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Joe Alwyn Wanted to Keep His Relationship With Taylor Swift ‘Personal’ During 6-Year Romance: Source (Exclusive)

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The British actor and pop superstar — who dropped her latest album ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ on April 19 — dated for six years until early 2023

By Kirsty Hatcher, Joe Alwyn was thrust into the spotlight when he started dating Taylor Swift back in 2016The couple’s breakup was confirmed by PEOPLE in April 2023, and a year on from their split an Alwyn source tells PEOPLE that the British actor, 33, intentionally kept his relationship with the pop superstar — who just released her latest album The Tortured Poets Department — out of the public eye.

When friends learned he was dating Swift, 34, “[the relationship] took a lot of people by surprise,” says the source, adding, “but he wasn’t showing off in some way.”

Despite the intense public interest in the relationship, Alwyn wanted the romance to remain “his own personal story,” says the source.

Taylor Swift’s Tortured Poets Lyrics Detail Fury and Heartbreak in Joe Alwyn, Matty Healy Relationships
In her latest body of work, Swift sings about feeling caged and lonely amid a failing romance. “I stopped trying to make him laugh / Stopped trying to drill the safe,” she details in “So Long, London,” which appears to have been inspired by her breakup with Alwyn. “And I’m pissed off you let me give you all that youth for free.”

And on “Fresh Out the Slammer,” the pop star further shares how isolated she felt: “Another summer taking cover / Rolling thunder, he doesn’t understand me / Splintered back in winter / Silent dinner, bitter he was with her in dreams.”

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