celeb men. However, Harris has eight inches on her. "I thought, they're both really awesome and both really tall, they'll be brilliant together," said Goulding.

For a little over a year, the couple did seem to be an ideal match; Harris even made their relationship Instagram-official by sharing a photo of his girlfriend's beloved cats. "They seemed very comfortable with another, but to a certain extent lacked the electricity we've seen in other relationships," Jess Ponce III observed. "But that is not a bad thing, often the key to a successful relationship is a steady, down-to-earth connection. These two had that and seemed to really enjoy one another's company."

In a Vogue article published two months before their breakup, Swift described their relationship as "low-key." This was likely the way Harris preferred it; as Ponce noted, he's an "understated" guy. But while they seemed to be on the same page when it came to keeping their relationship as private as possible, a source who spoke to E! News shared Ponce's opinion about their absence of a spark. "It seemed like they were more friends than lovers," the insider said.

Tom Hiddleston

During those halcyon Hiddleswift days, we saw Tom Hiddleston wear his heart not on his sleeve but on his chest; the British actor was clearly having a blast celebrating America's independence from his home country at Taylor Swift's 2016 Fourth of July bash. It was there that he was famously photographed wearing an "I [heart] T.S." tank top while frolicking with Swift on the beach. Out of all of Swift's exes, the "Loki" star might be the one who was the most willing to let loose when they were out in public together.

"Tom is a dancing machine!" Jess Ponce III said. "From talk shows to celebrity shing-dings he seizes the moment to get on his feet and boogie. The Met Gala was no different, and Taylor Swift was right by his side to enjoy the moment. These two come across like two besties, who are always up for adventure and fun!" Swift was still dating Calvin Harris when she and Hiddleston danced together at the 2016 Met Gala. Hiddleston told the Press Association (via E! News) that Swift had complained that no one was dancing during The Weeknd's performance. "She, as a musician, was like, 'We've got to dance for The Weeknd,'" he recalled. And who's going to turn down an invitation to dance with Taylor Swift?

After the couple's summer romance ended, Hiddleston told GQ, "Taylor is an amazing woman." We have to agree with Ponce that he seems like he'd be an awesome friend for Swift to have.

Joe Alwyn

When Taylor Swift's relationship with "The Favourite" actor Joe Alywn stretched far longer than any of her previous romances, we began to wonder if he would ever get a breakup song. Swift's 2019 single "Lover" even includes a number of wedding references, and she sings about enjoying a long future with Alwyn.

What Jess Ponce III saw when she watched a video clip of Swift and Alwyn interacting was a couple with a powerful bond. It was footage from the documentary "Miss Americana" that showed the now-exes engaging in some rarely witnessed PDA during one of Swift's 2018 "Reputation" tour stops. "There are certain relationships that anchor us — they make us feel grounded, seen, and at peace. Backstage of her concert, Taylor exhibited this was the type of relationship she had with Joe Alwyn. He was one of the few people she looked for — and when she saw him, they not only had a big embrace. She exhaled. It's as if she was now relaxed," Ponce said.

Sweet moments like this were one reason why fans were so shocked when Swift and Alwyn called it quits after six years of dating in 2023. As noted by E! News, a lyric in the song "You're Losing Me" may contain a clue about the cause of their split: "I wouldn't marry me either." So, as deeply committed as they appeared to be, perhaps Alwyn ultimately concluded that he didn't want to be married to one of the world's biggest pop stars.

Matt Healy

After fans got over the initial shock of Taylor Swift's breakup from Joe Alwyn, their sadness was gradually replaced by eagerness to see who her rebound would be. Before she left Swifties truly stunned by attending one of Travis Kelce's NFL games, she apparently had a brief fling with The 1975 member Matt Healy. 

Swift and Healy had some prior history. In 2015, Healy denied a rumor that they were dating but did say that they had been in touch. "We exchanged numbers in the same way that a lot of people in this kind of world do, and we spoke occasionally," he said on Australia's 2DayFM (via E! News). Fast forward to 2022. In an appearance on KROQ's "Klein/Ally Show," Healy confirmed a rumor that The 1975 had collaborated with Swift on unreleased music for her album "Midnights." The following year, it became clear that his relationship with Swift was no longer purely professional.

In May 2023, the singers were photographed looking pretty cozy at Casa Cipriani in New York City, per Page Six. "As Matt and Taylor enter the restaurant their hands are interlocked," Jess Ponce III told us. "This is a sign not only of intimacy, but security. Later in the restaurant they are again holding hands, but this time her hand is resting on his. This is a sign of connection. ... It seems as though Matt offered Taylor some stability and sanity." What they didn't have was longevity; early the following month, TMZ reported that they had split.