Joe Alwyn, the British actor who’s been in a relationship with pop singer Taylor Swift, for the last five years, spoke to Elle UK about why he prefers to remain closeted about the details of his relationship. 

Alwyn said, “It’s not really [because I] want to be guarded and private, it’s more a response to something else”, adding, “We live in a culture that is so increasingly intrusive… The more you give—and frankly, even if you don’t give it—something will be taken.” 

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While the two have been dating since 2016, very little is known about the relationship. Alwyn’s explanation gives some insight into the why, as the actor explained he has a hard time understanding why people are interested in their relationship, and his bewilderment with the societal norm being for people to be completely open to sharing details of their relationships. 

Swift echoed similar thoughts in 2019 when speaking about drawing boundaries between the press and her personal life. The “Love Story” singer said, “I’ve learned that if I do, people think it’s up for discussion, and our relationship isn’t up for discussion”, adding in the Guardian interview, “If you and I were having a glass of wine right now, we’d be talking about it—but it’s just that it goes out into the world. That’s where the boundary is, and that’s where my life has become manageable. I really want to keep it feeling manageable”. 

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The “Blank Space” singer spoke to Rolling Stone a year later, explaining that having this separation helped her everyday life feel normal. Swift said, at the time, “I think that in knowing him and being in the relationship I am in now, I have definitely made decisions that have made my life feel more like a real-life and less like just a storyline to be commented on”, adding, “Whether that’s deciding where to live, who to hang out with when to not take a picture … it’s really just trying to find bits of normalcy.”