Taylor was inspired to write “Love Story” when she was going through a difficult situation with a boy she liked, whom she wasn’t “officially” dating. The song has been rumored to be about two singers – the first being Joe Jonas, since it was recorded in March of 2008, just a few months before she began actually dating him. Other songs such as “Forever & Always” and “Last Kiss” are more explicitly about him.
The second rumored subject of the song is Boys Like Girls front-man, Martin Johnson whom Swift had a brief fling with in 2008 and collaborated with to pen the band’s track “Two is Better Than One” and Taylor’s song “If This Was a Movie”. This is a fitting match for the “star-crossed lovers” theme of the song as sources claimed that although the pair were into each other, Taylor’s publicists felt he was not a good match for her “American sweetheart” image – with him being a punk rocker who was going through personal issues at the time.
She chose to portray the story of Romeo and Juliet in the song, because she felt like she could relate.
I used to be in high school where you see [a boyfriend] every day. Then I was in a situation where it wasn’t so easy for me, and I wrote this song because I could relate to the whole Romeo and Juliet thing.
The lyrics talk about disapproval against the relationship, and her desire to go somewhere far away with him, and escape the people who look down on them.
“Love Story” peaked at #1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs, and at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100, just weeks after its release.
The song’s music video was described as timeless, by Swift.
The video won the CMT Music Awards for “Video of the Year,” as well as “Female Video of the Year.”
In February 2021, “Love Story” became the first official re-release from Taylor’s backcatalog following contractual disputes with Scooter Braun. It marked the beginning of a new chapter in her career as she sought autonomy and freedom from what she perceived as a manipulative business relationship.