Adele has always been fiercely private about her relationships, but her songs have told stories of love and heartbreak – her most brutal track to date, however, is one she didn’t publish.
Audio from a demo for ‘But I Want To’ – believed to have been recorded during Adele’s sessions for her fourth studio album 30, which came out last year – has been leaked online, and in the song, she does not hold back when talking about an ex.
“I didn’t really want to be your lover, I was just bored and you were the first one I set my eyes on,” are some of the lyrics, per The Sun. “Perhaps I was too young to be playing with fire. Like a loaded gun you held me up on your desire.”
Adele reportedly also sings: “Had to learn how to run, had to learn how to walk away.”
“I hate that I love you, the worst part is I never wanted to. It kills me that I can’t bе around you, but I want to,” she sings in the chorus. “Gonna lose my heart, gonna lose my mind in your eyes.”
It’s not exactly known who the song is about, or if she herself wrote the lyrics.
The songstress is known to keep her private life close to her chest, and prior to her current relationship with American sports agent Rich Paul, the only confirmed relationship we knew of was the one with her ex-husband Simon Konecki, with whom she shares a son.
So you can’t be blamed for wondering who some of her biggest hits were written about.
Let’s take a look at everything we know about Adele’s dating – and marital – history.
Adele met boyfriend Rich Paul, a sports agent from the United States, a few years ago at a party – but they didn’t make their relationship public until July 2021.
It was during the NBA Finals last year when the duo were photographed sitting at a game between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Phoenix Suns, and shortly after, a source confirmed to People that they were a couple and had been together for “a few months.” Two months later, the hitmaker shared a couple’s shot to her Instagram, thereby making the duo Instagram official.
In October 2021, Adele told Vogue she started dating Paul at the beginning of that year after meeting him at a party in 2019, and gushed about her boyfriend.
“He’s just hilarious,” she later told Oprah in November. “Oh, he’s so funny, he’s hilarious, yeah. And very smart. You know, he’s very, very smart. It’s quite incredible watching him do what he does. And just the easiness of it.”
She also said her romance with Paul is the first time she’s loved herself and also the first time she’s “been open to loving and being loved by someone else.”
Breakup rumours swirled prior to her performance at the BRIT Awards in February 2022, which she seemingly shut down in a cheeky Instagram post.
“Hiya, so I’m really happy to say that I am performing at the Brits next week!! Anddddd I’ll also be popping in to see Graham for a chat on the couch while I’m in town too! I’m looking forward to it!” Adele wrote.
She then added: “Oh, and Rich sends his love ♥️”
At the BRIT Awards, she then sparked engagement rumours when she sported a giant diamond ring on her left ring finger, which still haven’t been confirmed.
When asked about it on national television a few days later, an appearance where she still wore the large sparkler, she coyly responded, “As if I would ever tell anyone if I was or wasn’t.”
In May, Adele shared a series of snaps with Paul on her Instagram, with the lead photo being of the couple posing in front of a house together, holding up a set of keys.
“Time flies 💋 ✨ ♥️,” the caption read.
It is unclear when the photos were taken, though in January, the megastar bought Sylvester Stallone’s sprawling Beverly Hills estate for $80 million.
Since then, both Paul and Adele have spoken about wanting to have more kids.
Paul, 40, has three children from a past relationship, and Adele has her nine-year-old son Angelo Adkins with her ex-husband.
The songstress recently spoke to BBC’s Desert Island Discs about how she “love[s] being a mum.”
“I definitely would like a couple more kids,” she said. “It would be wonderful if we can. If not, I’ve got Angelo. I just want to be happy.”
In September 2019, rumours flew that Adele was dating British rapper Skepta. It was widely reported the pair – both from Tottenham, London – dated for five months after her marriage came to an end. They have since split.
Lyrics from Skepta’s 2019 song ‘Mic Check’ are reportedly about the singer: “Can you handle the fame? You know you’re f—ing with a star. When you’re f—ing with me, they talk about you in the press.” This, however, has not been confirmed.
On June 29, 2020, Skepta left a flirty message for Adele in the comments of one of her Instagram posts, causing fans to wonder if the pair were back on.
