The balance of the universe’s #squadgoals shifted its center of gravity this week as Taylor Swift’s much-discussed cabal of platonic girlfriends lost two male hangers-on/romantic attachés. First, news broke Wednesday that Swift and Adam Wiles, aka Calvin Harris, had ended their 15-month relationship; soon after, Wiles tweeted a gentle goodbye to the romance, saying that “what remains is a huge amount of love and respect.” Swift retweeted it, the internet celebrity equivalent of sitting with an ex at a cafeteria table for all the lunchroom to see.
It only took a day for another Swift squad union to disintegrate. Model Gigi Hadid and former One Direction member Zayn Malik reportedly split after dating for seven months, though a source told E! News they could “likely get back together tomorrow.” That same source claimed that the couple’s been “having some issues lately that involved communication and getting along.” Oh—is that all?! Seems surmountable in a day.
A more likely explanation is that the planets have finally approached the cosmological alignment set to bring about the Swiftian apocalypse, in which she and her carefully curated army must shed their earthly, convincingly human romances to envelop the solar system in silken-haired authoritarian rule. It is equally possible that Swift has been recruiting dozens like-minded woman-stars to help her advance a wholesome girl-power image, then, on the count of three, release their male captives to become the world’s first uber-mainstream all-female polyamorous dodecahedron.
Multiple sources have scrambled to declare that Harris definitely did not cheat on Swift; they were just “more friends than lovers” (see polyamorous polyhedron theory above) and ended their relationship amicably. But it also appears that Harris couldn’t take the pressure of having a girlfriend who was more famous and universally beloved than him. “[Harris] said on multiple occasions that he was intimidated by Taylor, which is why he would not attend any events where she was being honored, or any award shows unless he was nominated," one of Swift’s friends told People.
That may be why Swift showed up solo to this year’s Met Gala: She was a co-chair, and Harris felt—emasculated? Anxious? Outshone? Overexposed? Hadid attended the event with then-boo Malik, who wore two creaky-looking silver arm warmers. It’s not hard to imagine her whispering with Swift at the bar, mocking Malik’s robot get-up, planning for the day exactly one month hence when they’d break his quivering little Tin Man heart.
Christina Cauterucci is a Slate staff writer.