and ‘s teen-dream love story was one that defined a generation. After being introduced by their managers in 2009, the couple went on to date from 2010 until 2018 — with some breakups and makeups in between. With their combined star power, everyone from the paparazzi to the public couldn’t get enough. In fact, fans had never been more invested in (or rooted for) a celebrity pairing more like Jelena. After all, who could forget their famous movie date when Bieber rented out an entire Los Angeles arena so that he and Gomez could privately watch ?
As one of young Hollywood’s longest-running on-and-off couples, there was something relatable and incredibly endearing about how the two could seemingly never shake each other — of course, as we all know, they eventually did. By May 2018, the Rare Beauty founder and her Canadian musician beau had ultimately called it quits.
Here’s a look back at Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez’s relationship.
During an interview with radio host DJ Skee in 2009, the Disney Channel star revealed that Gomez was his celebrity crush, . Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, reached out to Gomez’s mom (who was her manager at the time) to set up a meeting between the two. At the time, the Grammy-nominated singer had been dating since 2008 (they later broke up in March 2010).
For years, Gomez was adamant that Bieber was more like a brother than a boyfriend, and even when they were spotted on what was reported as a “cuddly” date at an IHOP in Philadelphia in December 2010, the songstress still played coy.
“Who doesn’t like pancakes? We were both performing in the same place, so we went and had pancakes together,” she when asked about the rumored date. “That’s all it is. All innocent.”
Three weeks later, the pair were photographed sharing a not-so-innocent New Year’s Eve kiss on a yacht in St. Lucia, confirming what everyone already suspected — they were a couple.
In February 2011, Bieber and Gomez made their red carpet debut at the Oscars Party. From that point on, “Jelena” — as they were affectionately known — wasn’t shy about their romance. They engaged in cute PDA courtside at a Lakers game, attended red carpet events together, and jetted off for a couple’s vacation to Hawaii.
In May 2011, Gomez why she decided to finally go public with her relationship.
“I don’t like hiding. I do like to keep certain things to myself, but at the end of the day, I’m 18, and I’m going to fall in love,” she said. “I’m going to hang out with people, and I’m going to explore myself, and I’m OK with that.”
In September 2011, Bieber rented out the entire Staples Center in Los Angeles (now called Crypto.com Arena) for a romantic movie night with the actress, . With the 20,000-seat arena all to themselves, the pair enjoyed a candlelit dinner on the court and a private screening of .
“Romance isn’t dead,” the Grammy-winning musician that night. “Treat your lady right fellas.”
In November 2012, Jelena had their first of many breakups to come. After a year-and-a-half of dating, the two split for reasons unknown but appeared to get back together five months later when Bieber posted a series of throwback photos of the couple on Instagram.
Bieber and Gomez split again two years after their first break up in November 2014. Bieber moved on with his now-wife (née Baldwin), and Gomez struck up a brief romance with DJ Zedd.
Bieber opened up about he and Gomez’s dramatic ups and downs over the years for the October/November 2015 issue of .
“When stuff would happen, I would lose my freakin’ mind, and she would lose her mind, and we would fight so hard because we were so invested in each other,” he . “Love is a choice. Love is not a feeling.”
The are-they-or-aren’t-they saga continued into 2016 before they both seemingly moved on with new relationships — Gomez was with The Weeknd, while Bieber began dating Sofia Richie for a short time.
In 2017, Bieber and Gomez reconciled (again), much to the internet’s delight. However, their reunion didn’t last long. Following four months of hockey dates, bike rides, and church services, the Emmy-nominated actress and Bieber went on a break that eventually turned into a breakup in March 2018.
“Selena realized even though he’s made some positive improvements, they just aren’t a perfect match right now,” a source at the time. Another insider explained that Gomez “decided she is much happier doing her own thing, adding that she “rarely even talks about Justin anymore, and is fully open to dating.”
Within months of splitting, Bieber reconnected with Baldwin, and the two quickly got engaged, which prompted of social media drama and saw Gomez release her breakup song “Lose You to Love Me.”
Looking back on their relationship years later, Gomez came to the realization that the breakup with Bieber was “the best thing” that ever happened to her.
“I felt haunted by a past relationship that no one wanted to let go of,” Gomez said in her Apple TV+ documentary . “But then I just moved past it. I wasn’t afraid anymore.”
She added, “I feel like I had to go through the worst possible heartbreak ever. I just think that needed to happen, and ultimately, it was the best thing that ever happened to me.”