Celebrity relationships and friendships are a rare breed. These famous faces have their lives played out in front of the masses, whether it’s the good, the bad, or the straight-up shady. In Elite Daily’s new series, It’s Complicated, we’re highlighting the biggest celebrity “feuds” that took over Hollywood and dominated our Sunday brunches for weeks on end. We’ll take a deep dive into the lives and social media feeds of our favorite stars and dissect what happened in front of the camera, what went down behind the scenes, and everything you might have missed in between.
When Zayn Malik was a member of One Direction, he was known as "the mysterious one." That label stuck with him even after he left the group in March 2015; Malik has kept a low profile through the launch of his solo career. Fans really don't know much about Malik's life outside the spotlight, except that he's been in an on-and-off relationship with Gigi Hadid for over four years. And the timeline of Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid's relationship shows, despite all the drama, they always find their way back to each other.
Since both Malik and Hadid are high-profile celebs, their relationship is constantly the subject of rumors. Most of the time, the super-private stars ignore the noise, but every once in a while, they address the rumors head-on to clear the air. Let's take a walk down ZiGi memory lane.
November 2015: Zayn & Gigi Are Spotted For The First time
Following Malik's split from Little Mix's Perrie Edwards in August 2015 and Hadid's split from Joe Jonas in November, US Weekly reported Malik and Hadid were dating after meeting at a Victoria's Secret after-party. Photos surfaced of the stars hanging out in Hollywood, but according to an insider, their relationship at the time was "a very new thing" because they weren't exactly "boyfriend and girlfriend" just yet.
January 2016: Gigi Stars In Zayn's "PILLOWTALK" Music Video
When fans saw the pair getting cozy (read: super steamy) in the clip, the world took it as a sign they were dating. Their flirty Twitter exchange following the video's release didn't exactly quell the rumors either.
February 2016: Zayn Dishes On His Relationship Status
Days after "PILLOWTALK" dropped, Malik did a radio interview with Zach Sang & the Gang, during which a fan called in and cleverly asked, "Was it cool to have your girlfriend in the video?"
Instead of correcting them, Malik basically confirmed he was dating Hadid when he answered, "Yeah. That was cool. it was something different. We enjoyed it. It was fun."
Then, one of the hosts asked Malik about Hadid again. "No one's easier to make out with than your own girlfriend, right?" they asked. "Exactly," Malik said after a long pause. "I like what you done there."
Hear his comments near the 10:30 mark below.
April 2016: Zigi Gets Flirty For Vogue
Malik and Hadid packed on the PDA for a Vogue photo shoot in Naples, Italy. In a behind-the-scenes video of their shoot, the stars kissed each other several times. It looked straight out of a rom-com; Vogue even revealed they were embodying "the magic that comes with being young and in love."
May 2016: They Make Their Red Carpet Debut
Malik and Hadid's 2016 Met Gala appearance marked the first time they hit a carpet together. The theme of the night was "Manus X Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology," and the couple coordinated their fierce silver outfits.
January 2017: Engagement Rumors Spread
While out for a walk in New York, Hadid was spotted wearing a ring on that finger, kicking off instant engagement rumors. Fans were convinced Malik popped the question. Not long after, Zayn debuted a "love" tattoo on his hand, fueling the rumors even more.
March 2018: The First Breakup
Shortly after Malik shared a cryptic IG that hinted at a breakup, he and Hadid abruptly shared individual posts on Twitter announcing their split.
"Gigi and I had an incredible meaningful, loving and fun relationship and I have a huge amount of respect and adoration for Gigi as a woman and a friend. She has such an incredible soul. I'm grateful to all of our fans for respecting this difficult decision and our privacy at this time, we wish this news could have come from us first. We love you all. xZ," Malik revealed.
"Breakup statements often seem impersonal because there is really no way to put into words what two people experience together over a few years .. not only in the relationship, but in life in general. I'm forever grateful for the love, time, and life lessons that Z and I shared. I want nothing but the best for him and will continue to support him as a friend that I have immense respect and love for. As for the future, whatever's meant to be will always be. xG," Hadid wrote.
April 2018: Zigi's PDA Is Still Strong
Just a few weeks after they announced their split, the stars were spotted kissing while taking a walk in NYC. Of course, fans assumed this meant the couple was totally back on.
June 2018: No Labels, Please
As fans were just starting to celebrate Malik and Hadid's presumed reunion, Malik poured cold water on Zigi shippers' hopes and dreams. "We're still really good friends, and we're still in contact," Malik said to GQ about his relationship with Hadid. "No bad blood. We're adults. We don't need to put a label on [our relationship], make it something for people's expectations."
August 2019: Gigi Starts Seeing Someone New
Hadid seemingly moved on from Malik when she reportedly began dating Bachelorette star Tyler Cameron. The pair was photographed hanging out in NYC several times that summer, but their relationship was short-lived. They reportedly ended things sometime in October 2019.
November 2019: Zigi Makes Contact Again
Following Hadid's split from Cameron, she and Malik reconnected, according to E!. "They went through a phase where they took time apart and weren't communicating at all, but they have been in touch recently. She is supportive of him. They chat here and there, but it's been casual," a source revealed. Elite Daily reached out to both stars' reps for comment at the time, but did not hear back.
December 2019: Hadid Sparks Reunion Rumors
On IG, Hadid shared a picture of herself cooking one of Malik's mother's recipes and she even tagged her. "Sunday in the kitchen: about to marinate the chicken for one of my favorites!!! @mammamalik's Chicken Curry Pasta Salad. Hopefully she'll share the recipe with the world one day," Hadid wrote, sparking rumors she and Malik were seeing each other again.
February 2020: ZiGi Is Back On
The stars seemingly confirmed they made up when Hadid revealed they spent Valentine's Day together. "HEY VALENTINEZ on the farm ♡," Hadid captioned a picture of Malik.
Later that month, Hadid further fueled speculation they were back together when she defended Malik in an argument against YouTuber Jake Paul. In a now-deleted Feb. 23 tweet, Paul said Malik had "an attitude" when they met, and that he seemed "angry" for going home alone to his hotel room.
In her response calling out Paul, Hadid hinted she was Malik's girlfriend again. "Home alone with his best friends like a respectful king cause he has me, sweetie. Unbothered by your irrelevant ugly ass. Go to bed... ," she tweeted.
Malik and Hadid's relationship has definitely been a rollercoaster ride, but that's what makes their love story so epic.