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How Taylor Swift's Relationship With Calvin Harris Is Different To Her Previous Ones

Guys, this could be the ~real deal~.

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But she's been loved up with Calvin Harris for over a year now, and there's just something about this pairing which seems different.

Instagram: @taylorswift

But just what is it about Tayvin that's made us think this could be the ~real deal~? 💗

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After splitting from Harry Styles, she said: "I used to think it was important to find a boyfriend. But I don't feel that it is now. I just want to have as much fun and as many adventures as possible." And during the 1989 era she appeared to have more adventures than ever before – touring the world, picking up prestigious awards, making sales records, and meeting hundreds of fans.

During this time she took a real stance against the sexism she's endured in commentary around her relationships. And releasing "Blank Space" was a real turning point.

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It was written from the perspective of the crazy serial-dater the media portrayed her to be. In acknowledging and satirsing the portrayal of her as a desperate maneater, she reclaimed the power the media and public had wielded up until then. In taking ownership of the joke, Taylor shut down the narrative about her dating life.

But even with that positive reaction, there's a big difference between Taylor's previous relationships and the one she has with Calvin: They've kept things predominantly private.

Instagram: @taylorswift

They dated for over two months without anyone finding out, and unlike previous relationships, where Taylor has been photographed out in public with her famous boyfriends, there are only a handful of paparazzi shots of her and Calvin. The days of wearing her boyfriend's jewellery and referring to him cryptically in song lyrics or interviews are long gone. There's still only six photos of Calvin on Taylor's Instagram. In fact, between the periods of August and November last year, they were pictured together so little that people wondered whether they'd broken up.


Taylor's previous relationships were defined by instability. Her first four albums were marred by insecurity, and concern that either her boyfriend would leave her or being heartbroken that he had. And 1989 took things a step further. / Via etonline

The entire album was based on a relationship where the predominant emotion was fear. Describing it, she said: "The number one feeling I felt in the whole relationship was anxiety. It felt very fragile, very tentative. And it always felt like, 'OK, what's the next road block? What's the next awful thing that's going to 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?'"

It appears that things couldn't be any more different with Calvin. In her acceptance speech for Best Tour at the iHeartRadio Music Awards, Taylor thanked Calvin for being the grounding she needed after it was all over.

There's something very cute about the phrase "come home to", and it's heightened by this little framed print in the hallway of her Beverly Hills home.

The sign was spotted during an interview at her home with Vogue. The sign reads: "You have successfully buried yourself inside my head. 2/26/15" The date is the day after they first met at the Brit Awards. The words are not a song lyric or a quote, leading fans to speculate that it's something Calvin said to her after they'd met.


But the stability is even literal too. For Christmas, Calvin planted an olive tree in Taylor's garden. She cites it as the best gift she's ever received. / Via Vogue

Olive trees are notoriously difficult to kill – they require mechanical and chemical intervention, and often even after they're cut down, new leaves will still emerge from the roots. As a result, olive trees can last for thousands of years.

It's led to the assumption that the decision to plant an olive tree is a statement from Calvin about the durability of and faith he has in the relationship.

Now, obviously, this could be complete overanalysis, and perhaps the tree was simply a gift because Taylor likes them.

But it should also be pointed out that Taylor is a huge fan of symbolism and metaphors in both her life and her lyrics (take the whole of "Clean", for example,) and if the olive tree is a symbol of love, it seems as though she's found someone who shares that passion.


But the fact she's found a stable relationship could be because the time she spent being single has completely changed her outlook and priorities.

Instagram: @taylorswift

But, more than this, it was clear that her time spent single moulded the entire 1989 era into a celebration of her career. For the first time, that was more important than romance. Mainly because it was something she had achieved.

But the songs on 1989 were about acknowledging and accepting that most relationships will end.

The lyrics of "Wildest Dreams" are perhaps the most poignant to this end: "I can see the end as it begins / My one condition is / Say you'll remember me / Standing in a nice dress / Staring at the sunset / ... Even if it's just in your / Wildest dreams / ... You see me in hindsight / Tangled up with you all night / Burning it down / Someday when you leave me / I bet these memories / Follow you around."

