Chris Harrison & Lauren Zima's Relationship Timeline Is Honestly Swoon-Worthy
Once upon a time, there was a man who hosted a little show called The Bachelor, and a woman who reported on all things relating to the show for Entertainment Tonight. They met through the biz, made their debut as a couple on the red carpet, and the rest is history. Y'all, Chris Harrison and Lauren Zima's relationship timeline is the stuff of Hollywood fairytales. Honestly, though, would you expect anything less from the guy who MCs the rose ceremonies and the girl who recaps the drama on her YouTube show, Roses and Rosé?
Not unlike on The Bachelor, these two had to go through some plot twists and turns before finding each other — like, when Harrison randomly went out Justin Bieber's mom (Ryan Seacrest supposedly set them up, because of course). Both Harrison and Zima have been married and divorced once before. Leave it to the greatest reality dating franchise in history (don't @ me) to bring these lovebirds together — and in case you were wondering, Harrison has since planned at least one Bachelor-esque date, like taking Zima on a helicopter ride.
Read on for their full relationship back story — which, though, it doesn't end in handing out a final rose, is still romantic AF.
March 2018: Zima Interviews Harrison About — What Else — 'The Bachelor.'
Years before Zima and Harrison were an item, she interviewed him multiple times about various shows in the Bachelor franchise. The above IG photo is from March of 2018, and TBH, they already look like an adorable couple in the making.
In fact, if you dig deep on her Instagram, you'll find footage of one such interview from August of 2018, in which she asks Harrison about the possibility of Peter Kraus being the next Bachelor, and he shuts down the rumor. As she gazes at him during his response, take a look at her expression, which screams #SmittenKitten.
It should come as no surprise that it was around this time that their professional relationship took a turn.
July 2018: Zima Gets Thirsty On IG.
When Zima wished Harrison a Happy Birthday on IG, sharing a photo of the pair at a "Men Tell All" special from that summer, it seemed relatively innocent — but if you read the post closely, you'll notice one significant detail that hints at some flirtation. At the end of the caption, she wrote: “May I note Chris was lookin’ FLY at the taping," with an applause emoji.
OK, I see you, Zima. Very smooth.
August 2018: Sparks Fly At Craft Services.
It was a convo at craft services during a tell-all taping that reportedly changed everything for these two. In an interview for The Viall Files podcast, Zima told Nick Viall that on that particular day, Harrison just gave her "a different vibe."
"It was fairly overt," she told him. "He mentioned something about picking his kids up or something. He somehow brought up being single, I think. And then I said something like, 'I'm single now,' and he was like, 'Oh.' But I said it in a more eloquent way than that."
Zima also added that "There was something significant," that led her to they might go out in the future. As she put it, "I was so captivated by him in the moment."
August 2018: Zima Makes The First Move — Over Instagram.
So, what's a girl who's "captivated" to do? If you're Lauren Zima, you seize the moment and shoot the object of your affection a DM.
In her July 2019 interview with Viall, Zima admits that she played it safe, and kept the message as casual as possible in case she was misreading the vibes. Fortunately, she wasn't. She and Harrison ended up exchanging a few flirty messages back and forth before he asked her out for drinks. As Zima put it, "I opened the door and he walked through."
Harrison, meanwhile, said it all felt so "easy" from the very beginning. He told People in February of 2019, “We started dating and, like any relationship, she made me happy. She was kind, nice, we got along, she blended in great with my friends, and just all those steps in the relationship where you start checking those boxes off and it gets better and better and better.”
December 2018: Zima Drops A Hint About Their Relationship.
While the duo still had yet to confirm their couple status at the end of 2018, she stirred up some serious speculation when she shared a photo of herself and Harrison standing next to a poster of Bachelor star Colton Underwood.
“The two most important men in my life, TBH,” she captioned the pic.
January 2019: They Make Their Red Carpet Debut.
It wasn't until Jan. 26, 2019 that Harrison and Zima made their red carpet debut as a couple at a Entertainment Weekly’s pre-party for the 2019 SAG Awards.
“I know what I do is public, as far as hosting and the shows I do, but I’m a pretty private guy [and] I’ll stay that way for the most part,” Harrison told People when asked about his hesitancy to go public with the relationship. “We came to the realization that we didn’t want to hide — we wanted to be able to date and enjoy life."
Fun fact: Kaitlyn Bristowe was one of the first people to know about their relationship because Harrison confided in her early on.
February 2019: Harrison Is Forced To Postpone Their V-Day Plans.
Sadly, on their first Valentine’s Day as a couple, Harrison was unable to celebrate with Zima — naturally, due to a work-related conflict. Harrison had to make a cameo on an ABC show that was shooting all night, so he had to raincheck with his lady love. That said, he promised to give her a belated celebration.
“I have begged her and asked for forgiveness that we’re postponing,” he told People at the time. “We’re doing a belated Valentine’s on Saturday. I will be making up for it and doubling down and making sure it’s killer on Saturday night.”
July 2019: Zima Celebrates Harrison's Birthday With A Sweet IG Post.
On Harrison's birthday, July 26, Zima decided to share an adorable tribute to him, which included a highlight reel of the many interviews they've done together in recent years. IMO, it's definitely just as adorable as it sounds.
August 2019: They Toast To The Engagement Of A 'Bachelor' Alum.
Naturally, Zima and Harrison were invited to Wells Adams and Sarah Hyland's engagement soirée (I'm guessing my invite just got lost in the mail). Harrison posted a cute group pic from the celebration at Angler, a trendy seafood restaurant in Los Angeles, adding in the caption: "couldn't be happier for these two."
