Thank U, Next
Twitter is in a frenzy over Ariana Grande and Ethan Slater's reported new relationship.

Ariana & Ethan Finally Shared Their First Pic Together On Instagram

It looks like they're done hiding things...

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Well, this is one wicked romance. When TMZ first reported that Ariana Grande and Ethan Slater were dating in July, no one knew what to think. One fan summed it all up on Twitter: “I'm sorry i truly cannot comprehend this ariana grande ethan slater news like i feel like my brain is broken and on fire at the same time.”

There were a few reasons for the collective confusion. Only two months earlier, Grande and her husband Dalton Gomez celebrated their second anniversary in May 2023. That same month, Slater posted for his wife’s first-ever Mother’s Day, calling her “the most loving caring and wonderful mom/person in the world.” Then, in June, Gomez reportedly posted a birthday tribute for Grande, where he referred to her as his “pixie.”

With so much social media love, fans were reluctant to believe that Slater and Grande were an item. But by September, Grande and Slater had both filed for divorce and taken their romance public. Still lost? Here’s a full breakdown of their relationship timeline.

July 16, 2023: Ariana & Dalton Breakup Rumors Began

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After Grande — sans her wedding ring — attended a Wimbledon match on July 16, fans began questioning whether she and Gomez, whom she married in May 2021, could have separated. TMZ then confirmed the breakup the following day, reporting that Grande and Gomez were “heading for divorce.”

At the time, a source told Us Weekly the couple actually broke up in January after “having some issues for months.” Per the insider, “They were having issues before she left for Wicked filming [in London] that they couldn’t resolve, and the distance did not help. They haven’t been speaking and are separated, and a divorce is likely.”

July 20: The Ariana & Ethan Dating Rumors Began

Just days after Grande split from her husband of two years, there was another update on her love life. On July 20, TMZ reported the singer was dating Slater, her Wicked co-star and Broadway’s very own Spongebob Squarepants. (Grande is playing Galinda in the upcoming Wicked adaptation, with Slater playing Boq). Per the outlet, Grande and Gomez started dating “several months” before their romance became public.

At the time, an Entertainment Tonight source claimed that Grande and Slater’s romance began after they “broke up with their significant others.” The source continued, “They have a lot in common and have a lot of fun.”

Reports suggested that they’d been seeing each other for some time. In August, a Daily Mail source claimed that Grande and Slater were “sloppy on set,” not bothering to hide their romance. “They were seen making out at a pub in Hampstead, and they were all over each other at Michelle Yeoh's Oscar party [in March],”the insider said.

July 21: Ethan’s Wife Was Reportedly “Blindsided” By Their Breakup

Following the relationship rumors, reports surfaced that Slater’s wife Lilly Jay was “completely blindsided” by the breakup. “It’s horrible. They were high school sweethearts. They have a baby! She’s a wreck,” an insider told Page Six.

July 26: Ethan Filed For Divorce

Slater filed for divorce from Jay in New York on July 26, per TMZ and E!. Six days later, Jay filed, too.

July 27: Ethan’s Wife Spoke Out

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Jay spoke directly to Page Six on July 27. “[Ariana’s] the story really. Not a girl’s girl... My family is just collateral damage,” Jay said. Jay, who shares a son with Slater, said she was focused on being “a good mom” amid the drama.

That same day, a source told the Daily Mail that Jay, Grande, and Slater had spent time together in London. “Lilly hung out with Ethan and Ariana so many times. Ariana met their baby and even held him,” the insider claimed.

Apparently, Jay found out about the alleged affair between Slater and Grande after visiting them in the U.K. Per the Daily Mail source, she and Slater were going to “try and work on their marriages and put the whole thing behind them.” The insider added, “But that did not work out [because Ariana and Ethan] kept the affair going despite [that].”

September 4: Sources Clarified The Timeline

After plenty of back-and-forth on Grande and Slater’s romantic timeline, sources clarified when their romance actually started. “People have tried to question the timeline,” a close friend of the couple told People on Sept. 4. “The truth is, Ariana and Ethan didn’t begin seeing each other until after both parties were separated, respectfully.”

