Why People Think Taylor Swift's New Song Is About Charlie Puth & Selena Gomez's Messy Relationship

Why is she praising her best friend's ex?

Selena Gomez and Charlie Puth Kathy Hutchins / A.PAES / Shutterstock

Just a day before the release of Taylor Swift’s new album, "The Tortured Poets Department," fans (and haters) are speculating about the validity of leaks that have made their way to the internet.

One involves an interesting line about Charlie Puth, who has a complicated history with Swift’s best friend, Selena Gomez.

The title song from Taylor Swift's ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ may be about Charlie Puth and Selena Gomez.

If leakers are to be believed, then lyrics from the song “The Tortured Poets Department” reference Charlie Puth.


It is alleged that a line similar to “We declared Charlie Puth should be a bigger artist” is in the song.

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The lyric, understandably, has people confused. After all, Puth and Gomez’s relationship was not exactly a nice one. 

In a 2020 cover story for WSJ Magazine, Swift said of Gomez, “I knew from when I met her I would always have her back. In my life, I have the ability to forgive people who have hurt me. But I don’t know if I can forgive someone who hurts her.”

This quote has people questioning why Swift would release a song with a lyric praising Puth. 

Timeline of Charlie Puth and Selena Gomez's complicated relationship.

Puth and Gomez’s public interaction started in 2016 when they released the duet "We Don’t Talk Anymore."

According to Elle, after the release of the song, rumors that Puth and Gomez were romantically involved started to swirl. This was not long after Gomez’s split from Justin Bieber, so things were already messy.


Puth decided to take things one step further by stating that he and Gomez did have a relationship, and it didn’t end well.

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“I don’t kiss and tell, but the only way a song like that can come across as real is if there’s something else going on behind the scenes. And that’s what was happening [with Gomez],” Puth told Billboard. “Very short-lived, very small, but very impactful. And it really messed me up. I’m trying to put this the best way possible: It wasn’t like I was the only person on her mind. And I think I knew that going in — what I was getting myself into.”


For her part, Gomez denied all dating rumors regarding Puth.

Puth added even more drama to the situation by insinuating that his 2017 hit “Attention,” a song about a girl who rebuffs a man’s romantic advances and only cares about the spotlight, was about Gomez.

In a video for Genius, Puth broke the song down and led many fans to believe that it was about Gomez. Adding fuel to the fire, Puth later tweeted, “Attention is about what you think it’s about.” He then deleted the tweet.

What Charlie Puth has to do with Taylor Swift’s new song:

It certainly seems confusing that Swift would go from saying that she can’t forgive anyone who hurts her closest friend to saying the very person who supposedly did that deserves to be a “bigger artist.”


However, it is essential to remember that all we think we know about Puth and Gomez’s relationship is really conjecture. There was never any concrete evidence they were dating other than a few implied statements from Puth and fan speculation.

Is Taylor Swift's New Song About Selena Gomez And Charlie PuthPhoto: Press Line Photos / Shutterstock

Furthermore, it’s not confirmed that this “leak” is actually real. 


Regardless, we don’t know what’s going on in anybody’s private lives, especially not celebrities. All of this could be a misunderstanding. Or it could be right on the nose. We’ll have to wait until the album releases to have that piece of the puzzle cleared up.

Perhaps what’s most important to remember in this situation is that celebrities are humans, too. They make mistakes; they have highs and lows, and, well, sometimes, they write songs about it all.

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Mary-Faith Martinez is a writer for YourTango who covers entertainment, news, and human interest topics.