TBT: Taylor Swift Said Anxiety Was the "Number One Feeling" She Felt While Dating Harry Styles

"It always felt like, 'Okay, what's the next roadblock? What's the next thing that's gonna deter this?'"

TBT: Taylor Swift & Harry Styles
Photo: Getty Images/InStyle

Who: Grammy-winning singer, actor, and former boy bander Harry Styles and 11-time Grammy-winning singer and songwriter Taylor Swift.

How They Met: As the story goes, Swift and Styles met backstage at the 2012 Kids Choice Awards, where Taylor and her pal Selena Gomez danced and sang along as Styles and his One Direction bandmates performed their hit "What Makes You Beautiful" during the show – according to MTV News.

Of all people, Justin Bieber (Selena's boyfriend at the time) seemingly confirmed that Swift had a crush on Styles. He told The Mirror shortly after the award show that he knows "one of the biggest artists in the world thinks Harry is so hot." Bieber wouldn't name names, however, adding that he'd been "sworn to secrecy."

Despite meeting in March 2012, they didn't start dating until later that year. Swift, of course, was with Conor Kennedy that summer, and Styles had a short-lived fling with British actress Emily Atack around the same time. The two finally got together in the fall and subtly confirmed their coupledom when Swift was spotted wearing a silver paper plane necklace that appeared to belong to Styles.

Why We Loved Them: Not that we ever like to see a relationship end, but selfishly, in the case of Swift and Styles, at least we got several bops out of the breakup. From Taylor, there were three tracks from her 1989 album ("Out of the Woods," "Style," and "I Knew You Were Trouble") that are believed to be about Harry.

Meanwhile, Styles all but admitted that his songs "Two Ghosts" and "Ever Since New York" were inspired by his relationship with Taylor.

Explaining his breakup with Swift and the subsequent songwriting process, he told Rolling Stone, "Certain things don't work out. There are a lot of things that can be right, and it's still wrong. In writing songs about stuff like that, I like tipping a hat to the time together. You're celebrating the fact it was powerful and made you feel something, rather than 'this didn't work out, and that's bad.'"

When They Peaked: When they broke the internet with photographs from their date at the Central Park Zoo and hashtag #Haylor began trending on Twitter.

Five years later, Styles spoke about the moment during an interview with Rolling Stone — after stepping away from the interview and taking a few moments to collect his thoughts in the bathroom. "When I see photos from that day [in Central Park], I think: Relationships are hard, at any age. Adding in that you don't really understand exactly how it works when you're 18, trying to navigate all that stuff didn't make it easier," he said, adding that he "just wanted it to be a normal date."

The Breakup: By January 2013, Haylor was, sadly, no longer. After spending the holidays together in the British Virgin Islands, the two reportedly got in a fight, and Taylor left the trip early — famously, alone on a boat.

Swift never said anything at the time, but years after they split, she opened up about how turbulent their relationship really was while introducing her song "Out of the Woods" at the Grammy Museum in 2015.

"The number one feeling I felt in the whole relationship was anxiety. Because it felt very fragile, it felt very tentative. And it always felt like, 'Okay, what's the next roadblock? What's the next thing that's gonna deter this? How long do we have before this turns into just an awful mess and we break up? Is it a month? Is it three days? And so, you know, I think a lot of relationships can be very solid, and that's kind of what you hope for, for it to be solid and healthy, but that's not always what you get," she said in a video of her performing the Styles-inspired song "Out of the Woods," before clarifying: "And it doesn't mean that it's not special and extraordinary just to have a relationship that's fragile and somehow meaningful in that fragility."

Where They Are Now: Taylor went on to date Calvin Harris and Tom Hiddleston before meeting her current partner Joe Alwyn. The two have been a couple for five years and keep the details of their relationship notoriously private. "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," Taylor said while speaking with Rolling Stone about having a "normal" life with Joe.

Since splitting from Styles, Swift has been busy on the music front. She released four new albums (and rerecorded two), went on two stadium tours, and won four Grammys. And recently, she just announced her latest project, titled Midnights.

Following his romance with Swift, Harry moved on with former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger before dating a slew of supermodels — including Kendall Jenner, Nadine Leopold, Sara Sampaio, Georgia Fowler, and Camille Rowe. He's now with his Don't Worry Darling co-star and director, Olivia Wilde.

Music-wise, Harry went solo after his band One Direction broke up in 2016. He's come out with three albums, including his latest, Harry's House. In addition to singing, Harry also got into acting, with his first major role in the Oscar-winning film Dunkirk. This month, he will star in the thriller Don't Worry Darling alongside Florence Pugh and his girlfriend Wilde.

#TBT: Check in every Thursday as we throw it back to some of our favorite celebrity couples of all time.

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