In a recent interview with The Guardian, the 29-year-old singer explains why she keeps her personal life very private.
"I’ve learned that if I [talk about my relationship], people think it’s up for discussion, and our relationship isn’t up for discussion," she says of her 3-year-long relationship with British actor Joe Alwyn. "If you and I were having a glass of wine right now, we’d be talking about it -- but it’s just that it goes out into the world. That’s where the boundary is, and that’s where my life has become manageable. I really want to keep it feeling manageable."
Though she won't discuss her relationship with Alwyn, Swift is happy to write about, something she proved on her recently released album, Lover. "It actually made me feel more free," Swift says of writing about her life in her music. "I’ve always had this habit of never really going into detail about exactly what situation inspired what thing, but even more so now."
"I know the difference between making art and living your life like a reality star," she adds. "And then even if it’s hard for other people to grasp, my definition is really clear."
The decision to keep things private came after a string of highly-publicized feuds -- with the likes of Kanye West and Katy Perry -- and friendships with A-listers. "I created an expectation that everything in my life that happened, people would see," Swift admits. "They were mad at me for smiling a lot and quote-unquote acting fake. And then they were mad at me that I was upset and bitter and kicking back."
That previous openness led to a difficult time in 2016, when some of those feuds came to a head and some of her friendships were questioned, something she describes as a "chain reaction of events that was going to make everything fall apart at the exact, perfect time for it to fall apart."
"Every domino fell," she says of that time in her life. "It became really terrifying for anyone to even know where I was. And I felt completely incapable of doing or saying anything publicly, at all. Even about my music. I always said I wouldn’t talk about what was happening personally, because that was a personal time... I just need some things that are mine. Just some things."
That feeling of being "completely voiceless" influenced her decision not to speak out during the 2016 election, something she feels "really remorseful" about now. "I just felt completely, ugh, just useless. And maybe even like a hindrance," she says. "I was just trying to protect my mental health -- not read the news very much, go cast my vote, tell people to vote. I just knew what I could handle and I knew what I couldn’t. I was literally about to break. For a while."
"I wanted to try and help in any way that I could, the next time I got a chance," she adds. "I didn’t help, I didn’t feel capable of it -- and as soon as I can, I’m going to."
As for her 2020 plans, Swift's going to "do everything I can" in the midst of our current "shocking and awful" circumstances. "I wanna figure out exactly how I can help, what are the most effective ways to help," she says. "’Cause this is just…This is not it."