Taylor Swift And Harry Styles: A Timeline Of Their Relationship And Breakup

When two celebrities like Taylor Swift and Harry Styles start dating, it seems like the entire world stops what they're doing so they can get a look at the shiny new couple. Everyone wants to know the details, the truth, and the intimate conversations like they're somehow a part of the relationship themselves. So it was no big surprise that when Swift and Styles got together, people were invested.


Both huge pop stars in their own right, Swift and Styles sparked dating rumors way back in 2012. Swift's popularity in pop music was growing at an incredible rate, and Styles was the heartthrob of the boy band One Direction — they seemed like a match made in heaven. Questions regarding the nature of their relationship were posed to them constantly, so when they were finally photographed together in New York at the end of 2012, fans had a field day.

Like a lot of young love, the romantic relationship between Styles and Swift only lasted a couple of months, but the impact that their love had on their fans and pop culture at large cannot be understated. Given their reunion at the 2023 Grammy Awards, it's no wonder that the internet can't get enough of them.


There were sparks when Taylor Swift and Harry Styles met in March 2012

Oh, 2012 — what a simpler time. Taylor Swift and Harry Styles met backstage in March at the 2012 Kids Choice Awards (cue the nostalgia), and they hit it off. Apparently, Swift watched Styles and the boys of One Direction perform their hit song "What Makes You Beautiful" while standing backstage with pal Selena Gomez. The song was a hit with fans as they envisioned what it would be like to date one of the One Direction boys, so who's to say that Swift was any different? 


But who started the gossip surrounding Swift and Styles' relationship? Well, Justin Bieber, of course. He told the Mirror that "one of the biggest artists in the world" thought that Harry Styles was "so hot." The pop star said, "I have been sworn to secrecy," but added that Styles and the boys of One Direction "look great, they sound great and, when you add their British accents into the mix, the American girls are going crazy for them." Who was the artist that Bieber alluded to? Taylor Swift, it would appear.

Taylor Swift and Harry Styles' connection simmered during the summer months of 2012

Taylor Swift and Harry Styles met in early 2012, but they didn't start dating right away. As many of us remember because we were infinitely jealous, Swift had a very high-profile summer fling with none other than Conor Kennedy — yes, one of the Kennedys — after she had already met the "Watermelon Sugar" heartthrob. Swift and Kennedy's relationship was a whirlwind, and it resulted in Swift buying a $5 million house in Cape Cod, a decision many thought she made so she could be closer to her man. But things between the pop star and the political heir didn't last. 


"Conor liked Taylor, don't get me wrong, but this business of her buying a house on the Cape made him nervous," Kennedy's friend divulged to author J. Randy Taraborrelli for the book "The Kennedy Heirs" (via InStyle). "It seemed as if she was getting a little too attached, spending five million bucks on a house just to be near the guy." So what did Swift do? She sold the house, snagged a profit of a million dollars, and went on her way. 

Meanwhile, in September 2012 during an interview with MTV, Styles' One Direction bandmates said they were most looking forward to seeing Taylor Swift at the MTV Video Music Awards while giggling and pointing at her rumored beau, it seemed to be proof that something was still going on between Swift and Styles.


Harry Styles gushed about Taylor Swift during an interview in November 2012

Harry Styles and Taylor Swift kept a pretty low profile during their relationship. Neither spoke about the other in a really public way nor were they photographed together often. But Styles added a huge amount of fuel to the fire when he talked about Swift in an interview with Seventeen in November 2012. "[Taylor]'s a really lovely girl. Honestly, she couldn't be a sweeter person," Styles said. "She's a great girl and she's extremely talented." 


Styles continued by calling Swift "one of those people you meet [who's] genuinely a nice person." There's not a lot that excites us more than the idea of Styles praising us and describing our positive attributes, and while we're not entirely sure how Swift reacted to the interview, we would've been over the moon about it. 

"Some people you meet and they are not as nice as you make them out to be, but she's one of those people who's really just amazing," Styles concluded. Be still our beating hearts.

Harry Styles visited Taylor Swift during a rehearsal in November 2012

The rumpus surrounding Harry Styles and Taylor Swift came to the forefront when "X Factor" host Mario Lopez commented on the budding relationship, as noted by MTV News.

