We probably never would've guessed that Justin Bieber would end up proposing to Hailey Baldwin, but a look back at their relationship timeline proves that these two have always had love between them. From their years-long friendship, to their steamy hookup, to finally getting serious, the two stars have been through a lot. And now that the news has broken that Justin and Hailey are engaged, they're apparently ready to make it official and take on the world together. But how did we get to this point — especially considering that it seemed like Biebs would always end up with Selena Gomez, the ex he just kept coming back to even as recently as a few months ago? Check out the timeline below to see how the happy couple happened.
2009: Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin meet.
While her dad Stephen Baldwin was at The Today Show, he met Biebs back stage — and introduced his daughter Hailey. Though the two didn't really seem to hit it off in the video footage from the now iconic moment, they became legit friends not long after.
November 2011: Hailey tweets at Justin about the anniversary of when they met.
Once again at Today, Hailey shows up to watch her friend perform and remembers the last time they were both there.
At Today Show to see @justinbieber perform. First time we met was 3 years ago at today show. Crazy!
— Hailey Baldwin (@haileybaldwin) November 23, 2011
January 2012: Hailey flirts with Justin on Twitter.
There was plenty of tweets exchanged between the two — mainly Hailey tweeting at Justin — but one in particular stands out where the future model threw a compliment her friend's way. Think this is when a crush started to form?
November 2014: Justin flies out to New York.
AKA, where Hailey lives. While he was in town, they went to church together at Hillsong and celebrated her birthday. Rumor even had it that her party was the whole reason he was in town in the first place.
December 2014: The first rumors that Justin and Hailey are dating start swirling.
Though they'd been friends for a while — and had plenty of friends in common, including Kendall and Kylie Jenner — fans started to speculate there might be more between them. It didn't help that Selena and Justin had just called things off (again). However, both parties were quick to deny it, with Hailey telling E! News, "I've known him since I was so young—since I was like 13—and we've just been good friends over the years," and Justin saying he's "super single" and that Hailey is just a "good friend."
Sources, however, begged to differ. "He said Hailey is the first girl since Selena that he could see himself in a long-term relationship with," an insider told Hollywood Life. "He said he likes her because she’s mellow and cool, creative and edgy, but mostly super independent and not at all clingy.”
January 2015: Justin and Hailey take their flirting to Instagram.
In the comments sections of each other's posts, they traded barbs and compliments, with Justin calling Hailey "hot" in one of her pics and Hailey joking that Justin was "fat" in a photo that showed off his (many, many) abs. Sounds like pretty textbook crush stuff to us.
February 2015: Hailey insists again that they're just friends.
And it's not that we think she was lying, but it's clear there was always some chemistry between these two. They always seem drawn together, even in groups of friends.
April 2015: The two have started hanging out plenty, even sharing funny videos online.
How cute is this? They seemed be especially tight, even getting touchy out in public and with friends.
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) April 10, 2015
June 2015: Justin and Hailey jet off to Miami together.
And once again, they're getting pretty cuddly. The not-quite-a-couple was spotted curled up on a jet ski together during the family vacation, and he even called her "the one and only" on an equally flirty Instagram.
September 2015: Justin speaks out about the Jelena breakup.
It was some serious insight into what went wrong for the couple… and what might go right for a new couple in the future. "I moved in with my girlfriend when I was 18," he told Complex. "Started my own life with her. It was a marriage kind of thing. Living with a girl, it was just too much at that age. But we were so in love. Nothing else mattered. We were all about each other. But when it's like that and you get your value from that, people will always disappoint you." That's all to say that he knew he wasn't quite grown up enough to settle down — but he was starting to learn what he wanted.
December 2015: They spend the holidays together on vacation.
And even take this hilarious video that almost manages to make getting a wet-willy look sexy. Almost.
January 2016: The infamous Justin/Hailey kiss is shared on Instagram.
Not long after his alleged hookup with Kourtney Kardashian, Justin and Hailey seemed hotter than ever. Not only were they all over each other, they were actually straight-up making out, and Biebs even posted the steamy photo of their embrace online. He even tagged Hailey in the photo, seeming to confirm that, yeah, they were together — and super into each other.
It's not their only pic. Justin also shares another one where he can't take his eyes off of Hailey, and tweets at her the music video for Carly Rae Jepsen's "Run Away With Me."
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) January 4, 2016
February 2016: Justin talks about his relationship with Hailey with GQ.
In their cover interview with the pop star, GQ asks Justin exactly what the deal is with him and the model, and though he doesn't get specific and put any labels on it, he does confirm that, yeah, there's something there. Initially, he confirmed that Hailey is "just a friend he kisses," before clarifying that she is "someone I really love. We spend a lot of time together."
He even talks about marriage again. "I don’t want to put anyone in a position where they feel like I’m only theirs, only to be hurt in the end," he said. "Right now in my life, I don’t want to be held down by anything. I already have a lot that I have to commit to. A lot of responsibilities. I don’t want to feel like the girl I love is an added responsibility. I know that in the past I’ve hurt people and said things that I didn’t mean to make them happy in the moment. So now I’m just more so looking at the future, making sure I’m not damaging them."
And this time he speculates that it wouldn't be crazy for him to be marrying Hailey one day. He explains that's part of the reason they were only seeing each other casually for the time being "What if Hailey ends up being the girl I’m gonna marry, right? If I rush into anything, if I damage her, then it’s always gonna be damaged. It’s really hard to fix wounds like that. It’s so hard.… I just don’t want to hurt her."
April 2016: Sources say Hailey and Justin are officially (secretly) dating.
