Harry Styles has said all he wanted was a "normal" relationship with Taylor Swift, made impossible due to public scrutiny.
The former One Direction star confirmed rumours he briefly dated Swift in 2012, when one of their early dates in New York's Central Park was captured by the paparazzi.
"When I see photos from that day, I think: relationships are hard, at any age," he told Rolling Stone magazine.
"And adding in that you don't really understand exactly how it works when you're 18, trying to navigate all that stuff didn't make it easier," he added.
"I mean, you're a little bit awkward to begin with. You're on a date with someone you really like. It should be that simple, right? It was a learning experience, for sure."
"But at the heart of it - I just wanted it to be a normal date."
Styles released the artwork and tracklist for his upcoming debut solo album.
One song title in particular stirred online buzz, both for its similarities with a Taylor Swift song and for referencing New York.
Most fans also consider Swift's Out Of The Woods hit to be about Styles, but the now solo artist could not confirm.
"I mean, I don't know if they're about me or not," he said.
"I write from my experiences; everyone does that. I'm lucky if everything we went through helped create those songs. That's what hits your heart. That's the stuff that's hardest to say, and it's the stuff I talk least about. That's the part that's about the two people.
"I'm never going to tell anybody everything."
The 23-year-old singer also commented on his former band mate Zayn Malik.
Bad blood between him and the band was reported across tabloid magazines after Malik criticised their music.
"I think it's a shame he felt that way but I never wish anything but luck to anyone doing what they love," Styles said.
"If you're not enjoying something and need to do something else, you absolutely should do that," he added.
"I'm glad he's doing what he likes, and good luck to him."
(c) Sky News 2017