The Reported Reason Joe Alwyn Never Talks About Taylor Swift

Among the reasons Taylor Swift fans couldn't stand Joe Alwyn was the refusal of the "Conversations with Friends" star to speak about his relationship with his girlfriend of six years. While Swifties love it when she drops clues about her relationships in her songs, Alwyn led them on the most frustrating Easter egg hunt ever — because he hid no eggs for them to find. What some Jaylor skeptics discovered instead were major red flags in Swift's relationship with Alwyn.

At least Alwyn respectfully kept his lips sealed about his ex after she potentially shared intimate details of their relationship in the song "So Long, London." After the pair split, one source explained to People that Alwyn had wanted his relationship to be "his own personal story." However, Swift's boyfriends know what they sign up for when they date her; she's mastered the art of combing through her past romances, plucking out painful memories, and turning that hurt into hit music.

In "So Long, London," she portrays herself as a long-suffering lover exhausted from the strain of holding her relationship together. "My spine split from carrying us up the hill," she sings, later adding, "I'm pissed off you let me give you all that youth for free." Because the song references a long relationship with a London native, the general assumption is that the lyrics are about Alwyn. All's fair in love and war, but was it wrong of Swift to choose a target who likely won't fire back?

The exes once agreed on maintaining their privacy

While Taylor Swift has always been willing to give fans front-row seats to the downfall of her romances, she rarely talked about Joe Alwyn when they were dating. This was because they had mutually decided that protecting their privacy was the best policy. Alwyn was adept at pivoting away from discussing his relationship with Swift in interviews, and he explained why the topic was off-limits while chatting with Elle UK in 2022. "We live in a culture that is so increasingly intrusive ... The more you give — and frankly, even if you don't give it — something will be taken," he said. 

Alwyn echoed these sentiments in a 2022 WSJ Magazine [archived link] interview. "If you give it to them, it just opens the door," he explained before refusing to respond to reports that he and Swift were engaged. And if Alwyn were to crack that door open post-breakup by addressing Swift's lyrics that might be about him, from that point on, every interviewer he speaks to might feel emboldened to ask him about his ex. 

In a 2020 Rolling Stone [archived link] interview, Swift said that she and Alwyn both desired "normalcy." However, she made the concept of privacy sound almost seem alien to her. "The idea of privacy feels so strange to try to explain," she said. A year earlier, she told The Guardian that she wouldn't be speaking about her relationship. "I really want to keep it feeling manageable," she explained.

Taylor Swift's feelings about privacy changed

As of this writing, Joe Alwyn hasn't broken his vow of silence regarding Taylor Swift, but Swift seemed to throw a little shade at him in her 2023 Time Person of the Year interview. At least she didn't mention him by name when sharing a hard lesson that she's learned. "Life is short. Have adventures," she said. "Me locking myself away in my house for a lot of years — I'll never get that time back." By then, Swift was delighting fans through her very public adventures with Travis Kelce. She was also comfortable talking to Time about how her love story with Kelce began, which is a striking contrast to her previous relationship; it's only been speculated that Swift and Alwyn first met at the 2016 Met Gala.

While Swift was happily kissing Kelce at the Super Bowl and chatting about him during interviews, Alwyn took a different approach to dating. He kept his love life so low-key that the first update about it came from anonymous insiders. "He's dating and happy," a source told People in April 2024, adding that Alwyn was not trash-talking his ex. But a year prior, another source told Radar that Alwyn was annoyed that Swift was mining their ruined relationship for lyric inspiration. "He's respectfully asking her to let him move on — and shut up!" the source said. That's the trouble with not talking: Sometimes, it allows others to do it for you.