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After seven years, Harry Styles won’t beat around the bush anymore: He knows his ex-girlfriend Taylor Swift wrote a bunch of songs about him on her 2014 album 1989. And he’ll tell Howard Stern exactly what he thinks of Swift’s songwriting about him.
During Styles’ interview with Stern, which aired today, Styles had nothing but kind things to say about the music Swift made about him—songs like “Out of the Woods” and “Style.” Styles and Swift dated from late 2012 to early 2013.
Styles is pretty pro-exes writing songs about him, actually, as long as it doesn’t torment the song’s subject. “I think about what it means to me to write a song about somebody else and for somebody else to do that, it’s like flattering, even if the song isn’t that flattering, you still spent time on it and ultimately, using Taylor as an example, she’s a great songwriter. So at least they’re good songs,” he said, via E! and Just Jared.
“The only time you really think, ’is this song too personal?’ is if you think about, ‘is this going to be really annoying for the other person?’ Because I do [care],” he finished.
Styles touched on his dating life these days in the interview (he’s single) along with his interest in someday getting married (“it’s definitely what I would like to do”).
With dating in general, Styles said, “It’s always kind of a balance thing, because you want to date normally but then, you also want to protect it so it can be normal. I think a big part of it is like, you wanna be able to spend enough time with each other where you can get to know each other before you have to deal with the extra stuff.”
Styles has talked about Swift’s songwriting before, by the way. During his 2017 interview with Rolling Stone, he spoke about their relationship. He pretended not to be certain Swift wrote songs about him then. “I mean, I don’t know if they’re [“Out of the Woods” and “Style”] about me or not, but the issue is, she’s so good, they’re bloody everywhere. I write from my experiences; everyone does that,” he said, touching on some of the criticism Swift has received for writing music about her exes.
“I’m lucky if everything [we went through] helped create those songs,” he continued. “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.”
When asked whether he liked the songs, Styles responded, “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.”
Back then, Styles offered this thank you message to Swift: “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.”