Joe Jonas and Taylor Swift dated from July to October of 2008 — then he infamously broke up with her over the phone, providing plenty of inspiration for songs like “Forever & Always,” which was a last-minute addition to Swift‘s 2008 album Fearless.
Both Swift and Jonas have since moved on, and each has apologized or made amends. As recently as May and June of this year, each party has publicly commented on those rocky years, making it clear that the past is in the past.
Here’s a timeline of everything that happened in between.
November 2008 – Taylor throws Joe under the bus on Ellen
Taylor may have stopped by the Ellen show just to promote her Fearless album but she ended up talking about a lot more than that, detailing just how her relationship with Joe came to an end. Swift reveals “Forever and Always” was a last-minute addition to Fearless shortly after the breakup and delivers this iconic line: “When I find that person that is right for me he’ll be wonderful and when I look at that person, I’m not even gonna be able to remember the boy who broke up with me over the phone in 25 seconds when I was 18.”
November 2008 – Swift drops “Forever and Always”
If Swift fans weren’t satisfied with Taylor’s description of the pair’s breakup on Ellen, they got a whole lot more when the Joe Jonas-inspired track “Forever and Always” came out on Fearless. The song reflects on a relationship gone wrong, with some savage lyrics from Taylor like: “Was I out of line?/ Did I say something way too honest, made you run and hide/ Like a scared little boy.”
June 2009 – Jonas Brothers drop “Much Better”
Possibly in response to Taylor’s breakup anthem, the Jonas Brothers released the track “Much Better” several months after. While Joe never officially confirmed the song was about Swift, it’s pretty easy to read in between the lines seeing there’s a lyric that plays off of Taylor’s song “Teardrops On My Guitar.”
November 2009 – Taylor’s “monologue song” on SNL
Swift opened Saturday Night Live with a clever “monologue song” where she references her old flame.
“You might think I’d bring up Joe, that guy who broke up with me on the phone. But I’m not going to mention him in my monologue song,” she sings. “Hey Joe! I’m doing real well and I’m hosting SNL — but I’m not going to write about that in my monologue song.”
May 2013 – The Jonas Brothers’ interview with SiriusXM
SiriusXM’s Dirty Pop host Lance Bass asked Joe if he thinks Taylor was getting a bad rap for her dating history. Joe responded, “I’m happy for Taylor, she’s an incredible musician and you can see her songwriting skills are really good,” before quipping, “But yeah, the girl likes to date.”
December 2013 – New York Magazine piece
Shortly after the Jonas Brothers confirmed their indefinite split, Joe Jonas reflected on his career and personal life to New York Magazine in a piece titled “Joe Jonas: My Life As a Jonas Brother.” In it, he recalls growing up on Disney and also shined a light on his high-profile dating life.
“I genuinely don’t have any resentment against any of my exes. So I’m not going to disparage anyone I was in a relationship with — only I might put it in my music a little bit, and hint at it, and tease it here and there, just enough for the fans and the people who really know the story.” he said. “But I’m not going to openly say, ‘Yeah, actually, this person is a bitch, and she did this to me.’ I don’t feel the need to do that to sell records.”
May 21, 2015 – Joe Jonas tells Access Hollywood, “I think we’re friends”
After Joe and Taylor were spotted hanging out with friends at the Billboard Music Awards, hosts of Access Hollywood Live asked Joe if they were on good terms again. “I think we’re friends,” Joe Jonas replied. “In this industry you meet a lot of people and you stay in touch. Obviously it’s tough to be friends with people that you’re always constantly traveling but yeah, we’re cool.”
May 2019 – Taylor apologizes
Swift — who has been dating Joe Alwyn since 2016 — made her return on Ellen to talk about her single “Me!,” her new kitten and the “easter eggs” in her music videos and songs. She also played a game of “Burning Questions” with the talk show host, where she was asked for the “most rebellious thing” she did as a teenager.
“Probably when I put Joe Jonas on blast on your show,” the pop star says laughing. “That was too much… We laugh about it now but that was some mouthy — yeah, just some teenage stuff there.”
June 2019 – Joe Jonas Responds to Taylor Swift’s May Apology
“It’s something that I probably was feeling pretty bad about when I was younger, but at the end of the day, I’ve moved on,” said Jonas during a recent appearance on ITV’s Lorraine, which was uploaded on June 5. “I’m sure Taylor’s moved on, and it feels nice, and we’re all friends — it’s all good. We were so young.”
July 2020 – Swifties think she sent Joe Jonas a baby gift
Swift’s surprise eighth album Folklore shook up the summer of 2020, and one song in particular had fans flipping. On “Invisible String,” she sings the line, “Cold was the steel of my axe to grind/ For the boys who broke my heart/ Now I send their babies presents.” Swift’s fans quickly took to Twitter to speculate that she was referencing Joe, who at the time was expecting his first child with now-wife Sophie Turner.
April 2021 – Fans think “Mr. Perfectly Fine” is about Joe Jonas
A few days ahead of Swift’s highly-anticipated re-recording of her 2008 album Fearless, dubbed Fearless (Taylor’s Version), she released a surprise “From the Vault” song titled “Mr. Perfectly Fine.” Per usual, Swift didn’t reveal who the song’s subject is, but the leading fan theory was that it’s one Joe Jonas.
Swifties connected the lyric, “Mr. ‘Looked me in the eye and told me you would never go away'” to two of her previous songs about Jonas: her Fearless track “Forever & Always” (“You looked me in the eye and told me you loved me/ Were you just kidding?”) as well as her Speak Now song “Last Kiss” (“You told me you loved me/ So why did you go away?”). Obviously, the timeline also matches up, since the two dated from July to October 2008.
This article has been updated.