Dating
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 05:  Ben Barnes attends the Premiere Of HBO's "Westworld" Season 3  TCL Chinese Theatre on March 05, 2020 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Ben Barnes' Relationship History Is So Mysterious

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There are actors who keep their personal lives private, and then there's Ben Barnes, who takes privacy to a whole other level. Ever since he took on the role of General Kirigan in Netflix's Shadow and Bone, fans have been more interested in Ben Barnes' relationship history than ever... but if you're looking for answers, then you're going to be disappointed. The English actor is totally tight-lipped when it comes to who he's romancing, and on the rare occasions his dating life does made headlines, the rumors tend to fizzle out as quickly as they start — mostly because he never confirms those rumors himself.

Though he doesn't like to talk about his love life, Barnes did once open up about the surprising person who taught him much of what he knows about love: his mom. "My mother is a relationship counselor and I learned a lot about love from her," he told the Belfast Telegraph during a March 2015 interview. "Love is something that comes out of a mutual trust with your partner. Shared goals, humor, the excitement when your hands touch." Hi, I'm swooning.

Though it's unclear whether Barnes has found that kind of love, here are the lucky ladies he's reportedly romanced over the years.

Tamsin Egerton, 2009
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Fans first began to suspect something was going on between Barnes and fellow English actor Tamsin Egerton when the two reportedly spent time in Australia together. "Tamsin hooked up with Ben a couple of times and there was a lot of talk about how close they were," a source for the Daily Mail claimed in September 2009. However, when asked about the dating claims by the Daily Mail, Egerton insisted they were just friends. "I tried to set him up with one of my friends once but he wouldn't bite," she added. Barnes never commented on dating rumors, and they eventually fizzled out.

Felicity Jones, 2014
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Barnes wasn't romantically linked to anyone until five years later, when he sparked dating rumors with yet another English actor, Felicity Jones. The two raised eyebrows when they posed for photographs together at the 2014 Britannia Awards in October, and just about a month later, the maybe-couple was reportedly spotted at Los Angeles International Airport, per the Daily Mail. Neither actor ever commented on their rumored romance, so it's still unclear whether they dated or not.

Meganne Young, 2017-2018

In April 2017, Kissing Booth actor Meganne Young caught fans' attention when she posted what looked like a ~coupley~ photo with Barnes on IG (even though she literally called him her "friend" in the caption). However, her next IG post featuring Barnes def made them seem like more than friends.

"Old birthday pictures for an older birthday boy," she captioned a series of pics in August 2018, which showed her kissing Barnes on the cheek. "Happiest of birthdays to this gorgeous man // one of the most sweetest, kindest, gentlest souls I have ever been lucky enough to cross paths with. Your talent, tenacity and dedication to your craft is inspiring. Wishing you a wonderful year ahead filled with new challenges and many laughs and all the cuddles in the world // all of the love for you @benbarnes." Well! Sadly, neither actor ever confirmed whether they were ever more than friends.

Julianne Hough, 2020
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Most recently, Barnes was linked to Julianne Hough, who was reportedly spotted out and about with the actor in April 2020, not long before her split from Brooks Laich. Dating rumors really ramped up in January 2021, when the two were reportedly seen grabbing ice cream together. An onlooker for E! News claimed the pair looked "very friendly" and "very flirty," but another source noted that Barnes and Hough have "been friends for eight years" and there was "nothing more to it." Neither Barnes nor Hough ever commented on romance rumors themselves.

Here's hoping Barnes eventually finds his own Alina Starkov IRL.