Welcome to Taylor Swift's truth.
The pop superstar looked back at her iconic girl squad era in a lengthy prologue penned for 1989 (Taylor's Version), recalling how during the making of the 2014 album—which she re-recorded in her quest to take ownership of all her music—she "swore off hanging out with guys" to avoid sparking romance rumors.
"It became clear to me that for me there was no such thing as casual dating, or even having a male friend who you platonically hang out with," Taylor wrote Oct. 27. "If I was seen with him, it was assumed I was sleeping with him."
In response to the public fascination about her love life, Taylor said she "swore off dating" to focus on her female friendships, reasoning that if "I only hung out with my female friends, people couldn't sensationalize or sexualize that—right?"
Unfortunately, the singer was far from out of the woods and in the clear. As she noted, "I would learn later on that people could and people would."
"There was so much that I didn't know then, and looking back I see what a good thing that was," Taylor continued. "It turns out that the cocktail of naïveté, hunger for adventure and freedom can lead to some nasty hangovers, metaphorically speaking. Of course everyone had something to say, but they always will."
The 34-year-old added that she "learned lessons," "paid prices" and realized how to "shake it off" during this time—as a cheeky reference to 1989's lead single.
Addressing her fans, Taylor thanked those "who heard the wink and humor in 'Blank Space' and maybe even empathized with the pain behind the satire," as well as Swifties "who knew that maybe a girl who surrounds herself with female friends in adulthood is making up for a lack of them in childhood (not starting a tyrannical hot girl cult)."
Indeed, Taylor's close ties with the likes of Karlie Kloss and Dianna Agron during the 1989 era led to romantic speculations. In fact, she previously slammed the false narrative that her friendships were more than platonic, writing on X (formerly known as Twitter) in December 2014 that as "my 25th birthday present from the media, I'd like for you to stop accusing all my friends of dating me."
Earlier this year, Dianna—who hung out with Taylor fairly regularly in 2011 and 2012—addressed her connection to the Grammy winner. When asked how she felt about the way the two were "made out by the media and some fans to be in a relationship," the Glee alum told Rolling Stone, "That is so interesting. I mean, there have been many stories about my dating life that are so wildly untrue. That's funny."
So, who is in Taylor's squad these days? Keep reading to find out.