So what was the deal and why was Lopez involved? Swift was on the set of "X Factor" rehearsing, as she was set to perform her song "State of Grace" on the show. She was spotted with Styles backstage, and the connection between them was enough for Lopez to bring it up during his radio show the following Friday. "Taylor Swift was the special guest performer," Lopez shared. "And a little inside scoop for you: During rehearsals, Harry from One Direction came and slapped me on the back and said, 'Hey, Mario, how ya doing?' And I said, 'What are you doing here?' And he sort of [pointed] toward Taylor." 


We're not entirely sure how much of Lopez's business it was to share such information, but the news sent fans for a loop. And, well, we love a little bit of tea — there's no denying it.

Taylor Swift and Harry Styles were finally photographed together in December 2012

Bless the gods that were controlling 2012, because they gave us the ultimate gift at the end of the year: a photo of Harry Styles and Taylor Swift on a romantic park date together. Swift and Styles were seen in New York City, and, as expected, fans were thrilled. 


The internet was absolutely brimming with photos of them and the hashtag "#Haylor" which really comes as no surprise to anyone. Swift and Styles were photographed strolling through Central Park, were spotted during a trip to the zoo, and were seen with Styles' stylist Lou Teasdale and her family. There are so many cute photos of Styles with Teasdale's baby, Swift standing next to the One Direction singer, and the two of them eating snacks. Ugh, we loved it. 

Styles and Swift seemed really comfortable with each other, walking with their arms intertwined. So, what was the reaction from the fans? We'll let this one tweet do the talking: "I JUST MET HARRY STYLES AND [TAYLOR SWIFT] TOGETHER IN CENTRAL PARK" (via E! News). The excitement over these two was unreal.


Things between Taylor Swift and Harry Styles started going downhill in early 2013

Sadly, all good things come to an end, and that was certainly the case with Harry Styles and Taylor Swift. After just a few brief months together, the two called it quits, as a source exclusively told the Daily Mail that they had split up. "They were on holiday and had an almighty row," the source said. "They are two young stars at the top of their game so who knows what will happen in the future." 


An "almighty row"? Okay, there's a lot to unpack. Styles and Swift spent Christmas of 2012 apart, so they decided to come together for New Year's. The two of them traveled to the British Virgin Islands for their holiday vacation, but things did not go to plan. Cue the "almighty row," the argument that ultimately ended it all, though we're not privy to the details. As noted by the Daily Mail, Swift ended up leaving the trip early and flew back to the United States on January 4, a mere three days after she arrived. Styles, on the other hand, stayed and even traveled to Virgin Group founder Richard Branson's island to "let off some steam," according to Business Insider. RIP Haylor.

Songs on Taylor Swift's 1989 album, released in 2014, seemed to allude to her relationship with Harry Styles

Neither Taylor Swift nor Harry Styles spoke a lot about their relationship while they were in it, so it comes as no surprise that they kept silent in the aftermath. But, of course, fans started to speculate about what actually went down when Swift released her iconic album "1989." The album seemed to hint at Swift's relationship with Styles, so, naturally, fans started looking for clues that pointed to the One Direction frontman. 


According to Teen Vogue, three songs from "1989" alluded to Styles. Let's start with the most obvious track literally titled "Style." We'll let the name of the song do most of the talking, but it should be noted that the man chosen to star in the music video for the song looked a little like Styles.

What other tracks were reportedly about Styles? "I Knew You Were Trouble" and "Out of the Woods." Swift even said after performing "I Knew You Were Trouble" at the Grammys, "It's not hard to access that emotion when the person the song is directed at is standing by the side of the stage watching." Wow, okay.

There seemed to be some tension between Taylor Swift and Harry Styles in May 2015

Taylor Swift and Harry Styles broke up at the beginning of 2013, but even two years later, things appeared to be a little tense between them. In May 2015, Swift hosted a Billboard Awards after-party, attended by a bunch of A-list celebrities. Some of the attendees included none other than the members of One Direction, with one notable exception: Styles. 


