As even a casual fan of Taylor Swift can tell you, the singer’s favorite number is 13.
“I was born on the 13th. I turned 13 on Friday the 13th. My first album went gold in 13 weeks. My first No. 1 song had a 13-second intro,” Swift told Jay Leno back in 2009. “Every time I’ve won an award I’ve been seated in either the 13th seat, the 13th row, the 13th section or row M, which is the 13th letter. Basically, whenever a 13 comes up in my life, it’s a good thing.”
Swift has had a lot of good things come up for her this past year. By all appearances, that includes the recent AFC Championship, where a certain couple looked like jovial lovebirds in a sports-adjacent romcom. The cinematic moment seemed to encapsulate Swift’s relationship thus far with Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce, whose number is 87. (No one’s perfect.)
This weekend, Kelce will battle with his team for the W against the San Francisco 49ers. Though Swift has an intimidating flight back to the US from Japan ahead of her in order to make the game, if she makes it (she will, the embassy claims), this game will be her 13th in attendance in support of Kelce.
If Swift’s lucky streak stays intact, the girl on the bleachers might find herself celebrating on the field again.
But it’s important to remember that Swift’s road to finding love has been a long game. Discounting a few outings with singer Matty Healy, Kelce appears to be the 13th guy Swift has dated under a public spotlight. A positive coincidence, likely, and no need to try and force the math when things seem to be adding up for the two.
We all kiss some frogs before meeting our Mr. Right, and it’s humanizing to know that even billionaire bosses aren’t exempt from the rules of love. Here’s a look back at Swift’s path to the friends and family suite at the Super Bowl.
Drew Dunlap and Sam Armstrong
These two were reportedly Swift’s high school boyfriends in the early 2000s.
Dunlap has long been believed to be the inspiration for her song “Tim McGraw,” in which she sings, “When you think Tim McGraw/I hope you think my favorite song/The one we danced to all night long.” The pair reportedly split when the older Dunlap went off to college.
The Armstrong relationship was reportedly a bit messier. Some went as far as to call their youthful relationship the root of “all of Taylor Swift’s angst.” She’s never spoken about it.
Another person who ran afoul of the Swifties is Joe Jonas.
The Jonas Brothers singer famously dated Swift back in 2008. Things didn’t work out for the pair, and when Swift appeared on the “Ellen DeGeneres Show” in 2008 following the couple’s split, she didn’t hold back when asked about Jonas.
“When I look at that person, I’m not even going to remember the boy who broke up with me over the phone in 25 seconds when I was 18,” Swift told host Ellen DeGeneres after saying she will find the right guy eventually, and that she wrote the breakup song “Forever & Always” about Jonas.
But all’s (too) well that ends well, hopefully. In May of last year, Jonas said during an appearance on the “Armchair Expert” podcast that he and Swift are “cool” now, and that he hopes her fans still like him.
The “Hannah Montana: The Movie” star dated Swift for a few months after the pair met while filming the 2009 movie.
He told MTV that year, “We dated for a little bit. But, there was no friction because we were too nice.”
“We just really both liked each other … [but] most relationships work out cause you get along and then you don’t, and then you make up and its (sic) passionate, and with us I really just liked her as a friend,” he explained. “That’s the only reason that didn’t work out.”
Then there was the tale of two Taylors.
Swift shared a sweet romance in 2009 with the “Twilight” star, who is believed to have inspired her bittersweet breakup tune “Back to December.”
Last year, Lautner revealed during an appearance on the “Call Her Daddy” podcast that Swift ended things, yet a beautiful friendship came from it.
“I think when you respect somebody for who they are, like in their soul, it allows you to move on, forgive and continue that love in a different way,” he said.
Lucky for him, Lautner is now married to a Swiftie who is named, wait for it, Taylor. She said on the podcast that Swift makes it “easy” for them to all be friends.
Lautner got his wife’s seal of approval to appear in the first music video from Swift’s “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” album, which she debuted at the first Eras Tour stop in Kansas City, Missouri last year.
Swift surprised the audience by bringing Lautner out on stage to debut the video.
