Taylor Swift’s Rumored Romance With Travis Kelce Is Already So Completely Different Than Her Relationship With Joe Alwyn. Here’s Everything You Need To Know.
Taylor’s song lyrics highlight the stark difference between NFL star Travis and her ex Joe. Here’s everything you need to know.
On Sunday, Taylor Swift caused a bit of a stir when she attended the Kansas City Chiefs’ football game at Arrowhead Stadium.
Taylor watching the game
Cooper Neill / Getty Images
The star was spotted enthusiastically cheering the Chiefs on from a VIP suite — two months after the team’s tight end Travis Kelce began his public attempt to woo her.
In case you missed it, back in July, Travis admitted that he had tried and failed to give Taylor his phone number when he attended her Eras tour.
Exposing his exquisite attention to detail when it comes to Taylor’s fandom, Travis said that he’d made a friendship bracelet with his number on it especially for the show.
For those who don’t know, friendship bracelets have been a big part of Taylor’s tour, with fans making them ahead of the concerts to exchange with one another.
Speaking on his New Heights podcast, Travis said of the singer: “I was disappointed that she doesn’t talk before or after her shows because she has to save her voice for the 44 songs that she sings.”
Closeup of Travis
Michael Owens / Getty Images
“So I was a little butt-hurt I didn’t get to hand her one of the bracelets I made for her,” he added.
Soon after, reports began to swirl that Travis and Taylor were quietly hanging out, with the NFL as well as Travis’s own brother excitedly fueling the speculation.
Then on Thursday, Travis said that he’d invited Taylor to one of his games as he teased that she may make an appearance in the “near future.” During an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show, he said: “I threw the ball in her court.”
“I told her, ‘I’ve seen you rock the stage at Arrowhead. You might have to come see me rock the stage at Arrowhead and see which one’s a little more lit,’” Travis explained.
So when Taylor actually showed up on Sunday — and was pictured watching the game with Travis’s mom and dad — fans were over the moon that the football pro’s efforts had seemingly paid off.
Taylor and Donna Kelce watching the game
David Eulitt / Getty Images
During the game, Travis appeared to look in Taylor’s direction multiple times as she enthusiastically watched him play, and they were later filmed walking closely next to one another as they left the stadium.
Taylor then hopped into Travis’s convertible car, and they proudly drove down the street with its roof down before going to dinner at a restaurant that Travis had booked out in its entirety. According to reports, an afterparty followed that lasted until 2a.m., with Travis’s parents and teammates in attendance.
Sources have now come forward to share some more insight into Travis and Taylor’s relationship, with it being claimed that the proactive way that Travis publicly pursued Taylor massively appealed to her.
She is also said to like the fact that he is “supportive” and understanding of her record-breaking career. Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, one insider explained: “She likes that he pursued her, and it has been easy and exciting for both of them.”
Hector Vivas / Getty Images for TAS Rights Management
“Taylor wants a guy that’s into his career, does his own thing, but is also supportive and understands her, and Travis fits those qualities,” they went on.
“Travis has never shied away from his desire to give dating with Taylor a try, which he even said during a press conference a few months ago after seeing Swift in concert,” another source told the same outlet.
And these quotes are all the more poignant considering the history of Taylor’s love life, with a resurfaced 2012 clip leaving her fans “emotional” this week.
In the video, which is taken from an interview with Extra, Taylor says that a man has never gone out of his way to get her attention, which has left her expectations on the floor.
Just going to leave this one here. 🙊 #taylorswift #traviskelce #kanas #gorgeous #taylorsversion #espn #nfl #barstoolsports #taylornation #fyp #chiefs #trending
♬ Gorgeous – Taylor Swift
TikTok @harliewhelan / Extra / Via tiktok.com
“Nobody does anything crazy to get my attention as far as guys,” she insists. “Like, I can’t remember, so I guess there hasn’t been anything.”
“Which is good, so it’s, like, easier, the bar is set really low for anyone I date in the future to come in and be, like, a great guy,” Taylor then jokes. “I’ll be like, ‘Oh, you exist? This is so crazy!’”
While this clip is over a decade old, if her last long-term relationship is anything to go by, little appeared to change for Taylor in the years that followed.
In April, the star split from British actor Joe Alwyn after six years together. The two first started dating in 2016, soon after Taylor had retreated from the public eye following her infamous feud with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.
