Taylor Swift Has Actually Dated Someone Like Travis Kelce Before—but This Time Feels Different

Time to revisit some past lyrics

swift universal 2
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images

Taylor Swift, 33, has been nabbing headlines ever since it was rumored that she started dating Travis Kelce, 33, the Super Bowl-winning tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs. But while this may seem like a shock to many, given that she usually goes for more waifish, British types (Joe Alwyn, Tom Hiddleston, Harry Styles, you get the picture), this shouldn't be a surprise for devoted Swifties who study her lyrics like scripture.

I turn your attention to a few lines from one of her earliest hits, “Fifteen” (2008): But in your life you'll do things / Greater than dating the boy on the football team / But I didn't know it at fifteen. Seems like she may have some history with football players?

When it came to TayTay’s earliest tracks, the details of her paramours were far more mysterious, as they weren't the high-profile celebs she's been linked to for most of her career. Instead, they were merely the subjects of Swift’s teenage crushes, referenced only by first name: Cory, Drew, Stephen.

Upon the release of her second studio album, Fearless, Swift talked about the inspiration behind “Fifteen” with The Los Angeles Times, leaving the details similarly vague: “I wrote this around the story line of my best friend from high school, Abigail. I started everything with the line ‘Abigail gave everything she had to a boy who changed his mind’ and wrote everything else from that point, almost backwards.”

Yet, as is usually the case with Swift, she also imbued personal elements into the track. “My song ‘Fifteen’ is about my freshman year in high school, things that I wish had been said to me in a song,” she says during a behind-the-scenes clip from the set of the “Fifteen” music video. “Half of it is reminiscing what I went through, but half of it is really sort of cautionary to people going into their freshman year of high school and walking through the doors.”

So, whether that line about the “boy on the football team” was merely a cautionary metaphor or was actually about Swift (or Abigail), it's fair to assume that Miss Americana has at least had her encounters with ball players. Let’s not forget that she was the girl “on the bleachers” fawning after a guy in “You Belong with Me.” Or how about when she and her beau got into a fight in “Stay Stay Stay” and he jokingly comes in wearing a football helmet?

Except, while that line from “Fifteen” is meant to depict someone alluring who turns out to be a disappointment, things feel different this time around. Swift is no longer a naïve high school freshman who can get easily wooed by a quarterback. Instead, she is one of the biggest pop stars in the world who can sell out stadiums, fill movie theaters and even get Gen Z to register to vote. She's older and wiser.

Meanwhile, Kelce doesn't seem like the stereotypical football player we might imagine. He's not afraid to poke fun at himself (just check out his canceled E! reality dating series, Catching Kelce). And he's certainly not afraid to deem himself a Swiftie. Heck, this whole relationship got started after the Super Bowl champ went on his podcast and announced that he tried to give Swift his number on a friendship bracelet. Based on this, Kelce seems equal parts confident, corny and sweet. He's impressed by Swift’s success and he's not afraid to fight for her. And clearly Swift’s impressed, given that she showed up to his game (and hung out with his mom).

swift universal 1
Cooper Neill/Getty Images

As Kelce said when he first expressed his interest in the superstar: “I threw the ball in her court.” After leaving a six-year relationship just this past spring, Swift might not be looking for anything serious. Maybe she is. All we know is, she’s not fifteen anymore, and she's done countless things greater than dating a boy on the football team. Now, maybe that’s exactly what she's looking for.

Who Is Taylor Swift’s Rumored Love Interest, Travis Kelce? Here’s Everything We Know About the NFL Star & Their Relationship

Want all the latest celebrity hot takes sent right to your inbox? Click here.


Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Joel is the Associate Editor for News & Entertainment and has been reporting on all things pop culture for over 5 years. Before working at PureWow, he served as a Features...