Taylor Swift & Joe were talking about marriage as recently as a few months ago

Taylor Swift is 100% in control of the breakup narrative. That’s my sense of things – the news of her split from Joe Alwyn came out just before Easter Sunday, a typically quiet weekend for gossip. Her reps didn’t deny anything, and the news was leaked gently to established outlets like Entertainment Tonight and People. The story came out when she wasn’t about to perform a concert for her Eras Tour. Add to all of that, Taylor stepped out in New York last night and gave the paparazzi some exclusive photos where she looked great. The message: she’s not crying at home, she’s out with friends (Margaret Qualley and Jack Antonoff) and she looks happy and healthy. We’re even learning more about why this six-year relationship ended. Via People:

Why they split: Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn broke up a few weeks ago after six years of dating, and a source close to the Grammy winner and the Conversations with Friends actor tells PEOPLE the split was largely caused by “differences in their personalities.”

Rough patches: “They’ve had rough patches before and always worked things out, so friends thought they would take some time apart but eventually come back together,” says the source, noting that “ultimately” Swift, 33, and Alwyn, 32, “weren’t the right fit for one another.”

The safe bubble in the early days: “They had plenty in common and fell in love in a safe bubble while she was retreating from the world during Reputation,” adds the source, referring to Swift’s 2017 studio album. “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.”

Joe didn’t like the limelight: Throughout their relationship, the pair kept details of their romance to themselves, demurring on engagement rumors in recent years. Sources say the pair bonded quickly over shared passions for art and creativity. Indeed, Swift has released 10 songs co-written and/or co-produced with Alwyn, who wrote under the pseudonym William Bowery. The collaborations include six songs on Folklore, three songs on Evermore and “Sweet Nothing” on Midnights. Still, insiders say the actor — who emphasized his need for privacy when asked about Swift during interviews — didn’t like the limelight.

Struggled with fame: “Joe has struggled with Taylor’s level of fame and the attention from the public,” says the source. “The differences in their personalities have also become harder to ignore after years together. They’ve grown apart.”

Talk about marriage: According to multiple sources, Swift and Alwyn had been “talking about marriage as recently as a few months ago.” But at the end of the day, the couple wasn’t ready for a future together. “Taylor didn’t see them working out in the long run,” says the insider, who adds that the split happened “recently” and was “not dramatic.”

Not dramatic: “They are friendly. She doesn’t have anything bad to say about Joe,” adds the insider. “They just grew apart. Taylor is staying very focused on her tour right now.” Despite the breakup, the source adds, “There is a lot of respect still between them.”

[From People]

It’s interesting, I guess. Taylor and her people definitely want to leave the impression that she was the driver of this split, that while it was mutual and a gentle growing-apart, Taylor was the one who realized that she wasn’t getting what she needed. I think the most interesting and telling part of this story is: they were “able to continue growing their relationship in this insulated way. But he didn’t really ‘know’ her yet outside of that bubble.” Joe only wanted Taylor when he could have her at home, in total privacy, and he didn’t want to be with “Taylor Swift, Pop Icon.”

As for what’s next, I guess Taylor is keeping the Primrose Hill place she bought in London during their relationship. She spent a lot of time in London with Joe, and Page Six has a piece about how much she loves it there and how close she was to Joe’s family. One “Swift source” tells Page Six: “I’m sure her friends will set her up with her next love. Taylor loves a London boy.”

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.

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