She no longer describes everlasting perfection like she did in "Love Story", and when asked about marriage in her Vogue interview, she gave this telling answer.

While she acknowledged her relationship as "magical", she went on to say: "I'm taking things as they come."

It's possible that her change in mentality is what's made her relationship to Calvin so successful – in his Snapchat story of their first-year anniversary celebrations, he wrote: "One year down. That was easy."


Interestingly, though, the entire Vogue profile was conducted during the wedding of Taylor's oldest friends, with Taylor as maid of honour. And when she gave her speech, she described real love.

Instagram: @taylorswift / Via

She said: "Real love just is. Real love just endures. Real love maintains. Real love takes it page by page."

And, let's face it, "taking things page by page" sounds eerily similar to "taking things as they come". Is this a reference to her relationship with Calvin being founded on real love?


Calvin is also vocal about Taylor in a way none of her previous boyfriends have been. While he may not speak about the relationship often, when he does, it's clear he pretty much worships the ground she walks on.


For example, when he was asked whether Taylor "ticks all the boxes", Calvin said: "It's not even a case of ticking all the boxes. It's like, there's boxes I didn't know existed which she ticks. It's really ridiculous."

But he's also been publicly supportive of her career, in a way no other boyfriend of hers has. For example, when Taylor Swift single-handedly changed Apple Music's entire policy by writing them an open letter, Calvin tweeted his pride.

I just played a gig inside a giant owl and my girl just changed the entire music industry what a day

And when she became the only woman in history to have won Album of the Year at the Grammys twice, he shared this tweet.

Congratulations to my beautiful girlfriend


And, of course, the feeling is mutual.

Instagram: @taylorswift

And it's clear from looking at comments Taylor made about relationships during the time she was single that this one with Calvin seems to tick all of her boxes.

Instagram: @taylorswift

For example, in this interview from May 2015, she sounded jaded about the thought of dating anybody, especially living life so publicly.

She said:

No one's going to sign up for this and everything that goes with it. Like, "Hi, nice to meet you, want a date? Do you love camera flashes? I hope you do! I don't know what's going to happen if I'm ever content in a relationship – no idea how that's going to work. I don't even know if that's possible with the life I have.

But when she and Calvin began their relationship, he was asked how he deals with the paparazzi intrusion, and his answer couldn't have been more perfect in the context of Taylor's quote.

He said:

You know, it's not like every single time we go out we get a photograph taken of us. That's not the case. But for me, though, it could be a lot worse and I'd still be insanely happy with her. So I'm all good with it.

It's also clear that they share the same goddamn brain.

That moment when you buy scissors and then you try to open them but you can't because you DON'T HAVE SCISSORS.


Bought a packet of scissors that you need a pair of scissors in order to open the packet of scissors I just bought. Do I buy another pair?

At the fancy hotel, I may have broken the fancy curtains because I didn't know they have a fancy electric button you push to close them. Hm.

Can't figure out how to close the curtains in this hotel room


Now, we all know that Taylor is an excellent person. But she's decided to take a bit of time off after the success of 1989. And when Vogue asked her what she'll be spending this time doing, Taylor's answer couldn't have been more fitting.

She said:

I would really like to take a little time to learn things. I have lots of short term goals. I want to be a well-rounded person who can make a good drink. To be able to save somebody if they're drowning. So CPR, all the various kinds of chest impressions. People tell you little tips, but that's different from actually taking a class and getting certified.

Taylor once said she was going to hold off embarking on a relationship until she could "find a man who fascinates me as much as my career". Well, as this Tumblr edit shows, she's not just fascinated by Calvin, but goddamn mesmerised by him, too.

It's pretty fitting that the 1989 period is now officially over, after the world tour wrapped up a few months ago. Taylor has always said she'd never want to make the same album twice, so 1989 and its subject have been put to bed.

Instagram: @taylorswift