Haven’t you heard? Bella Hadid and Abel Tesfaye, also known as The Weeknd, might be back together. Or maybe just hanging out. Unclear—basically, they were certainly in the same place at the same time (Tokyo), and they were unabashed about sharing it on Instagram—if only through tags and Stories.
But how did we get here, exactly? A lot has happened. Victoria’s Secret Fashion shows (and resulting memes), other relationships, lovesick albums…below, a look through the It-couple’s romantic history.
April 2015: Sparks Fly
It was rejection, actually, that brought Bella Hadid and The Weeknd together. In an October 2015 Rolling Stone story, he reflected on the beginnings of their relationship, which Rolling Stone says began in April 2015. “I actually asked her to be on the artwork for “Beauty Behind the Madness,’” Tesfaye recalls. “My motive was literally to work with her.” But when she declined, “I was like, ‘All right, cool—we can meet up face-to-face.’ It just kind of fell into my lap,” he later adds.
May 2015: The Press Catches On
US Weekly reports that “up-and-coming” model Bella Hadid is seeing “R&B singer” The Weeknd. In 2015, these now-superstars still needed descriptors.
July 2015: Yes, No, Maybe So
Although neither Hadid or Abel have confirmed the relationship, they are frequently spotted in the vicinity of each other—like at his MoMA concert in June 2015. When asked if he was in love by The New York Times Magazine in July, Tesfaye gave a cryptic answer: ‘‘I don’t know, to be honest with you. I don’t think so. Maybe. It’s no, it’s yes, it’s maybe.’’
September 2015: Photo Evidence
On September 9, paparazzi catch Bella and The Weeknd leaving New York City nightclub Up and Down, hand in hand. Consider it their official debut: that fashion week, they’re spotted sitting front row together at Alexander Wang, and The Weeknd cheers Hadid on when she walks for Diane von Furstenberg.
October 2015: Going Strong
Bella and her beau are spotted on dates at the hippest restaurants across the country—from Nobu in New York to The Nice Guys in Los Angeles. Their frequent dining companions? Sister Gigi Hadid and her then-boyfriend, Joe Jonas.
Also in October, Bella posts a joyful Instagram of her new Yorkie puppy. Many assume it is a birthday present from Tesfaye—which is soon confirmed in that aforementioned Rolling Stone interview.
December 2015: Creative Collaborations
Model as muse! Bella stars in The Weeknd’s music video “In The Night.”
Meanwhile, in late December, rumors of a split surround the couple. Some report that the couple are taking a break, while others say that they are very much on. They squash them the best way possible: partying together on a yacht in Miami.
February 2016: Grammys Golden Couple
Bella and The Weeknd make a splashy red carpet debut at the 2016 Grammy Awards, where the singer is nominated for multiple awards.
Later in February, the couple spark engagement rumors when Bella steps out in London wearing a ring on that finger. However, a representative quickly dismisses any claims.
May 2016: Matching at the Met Gala
It’s another stunning red carpet debut from the two, as they match in black at the 2016 Met Gala.
August 2016: Relationship Reveals
Bella opens up about their relationship to Glamour. When asked why they decided to appear at the Grammys together, Bella says: “It was a big night for him. He has worked so hard, and he did so well that night. As a girlfriend I wanted to be there to support him. Seeing him so happy when he won a Grammy made me so happy.” She also reveals she’s not dating his on-stage persona: “I’m dating Abel. I don’t see him as The Weeknd. I’m proud of The Weeknd and the music he makes, but I really love Abel.”
October 2016: Jetsetting Before the Storm
Bella and The Weeknd jet off to Toyko together, sharing many an Instagram together along the way.
A few weeks later, he attends her 20th birthday party at Mr. Chow. All seems happy and well, until. . . .
November 2016: The Split
“Their schedules have been too hard to coordinate and he is focusing on finishing and promoting his album,” an anonymous source tells People on November 10. “They still have a great deal of love for one another and will remain friends.”
The two exes have a high profile run-in weeks later at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show, where she was walking and he was performing. While strutting down the runway, Bella Hadid casts a fleeting glance at her singer-ex—which is screen grabbed, and memed, for all eternity.
How you want to look when you see your ex for the first time versus how you actually look pic.twitter.com/GNtjHSEsim
— Emilia Petrarca (@EmiliaPetrarca) November 30, 2016
January to October 2017: New Relationships
TMZ catches The Weeknd and Selena Gomez canoodling in Santa Monica. E! News reports that Bella soon unfollows Gomez on Instagram.
As the month progresses, it becomes clear that Gomez and The Weeknd are officially an item. They date until late October, amid rumors that Gomez has reconciled with Justin Bieber.
November 2017: The Reconciliation
A few weeks after he breaks up with Gomez, The Weeknd is spotted at Hadid’s apartment in New York City. “Abel reached out to Bella asking to hang out and catch up, and she decided to see him and see where things go. She knows that if they don’t date again, they can at least be good friends,” a source tells E! News.
March 2018: The Grand Gesture
The Weeknd releases a new album, “My Dear Melancholy.” The internet assumes that most of its songs are about Gomez—and also, possibly, Hadid.
The song in question, “Wasted Times,” references an equestrian (before she became a model, Hadid was a champion horseback rider). Some sample lyrics: “Wasted times I spent with someone else/She wasn’t even half of you.”
April 2018: Together Again?
Reports claim that Hadid and The Weeknd were spotted together at a Coachella after party, but the model herself denies the claim. Commenting on E! News‘s Instagram, she wrote “it wasn’t me.”
May 2018: Pics or It didn’t Happen
Can’t deny it this time—photographers catch the two canoodling at a Cannes after-party. But was it a reconciliation, or a one time thing?
June 2018: City of Love
After social media sleuths deduce that Tesfaye and Hadid are together in Paris, the two are spotted (stylishly!) walking together in the French capital.
July 2018: The Proof is in the ‘Grams
The Weeknd and Hadid visit Tokyo together—and publicly post about it on Instagram. Hadid appears on his story, and later, The Weeknd posts a picture of him and his squad, and gives Hadid photo credit.
Back together or simply hanging out? Only time—and more Instagrams—will tell.
August 2018: Backstage Beau
In what is one of Hadid’s most telling Instagrams, the model accompanies The Weeknd to Chicago, where he performed at the Lollapalooza festival. The 21-year-old shared several InstaStories from the event, including one close-up of the musician as he performed, as well as several clips seemingly shot from the stage wings.
October 2018: Holding Hands
On Wednesday, the rekindled couple were spotted out together arm-in-arm in New York City, wearing matching oversized hoodies, denim, and casual trainers. It’s the latest of the couple’s public appearances together, as just the night before, they were photographed holding hands en route to dinner. And on the weekend, they were seen hand-in-hand again while heading to the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park, where Tesfaye headlined.