We still can’t stop thinking about that time Harry Styles and Taylor Swift dated

As 1989 (Taylor’s Version) drops, we’re going back to the beginning
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Taylor Swift and Harry Styles. Was there ever a more pop-culture-perfect relationship? We think not. 

Whilst the relationship may have been fleeting, the brief period in 2012 when One Direction’s very own Harry Styles dated pop princess Taylor Swift had fans in a chokehold. But just as quickly as Swifties and Directioners jumped onto the relationship of their fandom dreams, the fantasy was over with both singers moving in separate directions. 

Watch Below: Harry Styles on Taylor Swift writing songs about him

But it wasn’t really over. Sure, Taylor may have moved on with Calvin Harris. And Harry may have gone on to briefly date Kendall Jenner, but what is definitive in a relationship breakdown between two singer-songwriters? Music of course. 

And so after what felt like an eternity, fans finally got to see a glimpse of the action behind the scenes thanks to a few pointed (and catchy tunes).

We know what you’re thinking – it happened over ten years ago so why are you still talking about it? Well, not only was it a formative moment that has become many fans’ Roman Empire moment, but, with Taylor re-releasing 1989, we’ve been transported right back to 2012. 

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Taylor and Harry first crossed paths at the Kids’ Choice Awards in 2012. (Credit: Getty)

What happened with Harry Styles and Taylor Swift?

Fans believe Taylor Swift and Harry Styles first met at the 2012 Kids’ Choice Awards, where Taylor and Selena Gomez were spotted dancing and singing along to One Direction’s performance of What Makes You Beautiful.

Justin, who was dating Selena at the time, further fuelled speculation after suggesting Taylor was in fact crushing on Harry. 

Talking with The Mirror shortly after the award show, he revealed that he knew that “one of the biggest artists in the world thinks Harry is so hot.” However, he didn’t name any names as he had been “sworn to secrecy.”

Fast forward a few months (during which Taylor briefly dated Conor Kennedy and Harry dated Emily Atack) and Harry and Taylor were finally a ‘thing.’ 

The rumour mill went into overdrive when Taylor was spotted wearing a paper plane necklace that belonged to Harry, and People reported that the British singer had visited Taylor’s rehearsals. 

“He was smiling at her while she rehearsed,” a source shared with the publication at the time. “When she was done, he jumped up on stage, picked her up, put her over his shoulder and carried her off stage.”

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The pair were spotted on a date in December 2012. (Credit: Getty)

Following months of rumours, December 2012 brought the hard launch: photos of the pair enjoying a date at Central Park Zoo. 

“When I see photos from that day [in Central Park], I think: Relationships are hard, at any age,” Harry later told Rolling Stone in 2017. “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.”

People reported that the pair celebrated Taylor’s 23rd birthday together in Northern England, with Harry introducing his girlfriend to his mum and family. By December they were spotted in Utah together enjoying a ski trip. 

Despite spending the holidays together, news of their split emerged in January 2013. Entertainment Tonight reported that the pair fought whilst on holiday in the British Virgin Islands and Taylor left the trip early. 

Watch Below: Harry Styles and Taylor Swift kiss at the 2012 Jingle Ball

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How old was Harry Styles when he dated Taylor Swift?

Taylor and Harry met in 2012 when Taylor was 22 and Harry was 18.

What Taylor Swift songs are about Harry Styles?

Although their relationship may have been fleeting, the power of ‘Haylor’ lived on through music of course. 

From Taylor herself, two songs from her album 1989 were believed to be about Harry Styles: Out of the Woods and Style.

Out of the Woods details an incident famous for fans of the couple, hinting at a car crash with the line “20 stitches in a hospital room” 

I Knew You Were Trouble from her album Red was also rumoured to be about the British singer.

Although Taylor had never spoken publicly about her relationship or split with Harry Styles in 2013, she did share some insight into the “turbulent relationship,” as she introduced Out of the Woods at the Grammy Museum in 2015.

“The number one feeling I felt in the whole relationship was anxiety,” she said when explaining the context behind the song. “Because it felt very fragile, it felt very tentative. And it always felt like, ‘Okay, what’s the next roadblock? 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? Is it a month? Is it three days?'”

“So, you know, I think a lot of relationships can be very solid, and that’s kind of what you hope for, for it to be solid and healthy, but that’s not always what you get.” 

“It doesn’t mean that it’s not special and extraordinary just to have a relationship that’s fragile and somehow meaningful in that fragility.”

Watch Below: Harry Styles Says Taylor Swift’s Songs About Him Are ‘Really Good’

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What Harry Styles songs are about Taylor Swift?

Harry also penned a few tunes following the breakdown of the relationship, hinting that Two Ghosts and Ever Since New York were inspired by Taylor.

“Certain things don’t work out,” he told Rolling Stone about his breakup and the subsequent songwriting process. 

“There are a lot of things that can be right, and it’s still wrong. In writing songs about stuff like that, I like tipping a hat to the time together. You’re celebrating the fact it was powerful and made you feel something, rather than ‘this didn’t work out, and that’s bad.'”

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Harry and Taylor reunited in 2023. (Credit: Getty)

Are Harry and Taylor still friends?

In February 2023 Haylor fans were ecstatic to see Harry and Taylor catch up at the Grammy Awards.

Not only was Taylor seen cheering on her ex as he won album of the year for Harry’s House, but they also caught up during a commercial break, with a fan-recorded video showing them chatting and laughing together. Safe to say there’s not too much bad blood here!

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