Taylor and Joe embracing
During this time, Taylor rejected the spotlight for over a year — which is when she and Joe fell in love.
Throughout the course of their romance, Taylor and Joe kept their relationship very private, and there are just a handful of photos of the two of them together. In addition, Joe maintained an incredibly low profile by largely avoiding red carpets and showbiz events with Taylor.
But in true Taylor Swift fashion, she spilled intimate details about their relationship through her music — with the star releasing five albums in the years since she and Joe first met, in addition to her re-recordings.
At this point, it’s necessary to mention that lyrical interpretation is entirely subjective, and Taylor very rarely reveals who her songs are about. However, she does leave Easter eggs and hints to encourage her fans to work out the identities, and the following information is a culmination of public information and widely-believed fan theories.
And when it comes to the songs that are believed to be about Joe, the difference between him and Travis and their respective relationships with Taylor couldn’t be more striking.
In fact, one of the biggest themes in Taylor’s lyrics about Joe is the huge crush that she had on him before they’d even spoken — and that she is the one who appeared to pursue him, which is a huge contrast to her and Travis.
Closeup of Taylor and Joe
Christopher Polk / NBCU Photo Bank
In “London Boy,” Taylor reveals that it was the sound of Joe laughing followed by his English accent and dimpled smile that first caught her attention when they attended the same event, and “Gorgeous” sees Taylor confess that she was so overwhelmed by her attraction to him that she didn’t quite know how to handle it.
In that song, she recalls getting drunk and poking fun at Joe’s accent, as well as purposefully avoiding him because she couldn’t cope with her crush. “You’re so gorgeous / I can’t say anything to your face,” Taylor sings in the chorus. “And I’m so furious / At you for making me feel this way.”
And while Taylor seemingly attempted to play it cool when she was in Joe’s company, in “Paper Rings” she admits to trying to “stalk” him online as soon as she got home from the event where she first laid eyes on him.
"The moon is high…"
AZ Lyrics / Via azlyrics.com
Taylor’s 2022 song “Mastermind” also highlights the fact that she was the one who instigated her relationship with Joe. She goes so far as to say that their entire romance was “all by design,” and that she had meticulously planned for them to end up together soon after they met.
“What if I told you none of it was accidental / And the first night that you saw me, nothing was gonna stop me?” she asks in the track. “I laid the groundwork and then, just like clockwork / The dominoes cascaded in a line.”
But despite the fact that Joe had the unwavering attention of one of the biggest pop stars on the planet back in 2016, Taylor’s music suggests that he effectively played hard to get, something that definitely cannot be said about Travis.
Several of Taylor’s songs suggest that she didn’t think that she and Joe would turn into anything serious for this very reason, and she even compares the start of their relationship to a game of “cat and mouse.” This lasted for months, in part because Joe “refused to settle down.”
"Maybe you ran with the wolves and refused to settle down"
AZ Lyrics / Via azlyrics.com
In “Cornelia Street” Taylor reveals that she thought that Joe was “leading [her] on,” and as a result she very nearly ended things. She then says: “But then you called, showed your hand / I turned around before I hit the tunnel.”
And the moment that Taylor realized that she’d actually caught deep feelings for Joe is chronicled in the song “Cruel Summer’s” iconic bridge. In hindsight, it’s pretty telling that she appears to have been scared about what this might mean for their relationship rather than excited.
“I’m drunk in the back of the car and I cried like a baby coming home from the bar,” the bridge begins, with Taylor later adding: “I screamed for whatever it’s worth, / ‘I love you,’ ain’t that the worst thing you ever heard?”
The fact that Joe appeared to hold all of the power over a lovestruck Taylor at the start of their romance seemingly had long-term repercussions, with many of Taylor’s songs addressing the fact that she felt insecure and paranoid throughout the relationship.
Closeup of Taylor and Joe
Robert Kamau / GC Images
In “False God,” she recalls purposefully acting out and daring Joe to leave her in a bid to “scare” him, and in “Afterglow” she confesses to overreacting to things that he’d done and picking fights out of nothing.
This vulnerability in Taylor and Joe’s relationship is most exposed in her 2022 song “The Great War,” which details her intense paranoia that he had “betrayed” her.