At the iHeart Radio Awards, Justin allegedly brought Hailey as his date, but tried to hide her backstage. It was Nicki Minaj's line in Biebs' "Beauty and a Beat" come to life: "But I gotta keep an eye out for Selener." "Justin tried to secretly bring Hailey as his date to the iHeartRadio Music Awards. He’s decided to give things another go with her, and hid her backstage away from prying eyes because he didn’t want Selena to know," a source told Hollywood Life. "However, she went backstage and saw Justin with Hailey and she was furious about the whole thing. That’s why she was so stand-offish with him that night."
August 2016: Justin unfollows Hailey on Instagram.
Ready to give things a go with Sofia Richie, Biebs unfollows both his main exes, Selena and Hailey. It seems like Hailey moved on too, talking publicly about how John Mayer was her celebrity crush, but mostly she was just single AF because her career was so demanding.
July 2017: Justin spoke again about getting married one day.
After canceling half of his Purpose tour, the Biebs took to Instagram to explain why, and part of that explanation included talking about how he wanted to be a good husband one day. "Me taking this time right now is me saying I want to be SUSTAINABLE," he wrote to fans. "I want my career to be sustainable, but I also want my mind, heart, and soul to be sustainable. So that I can be the man I want to be, the husband I eventually want to be and the father I want to be."
November 2017: Jelena is officially back together.
In a new twist in their will-they-won't-they saga, Selena and Justin were seen out riding bikes together on the heels of her breakup with The Weeknd. It seemed to good to be true that they'd give it another go, but soon they were a couple again.
December 2017: Jelena allegedly went to couples' therapy — because of Hailey.
Though it seemed clear to fans that Sel and Justin had plenty to work out, apparently one of their issues had to do with Hailey. Reports at the the time stated that Biebs was focusing on making amends to people he'd hurt in the past, and part of that included reaching out to Hailey to apologize for how things had gone down between them. When Selena heard about it, she wasn't exactly happy, but with Hailey linked to Shawn Mendes, the issue seemed to be put to bed.
March 2018: Selena and Justin break up for the final time.
And now that Justin is engaged to someone else, we suspect that it actually really will be the final time. There will always be love between Jelena, but making it work just doesn't seem to be in the cards for them. But Justin being single paved the way for another reunion with an ex.
May 2018: Hailey and Justin start hanging out again.
It wasn't clear yet whether they were keeping things platonic or if there was something more going on, but Hailey fessed up to their refound friendship. "Justin and I were friends for a long time. I met him when I was really young and he was one of my best friends. Everybody knows that at a certain point in time that turned into something else, but that just happens when you’re 18, 19. It was what it was," she told UK paper The Times. "We went through a long period of time when we weren’t friends… We didn’t speak for quite some time and there was a lot of weirdness that went on… We’ve moved past that."
June 2018: Hailey and Justin are spotted together constantly.
If things weren't romantic before, they definitely seemed to be at this point. By mid-June, they were caught kissing all over the country. Things were moving quickly, but considering everything they'd said about each other in the past, their suddenly-serious relationship made perfect sense. They even made it Instagram-official with a story showing them as a couple.
July 2017: Justin and Hailey get engaged.
Though they didn't officially confirmed the news right away, eagle-eyed fans spotted the proposal happen on vacay. And the couples' parents have been less than sneaky on social media. Hailey's dad Stephen even allegedly tweeted and deleted about the couple, congratulating his future-in-laws.
Justin's mom and dad also had plenty to say.
Love Love Love Love Love Love Love.
— Pattie Mallette (@pattiemallette) July 7, 2018
Finally, after days of speculation and gossip, Justin made the official announcement. "Was gonna wait a while to say anything but word travels fast," he wrote in an Instagram caption. "Hailey I am soooo in love with everything about you! So committed to spending my life getting to know every single part of you loving you patiently and kindLY… My heart is COMPLETELY and FULLY YOURS and I will ALWAYS put you first! You are the love of my life Hailey Baldwin and I wouldn’t want to spend it with anybody else."
He even confirmed their engagement date, July 7th. "Gods timing really is literally perfect, we got engaged on the seventh day of the seventh month, the number seven is the number of spiritual perfection, it’s true GOOGLE IT! Isn’t that nuts? By the way I didn’t plan that, anyways My goodness does feel good to have our future secured! WERE GONNA VE BETTER AT 70 BABY HERE WE GO!"
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Was gonna wait a while to say anything but word travels fast, listen plain and simple Hailey I am soooo in love with everything about you! So committed to spending my life getting to know every single part of you loving you patiently and kindLY. I promise to lead our family with honor and integrity letting Jesus through his Holy Spirit guide us in everything we do and every decision we make. My heart is COMPLETELY and FULLY YOURS and I will ALWAYS put you first! You are the love of my life Hailey Baldwin and I wouldn’t want to spend it with anybody else. You make me so much better and we compliment eachother so well!! Can’t wait for the best season of life yet!. It’s funny because now with you everything seems to make sense! The thing I am most excited for is that my little brother and sister get to see another healthy stable marriage and look for the same!!! Gods timing really is literally perfect, we got engaged on the seventh day of the seventh month, the number seven is the number of spiritual perfection, it’s true GOOGLE IT! Isn’t that nuts? By the way I didn’t plan that, anyways My goodness does feel good to have our future secured! WERE GONNA BE BETTER AT 70 BABY HERE WE GO! “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains FAVOR from the Lord!” This is the year of favor!!!!
Hailey also shared her own message confirming the news and sharing her love for her future husband. "I am so utterly grateful to God for giving me such an incredible person to share my life with!" she wrote.
Not sure what I did in life to deserve such happiness but I am so utterly grateful to God for giving me such an incredible person to share my life with! No words could ever express my gratitude. ❤️
— Hailey Baldwin (@haileybaldwin) July 9, 2018
To some, this engagement may still feel out of the blue — but a look back through the couple's history makes it seem like this was always in the cards.