Or wait, no — maybe he says, “That was crazy, wasn’t it?” No, no, he definitely whispers, “I love you. So much it’s not even funny.”
These details are based on the many fan accounts attempting (with mixed success) to confirm exactly what happened when Taylor Swift embraced Travis Kelce after the Kansas City Chiefs qualified for the Super Bowl. Whether it’s a lip-reading of the couple’s whispers or a movielike montage of tender moments, every second of the few minutes Swift and Kelce spent together on the field has been analyzed — and romanticized.
SIX YEARS. six years this woman felt she had to hide her relationship. and now she is able to love THIS loudly, and be loved back even louder. watching this change has been the most heartened thing i have experienced as a fan of her. im so fucking happy for taylor swift. pic.twitter.com/GIuESEhqj3
If you feel like we, as a society, have eyes only for Taylor and Travis right now, you’re not alone. But this love story is part of a much bigger trend. There’sa collective thirst for pure, uncomplicated, vulnerable love.
For one, rom-coms are coming back. In recent weeks, the modern-day “Much Ado About Nothing” adaptation”Anyone but You” was transformed from a box-office flop to a resounding hit, seemingly thanks to TikTok; one clip from the movie has racked up 15 million views and counting. In 2023, Amazon found success with the film adaptation of “Red, White & Royal Blue,” based on a novel about the son of the US president falling in love with the “spare” prince of England. And when the “Harry Potter” star Daniel Radcliffe recently joked about shooting a rom-com with Quinta Brunson of “Abbott Elementary,” people on the internet got to casting them in their dream book adaptations.
The publishing world is experiencing the same phenomenon. Fantasy-romance (or “romantasy”) books such as “A Court of Thorns and Roses” and “Fourth Wing” dominate both BookTok and Amazon bestseller lists. They focus on passionate love stories and are known for spicy sex scenes against the backdrops of faerie cities or dragon-riding colleges.
Love is so lucrative that romance-only bookstores have opened in cities like New York and Los Angeles, stacked with enemies-to-lovers cult favorites and corset-ripping historical fiction.
But Swift and Kelce’s relationship seems to dominate all other mainstream love stories right now, particularly because it’s unscripted. While romance movies and books evolve and draw inspiration from unlikely sources, even the dreamiest, most outlandish plotlines don’t involve two star-crossed superstars getting together — and actually having a good time.
“This is an unambiguously happy couple that people can cling to as kind of cultural comfort food,” Brian Donovan, a professor at the University of Kansas who teaches a class called The Sociology of Taylor Swift, told Business Insider.