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Taylor Swift and Harry Styles’ 2012 romance was only brief, but its place in celebrity dating folklore was cemented thanks to a photo of them looking awkward in Central Park, and her song Style, which is quite obviously about him.

Neither Taylor or Harry have ever spoken publicly about that time two of the world’s most popular teen stars were in love, but with Styles moving into a new chapter as he begins a solo career, it seems he’s ready to talk about Taylor. In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Harry admitted the attention on them was tough.

“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 [fame and media attention] 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.”

As for what he thinks about Taylor’s multiple references to him in Style and throughout her 1989 album, Harry was modest, but clearly flattered.

“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,” he said, adding, “I write from my experiences; everyone does that. I’m lucky if everything [we went through together] helped create those songs. That’s what hits your heart.”

Asked if he’s ever given Swift the Harry Styles tick of approval on the songs, he said “Yes and no,” which might be the most frustratingly vague answer of all time. “She doesn’t need me to tell her they’re great,” he continued. “They’re great songs … It’s the most amazing unspoken dialogue ever.”

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“Amazing unspoken dialogue” is a much kinder way of describing what it’s like for Taylor Swift to immortalize your relationship in song compared to John Mayer, who said the track she penned about him was “a lousy thing to do”.

Harry’s willingness to open about Taylor’s writing about him could be because Styles also draws on his personal life when writing lyrics.

“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,” he says.

“Meeting someone new, sharing those experiences, it’s the best sh*t ever. So thank you.”

How much do you want to bet this is Taylor Swift right now?