Why Taylor Swift is the one woman the world can't believe is single.

If rumours are to be believed, Taylor Swift has dated five men at various points over the past, uh, four weeks.

While also performing for over three hours three nights a week, grabbing dinners with her friends in New York City, and filming a new music video in Liverpool, England.

Where the heck does she find the time?

News that Swift and her boyfriend of more than six years, actor Joe Alwyn, had broken up was announced in early April. Immediately, of course, there was interest in what had happened. Who had broken up with who? Was someone in the wrong? Surely it couldn't be as amicable as their camps suggested in a number of People magazine stories?

Classic gossip stuff, right? But almost immediately, more news dropped. 

Deux Moi — the anonymous gossip account that had claimed for years that Swift and Alwyn were secretly married (they were not) — shared a blind item claiming that Swift was already seeing someone older and 'more low-key'.

People speculated whether this could be true or not, but most of all, they speculated about who it could be. Someone more low-key than Alwyn, who barely uttered her name in public? It became a fun game for the internet to play.

Listen to the Mamamia Out Loud team talk about Taylor Swift. Article continues below. 

Then, a few days later, Swift's friend Dylan O'Brien was photographed leaving her apartment in New York. 'Could they be dating now?' people wondered. 


The following week, Spanish F1 fans started a joke about Swift dating Spanish driver Fernando Alonso, simply because they had both recently become single. Someone submitted it to Deux Moi, also as a joke, and from there, the rumour spread like wildfire across social media like TikTok.

When Alonso and other members of the F1 world played into it, by using Swift songs or puns in interviews and social posts, publications began to write about it too, adding a sense of legitimacy to something that was! not! legitimate!

And then, while this was playing out, another blind item appeared stating that Swift had recently had a "very cozy" dinner with a director and Oscar loser, which readers quickly deduced to be Bradley Cooper.

Tired yet?

Publicly, Swift was single for about a minute before people decided that couldn't be the case. Even when all of her moves — especially smiley pap pics while grabbing dinner with friends in New York City — seemed to be trying to signal just that.

It's cliche to say that society doesn't know what to do with a single woman in her 30s, but cliches are cliches for a reason. Add in the fact that Swift is riding a career high, daring to have the time of her life on stage each week without a ring on her finger or a kid at home, and that's a lot for lil ol' society to wrap its head around.


If we instead believe that she's quickly jumped back into the search for a 'partner', despite the lack of evidence, we don't have to confront that head on.

Then on May 4, British tabloid The Sun unveiled its 'world exclusive', that Swift was "madly in love" with British musician, the frontman of band The 1975, Matty Healy.

'Sorry to Bradley Cooper, I guess! Maybe you'll get a song!' the jokes began.

Swift is a lot of things. Currently, she's probably the moment famous musician in the world. Her fame and musical achievements have in the last year hit heights that no one thought possible in the era of streaming, social media and a much more fractured pop culture landscape.

Watch the All Too Well video below. Article continues after video. 

Video via Taylor Swift on YouTube. 

But no matter the records, the awards or her own frustration at this fact, there appears to be something more powerful than Swift herself. And that is the 'serial dater' reputation narrative that she cannot escape.


The Alywn relationship, which was purposely kept very private, stopped this from progressing for six years. Within days of that ending, it returned with a vengeance.

For a huge chunk of the 17 years she has been famous, speculating about Swift's love life has been the greatest kind of engagement bait.

Passionate fans are always going to emerge, whether the coverage is positive or negative, to support or argue, and there will always, always be very clever comedians ready and willing to show off their skills with hilarious and unique takes such as 'next album incoming' or 'has she ever thought she's the problem?'

It's been a thing from the moment a teenage Swift acknowledged that there was a song about her first famous ex on her 2008 album Fearless while on The Ellen DeGeneres Show's couch. An interest in finding parallels between her relationships and confessional songwriting has followed her ever since, which means her dating life has been scrutinised from every possible angle. Even when she stopped revealing any details about muses. Even when she said she'd written fiction. Even when she had been with the same man for six years.

It's gone well for her too, of course. She has plenty of fans who would support anything she put out, but the general population and haters will tune in for gossip.

But all of that is to say that writing about the personal life of Swift will always garner the clicks every media company needs. It just does. Even if the details are murky or straight up not true.


I obviously don't have insight into the numbers on The Sun's homepage, but I just know it is popping off right now.

Swift, now 33, isn't necessarily a victim of the narrative in the same way she once was. Slut shaming hasn't vanished, but it is no way near as pervasive as it was when she was in her early 20s. 

She's also a much more powerful figure in 2023 than ever before, and based on her communication with media and fans, she has developed a tougher shell now too.

I highly doubt that she is crying over this, as frustrating as it must be to see potential (or definite) fake news about your life be published all over the place and overshadowing the individual achievements you keep having.

But the fact that we must always attach her to a man says something about celebrity women.

Something about how we see famous lives as a video game or a sport, playing out for our entertainment.

Something about how, at the end of the day, society still deems the most interesting thing about a woman at the absolute pinnacle of her career to be the dudes they can relate her to.

And if Taylor Swift cannot unrun that, what hope do the rest of us have?

Chelsea McLaughlin is Mamamia's Senior Entertainment Writer and co-host of The Spill. For more pop culture takes, recommendations and sarcasm, you can follow her on Instagram.

Feature image: Getty.

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