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A timeline of Taylor Swift’s relationship history in London



Taylor Swift has made several references to London over the years, and her new album, The Tortured Poets Department, makes no exception, thanks to a little song casually titled ‘So Long, London’.

London has been a huge part of Taylor’s life. She lived in England (still annoyed we didn’t bump into her on Hampstead Heath, TBH!), has had several serious relationships based in the city and has even recorded music over here.

Considering The Tortured Poets Departments promotion already has several British-themed Easter eggs (um, hi to the QR code referencing Matty Healy’s alias), we’re here to explain the Taylor and London relationship timeline you didn’t know you needed. Enjoy, Swifties!

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A breakdown of Taylor Swift’s relationship history in London
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March 2012

Taylor starts dating the original London Boy™ Harry Styles, and they actually spend quite a lot of time together in England! Like, here they are chilling in Cheshire:

a man and woman posing for a picture


October 2012

Taylor drops Red, and let’s just say the song ‘Come Back… Be Here’ has some telling London references…

In the song, she sings “I guess you’re in London today and I don’t wanna need you this way. Come back, be here” and “but you’re in London, and I break down cause it’s not fair that you’re not around.” Oh, Tay!


Taylor Swift writes 1989 and has this to say to ELLE about her song, ‘Clean’:

“I wrote as I was walking out of Liberty in London. Someone I used to date, it hit me that I’d been in the same city as him for two weeks and I hadn’t thought about it. When it did hit me, it was like, ‘Oh, I hope he’s doing well’. And nothing else. And you know how it is when you’re going through heartbreak. A heartbroken person is unlike any other person. Their time moves at a completely different pace than ours. It’s this mental, physical, emotional ache and feeling so conflicted. Nothing distracts you from it. Then time passes, and the more you live your life and create new habits, you get used to not having a text message every morning saying, “Hello, beautiful. Good morning.” You get used to not calling someone at night to tell them how your day was. You replace these old habits with new habits, like texting your friends in a group chat all day and planning fun dinner parties and going out on adventures with your girlfriends, and then all of a sudden one day you’re in London and you realize you’ve been in the same place as your ex for two weeks and you’re fine. And you hope he’s fine. The first thought that came to my mind was, I’m finally clean.”

February 2015

Taylor and another London Boy, Matty Healy are spotted at a party in the U.K. and a quick round of dating rumours begins:

the universal music brits party at the soho house pop up

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Who knew they would resurface 10 years later!

June 2016

Taylor starts dating Tom Hiddleston, a man who is from — you guessed it — London. She loves herself a British accent!

Though, for what it’s worth, the vast majority of Taylor and Tom’s short relationship takes place stateside (specifically in Rhode Island, New York) rather than in on our side of the pond.

May 2017

The Sun reports that Taylor was staying in North London (in disguise) and that she and Joe Alwyn are dating.

Note: Taylor and Tom Hiddleston broke up in September of 2016, and she seemingly moved to London soon after.

Taylor actually spoke about this phase of her life with TIME Magazine during her Person of the Year interview, saying (re: Kim Kardashian infamous leaking her call with Kanye West), “That took me down psychologically to a place I’ve never been before. I moved to a foreign country. I didn’t leave a rental house for a year.

“I was afraid to get on phone calls. I pushed away most people in my life because I didn’t trust anyone anymore. I went down really, really hard.”

Back to The Sun, the outlet spoke to an insider in May 2017 who said “She’s been walking around with Joe in London using disguises, like scarves and hats, to keep her identity under wraps.

“Nobody has a clue they’ve been walking past a music superstar. Not even her new neighbours.” You’re telling us we could have been borrowing sugar from Taylor?!


Taylor starts working on her album, Lover, and records both ‘London Boy’ and ‘Daylight’ at Metropolis Studios in London.

February 2019

The closest Tay and Joe come to going Instagram official is when she drops this pic from the BAFTAs in London, where she and Joe celebrated his film The Favourite.

January 11, 2021

A source tells E! News that Taylor is “back and forth between Nashville and England spending time with her family and with Joe’s family. They take walks in the neighborhood and go on hikes to get fresh air.”

May 11, 2021

Tay wins a BRIT Award and mentions Joe explicitly in her speech.

May 2023

Taylor starts dating Matty Healy shortly after her breakup with fellow Brit, Joe Alwyn. They don’t spend time (that we know of) in London during their brief relationship, but it was a lot at the time.

19 April 2024

Taylor drops her new album, and she seemingly says a goodbye to the city in ‘So Long, London’. We’ll miss you over her, Tay!

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