The Truth About Taylor Swift's Relationship With John Mayer

Even though Taylor Swift only dated John Mayer for a few months, people are still talking about their relationship over a decade later. That's partly because they've both been talking and singing about it this whole time. While they never actually confirmed their relationship while it was happening, many outlets, including Billboard, have reported that they dated from December 2009 until February 2010. They first connected in March 2009 when Mayer tweeted, "Waking up to this song idea that won't leave my head. 3 days straight now. That means it's good enough to finish. It's called 'Half of My Heart' and I want to sing it with Taylor Swift. She would make a killer 'Nicks' in contrast to my 'Petty' of a song."

He deleted the post at some point, but Swift did see it, telling Elle that she would want to work with Mayer in a June 2009 interview, remarking, "He Twittered the other day that he wrote a song and he wants to make it a duet with me. I freaked out when I heard, because I've been such a big fan of John for such a long time. I'm really excited about just the idea that he would even mention me in his Twitter!" He didn't just mention her. Mayer delighted the Swifties when he showed up to duet "Your Body is a Wonderland" and "White Horse" with Swift at her May 2009 concert, which was the beginning of a short, yet storied, romance.

He praised her songwriting... until she wrote about him

Taylor Swift did end up collaborating with John Mayer for "Half of My Heart," the song he tweeted about. Mayer told MTV News in November 2009, "You know what? It's like the tweet version of 'The Secret' — no better way to put it out into the universe than to tweet it." He added, "Well, you know, tweeting it is more just sort of the exposition of my idea. But then it's not like she reads the tweet and goes, 'I'm in,' although she may have. I don't remember." 

In January 2010, Mayer presented Swift with an award at the Songwriters Hall of Fame Ceremony, gushing, "You could put her in a time machine in any era and she would have a hit record. Don't confuse everybody loving one thing as hype. Sometimes that's everyone agreeing that it's fabulous."  

He was happy to compliment her songwriting at the time, but months later, Swift released a song called "Dear John," which many believed was inspired by the singer. First off, his name is in the title. Second, the lyrics mention that "19 is too young," which is how old Swift was when they were linked.

In a 2012 Rolling Stone interview, Mayer confessed that he was "really humiliated"  and "caught off-guard" by the track, complaining, "I never got an e-mail. I never got a phone call." He rhetorically asked, "I mean, how would you feel if, at the lowest you've ever been, someone kicked you even lower?" He even classified her work as "cheap songwriting."

They refused to admit their songs were about each other

Taylor Swift dished her side of the "Dear John" situation during a 2012 Glamour interview, explaining, "I think that song really hit home with a lot of girls who had been through toxic relationships and had found their way to the other side of it. I've never looked out while singing a song during a concert to see so many girls crying." 

In response to John Mayer's Rolling Stone interview, in which he assumed the lyrics are about him, Swift told the magazine: "How presumptuous! I never disclose who my songs are about." On the other hand, before the song was released, Swift said, "There are things that were little nuances of the relationship, little hints," even teasing, "Everyone will know, so I don't really have to send out emails on this one."

In 2013, Mayer flipped the script by releasing "Paper Dolls," a song that fans assumed was about Swift. He addressed the rumors in a 2015 interview with Ronan Farrow, complaining that "the song never got listened to as a song. It became a news story because of the lyrics." Mayer added, "I'm not in the business of telling people what the song's about." He even mentioned his ex by name, saying, "Now I can just go, 'Look, I can say the name Taylor Swift.' She's an artist. I'm an artist... Let's just stop it. I'm a musician who's bigger than one song or one record."

They endured some birthday drama

Pretty much everything Taylor Swift and John Mayer do garners attention, especially when they are in the same vicinity. In August 2014, Hollywood Life reported that Taylor and John had dinner together at Chateau Marmont, sharing photos of them arriving in separate cars. However, Daily Mail claimed that they "ignored each other" while they were at the same restaurant. Neither of the singers commented on the sighting, but in 2015, Mayer joked, "You can see me at the Grammy Awards doing what I do best. Being avoided by Taylor Swift." 

Things can get awkward, especially since they seemed to attend a lot of the same events. In April 2016, the exes both went to Gigi Hadid's birthday party. They were both at Drake's birthday that year as well, along with another one of Mayer's exes, Katy Perry.

Apparently, 2016 was all about the birthday-related headlines for these two. VanitFair reported that Mayer tweeted (and deleted) on Swift's birthday: "Tuesday, December 13 may be the lamest day of the year, conceptually." In response to the Twitter backlash, he tweeted (and deleted... again): "NOPE. No. Nuh-uh. People I am 39. I am deleting those tweets. Come right at me for doing so. Absolutely no shade." Then, he retweeted a post with a screenshot of his original tweet — an interesting move!

He publicly supported her success & triumphs

In December 2017, Taylor Swift sued a Colorado DJ named David Mueller for touching her underneath her skirt in 2013. She didn't want a payout, instead suing for a symbolic $1 settlement, which she won. Afterward, she was named Time's Person of the Year along with several other women of the #MeToo movement. While Swift faced backlash for the honor, John Mayer "liked" tweets that supported and defended the "Look What You Made Me Do" singer, according to Life & Style.

While clicking "like" was a subtle nod of support, Mayor also complimented Swift's music during a Q&A session at one of his October 2018 performances. Us Weekly reported that he told the crowd, "I was thinking about reputation." Fans cheered because Reputation is one of Swift's albums, but Mayer clarified that he wasn't actually referring to the album. However, he did admit, "It's a fine piece of work." 

In contrast, he poked fun at some "Lover" lyrics during a 2019 Instagram Live session. Teen Vogue reported that he joked, "[Taylor's] insane. Everyone keeps their Christmas lights up until January. And I go, 'Can you really?' Because normally I take my Christmas lights down on December 29." He continued to poke fun at her Christmas lights comments, saying, "Well, that's a crazy love, I'll tell you."

Most people are able to "Shake It Off" when it comes to a months-long fling, but Mayer and Swift will be forever linked in the eyes of the public.