Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn have parted ways after six years together, leaving every Swiftie on the internet feeling like a child of divorce. Initially reported by ET and confirmed by a close source to PEOPLE, the news came as a complete shock. Apparently, it was the “differences in their personalities” that led to the amicable end. Much of Taylor Swift discourse on the internet has now shifted from her Eras tour to the breakup.
Online reactions have proved yet again that fandoms are hilarious, but also terrifying spaces. With no confirmation from Taylor or Joe, Swifties are using the investigative skills they have become infamous for to get to the bottom of it.
Why I think Taylor and Joe are really happily together and the rumors are just rumors
A thread 🧵: pic.twitter.com/b4bW3PlQab
— Skylar Eras Era Version (@SapphireGleam) April 9, 2023
me with taylor and joe rn pic.twitter.com/Bk4af0LNoQ
— Megan☀️🏼⚡️ (@Megan_Rice16) April 10, 2023
The dedication is a little bit unsettling. Still, that’s in the online realm. Some fans even paid homage to the relationship by visiting and leaving flowers outside her old Cornelia Street apartment in the West Village. Her song of the same name is believed to be about Joe. Swifties have shared TikToks of themselves crying, falling to the ground and even saying they want to tear down the street sign. They’re grieving the end of this relationship like it was their own. In reality, both Swift and Alwyn had kept most of it private – as is their right.
Not people leaving flowers at the Cornelia Street pic.twitter.com/1EqMN7032v
— 𝑁𝒐𝒕 𝒍𝒊𝒂𝒎💫 (@NotFancy_) April 10, 2023
When asked whether she’d like to talk about her relationship, she told The Guardian,“I’ve learned that if I do, people think it’s up for discussion, and our relationship isn’t up for discussion. If you and I were having a glass of wine right now, we’d be talking about it – but it’s just that it goes out into the world. That’s where the boundary is, and that’s where my life has become manageable. I really want to keep it feeling manageable.”
But such statements have hardly ever stopped fans from becoming completely consumed. Now, they also believe Taylor dropped one of her infamous ‘Easter eggs’ about the break-up at her Eras tour. She switched her setlist to include “The 1” (a song about losing a potential soulmate) instead of “Invisible String”. Others are using videos from the tour as evidence of the opposite.
For most of her career, Taylor Swift has been the poster girl of break-up songs. Critics and haters slammed her mercilessly for writing about ex-boyfriends and heartbreak (as if half the music industry doesn’t do exactly that). With Joe Alwyn, it seemed like she had found a stable, peaceful relationship. That was the impression fans had of their dynamic. It was a new era of bliss for a star who had seen controversy after controversy in the last decade or so. But she faced media and fan scrutiny in every past relationship. Fans bombarded Jake Gyllenhaal’s Instagram comment section when she released her magnum opus, “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)”. This time, unfortunately, won’t be any different.
Every celebrity split through history has seen passionate fan involvement and discourse. Not long ago, it was Shakira and Gerard Piqué, and then Phoebe Bridgers and Paul Mescal. It can be disastrous enough when fans become too enmeshed in the lives of their idols. But add another celebrity, who shares a real and personal relationship with them into the mix, and things get even messier. It’s 2023 – there’s no denying how deep-rooted parasocial relationships are in our culture. With ever-increasing access to the lives of celebrities and easy exposure to other fans, that might never change. So, Swifties will continue to grieve. This Reddit user put it best, and one can only hope that those who support Taylor will also respect her privacy: