In defence of Taylor Swift’s ex Joe Alwyn: Why fans are standing up for him amid Travis Kelce comparisons

In defence of Taylor Swift’s ex Joe Alwyn: Why fans are standing up for him amid Travis Kelce comparisons

While Taylor Swift’s budding romance with boyfriend Travis Kelce have continued to make headlines, fans have now entered the conversation to defend her former boyfriend of six years: Joe Alwyn.

Ever since Kelce and Swift began their relationship in 2023, they’ve continued to publicly support one another, as the singer has attended 12 of her boyfriend’s Kansas City Chiefs games. Amid his football season in November 2023, Kelce also made his way to Argentina to watch Swift perform one of her Eras Tour concerts.

As the New Heights podcast host has continued to publicly praise his new girlfriend, such as when he recently congratulated her on her big Grammy wins, fans have begun comparing him to Alwyn, who split from Swift in the beginning of 2023.

One viral post on X, formerly known as Twitter, showed an old picture of Alwyn, from a 2018 interview with On Demand Entertainment, when he was discussing Swift’s politics. The tweet also included a recent photo of Kelce, captured from when he spoke to reporters Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas about Swift and her new album, The Torture Poets Department.

The pictures in the tweet hinted at comparisons of the two famous faces, as Kelce could be seen with a smile on his face, while the tweet then insinuated that Alwyn wasn’t smiling when discussing Swift in the way that her now-boyfriend does.

Some of the other criticism has extended to Alwyn’s behaviour around the paparazzi when with Swift. One viral tweet posted what appears to be an old photo of the couple walking on the street, with Swift wearing a hood and her then-boyfriend wearing a hat. In August 2022, the pair also went viral when they quickly ran into a car in New York City, in an apparent effort to avoid the camera.

Amid Swift’s relationship with Kelce, people have begun criticising Alwyn for “running” from the press. They’ve also claimed that the NFL star has been more public about supporting Swift’s career in the last “five month months than” Alwyn did throughout his six years of dating her.

Despite the criticism towards Alwyn, the actor was notorious for keeping his relationship out of the spotlight. In April 2022, during his relationship with Swift, he explained why he swerved away from answering any questions about her.

“It’s just not for other people. And I don’t say that with aggression,” he told The Guardian at the time. “I don’t know how best to talk about it. I mean, I’m aware of people’s… of that size of interest, and that world existing. It’s just not something I particularly care about, or have much interest in feeding, I guess, because the more it’s fed, the more you are opening a gate for intrusion.”

Alwyn specified that his decision to keep the relationship private was his “response to a culture that has this increasing expectation that everything is going to be given”, adding: “If you don’t post about the way you make your coffee in the morning, or if you don’t let someone take a picture when you walk out of your front door, is that being private? I don’t know if it is. So I just don’t really feed that…There are more interesting things to talk about and I just think it feeds into a weird part of the culture that I’m not really interested in being a part of.”

In response to the viral posts, many fans are hitting back at the comparisons between Kelce and Alwyn, while noting that their relationships with Swift are not the same. They also questioned why the Conversations with Friends star is often brought up when Kelce and Swift are publicised.

“Why? Why are you doing this?  Please don’t compare the two together? Would you like other people to compare you to your ex-boyfriend’s current girlfriend? The past is the past,” one wrote.

“I find it funny how every time something happens with Taylor and Travis the Swifties find some way to make it about Joe Alwyn,” another wrote. “Do they even realise how weird that is? It comes across as they are threatened by what the Joe relationship was.”

Others have reminded the trolls that Alwyn didn’t like to open up about his love life. They also emphasised how different Kelce and Alwyn are from each other, before hitting back at the criticism they’ve both received in the public eye.

“Stop comparing them, just because he didn’t like people asking him about his private relationship doesn’t make him evil, grow up,” one wrote.

“Yeah on the left you have someone who is not comfortable talking about his private life. And on the right he is,” another responded to the viral side-by-side comparison picture of Kelce and Alwyn. “Shocker! People are different.”

When publicly confirming her relationship in December 2023 while being named Time’s “Person of the Year”, Swift acknowledged that she’s aware of how her love life makes headlines. However, she said that she’s not trying to hide her relationship from the public eye.

“When you say a relationship is public, that means I’m going to see him do what he loves, we’re showing up for each other, other people are there and we don’t care,” she told the publication at the time. “The opposite of that is you have to go to an extreme amount of effort to make sure no one knows that you’re seeing someone. And we’re just proud of each other.”

Meanwhile, Kelce has also opened up about how he and Swift are trying to handle the public attention that is constantly surrounding them. “The only thing we’ve talked about is as long as we’re happy, we can’t listen to anything that’s outside noise,” Kelce said during a press conference in January. “That’s all that matters.”