Taylor Swift & John Mayer: A Complete History

We track their relationship history.

The year was 2009 when John Mayer and Taylor Swift dated for a short and not-so-sweet time. Despite never actually confirming that they were a couple, the superstar singers performed together a handful of times, released a duet together and then when all went sour, the break-up songs began!

So, let’s delve into Taylor and John’s complete relationship history, from how it started with a simple Tweet to when it all went terribly wrong. 

John Mayer and Taylor Swift’s relationship timeline

March 2009

Apparently, John Mayer tweeted that he just finished writing a song called ‘Half of My Heart’ and hoped that Taylor Swift would do a duet with him.

Of course, 19-year-old Taylor being all young and giddy tweeted back that she was a big fan of John, said yes, and got all excited as she never thought that John Mayer would ever mention her name on Twitter.

May 2009

As diehard fans were waiting for the John Mayer and Taylor Swift song, little did they know that there was going to be a surprise guest at Taylors Fearless Tour at the Staples Center.

Aside from Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, and Faith Hill, John Mayer performed duets with Taylor Swift for the songs ‘White Horse’ and ‘Your Body is a Wonderland’.

VIDEO: Taylor Swift and John Mayer perform a duet of ‘White Horse’

VIDEO: John Mayer and Taylor Swift perform a duet of ‘Your Body is a Wonderland’

June 2009

John Mayer releases song ‘Half of My Heart’ featuring Taylor Swift

Two months after their conversations via Twitter, John Mayer released the ‘Half of My Heart’ music video, featuring Taylor Swift

September 2009

Kanye West slams Taylor Swift live during the MTV Video Music Awards while she was giving her speech. Kanye stormed in, taking the microphone and announcing that Beyoncé should have won leaving Taylor almost in tears.

However, John Mayer to the rescue as he said some pretty strong words about her admiration for Taylor Swift and her music to Maria Menounos of Access Hollywood.

December 2009

Fast forward to December, John Mayer and Taylor Swift perform ‘Half of My Heart’ at the New York City Z100 Jingle Ball. It was also rumoured that John and Taylor were getting pretty warm and cozy with each other at the event when she was seen sitting on his lap with her arms around his neck.

This relationship was never officially confirmed and there were no statements on when it ended, people just assumed it was from the months of December to February, but that was until we heard the song ‘Dear John’.

Let the battle royale of break up songs begin!

Song: Dear John

Release date: October 2010

Lyrics include:

“It was wrong, don’t you think nineteen’s too young to be played by your dark, twisted games when I loved you so”

“Dear John I see it all now that you’re gone, don’t you think I was too young to be messed with, the girl in the dress cried the whole way home, I should’ve known”

“And you’ll add my name to your long list of traitors who don’t understand, and I’ll look back and regret how I ignored when they said “run as fast as you can”

“All the girls that you’ve run dry have tired, lifeless eyes, cause you burned them out”

‘Dear John’ meaning

‘Dear John’ is an almost seven-minute-long ballad accusing a former lover (John Mayer) of playing games and messing with Taylor, who was only 19 at the time. 

The lyrics speak of the mind games John played, and how friends warned Taylor to keep away from him.

John Mayers reaction to ‘Dear John’

Obviously not too happy, John told Rolling Stone in 2012 “I was really caught off-guard, and it really humiliated me at a time when I’d already been dressed down. I mean, how would you feel if, at the lowest you’ve ever been, someone kicked you even lower?”

When they asked him about the line, ‘Dont you think I was too young to be messed with?’, he said “I don’t want to go into that”.

Continuously dissing Taylor Swift, he said “I will say as a songwriter that I think it’s kind of cheap song writing,” and “I know she’s the biggest thing in the world, and I’m not trying to sink anybody’s ship, but I think it’s abusing your talent to rub your hands together and go, wait till he gets a load of this! That’s bullshit”.

There has been talk about whether John Mayers 2012 song ‘Shadow Days’ was in response to Taylor’s ‘Dear John’, but that rumour was put to bed soon after release when it was discovered he wrote that about Jennifer Aniston (with whom apparently he was rather in love with).

Then there were rumours that Taylors 2012 song ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’ was another John Mayer inspired song. However again, that was just gossip.

Taylor later admitted it was about another famous ex –One Direction’s Harry Styles, who was infamously sat front and centre with his bandmates while Taylor performed this hit at the 2012 Brit Awards… awkward much!?

John Mayer hits back with song ‘Paper Doll’

Now, it does seem that John Mayer has not been able to let his issues with Taylor Swift go, because while her song ‘I knew you were trouble’ was reportedly written about Harry Styles, John Mayer did release a song in 2013 called ‘Paper Doll’. And it looks to be suspiciously about Taylor.

Release Date: August 2013

Lyrics include:

“Paper doll, come try it on, step out of that black chiffon, here’s a dress of gold and blue, sure was fun being good to you”

“This one we made just for Fall and Winter runs a bit too small, this mint green is new for Spring”

“You’re like 22 girls in one and none of them know what they’re runnin’ from. Was it just too far to fall? For a little paper doll”

“Fold a scarf, Moroccan red, and tie your hair behind your head”

‘Paper Doll’  Meaning

It is thought John Mayer’s choice of using Johanna, a thin, fragile looking Prancerciser in the music video was another way of mocking Taylor’s sensitivity and apparent fragility. Harsh!

In regards to the song lyrics, the reference to chiffon is thought to be a reference to Taylor wearing a lot of chiffon, and ‘Moroccan Red’ can be referenced to her album Red which also includes a song called ’22’.

“This one we made just for Fall and Winter runs a bit too small,” John implies what they had was just a fling and was very, very short lived.

“You’re like 22 girls in one and none of them know what they’re runnin’ from. Was it just too far to fall? For a little paper doll” and it was actually Taylor who assumed things were getting serious and couldn’t move on.

Team Taylor or Team John?

For a few seconds there, I thought John Mayer was really turning over a new leaf. But until we see a real huge difference in this man, we’ll stick with Team Taylor for a while.

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