Another Taylor Swift ‘ex’ has entered the chat, but there’s one problem.

Taylor Swift's fans are in damage control after many critics have expressed concern over how much of the singer's new album is about her rumoured situationship with divisive frontman, Matty Healy. 

Many expected the double album The Tortured Poets Department to be focused on her relationship breakdown with British actor Joe Alwyn, who dated the 'Fortnite' singer for six years. But alas, based on the cryptic clues left in Swift's lyrics, it sounds like she saved her most heartbreaking and brutal lyrics for The 1975 singer. 

The confusion over how much space Healy took up in Swift's new album has led a subsection of the singer's fans to create opposing theories on X that the lyrics people assumed are about Healy are actually about actor, Dylan O'Brien.

The only problem is... there is literally no evidence that Swift and O'Brien ever dated. 

Dylan O'Brien, Taylor Swift and Sadie Sink at the 'All Too Well' New York premiere. Image: Getty. 


But we'll get back to that later, first of all: why does Taylor's worldwide community of passionate Swifties want to (in Taylor's immortal words) exclude Healy from the narrative? 

When Healy reportedly dated the singer in early 2023, their pairing was famously unpopular among her fandom, which the songstress potentially addresses in the new song, 'But Daddy, I Love Him'. 

The controversial track is basically an unwavering justification of her right to date anyone she wants — no matter their reputation. 

This predicted meaning of the song is quite something considering that Matty Healy is not an easy man to defend.

Over the years, the singer has been synonymous with controversy, whether he's making offensive comments on stage, eating raw meat, or kissing his fans without ensuring they're not underage first.

Worst of all, Healy has continuously come under fire for tone-deaf statements around race. In an interview with The Fader, the singer suggested that there was no sexism in rock and roll, stating "misogyny doesn’t happen in rock’n’roll anymore," but adding that for hip-hop music the "scene’s relationship with women hasn’t caught up." 


The comments infuriated the hip-hop community and Healy backtracked in a tweet to say, "What I said isn’t correct," he wrote. 

"I’m apologising for the fact my words could INSINUATE that misogyny in culture and music is an exclusively hip-hop (Black) issue. I do not believe that. What I believe is that I’m not educated enough to speak on THAT properly and a big part of that is this white dick that I have." 

Listen to The Spill's host discuss their The Tortured Poets Department theory. Post continues after podcast.

In 2020, Matty got into trouble again for tweeting a link to a The 1975 song during the George Floyd protests. At the time, he tweeted, "If you truly believe that ‘ALL LIVES MATTER’ you need to stop facilitating the end of black ones," but people thought it was in bad taste to promote his song 'Love It if We Made It' alongside the statement. 

In a following tweet, he wrote "Sorry I did not link my song in that tweet to make it about me it’s just that the song is literally about this disgusting situation and speaks more eloquently than I can on Twitter." 

The two incidents above could be brushed off as this man just not being able to delicately tackle the subject of race without putting his foot in it, but then in January 2023, Healy appeared on the podcast The Adam Friedland Show with co-host Nick Mullen and made his most offensive comments to date. 


The group of men mocked artist Ice Spice, as they made racist insults and mocking accents about Chinese, Hawaiian, and Inuit people. One of the hosts referred to Ice Spice as a "chubby Chinese lady," as Matty laughed along with the hosts.

The segment blew up online, with Yungblud defending Ice Spice in the following thread on X. “Love listening to three privileged white dudes sit around and objectify a young black female artist who’s blowing up,” he wrote.

At a The 1975 gig in New Zealand, Healy issued an apology to the crowd. "Ice Spice, I’m sorry. It’s not because I’m annoyed that me joking got misconstrued. It’s because I don’t want Ice Spice to think I’m a dick. I love you, Ice Spice. I’m so sorry."

Ellie Goulding, Taylor Swift, Nick Grimshaw and Matt Healy in 2015. Image: Getty. 


But in the same podcast, an even more disturbing revelation came out. 

Host Adam said that Matty was caught watching a porn website called, Ghetto Gaggers, which according to this Medium article is a platform dedicated to “white men humiliating and sexually dominating Black women," and features "physical violence coupled with jokes about poverty, welfare, slavery, [and] putting nooses on women." 

Healy laughed about frequently watching porn on the website, as he was caught by a friend watching it. "It literally was Ghetto Gaggers on the TV — somebody just getting, like, brutalised," he joked on the show. 

In the same month, during a live performance, Healy was seen doing a Nazi salute on stage as he sang the lyrics "Thank you, Kanye, very cool." This gesture was likely referring to Kanye West's history of making antisemitic comments but either way, people were left outraged. 

Due to the mounting concern over Healy's history of being problematic, when Swift was reportedly dating the singer in May last year, her fans started an online campaign #SpeakUpNow to highlight his controversies and call for him to take responsibility and make amends.


This brings us back to Dylan O'Brien. Given how much Swift's fandom doesn't want to celebrate the Healy era, they've started attaching a handful of lyrics to Swift's history with O'Brien, as the two worked together on Swift's 'All Too Well' extended music video in 2021. 

In one of the album's lyrics, Taylor sings "I scratch your head, you fall asleep, like a tattooed golden retriever,” which people initially speculated was about Healy — given that both her ex Alwyn and current boyfriend Travis Kelce aren't known for their tattoos. 

However, some fans have since decided that this is referring to O'Brien, who does have tattoos and possesses a sweet golden retriever disposition. 

The joke among the fandom is clearly to overemphasis the significance of O'Brien in Taylor's life to downplay all the Healy discourse. 


Some of the references are even more niche.

For instance, Swift sings "it was legendary," in 'LOML' and O'Brien has the word 'Legendary' tattooed on his arm. 

People initially thought that Swift's reference to the band The Blue Nile in 'Guilty As Sin?' was directed at Healy, as he's listed them as his favourite band, but wait... it's also O'Brien's fave too.


This all sounds lovely but Dylan and Taylor together is a little too good to be true. 

As far as reputations go, The Maze Runner star is the antithesis of Healy: he's universally liked, largely unproblematic and wildly popular among young women, which coincidentally happens to be Swift's key demographic.

However, there's an obvious problem with this theory: there were never any legitimate reports that Swift and O'Brien have engaged in a romantic relationship. 

Another awkward fact is that in the time period between Swift breaking up with Alwyn and getting together with Kelce, O'Brien was reportedly dating someone else.


In January 2023, he soft-launched a relationship with New-York based model Rachael Lange getting filmed holding her hand at Paris Fashion Week. 

In 2022, the Teen Wolf actor was also been rumoured to have dated Sabrina Carpenter, Taylor's Eras tour bestie, so it's unlikely that Swift would even go there with a friend's possible ex. 

If we know one thing about Taylor Swift, her squad of girlfriends is more important than any man. 

It's a fun theory but the Swifties might have to accept that Matty Healy meant a lot to Taylor Swift — flaws and all.

Feature image: Getty.