London: Singer Adele`s album `21` talks about her devastating split, and the man she is referring to is said to be photographer Alex Sturrock, whom she has so far refused to identify.
She is believed to have dated the 31-year-old Sturrock in 2008-09.
"It was an intense period for them. They met through mutual friends and hit it off straight away. He shot her a few times and that was just it. They spent all their time together - and when they weren`t together they would ring each other constantly," a source told heatworld.com.
The 23-year-old is said to have employed him as the official photographer for her US tour.
"He`s a very normal guy and they`d laugh a lot together, eat junk food and ignore the fact that her career was about to go stratospheric. Adele relied on him a lot, he was her best mate as well as her boyfriend and he was very protective of her. He`d say no one knew her like he did," added the source.
But despite living together at Adele`s house in west London, the source claims Alex refused to call the Grammy Award-winning star his girlfriend.
"Adele was pretty hurt by that, but Alex didn`t want to label what they had," said the source.
The pair are believed to have parted ways in April 2009, shortly before Adele started writing the album.