Then in October 2020, reports circulated that they were officially dating — but Adele was quick to put those rumours to bed, joking she was “going back to my cave now to be the (single) cat lady that I am.”
Adele began dating Simon Konecki in 2011, and they welcomed their son, Angelo, in 2012. In 2016, after five years of dating, Adele and Konecki tied the knot.
She confirmed the wedding in one of her acceptance speeches at the 2017 Grammys, calling Konecki her husband.
In March 2017, at a concert in Brisbane, Australia, she told the crowd, “I’m married now. I’ve found my next person.”
However, it was short-lived.
“Adele and her partner have separated,” a statement read from the singer’s publicist in April 2019. “They are committed to raising their son together lovingly. As always they ask for privacy. There will be no further comment.”
It’s believed the couple did not sign a prenup before marrying in April 2016. They reportedly live across the street from each other for the sake of their son.
In 2022, Adele revealed she had a secret boyfriend after her divorce – but the identity of the mystery man remains unknown.
https://www.instagram.com/p/Cfg8owHgD4h/Mr 21: The man behind Adele’s album, 21
Adele fans coined the phrase ‘Mr 21’ for the man behind the singer’s hit songs ‘Rolling in the Deep’, ‘Set Fire to the Rain’, ‘Turning Tables’ and ‘Someone Like You’ from her second album, 21.
The pair apparently dated from 2008 to 2009, and in an interview with Out, Adele said she would have given up her “career, friendships and hobbies” to be with him.
“He was my soul mate,” she said. “We had everything – on every level we were totally right. We’d finish each other’s sentences, and he could just pick up how I was feeling by the look in my eye, down to a T, and we loved the same things and hated the same things, and we were brave when the other was brave and weak when the other one was weak.
“And I think that’s rare when you find the full circle in one person, and I think that’s what I’ll always be looking for in other men.”
In an interview with Vogue in 2012, Adele admitted that while he “was great”, the relationship was never going to work.
“And for ages I was like, ‘As if he deserves any f—ing kudos for inspiring my record’,” she said. “But now, after some time, it only seems right that the person who so far has had the biggest impact on me [and] has now changed my life for f—ing ever with this album – deserves a little credit.
“I can do things that I never dreamed I’d be able to do. If I hadn’t met him, I think I’d still be that little girl I was when I was 18. And the best thing is, I now know what I want for myself and from someone else. I didn’t know what I wanted before.”
‘Rumour Has It’ was written about friends who believed rumours following her split from Mr 21.
“People might think it’s about blogs and magazines and papers, but it’s not,” she said of the track. “It’s about my own friends believing stuff that they hear about me, which is pretty mortifying, really.”
It’s been rumoured Mr 21 is Alex Sturrock, Adele’s photographer throughout her An Evening with Adele tour.
‘Someone Like You’ was written after Adele learned the man had become engaged to someone else following their split.
https://www.instagram.com/p/CfbzWxTgJUs/The cheating boyfriend who inspired Adele’s album, 19
Adele’s first-known love was the man who inspired her debut album 19. Adele dumped the anonymous boyfriend after he cheated on her. In an interview with The Guardian in 2008, she revealed she dumped him via text.
“I prefer people to write it down in a message or text or email,” she said, explaining that she hates confrontation. “When I broke up with my boyfriend I did it by text. ‘Babe, I can’t do it no more.'”
He inspired the songs ‘Chasing Pavements’, ‘Cold Shoulder’, ‘Melt My Heart to Stone’, ‘First Love’, ‘Right as Rain’ and ‘Tired’.
In 2011, Adele revealed the man wanted a cut of her royalties for being the inspiration behind 19.
“For about a week he was calling and was deadly serious about it,” Adele told The Sun. “Finally, I said, ‘Well, you made my life hell, so I lived it and now I deserve it.’ He really thought he’d had some input into the creative process by being a prick. I’ll give him this credit – he made me an adult and put me on the road that I’m travelling.”
Adele’s song ‘Daydreamer’, however, is about a different boy: A bisexual friend she had fallen in love with who, at her 18th birthday party, told her he felt the same way only to leave four hours later with one of her gay friends.
She recalled thinking, “‘We’re not even going out yet and you’ve cheated on me already!’ So ‘Daydreamer’ is about everything I wanted him to be. The daydream of him.”
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