The bitter aftermath of Taylor Swift and John Mayer‘s 2009 romance has lasted far longer than their actual relationship. More than 10 years later, some Swifties are still telling the “New Light” singer that they wish he would “die,” so what exactly went so horribly wrong between the two extremely talented singer songwriters?
John and Taylor began their flirtation in March 2009, with the then-32-year-old tweeting about the then-19-year-old, “Waking up to this song idea that won’t leave my head. 3 days straight now. That means it’s good enough to finish,” he wrote, before adding, “It’s called ‘Half of My Heart’ and I want to sing it with Taylor Swift. She would make a killer ‘Nicks’ in contrast to my ‘Petty’ of a song,” referring to Stevie Nicks and the late Tom Petty’s iconic duets.
The pair gave things a test run when John joined Taylor onstage in May 2009, as her Fearless tour stopped at Los Angeles’ Staples Center. The two performed his iconic hit, “Your Body Is A Wonderland” and her song “White Horse.”
“I freaked out when I heard, because I’ve been such a big fan of John for such a long time,” Taylor gushed to Elle that June about his tweet, adding, “I’m really excited about just the idea that he would even mention me in his Twitter!” Their duet, “Half of My Heart,” was released that same month, and the pair later performed it together at New York’s Jingle Ball in December 2009, where the two had serious onstage chemistry. The pair were reportedly an item from November 2009 through February 2010. And judging from a song that Taylor wrote after their split, it was hardly an amicable breakup.
In the lyrics to the song “Dear John” off of her Speak Now album that was released in October 2010, Taylor heavily inferred that she had been madly in love with a man named John, but that he played some serious games with her heart. She also seemed to imply she’d allegedly been warned against getting involved with the crooner.
In it, Taylor sang:
“Dear John, I see it all, now it was wrong
Don’t you think nineteen is too young
To be played by your dark twisted games, when I loved you so?
I should’ve known“
“Well maybe it’s me and my blind optimism to blame
Maybe it’s you and your sick need to give love then take it away
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’”
Even though Taylor didn’t confirm the song was about the “Gravity” singer at the time, John was convinced that the tune was a shot fired directly at him. He told Rolling Stone in 2012 that he felt “really humiliated” by Taylor’s song. “It made me feel terrible because I didn’t deserve it,” he told the publication, adding, “I’m pretty good at taking accountability now, and I never did anything to deserve that. It was a really lousy thing for her to do.”
“I never got an email. I never got a phone call,” he continued. “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?” Rolling Stone‘s reporter asked John directly about the lyric, “Don’t you think I was too young to be messed with?” and he replied, “I don’t want to go into that.”
Taylor, who had previously written songs about relationships gone wrong, said it was pretty clear about whom she was writing. “There are things that were little nuances of the relationship, little hints” she revealed after “Dear John” dropped, adding, “Everyone will know, so I don’t really have to send out emails on this one.”
While Taylor has been happily dating actor Joe Alwyn for more than five years, there’s still bad blood when it comes to Taylor’s fan base and John. While “Dear John” wasn’t on her album Red, when she dropped her new Taylor’s Version on November 12, 2021, John claims he started getting flooded with hate messages.
He posted a DM exchange with an Instagram user on November 14, 2021, where @hoeforlouaylor wrote, “F–k yourself you ugly bitch I hope you choke on something,” with a heart symbol and another follow-up message that read, “Answer me you bitch.”
“I’ve beenlike these the past couple days,” John responded, adding, “I decided to choose your message at random to reply to. You can feel free to screenshot, share in any way you like if you want. I’m not upset, I just tend to have a curious mind and feel compelled to ask. Do you really hope that I die?”