It seems like just yesterday that we were all wondering who would win in the race to become the next bachelor/bachelorette. Then, on August 25, 2016, news broke that Australian actor and singer Robert Pattinson had popped the question to model and social media influencer Bella Hadid.
The 33-year-old A-list couple’s engagement was met with widespread acclaim, and since then, their star has risen. They’ve been photographed together in Paris, Italy, and now, according to multiple reports, they’re currently dating.
Pattinson has been open about his relationship with Hadid, calling it a “mutual artistic and romantic relationship.” They were first photographed together in March 2016 and have since maintained a low profile, only breaking cover for a few high-profile events.
While they’ve been keeping a low profile, rumours about their romance have been circulating. In April 2017, rumors circulated that Hadid had booked photographers to capture the couple’s first dance at their wedding. “They’ve been trying to keep their relationship a secret for as long as they can,” a source told the New York Daily News, “but it’s been such a steamy summer that everyone knows about it.”
And it seems that everyone is talking. On June 28, Pattinson and Hadid were featured in a major interview with Vogue which was met with rave reviews. “This is serious, mature and totally intriguing,” one critic wrote. “It’s fascinating to watch these two get to know each other and how their relationship will grow.”
In the interview, Hadid opened up about her past relationships and the breakups that led her to meet Pattinson. “I think people can be complicated and frustrating,” she said. “I had a break-up when I was 17, and it was really hard. I had a massive fight with my then-boyfriend, and I ran away. I ended up going to Paris with some friends and ended up staying for a year.” She continued, “I just wanted someone to take away the pain. It was really bad.”
While in Paris, Hadid met and became friends with Elle MacLeman, who later introduced her to Pattinson. The friendship eventually turned into a romantic relationship, after which Hadid moved to New York City to be with Pattinson. MacLeman served as an intermediary in the relationship, setting up meetings between the couple and getting to know their friends and families. “I wouldn’t say it was perfect or easy,” Hadid said of her relationship with Pattinson. “There were always problems to deal with, but I think that’s what makes it so beautiful. We were both committed to making it work, and that shows.”
Despite their long hours, late nights, and paparazzi following their every move, it seems like Hadid and Pattinson are committed to making their relationship work. In a 2017 profile of the pair for New York magazine, reporter Rebecca Carroll described how they’ve managed to keep their romance a secret. “I don’t think either of them want their story to be about them,” Carroll said. “They want it to be about the other person. They want it to be like, ‘Oh my God, look at that person. They’re so incredible.’ It doesn’t really matter if people know; they’ll just be interested in what’s going on with the other person. That’s important to them.”
But keeping their romance under the radar has proven to be tricky. In April 2017, they spent a romantic night at a luxury villa in Italy, one of many events they’ve attended together. The following month, they were photographed on a double date with Gigi Hadid and John Legend in London.
Even in the face of high-profile events and rumours, Hadid and Pattinson continue to stay strong. As the New York Times writes, “It would be easy for them to break the silence and confirm their relationship, but they have chosen not to do so. It is an act of bravery, and it has endeared them to many.”
Whether they’ve decided to keep their relationship a secret because they’re committed to making it work or because they want to avoid the media circus that comes with being in a high-profile couple is unclear. What is clear is that Pattinson and Hadid are currently dating and seem as happy as ever.