Apparently, Styles left Las Vegas where the award ceremony was held, and departed for Los Angeles, leaving his bandmates behind. They clearly did not mind ruffling feathers with Styles, because they all went to Swift's party despite the history their bandmate had with the pop star. Swift was linked to DJ Calvin Harris at the time, so honestly Styles' attendance could've been pretty awkward.

"[Harry] realised the party wasn't a good idea, so flew back to LA solo," a source said (via News24). A spokesperson for One Direction merely stated that Styles "didn't stay in Vegas after the awards, so didn't attend any after-show party."

Taylor Swift broke her silence about dating Harry Styles in October 2015

Taylor Swift exposes a lot of her emotional experiences through her songwriting, but she almost always keeps a tight lid on her personal life when asked about it in interviews. She revealed once that she "never names names," but, as noted by Elle, she did finally address her relationship with Harry Styles. While talking about the relationship that inspired her song "Out of the Woods" in a Grammy Museum video, Swift said that, during the relationship, the "number one feeling" she experienced was anxiety (via Mashable). 


"It felt very fragile, it felt very tentative," Swift said. "And it always felt like, 'Okay, what's the next road block? What's the next thing that's gonna deter this? How long do we have before this turns into just an awful mess and we break up?" 

Swift said that things were so rocky that she didn't know if they would break up in a month's time or in three days, that the dynamic between them was not healthy or stable. "It doesn't mean that it's not special and extraordinary," Swift said, but it's safe to say that she and that man, presumably Styles, were not meant to be.

Harry Styles avoided talking about Taylor Swift during an interview in November 2015

Despite dating in 2012 and having only been together for a few months, Harry Styles and Taylor Swift's relationship remained a subject of interest. It's not hard to understand why: They were both at the top of their pop careers and seemingly had a lot in common. But after the breakup, both kept the details pretty private and Styles even went to some lengths to avoid talking about Swift completely. Most notably, Styles avoided answering questions during a game of "Never Have I Ever" while appearing on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" in November 2015. 


Styles and his One Direction bandmates were asked if they had ever been the subject of someone else's song — it was DeGeneres' way of asking the question we all wanted to know: Did Styles know about Swift's songs that seemed so obviously about him? 

The game is played with paddles that say "I have" or "I have never" on either side, and when asked the question, Styles put up the "I have never" sign. Naturally, DeGeneres called him on it. "I'm not having fun!" Styles later exclaimed during the game.

In April 2017, Harry Styles called his relationship with Taylor Swift a learning experience

Five years after the photos of Harry Styles and Taylor Swift's Central Park date went viral, Styles finally talked about their time together. In an interview with Rolling Stone in April 2017, Styles was asked about Swift and their relationship, and after spending some time in the bathroom presumably to collect himself and his thoughts, he returned to the interview and shared that his time with Swift was a learning experience.


"When I see photos from that day [in Central Park] I think: Relationships are hard, at any age," he said. "Adding in that you don't really understand exactly how it works when you're 18, trying to navigate all that stuff didn't make it easier." Styles went on to share that he dated Swift as she was someone that he "really [liked]", and he thought at the time that their relationship would be "that simple." 

"I just wanted it to be a normal date," he shared. But if one thing is true, it's that two international pop stars don't exactly have normal lives.

In 2017, Harry Styles addressed how Taylor Swift famously writes songs about her exes

We can't even imagine what it must be like to have songwriting talent, let alone to have the talent that Taylor Swift has. Her songs are so indicative of her relationships and emotions, and she has often alluded to different parts of her own life with her music. Of course, a number of songs from her hit album "1989" are believed to reference her relationship with Harry Styles, and while he avoided the topic in the past, Styles finally opened up about the songs to Rolling Stone


"I mean, I don't know if they're about me or not ..." he told the magazine. "But the issue is, she's so good, they're bloody everywhere." Styles said that, like Swift, he writes his songs based on his own life experience, and he said that he considered himself "lucky" if Swift in fact did use aspects of their relationship to create such popular songs. As mentioned by Rolling Stone, some fans speculate that the One Direction song "Perfect" — which Styles co-wrote — was about Swift. "That's the stuff that's hardest to say, and it's the stuff I talk least about," Styles said. "I'm never going to tell anybody everything."

