Celeb Couples Reveal How Their Relationships Became Romantic

Kourtney Kardashian & Travis Barker

For Valentine’s Day, the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star recently confirmed that she and the musician had officially exited the friend zone, posting a photo of the two of them holding hands.

“Kourtney is very happy with Travis. She wanted to confirm their relationship, because it’s something positive,” a source told PEOPLE in February.

“She was single for a while and didn’t expect that their relationship would turn romantic,” the source added. “She feels very fortunate. She loves spending time with Travis.”

“Travis has liked her for a while,” another insider shared.

In addition to living in the same Calabasas, California, community as Kardashian, Barker has previously made brief cameos on KUWTK. Since they started dating, the new couple have spent time with each other’s families.

Kardashian and her ex Scott Disick co-parent their three kids, sons Mason and Reign, and daughter Penelope, while Barker shares stepdaughter Atiana, daughter Alabama, and son Landon with his ex-wife, Shanna Moakler.

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Common & Tiffany Haddish

After meeting on set of The Kitchen, the actors’ relationship was just platonic — until they crossed paths again while partnering on a charity project with the dating app Bumble.

Haddish and the rapper went on a virtual date at the start of the pandemic before going to the next level. “Then he got tested for everything, I got tested for everything, and yeah, we’ve been f–king,” she joked on the Steve-O’s Wild Ride podcast. 

“This is my first time ever being in a relationship with [a celebrity],” Haddish said, adding that this was “the best relationship” she’s ever been in. “I’m just way happier … knowing I got somebody that cares about me, that really has my back. It seems like he does anyways. And I love it. I love him.”

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Ben Platt & Noah Galvin

The actors, who both played the lead role in Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway, are in a relationship after years of friendship. Galvin announced he and Platt were dating during an episode of the Little Known Facts with Ilana Levine podcast.

“I asked him this morning, I was like, are we allowed to talk about this? And he’s like, ‘Don’t go into our nitty gritty, but yeah, people can know.’ It’s still relatively new,” the Booksmart actor said.

Joking that they aren’t the only pair of former Evan Hansens in a relationship (Taylor Trensch and Ben Levi Ross are also together), Galvin said, “It makes sense, like, we all went through the war together. We all feel very connected.”

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Darren Criss & Mia Swier Criss

The Hollywood star’s walk down the aisle with his love was a long time coming, he told PEOPLE. The pair met through mutual friends in 2006 and they began dating four years later, right around the time he joined the cast of Glee. They got married in New Orleans in 2018.

While he now remembers his wedding day as one of the best days of his life, Criss wasn’t always sold on the traditional idea of marriage. “I will say this: I dragged my feet,” he said. “But, we were together for a long time before. By that point in our lives, it was a validation and sharing of our life and existence. In many ways, it’s not been a change at all.”

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Gabrielle Union & Dwyane Wade

On The Late Late Show with James Corden, the actress and We’re Going to Need More Wine author said it wasn’t exactly love at first sight when she met the NBA star. “I had a boyfriend when I met him. And Dwyane is a bit younger than me, so it felt like he was 12. He was super shy and quiet,” she said.

It took Patti LaBelle to set Union straight: “She was like, ‘Girl, you better drop that zero and get you a hero.’ So it was Miss Patti that nudged me in the direction.”

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Mila Kunis & Ashton Kutcher

The That ’70s Show costars kept in touch after the show wrapped, she said on The Howard Stern Show, but there was never a spark there until many years later when she ran into him at an awards show.

“I see this guy and I see his back, and he’s really tall,” Kunis said of the recently-divorced Kutcher. “Then he just turns around, and it was literally like if we were in a movie, the music would start playing and the violins would go. I think for the first time ever, he took my breath away – I was like, f—, he’s good-looking.”

Kutcher invited Kunis to his housewarming party, intending to set her up with one of his friends, but they couldn’t deny their chemistry. “Long story short, I didn’t leave until the next morning,” she shared. “[It was the] first time I ever slept over while I was single.”

