A decade later, John Mayer has admitted that he wrote the song “Paper Doll,” from his 2013 album Paradise Valley, when he was in a place of “hurt.” At a recent concert in Sacramento, the 45-year-old singer-songwriter opened up about the song that fans believe is a direct response to Taylor Swift’s 2010 song “Dear John,” which directly references their relationship. Mayer addressed its tone before playing “Paper Doll,” which includes the lyrics, “You’re like 22 girls in one / and none of them know what they’re runnin’ from. / Was it just too far to fall? / For a little paper doll.“

In a video that’s ciruclating on TikTok, Mayer said, “I wonder if people don’t like [the song] because it sounds a little pissed off. I don’t like ‘pissed off’ as a song. I think it was more ‘hurt.’ Is there something about it that’s a little bitchy? I try not to give bitchiness in the song, and that happens sometimes. I guess I don’t do it very well, ‘sarcastic bitch.’”

Mayer and Swift reportedly dated between 2009 and 2010 after collaborating on the song “Half of My Heart.” At the time he was 32 and she was 19. Both “Dear John” and “Paper Doll” became news stories when they were released and had people—particularly Swifties—speculating about the nature of the brief romance, especially given Mayer’s reputation at the time as a womanizer. Swift’s song is direct and addresses their age gap: “Dear John, I see it all now that you’re gone. / Don’t you think I was too young to be messed with?”

Mayer has never directly (or indirectly) confirmed that the song “Paper Doll” is about Swift, but his latest comments seem to hint that that’s the case, especially as Swift is prominent in the news cycle due to her Eras Tour and recent breakup with Joe Alwyn. In 2015, Mayer said in an interview with MSNBC, per Entertainment Tonight, “The song never got listened to as a song. It became a news story because of the lyrics. I’m not in the business of telling people what the song’s about.”