August 2019: They Attend A Press Tour Together.
After Harrison and Zima attended ABC's TCA Summer Press Tour on Aug. 5, 2019, in Los Angeles, Zima revealed some behind-the-scenes details from that event in the caption of an IG post:
"We’d both been working all day, @chrisbharrison had driven an hour to pick me up because he’s a total gentleman, and I was so jittery from coffee that my face was twitching a little. Luckily, this man is a dream date, and the second we finished the carpet he got me a cocktail and made us a personal charcuterie plate."
Ladies and gents, get yourself a boo who will always make it their top priority to get you a drink and assemble you a plate of finger foods.
August 2019: Zima & Harrison Celebrate Their First Anniversary.
As previously mentioned, Zima and Harrison had already been dating for months before they went public — and while we don't know the exact date that they first went out, Lauren Zima shared an anniversary-themed Instagram post on Aug. 30, so it's safe to say they made things official around then.
In addition to posting a black-and-white photo of them in a passionate liplock, Zima wrote:
"In this year I’ve leaned on you, laughed with you and fallen in love with you for the incredible man that you are. Thank you for adding to my life with your positivity, perspective and patience, and for supporting me in becoming exactly who I want to be. Thank you for being a source of joy, and for knowing that life is good when love is easy. Oh, and big thanks for the copious amounts of wine.”
September 2019: Zima Gets A Massive Promotion.
Zima started at Entertainment Tonight in 2015 as a senior producer and on-camera talent, but in early September of 2019, she was promoted to full-time correspondent — and apparently, Harrison was her biggest cheerleader.
“Chris has been incredibly supportive of my career,” she told People. “He’s been my sounding board and the kind of guy who stops what he’s doing to take my call if I need advice, personally or professionally. We work hard to be each other’s biggest champions and celebrate our accomplishments.”
As for their celebration plans, Zima revealed to People that Harrison was taking her out to a steak dinner and bringing "a really good bottle" of wine. The guy just gets it.
September 2019: Harrison Is Granted A Noteworthy Honor From His College Fraternity.
Speaking of celebrating each other's accomplishments — Zima was right by Harrison's side when he accepted the award for "Man of the Year" from his fraternity at Oklahoma City University.
"I’m always proud of this man, but this weekend was in awe of him," Zima wrote in an IG post following the event.
While accepting the award, Harrison launched a fundraising campaign to get the current students a new fraternity house to live in, as well as to introduce a new scholarship.
"He puts other people above himself, always," Zima added in her Instagram post.
December 2019: Harrison & Zima Spend The Holidays Together In Australia.
Amid the Australian bushfire crisis, Harrison and Zima decided to channel their inner philanthropists and spend the holidays Down Under to learn more about the impact of the destruction.
"In Sydney, we smelled smoke and saw headlines everywhere about the fires," Zima wrote in an IG post with photos from their travels.
In addition to sharing a link to a campaign where people can donate to a relief fund relating to the wildfires, Zima also posted a photo of her and Harrison climbing one of the tallest bridges in the world on their trip.
January 2020: Harrison & Zima Share A Major Work Milestone.
Just in time for the premiere of Peter Weber's season of The Bachelor, Harrison co-hosted Entertainment Tonight for the first time with Zima. Talk about a power couple, right?
February 2020: Harrison Goes On Zima's YouTube Show.
Proving once again that they are peak #couplegoals, Harrison made a special appearance on Zima's YouTube show, Roses and Rosé. The two sip on wine while Harrison spills the tea on everything from Barb's controversial behavior at the finale to what he thought Madison should have done differently — and it's just as epic as it sounds.
March 2020: Harrison & Zima Ship Two 'Bachelor' Couples.
Apparently, Harrison and Zima have *thoughts* on more than one rumored couple from the most recent seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.
After Peter was spotted getting flirty with Kelley Flanagan at the Chicago Riverwalk (and, notably, ignoring social distancing guidelines), Harrison and Zima expressed their support of the duo's possible reunion. Harrison told People, "If any of these people can find love, if any of them find a great stable relationship that makes each other happy, then God bless them. If you’ve learned anything from our show, it’s that love comes in crazy ways, and Lauren and I have found the same thing in our own private life.”
Speaking of former Bachelor contestants, they also seem to ship Hannah Brown and Tyler Cameron, who have been hanging for weeks while social distancing together in Florida (and posting a few super sus videos and photos here and there).
“We both love Hannah and Tyler," Zima told People. "We think they’re both great. If they can come together and support each other at a time when the whole world needs to come together and support each other, we couldn’t stan and ship that any harder.”
FYI, Harrison previously said he’d be more than happy to officiate the pair’s wedding if they ever get engaged.
March 2020: Zima Gushes About Harrison On IG.
After sharing on Instagram that she and Harrison were "sheltering in place," Zima took to IG once again to sing her SO's praises.
Under a cute couple's photo, she wrote: "I love you. I love you deep. I love you for your calm, your strength, your perspective, your humor. I love you in a time when the world is being tested in unprecedented ways. When all of our true colors show, I am grateful for every pigment and shade of who you are."
After the coronavirus outbreak began, the couple launched a series of live fireside chats on Harrison's IG page to answer Bachelor fans' burning questions nightly at 9:30 p.m. (EST).
"We all need something to look forward to, and so we wanted to give people that and then at the same time raise money, Zima told People. "So every single day, we’ve been making donations to different charities that can help fight everything that’s going on because of coronavirus.”