The insider added that Grande and Slater’s relationship has not been as messy as it seems. According to the couple’s friend, “They are just trying to navigate their new relationship in private. They are doing their best to balance the fact that they are in the public eye with the desire to be respectful to all parties involved.”

September 13: Dalton Was Reportedly “Not Completely Over” Ariana

Instagram: @arianagrande

Unlike Jay, Gomez has kept quiet on the Grande and Slater dating rumors. However, on Sept. 13, a source told ET that Grande’s ex was “throwing himself into work” and “trying to stay distracted” post-split.

“He is dating a little bit and a lot of girls are giving Dalton attention," a source told ET on Sept. 13. "He is not completely over his relationship with Ariana, but he is doing his best to move forward."

September 18: Ariana & Dalton Filed For Divorce

Grande and Gomez filed for divorce on Sept. 18 after more than two years of marriage, citing “irreconcilable differences.” According to the court docs, obtained by TMZ, the couple first separated on Feb. 20.

Reportedly, the couple had a prenuptial agreement in place and worked out their differences ahead of filing. “They’ve been really caring and respectful of one another every step of this process,” a source told TMZ.

September 22: Ariana & Ethan Were Spotted At Disney

Grande and Slater apparently took their romance public at Disney World on Sept. 22, per photos posted by DeuxMoi. “They went with a big group of friends as well her mom and brother," a source told People on Sept. 26. Per the insider, Grande and Slater are "really happy and really good for each other.” The source added, "All of her friends love him.”

October 4: Insiders Said Ariana & Ethan Reportedly Live Together

Grande and Slater’s romance got another major development when Us Weekly reported they were moving in together. “Ethan informed his friends and soon-to-be ex-wife [Lilly Jay] that he’s living with Ariana full-time in New York,” an insider told Us.

November 16: Ariana Supported Ethan On The Opening Night Of His Play

The rumored couple made a rare public appearance in November, when Grande showed up at the opening night of Broadway’s Spamalot!, which starred Slater in various roles. The occasion didn’t mark their red carpet debut, though, as Grande avoided the press line.

December 23: Ethan Met Ariana’s Father On A Date Night

Grande and Slater fully embraced the magic of the holidays by spending the season together. Two days before Christmas, they were spotted grabbing dinner together in Manhattan, joined by Grande’s father Ed Butera.

December 29: Ariana Wrote About Feeling “Misunderstood” By The Public

As Grande’s whirlwind year was coming to an end, she reflected on her 2023 in a lengthy note on her Instagram Stories. “I have never felt more pride or joy or love while simultaneously feeling so deeply misunderstood by people who don't know me, who piece whispers together and make what they want out of me and their assumptions of my life,” Grande wrote. “I have learned how much more important one of those things is than the other.”


The sentiment seemed directed at the public fascination with how Grande and Slater’s relationship began. She went on to seemingly offer her explanation for why she has chosen not to speak about the relationship: “I am reacting to things that deserve my energy only and removing and protecting myself from things that do not.”

February 26: Ariana Addressed People “Misunderstand[ing]” Her Love Life

On Feb. 26, Grande went on The Zach Sang Show and discussed how the media has been treating her. When Zach Sang brought up how people “crafted their own narrative” about Grande, she agreed. “We know this about the tabloids and the media. Am I crazy? Don’t we know this?” she responded.

Grande explained that there was “plenty” she wish people knew. “Of course, there is an insatiable frustration, inexplicable, hell-ish feeling in watching people misunderstand the people you love, and you,” she told Sang.

“We selectively remember that this is what the tabloids do to people, especially women, based on whether or not we like the person,” Grande added. “We selectively leave space for humanness, for nuance. They don’t leave space for that. Well, they do for friends and family. But they turn it off when that aligns with a version of a person they have in their head that they want to believe is true.”

April 11: Ariana & Ethan Shared Their First Photo Together On Instagram

Grande and Slater kept their romance off the ‘Gram for months, but they finally shared their first pic together in April. As the Wicked cast reunited a couple months after wrapping production, Jeff Goldblum snapped a photo with Grande and Slater looking particularly close.

Instagram/@arianagrande, Instagram/@ethanslater

Both Grande and Slater reposted the snap to their Instagram Stories shortly after it was uploaded.

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