How Justin Bieber & Hailey Baldwin Met Is Actually So Sweet

From outward appearances, Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin’s whirlwind romance seemed to happen overnight — and in some ways, it did. Only about a month passed from the time they started dating (this time around) to when Baldwin had a diamond ring on her finger. But once you know how Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin met and everything that followed, it all makes a lot more sense, as the couple explained in this month's cover story for Vogue.

The newlyweds sat down for their first joint interview and the couple did not hold back, including talking about their first fateful meeting back in 2009. Their first introduction is actually a matter of public record — well, YouTube record anyway, as a video of their first meeting exists, and it’s, well, awkward. But now the couple has opened up a bit more about that fateful meeting, and the years of friendship and on-and-off-again love that followed. Brace yourself, because things are about to get adorable up in here.

As the story goes, Baldwin first met Bieber when she was given tickets by her uncle Alec Baldwin to meet the teen pop sensation at a Today Show appearance. While the setting may have been a fan meet-and-greet, Baldwin tells Vogue she wasn't exactly a Belieber. “I was never a superfan, of him or of anyone,” she said. “It was never that crazed, screaming thing. I didn’t think about it in any kind of way except for the fact that he was cute. Everybody had a crush on him.” Aww, she had a crush!

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According to Vogue, their friendship didn't blossom until a few years later when they reconnected at Hillsong church. "One day Justin walked into Hillsong and was like, ‘Hey, you got older.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, what’s up?’ Over time he became my best guy friend. I was running around with him as his homie, but we weren’t hanging out [romantically],” said Baldwin. The two became close friends and it wasn't until three years ago that the relationship turned romantic — and almost destroyed their connection forever. “Negative things happened that we still need to talk about and work through,” Hailey told Vogue. “Fizzled would not be the right word — it was more like a very dramatic excommunication. There was a period where if I walked into a room, he would walk out.”

Again, the couple reunited while attending church — this time a conference in Miami hosted by Rich Wilkerson Jr., the pastor of Vous Church.“The common denominator, I promise you, is always church," said Hailey. "By then we were past the drama. I just gave him a hug. By the end of the conference, he was like, ‘We’re not going to be friends.’ I was like, ‘We’re not?’” The couple was engaged a month later. That might seem like it happened quickly, but Bieber knew the moment he saw Baldwin that everything was about to change. “When I saw her last June, I just forgot how much I loved her and how much I missed her and how much of a positive impact she made on my life. I was like, Holy cow, this is what I’ve been looking for.”

While theirs is definitely a bit of an epic love story, the couple also talked frankly about how tough married life can be sometimes, no matter how in love you are. “The thing is, marriage is very hard,” says Hailey. “That is the sentence you should lead with. It’s really effing hard,” said Baldwin. Bieber, for his part, just wants Baldwin to relax and just enjoy married life. “She’s trying to be this grown-up,” he said. “I think we can be married and still have fun and enjoy our adolescence. That’s something we’re talking about.”

While the two are surprisingly open and honest about the struggles of married life in the interview, what really matters is that they are fighting for, and not against, one another. “I want people to know that,” Baldwin said. “We’re coming from a really genuine place. But we’re two young people who are learning as we go. I’m not going to sit here and lie and say it’s all a magical fantasy. It’s always going to be hard. It’s a choice. You don’t feel it every single day. You don’t wake up every day saying, ‘I’m absolutely so in love and you are perfect.’ That’s not what being married is. But there’s something beautiful about it anyway —about wanting to fight for something, commit to building with someone. We’re really young, and that’s a scary aspect. We’re going to change a lot. But we’re committed to growing together and supporting each other in those changes. That’s how I look at it. At the end of the day, too, he’s my best friend. I never get sick of him.”

I'm not crying , you're crying. Well, I know one thing for sure: While the road to getting there has surely been winding, it seems like Baldwin and Bieber ended up where they belong — together.