That same year – 2009 – was also when Swift dated the music industry’s resident eligible bachelor and fellow artist John Mayer.
The general consensus is that one of her most brutal takedown-of-an-ex songs, “Dear John,” is about him. Last year Swift performed the song for the first time in years during an “Eras Tour” stop in Minneapolis. She implored people to be nice about it.
“I’m 33 years old. I don’t care about anything that happened to me when I was 19,” Swift told the audience at the time. “I’m not putting this album out so that you can go and should feel the need to defend me on the internet against someone you think I might have written a song about 14 billion years ago.”
Jake Gyllenhaal, meanwhile, does not believe he is the subject of Swift’s single “All Too Well.”
As she re-records her old music with “Taylor’s versions,” there as been new speculation about her inspirations – especially Gyllenhaal, who dated Swift off and on from 2010 to 2011.
In 2022, he told Esquire the tune was not about him.
“It has nothing to do with me,” he told the publication in a wide ranging interview. “It’s about her relationship with her fans.”
Tell that to Dionne Warwick.
In 2021, she had a message for Gyllenhaal after Swift released a short film for the single off her then-new “Red (Taylor’s Version)” album.
On the song’s lyric, “And I left my scarf there at your sister’s house / And you’ve still got it in your drawer even now,” Warwick posted on Twitter: “It does not belong to you. Box it up and I will pay the cost of postage, Jake.”
Swift is pop music royalty, so it makes sense that she would eventually cross paths with America’s version of the royals.
She dated Robert and Ethel Kennedy’s grandson Conor Kennedy in the summer of 2012. The Swifties went wild when she purchased a home near the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.
But all summers come to an end.
Some One Direction fans were unhappy about this relationship.
The pair were together from 2012 to 2013. In 2017, Styles told Rolling Stone he was aware that people believed her songs “Out of the Woods” and “Style” were inspired by their relationship.
“In writing songs about stuff like that, I like tipping a hat to the time together,” he said. “You’re celebrating the fact it was powerful and made you feel something, rather than ‘this didn’t work out, and that’s bad.’ And if you run into that person, maybe it’s awkward, maybe you have to get drunk … but you shared something.”
This one was a lot.
Swift and Harris seemed like a match made in musical heaven when they dated from 2015 to 2016.
Things went well – until they didn’t. When they split after 15 months, there was all types of drama, including the revelation that Swift had secretly written the song “This Is What You Came For,” under the pseudonym ”Nils Sjoberg.” The track, recorded by Harris and Rihanna, hit the top of the charts.
Harris talked to British GQ about the split.
“It’s very difficult when something I consider so personal plays out very publicly,” he said in the interview. “The aftermath of the relationship was way more heavily publicized than the relationship itself. When we were together, we were very careful for it not to be a media circus. She respected my feelings in that sense.”
This summer 2016 romance was highly publicized (because of course it was) and Harris even weighed in when he and Swift were feuding about her claiming songwriting credit on his hit (see above).
“I figure if you’re happy in your new relationship you should focus on that instead of trying to tear your ex bf down for something to do,” Harris wrote on Twitter at the time, referring to Swift’s relationship with Hiddleston.
Despite a PDA-filled summer, Swift and the “Loki” star split after a few months.
Swift soon switched from a very public relationship with an actor to an incredibly private one.
She met the British actor in 2016, but kept things so on the low that folks aren’t entirely sure when it turned romantic.
Both Swift and Alwyn made it a habit to not talk about each other for years.
And when they did, they didn’t say much.
“No, not at all. No. It’s flattering,” is all Alwyn said in an interview with The Times of London when asked if he was bothered about possibly inspiring Swift’s music.
Turns out not only was he an inspiration, but he also did some songwriting with his then-girlfriend.
“There’s been a lot of discussion about William Bowery and his identity, because it’s not a real person,” Swift said in the “folklore: the long pond studio sessions” documentary about her album. “So William Bowery is Joe, as we know. And Joe plays piano beautifully and he’s always just playing and making things up and kind of creating things.”
The pair split after six years together, with a source close to Taylor confirming the news to CNN in April 2023, saying “They simply grew apart and plan to remain friends.”
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