Though they tried to keep things casual, they couldn’t: The couple welcomed daughter Wyatt in October 2014 and son Dimitri in November 2016. They got married in July 2015 — much to their surprise. “We started dating with the idea we were both never going to get married,” she said. “A year later we were like, ‘Tomorrow, let’s [get married].'”

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Reese Witherspoon & Jim Tooth

When Witherspoon was hit on by a “really drunk guy” one night at a friend’s party, she never guessed that the “jerk’s” behavior would somehow lead to meeting her future husband.

“Jim came over and said, ‘Please excuse my friend, he’s just broken up with someone,'” Witherspoon recalled to Elle in 2012 of her first encounter with Toth. “I remember thinking … Jim was a really good friend, pulling [his drunk pal] out of that situation. That’s just kind of who he is, a really good person.”

Her early impression of him held true, well into their now decade-long marriage. “Jim’s like, ‘I’m gonna show you every day what a good partner is, what a good person is,'” she said. “‘I’m going to take care of you. I’m going to do it so much that you’re gonna get used to it.’ I was like, ‘What are you talking about? I’ve never had anybody like that in my life.'”

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John Legend & Chrissy Teigen

The couple might admit that it was lust at first sight on the set of Legend’s 2007 music video “Stereo,” but long-term love wasn’t quite on the radar at first.

In a 2014 interview, Legend told Los Angeles Confidential magazine, “I wasn’t like, ‘This is the woman I’m going to marry’ from day one. For me, I’m the kind of person who needs to grow into that feeling. It was probably a couple of years in when I could already see us being together forever.”

Teigen was also keeping him at arm’s length. “I’m not going to lie,” she told Cosmopolitan in 2014. “We hooked up. [And then when he went on tour], I left him by himself for a while. The worst thing you can do is try to lock someone like that down early on, then have them think, ‘There’s so much more out there.’ I played it cool for a long time.”

Now they’re the most adorable couple on the internet.

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Ted Danson & Mary Steenburgen

The Mr. Mayor star admitted “I was a hot mess” when he first met Steenburgen during an audition in 1983. It wasn’t until they both had divorced and went on a trip with mutual friends that they realized there could be something more than friendship between them.

“I wasn’t ready for anything like a relationship,” she told PEOPLE of their initial friendship in the early ’90s. “We just kept working together and becoming better and better friends.”

A canoe trip and picnic Danson planned in Mendocino, California, sealed the deal. “It was very magical,” he adds. “We came back in love, to be honest, or I’ll say smitten.” They’ve now been married for 25 years.

 

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Aaron Paul & Lauren Parsekian

This couple came together through music — a music festival, specifically. “We’d met at Coachella [and] became friends,” Paul told GQ in 2012. “And then a year later, we fell in love at Coachella. We ran off together at Coachella. You know, first kiss on the Ferris wheel sort of thing.”

It was unlike anything he had felt before. “You know when people say, ‘When you know, you know’? It was crazy,” he said. “Even leading up to the kiss on the Ferris wheel, I couldn’t imagine myself being without her … I was like, ‘Wait, can this actually exist?'”

And his feelings haven’t changed since. “She’s the greatest woman that has ever existed. No offense to other women on this planet, but she is hands down the best,” he said.

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Gwen Stefani & Blake Shelton

The stars had met in 2014 as coaches on The Voice, but didn’t get close until 2016, when they bonded over their difficult divorces. It accelerated from there, Shelton told Billboard: “That’s kind of how our friendship and bond started, that day. It went from that, to checking in on each other once a week through email — ‘This shit happened to me, what happened to you?’ — to maybe three times a week, then every day, to ‘Hey, here’s my phone number if you ever want to text.’ Next thing I know, I wake up and she’s all I care about, and I’m ­wondering if she feels the same about me.”

Five years later, the two are newly engaged and happier than ever.  “She didn’t think the engagement would change her and Blake’s relationship because it felt like they were already married,” a source told PEOPLE, “but it has sparked even more happiness.”

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