Taylor Swift Seemingly Lifted The Lid On Her And Matty Healy’s 9-Year Situationship On “The Tortured Poets Department,” So Here’s A Full Breakdown Of What Appeared To Happen Between Them.

From fantasizing over Matty while still in a relationship with Joe to ultimately being ghosted by him, here’s a full breakdown of what seemingly happened in Taylor’s most controversial relationship.

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This article mentions drug abuse and suicide ideation. 

When Taylor Swift released her latest album, The Tortured Poets Department, earlier this month, one of the biggest surprises was how many of the songs appeared to be about her former flame Matty Healy.

Taylor Swift in a white off-shoulder gown with layered necklaces at the Grammys

But Taylor is renowned for memorializing her life in her music, so when she released The Tortured Poets Department almost a full year after her and Matty’s public romance, she appeared to add some much-needed clarity to the whole thing.

Taylor Swift leaning on a moss-covered balcony, wearing a yellow ruffled dress

Before we get into the new album, here’s some important context: Matty and Taylor’s relationship can be traced all the way back to November 2014. The two sparked dating rumors when Matty wore a T-shirt of Taylor’s 1989 album cover during one of his band, The 1975’s, shows.

Taylor Swift and Matty Healy with British DJ Nick Grimshaw in 2015
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One thing that has arguably been made clear on The Tortured Poets Department is that Taylor and Matty’s relationship was a long time coming, and despite what was said at the time, they seemingly did try to make a go of things nine years earlier.

Taylor Swift in a purple sweatshirt with the number "13" escorted by Matty Healy in black through a crowd

Referring to the popular children’s story of Peter Pan, Taylor sings: “You said you were gonna grow up / Then you were gonna come find me.”

Matty Healy mid-performance playing electric guitar, tattoos visible, casual outfit, focused expression

After Taylor and Joe’s split was announced, it quickly became apparent to fans that she had started to feel bored and trapped toward the end of their six-year relationship, and this is reflected in her TTPD song “Guilty as Sin?” which is believed to be about her fantasizing over Matty while still with Joe.

Taylor Swift with Joe Alwyn

And it seems as though that's exactly what happened, with “Fresh Out the Slammer” suggesting that Taylor moved on with Matty pretty much immediately after she split from Joe.

Taylor Swift walking outside in a sleeveless dress with sunglasses

Taylor begins by joyfully singing that she is “back,” adding: “The hospital was a drag.” The hospital analogy could be a reference to the healing start of her and Joe’s six-year relationship, which blossomed when she was at her lowest and had retreated from the public eye.

Taylor Swift in a sparkling gold dress performing on stage

And once she was back where she felt like she belonged, it seems as though Taylor and Matty shared a blissful few weeks, with Taylor appearing to take pride in the way that she was able to understand and relate to Matty, as well as how she could center him when he was struggling.

Matty Healy

Throughout the album, Taylor is evidently absolutely besotted with Matty, and goes so far as to suggest that she was “heaven-struck” by him and that their love was “cosmic.”

Taylor Swift on stage performing with a microphone, wearing a sparkly outfit

In “But Daddy I Love Him,” Taylor calls the relationship critics “saboteurs,” “judgmental creeps,” and “vipers dressed in empath's clothing” as she doubles down in spectacular fashion — accusing the cynics of trying to “cage” her and hold her back from her “destiny.”

Taylor Swift singing on stage in a sparkly outfit with a smoky backdrop

And how passionately and publicly Taylor defended her and Matty’s relationship arguably makes the way that it ended all the more devastating, with Taylor seemingly confirming speculation that Matty ended up ghosting her in her song “The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived.

Matty Healy onstage

But before we get into the breakup, it’s worth pointing out that Taylor’s music suggests Matty love-bombed her after her split from Joe, with it being evident that one of the most significant issues in Taylor and Joe’s relationship was that they never married.

Taylor Swift in a sparkly outfit and Joe Alwyn in a black coat holding hands

And with post-split clarity, Taylor acknowledges that she was sold a dream while she was vulnerable — and therefore foolish — from her previous relationship, seemingly saying of Matty and herself: “A conman sells a fool a get-love-quick scheme.”

Taylor Swift in a white flowing dress sings onstage with a spotlight in the background

Meanwhile, Taylor begins “The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived” by asking: “Was any of it true?” before listing off even more questions that she has over the pain Matty seemingly caused her, singing: “Were you sent by someone who wanted me dead? / Did you sleep with a gun underneath our bed? / Were you writing a book? Were you a sleeper cell spy? / In fifty years, will all this be declassified, and you'll confess why you did it?”

Matty Healy of The 1975 performing on stage, wearing a white lab coat with "Matty" name tag

But despite her obvious anger over the way everything went down, Taylor also can’t hide her heartbreak, and in “Down Bad’s" chorus, she seemingly reveals just how extreme her reaction to the relationship ending was.

Taylor Swift in elegant black fur coat and heels

Later in the same song, Taylor appears to allude to her new relationship with Travis, arguably implying that she initially hoped that her new romance would spark a reaction from Matty. The star sings: “You saw my bones out with somebody new / who seemed like he would've bullied you in school, / and you just watched it happen.”

Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, you can call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) and find more resources here.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org. The Trevor Project, which provides help and suicide-prevention resources for LGBTQ youth, is 1-866-488-7386. 

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