Joe Alwyn Publicly Discusses His Breakup With Taylor Swift for the Very First Time

The pair called it quits a year ago in 2023.

Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Actor Joe Alwyn is finally publicly discussing his breakup with pop superstar Taylor Swift and after more than a year since their split.

In a recent interview with the Sunday Times published on Saturday, June 15, Alwyn admits that he understands "people's curiosity" when it comes to his former relationship with Swift, who writes candidly and sings openly about her romantic life.

“In thinking on what I was going to say, I would think and hope that anyone and everyone can empathize," he continued, admitting that when asked if he had listened to Swift's new album, The Tortured Poets Department, he didn't give "a direct answer" to the question.

“I would hope that anyone and everyone can empathize and understand the difficulties that come with the end of a long, loving, fully committed relationship of over six and a half years,” he continued. “That is a hard thing to navigate. What is unusual and abnormal in this situation is that, one week later, it’s suddenly in the public domain and the outside world is able to weigh in."

Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn arrive at Zuma on October 06, 2019 in New York City

Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn arrive at Zuma on October 06, 2019 in New York City.

(Image credit: Jackson Lee/GC Images)

Alwyn went on to say that since the breakup, he has learned to make “peace” with how his relationship with Swift not only ended but how it was represented in the media, adding that what was reported and what actually happened behind-the-scenes are two very different things.

“So you have something very real suddenly thrown into a very unreal space: tabloids, social media, press, where it is then dissected, speculated on, pulled out of shape beyond recognition," he explained. "And the truth is, to that last point, there is always going to be a gap between what is known and what is said."

Alwyn and Swift started dating in 2016, according to TODAY, though the pair were successful in keeping much of their romantic relationship a secret. Entertainment Tonight was the first outlet to report that after six years, the two called it quits in April, 2023.

“As everyone knows, we together—both of us, mutually—decided to keep the more private details of our relationship private," Alwyn said of the split.

"It was never something to commodify and I see no reason to change that now," he continued, adding that now he feels "fortunate to be in a really great place in my life, professionally and personally."

Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn at the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 5, 2020.

aylor Swift and Joe Alwyn at the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 5, 2020.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In addition to referencing her current boyfriend, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, in The Tortured Poets Department, fans believe Swift is singing about Alwyn in her new song "The Black Dog."

“I just don’t understand/ How you don’t miss me/ In The Black Dog/ When someone plays The Starting Line and you jump up/ But she’s too young to know this song/ That was intertwined in the magic fabric of our dreaming/ Old habits die screaming,” Swift sings, referencing a pub in Vauxhall, London.

"There’s always going to be a gap between what’s known and what’s said," Alwyn again said of the album. "I’ve never been to Vauxhall."

According to a source who spoke to The Daily Mail back in February, Alwyn reportedly thinks it's "shady" that Swift wrote what some consider to be "a diss album" about him and their relationship.

"Joe has not said one word about Taylor or their breakup and has been completely respectful of her," the source told the publication at the time.

"It's undeniable that the name of her upcoming album is in reference to Joe's WhatsApp group chat," he added. "Taylor knocked him for the name of this when they were together. She didn't want people to think that it had anything to do with her, so when he spoke out about it, she was, of course, bothered."

Danielle Campoamor
Weekend Editor

Danielle Campoamor is Marie Claire's weekend editor covering all things news, celebrity, politics, culture, live events, and more. In addition, she is an award-winning freelance writer and former NBC journalist with over a decade of digital media experience covering mental health, reproductive justice, abortion access, maternal mortality, gun violence, climate change, politics, celebrity news, culture, online trends, wellness, gender-based violence and other feminist issues. You can find her work in The New York Times, Washington Post, TIME, New York Magazine, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, TODAY, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, InStyle, Playboy, Teen Vogue, Glamour, The Daily Beast, Mother Jones, Prism, Newsweek, Slate, HuffPost and more. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and their two feral sons. When she is not writing, editing or doom scrolling she enjoys reading, cooking, debating current events and politics, traveling to Seattle to see her dear friends and losing Pokémon battles against her ruthless offspring. You can find her on X, Instagram, Threads, Facebook and all the places.