Some love stories take time but that’s what makes them so great. Iskra Lawrence and her boyfriend, Philip Payne, who are expecting their first child, recounted the story of how they met all the way to when they became exclusive. In case you’re wondering how a “girl from the middle of nowhere in England” got romantically involved with a music producer from Texas, it took almost a year and lots of travel around the world.

The couple first crossed paths in January 2018 at a party for the Grammy Awards in New York City. It’s obvious that the two have amazing chemistry and Iskra credits a little divine intervention for them coming together. “I was not meant to be there. The universe brought us together because I was in L.A. the day before,” the Aerie babe recalled. “Last minute, my friend called me and said I have one ticket to the Grammys … I’m not in the music industry, what other chance would I get to go? I got a flight there and then … I really wasn’t meant to be there. I just walked in and I was feeling myself that night.”

Iskra Lawrence and Philip Payne in Red Rocks Canyon
Courtesy of Iskra Lawrence/Instagram

“At the beginning of the day, somebody asked me what my type was and I showed them her but … I had no idea I would [end up] meeting her that day,” Philip explained on the blonde beauty’s YouTube Channel, All in With Iskra. “So, we’re at this party, I’m jamming … I see from the corner of my eye this shining, sparkling,” he continued as Iskra called herself a “goddess” and “unicorn.”

Philip laughed and continued, “It’s Iskra and I’m like, ‘Wow this is my shot. This is my time.’ So, I take a shot, of course. She walks past me … Then I see her coming back around to exit the party. We make eye contact and I’m like, ‘Iskra,’ and she smiles at me and I’m like, ‘Are you in a relationship?’ That’s the first thing I said.” This obviously caught the attention of the model who noted that he was very “straight to the point.”

Hilariously, Iskra gave him a pretty specific rundown of what was going on in her life, including a situation that was “complicated” in her love life. “Thinking about it now, why were you so honest?” Philip joked with his girlfriend to which she responded, “The more you get to know me, I do have word vomit. I just can’t help but have the truth come out.”

The former athlete put his number in her phone but when he didn’t hear from her right away, he scoured the party looking for her digits. The next day, he texted her and Iskra confessed that she “loved his effort.”

The pair saw each other a couple of times — first in Miami then Los Angeles — over the next few months but stopped talking for a while when Philip got into a relationship with someone else. “I just knew it wasn’t a good idea for him to be texting me,” Iskra admitted.

Iskra Lawrence with her BF

By that following October, his romance had fizzled out and he found himself in Paris at the same time as the blonde bombshell. “I wasn’t even actually in a place I wanted to be in another relationship,” Philip noted. Surprisingly, Iskra felt the same but the universe works in mysterious ways. “I just came out of a very heavy relationship … I was still healing … and that’s when it hit me like a truck,” she said.

After Paris, Iskra invited him to New Jersey to hang out while she had “a few days off” and they began to develop a serious spark. “We snuck into the park late at night and we slow danced. … It was pretty magical,” Iskra gushed … and we’re very jealous. Although long-distance was tough and they resisted diving in, eventually they “both realized that we make each other so much better and bring out the best in each other.”

“He brings out the best in people. He gives attention to every single person he meets and eye contact and gives them time and space,” Iskra said about her beau. “I think that’s really wonderful. I didn’t feel like I had to pretend or look perfect or be anything.” The feeling is totally mutual. “You fit … in order for me to get there, I have to have you,” Philip added.

Ugh, Iskra and Philip are couple goals!