In addition to these insecurities, Taylor was also hyper-conscious of her celebrity status throughout her relationship with Joe — suggesting that Travis already being super famous in his own right may be a green flag for her.
While Joe was a working actor when they first met, he was yet to break into the mainstream and had favored a quiet career with work in indie films over Hollywood stardom.
Closeup of Joe Alwyn
Karwai Tang / WireImage
As a result, Taylor was always fearful that he wouldn’t be able to handle the attention and scrutiny that comes with being a part of her life, especially after they were ambushed by paparazzi soon after going public with the romance.
In “False God,” Taylor questions if they were “stupid” and “crazy” to think that they’d be able to make their relationship work, and in “Dancing with Our Hands Tied,” she acknowledges her “deep fears that the world would divide” them.
“People started talking, putting us through our paces / I knew there was no one in the world who could take it,” she sings.
And the constant battle of trying to keep a relationship sacred while dating in the public eye is reiterated in Taylor’s 2020 song “Peace,” where she warns her partner that she will never be able to give him a normal life due to the publicity that surrounds her.
She asks whether her love and devotion is enough for him when there is so much that is outside of her control. She poignantly asks: “All these people think love’s for show / But I would die for you in secret / The devil’s in the details, but you got a friend in me / Would it be enough if I could never give you peace?”
While the circus of celebrity was completely novel to Joe, Travis has been in the public eye as a star NFL player for several years, and is no doubt used to the attention that comes with it.
Closeup of Travis Kelce
Variety / Penske Media via Getty Images
In addition to his sporting career — which has seen him play for the winning team in two Super Bowls — Travis had his own dating show in 2016, Catching Kelce, and even hosted Saturday Night Live earlier this year before he was linked to Taylor.
And in a similar vein to Travis being used to fame, him not only being supportive but also seemingly in awe of Taylor’s impressive career is the exact opposite of what appeared to go down between her and her ex.
When news of Taylor and Joe’s split broke earlier this year, it was reported that their relationship had failed to survive Taylor’s recent superstar comeback, which began with the release of her 10th studio album Midnights last October and the announcement of her stadium tour.
A source told People at the time: “They had plenty in common and fell in love in a safe bubble while she was retreating from the world during Reputation. Then the pandemic hit, and they were locked down together and able to continue growing their relationship in this insulated way. But he didn’t really ‘know’ her yet outside of that bubble.”
While many of Taylor’s earlier songs appear to celebrate the fact that her relationship with Joe was built on normalcy and embracing the little things in life after almost a decade in the limelight, her frustration at this setup is evident in her more recent music — most notably in her single “Bejeweled.”
Suzanne Cordeiro / AFP via Getty Images
In this song, which was released last year, Taylor admits that she’d actively dulled her sparkle because she has been so focused on her relationship. She then warns her lover that even though she was happy to reject the spotlight for a time, she is now ready to “reclaim” her past popularity.
“Best believe I’m still bejeweled / When I walk in the room / I can still make the whole place shimmer,” she sings.
It’s worth pointing out that Taylor refers to the subject of this song as “baby boy” in the second verse, which is a very specific term of endearment she’s only ever used once before in her discography — in 2019’s “Paper Rings,” which is about Joe.
In “Midnight Rain,” which was also released just last year, Taylor sings about choosing fame and making a name for herself over getting married and settling down.
Mat Hayward / Getty Images for TAS Rights Management
“He wanted a bride / I was making my own name / Chasing that fame / He stayed the same,” Taylor sings.
And Taylor and Joe’s subsequent split makes it clear that she meant every word of both of these songs, but that doesn’t mean that she is giving up on love entirely.
Just weeks after her split from Joe was made public, the star was linked to The 1975 front person Matty Healy. The two were repeatedly pictured together, spotted kissing, and Matty was even invited into Taylor’s friends and family VIP tent at her Eras Tour — where she appeared to mouth a secret message to him.
But Matty’s controversial history — which includes making racist and misogynistic comments as well as doing a Nazi salute onstage earlier this year — sparked fierce backlash against Taylor, and the pair called it quits after a month of dating.
Closeup of Taylor
Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images
Taylor’s appearance at the football game on Sunday marks the first time that she has been spotted with someone that she has been romantically linked to since Matty.
And having seen what a breath of fresh air Travis is in comparison to Taylor’s past relationships, we can’t wait to see what will happen next.
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