It's hard to avoid Harry Styles and the rise of his solo career at the moment. After releasing "Sign Of The Times," the track-listing for his self-titled debut album and performing on Saturday Night Live last week, he's now on the cover of Rolling Stone.
But it's the quotes inside about his relationship with Taylor Swift that have got everyone talking.
Harry and Taylor's second date
He recalls how paparazzi followed them to Central Park during their second date in 2012, and that the photos were quickly spread all over the internet. Their relationship was "confirmed" by the tabloids before it had even really begun.
"When I see photos from that day," he says, "I think: relationships are hard, at any age. And adding in that you don't really understand exactly how it works when you're 18, trying to navigate all that stuff didn't make it easier. I mean, you're a little bit awkward to begin with. You're on a date with someone you really like. It should be that simple, right? It was a learning experience for sure. But at the heart of it—I just wanted it to be a normal date."
When Taylor released her album 1989, speculation that songs "Out Of The Woods" and "Style" were about Harry (lyrics include "you've got that long hair slicked back, white T-shirt") was uncontrollable. Harry's response?
"I mean, I don't know if they're about me or not.... but the issue is, she's so good, they're bloody everywhere. I write from my experiences; everyone does that. I'm lucky if everything [we went through] helped create those songs. That's what hits your heart. That's the stuff that's hardest to say, and it's the stuff I talk least about. That's the part that's about the two people. I'm never going to tell anybody everything."
Asked whether he had told his ex-girlfriend that he admired the songs, Harry added after a long pause: "Yes and no. She doesn't need me to tell her they're great. They're great songs.... It's the most amazing unspoken dialogue ever."
On the topic of if he'd like to say anything to Taylor today, Harry added that although some things don't work out, you can never take away how special it is connecting with someone new for the first time. He also wants to thank her—and remind her that he broke up with her.
"Maybe [I'd say to her today], this is where you write down that I left! I don't know. Certain things don't work out. There's a lot of things that can be right, and it's still wrong. In writing songs about stuff like that, I like tipping a hat to the time together. You're celebrating the fact it was powerful and made you feel something, rather than 'this didn't work out, and that's bad.' And if you run into that person, maybe it's awkward, maybe you have to get drunk.... but you shared something. Meeting someone new, sharing those experiences, it's the best shit ever. So thank you."
Read more of Harry's interview with Rolling Stone here.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com/uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.