Harry Styles sang part of a Taylor Swift song at a concert in 2018

There are a couple of songs that really mark some iconic birthdays, "Sweet 16" by Hilary Duff, "Dancing Queen" by ABBA, and "22" by Taylor Swift. No birthday is complete without these tracks playing on a loop, and even though he was fairly distanced from his relationship with Swift at the time, Harry Styles got the birthday song memo. 


In March 2018, Styles was performing at a concert when he was told that it was one of the audience member's 22nd birthday. So while there may have been a little bit of pain surrounding his former relationship with Swift, Styles couldn't resist singing part of his ex's song. He went up to the mic and sang, "Twenty-two. She's 22, okay. I don't know about ..." The crowd of spectators roared with excitement. 

Styles probably didn't even get the entire line of "I don't know about you, but I'm feeling 22" out because of the noise from the fans, but it was a great moment nevertheless. And of course, the internet was wild with tweets referencing the moment. Notably, Styles had previously tweeted that he was "feeling 22" when he turned 22 in 2016.


Taylor Swift and Harry Styles reunited during a sweet moment at the 2021 Grammys

From 2012 all the way to 2021, Harry Styles and Taylor Swift have come a long way. Swift released even more iconic and groundbreaking music, and Styles officially launched his solo career. They both climbed the pop icon ladder all the way to the top and naturally, Swift and Styles reunited at the 2021 Grammy Awards.


As noted by Page Six, the two shared a really friendly conversation during one of the show's down moments, and the exchange really did look lovely. Styles went over to the table where Swift was sitting, and although the conversation was not overheard, both looked like they were enjoying each other's company. To make matters even better, Swift was on her feet clapping when Styles took home the Grammy for Best Pop Solo Performance for his song "Watermelon Sugar." We love to see it!

Taylor Swift and Harry Styles reunited again at the 2023 Grammys

It's been ages since the 2021 Grammys where fans of Taylor Swift and Harry Styles witnessed a swoon-worthy reunion between the former couple. It was clear, from that moment, that the two were friendly, and even though we'd love for them to get back together forever, we're happy that they appear to be friends now.


The 2022 Grammys failed to provide Haylor fans with another reunion, but the 2023 Grammys delivered, and we couldn't be happier. With both Swift and Styles in attendance at the event, cameras were trained on the former lovers, watching their every move, and to the delight of fans everywhere, the two made an effort to connect once again. Swift was seen standing up during Styles' performance of his hit song "As It Was" and dancing through the entire track. According to some Page Six reporters who were among the crowd, Swift was "the only person dancing in her section." Clearly, she didn't mind standing out among the crowd while showing her support. 

As if that wasn't enough to make fans squeal with delight, USA Today reporter, Charlie Trepany, did everyone a favor by capturing another moment between the former lovebirds. In a video posted to X, formerly known as Twitter, Swift can be seen making her way over to Styles' table. He gives her a half-hug and the two chat for a bit before Swift returns to her group. An enchanting night indeed.


Taylor stood up in solidarity to support Harry's Album of the Year win

In a moment that gave everyone unpleasant flashbacks to the 2009 VMAs, some people in the audience at the 2023 Grammys were displeased when Harry Styles took home the prestigious Album of the Year award instead of Beyoncé. In a now-viral TikTok video, Taylor Swift can be seen standing up in support of Harry Styles as some people shout that Beyoncé should've won.


Fans will remember the infamous moment when Kanye West interrupted Swift's 2009 VMA acceptance speech with, "Imma let you finish, but Beyoncé has one of the best videos of all time!" The moment still makes us cringe to this day.

While people were heckling Styles during his acceptance speech at the Grammys, Swift must've remembered that moment too and stood up to show her support. "She knew how Harry was feeling in that moment and she didn't want him to think everyone was against him like she did at [the] VMAs," one person commented on the TikTok video. "Taylor knowing exactly how he feels. I can't imagine working hard and having people boo me for winning???" another wrote. When Styles was asked about the incident afterward, he was, as always, incredibly kind about the whole thing. "You never know with this stuff. I don't think you can look at any of the nominees and not feel like they're deserving," he said in a clip that circled on social media (via The Independent).