Rumors like the one I'm about to share with you keep K-pop fans going in their darkest moments. Word on the idol street is Kang Daniel and Jihyo from the group TWICE are officially an item, you guys. (I hope everyone was sitting down when they read that.) Thanks to these new reports, fans are taking this question super seriously: Are Kang Daniel and TWICE's Jihyo dating, like, for real, for real? According to a statement released by TWICE's label, JYP Entertainment, and Daniel's company, KONNECT Entertainment, they sure are. *Swoon.* Elite Daily reached out to JYP for further comment on the report, but did not hear back.
You know it's legit once the celebrities' agencies start to weigh in. After Dispatch first reported the two were dating, JYP and KONNECT released a joint statement explaining, "They are currently meeting with interest in each other," according to a translation by Koreaboo. (OK, not the most romantic way to explain it, but that's fine.) According to Dispatch, Jihyo and Daniel first began hanging out at the beginning of 2019, around the time Daniel's group Wanna One disbanded. Reportedly, Jihyo supported Daniel through the legal difficulties he bumped up against when launching his own solo career, too. (On July 25, Daniel rolled out his music video for the song "What Are You Up To" which earned nearly 12 million views in 10 days. NBD.)
Even with romance reports spreading like wildfire, K-pop idols' dating lives are traditionally extremely private. Take Jihyo and Daniel's reported August 1 date night as an example. Right now, Jihyo is reportedly still living with TWICE in the group's dorm, which means Daniel's individual residence lent itself better to their secret get-togethers. Jihyo reportedly drove her own Mercedes to his home in Hannam-dong. Koreaboo also reports this relationship is considered "official" within Jihyo's group, TWICE. Meaning, it looks like the other members know about and support it. It was reported that another member of TWICE once dropped Jihyo off at Daniel's house and then later picked her up.
Twitter is loving the details!
Like with so many love stories, these two reportedly were first set up by a mutual friend. While Daniel and Jihyo are linked as far back as January 2019, reports suggest they started having feelings for each other as early as 2018. It was probably a less than ideal time to start a romance, considering Daniel was deep in the final days of Wanna One's time together. He and his 10 former bandmates were wrapping up their year-and-a-half contract after being formed as a group on the reality show Produce 101. After that, he dove headfirst into his own solo career.
Perhaps this experience of being put together in a group via a TV show is one of the things Daniel and Jihyo have in common. Much like Wanna One, she and the eight other TWICE members were brought together on a show called Sixteen in 2015. It's easy to assume these kinds of shared experiences (plus being a major K-pop star in general) must be part of what makes Jihyo and Daniel click.
One thing is for sure: Now that this relationship is out there, Kang and Jihyo should brace themselves. Fans will be shipping them so, so hard.