Selena Gomez & Justin Bieber’s History: From First Love To Heartbreaking Split To Today

The years have brought so many ups and downs for Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, who dated on and off until he married Hailey Bieber in 2018.

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Image Credit: Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock

  • Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez dated on and off for eight years from 2010 until 2018.
  • The two have publicly spoken about their relationship on a number of occasions and have each released several songs about their ups and downs.
  • Justin officially moved on from Selena when he married Hailey Baldwin in September 2018.
  • Hailey and Selena proved that there’s no bad blood between them, though, when they posed for photos together at the Academy Museum Gala in Oct. 2022.

Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez are one of the most buzzed-about celebrity couples of the last 15 years. As they both came up in the entertainment industry around the same time, they became the Britney Spears/Justin Timberlake of the 2010s. Even though the two broke up in 2018 and he went on to marry Hailey Bieber, fans have continued to hold out hope of a reunion between the exes. The passion Jelena fans have for the former couple is intense, with Justin/Selena shippers often blaming Hailey for the demise of the relationship.

However, the ladies proved that they’re long past the “love triangle” days when they posed for a photo together at the Academy Museum Gala on Oct. 15, 2022. Any rumors of bad blood and drama were put to bed as Hailey and Selena hugged and put on a united front at the star-studded event. Now that all of this has come full circle, we’re looking back at a full timeline of Selena and Justin’s ups and downs over the years!

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Justin and Selena out and about. (Broadimage/Shutterstock)

How Justin & Selena Met

Justin and Selena were both in the midst of skyrocketing careers at the same time. He burst onto the scene in 2009 with his debut EP, My World, which eventually led to the release of his debut album, My World 2.0, in 2010. Meanwhile, she was one of Disney Channel’s biggest stars, with a budding music career and starring role on Wizards of Waverly Place. In 2009, Justin openly admitted that Selena was his celebrity crush, and the two met after being introduced by their managers.

On New Year’s Eve in 2009, Justin and Selena were both in Las Vegas for Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve. He sang his song “One Less Lonely Girl” to Selena while serenading her onstage. As the two continued to hang out together and develop a friendship in 2010, the public began to wonder if they were an item — especially wen they were photographed linking arms while on a breakfast date in Philadelphia, in photos obtained by TMZ.

However, Selena insisted to MTV News in 2010 that they were just friends. “I feel like a big sister now because I want to protect him,” she admitted. “I’m always very cautious with him, but he’s so talented and so sweet. Now he’s just become one of my good friends.”

Justin & Selena Officially Dating

By Feb. 2011, though, Justin and Selena no longer wanted to hide what was happening between them. The lovebirds made a huge splash when they officially debuted as a couple at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party that month. It was like the ultimate prom night for the youngsters, who looked absolutely incredible on the red carpet together. They continued to keep their relationship low-key for several months after that, but Selena finally stopped playing coy during a May 2011 interview.

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Selena and Justin at the 2011 Vanity Fair Oscar Party. (Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock)

“I don’t like hiding,” Selena admitted to Seventeen. “I do like to keep certain things to myself, but at the end of the day, I’m 18 and I’m going to fall in love. I’m going to hang out with people and ‘m going to explore myself and I’m okay with that.” That spring and summer, the two attended the Billboard Music Awards, ESPY Awards and Teen Choice Awards together, further publicizing their romance.

In August 2011, Selena hosted the MTV Video Music Awards pre-show, and interviewed Justin on live television as he walked the carpet. Selena’s nerves were evident as she spoke to her boyfriend, but he eased them by leaning in for a kiss on the cheek. Throughout Justin and Selena’s relationship, he was known for making big gestures to show his love. In Sept. 2011, that included renting out the Staples Center so they could enjoy a private showing of Titanic. “Romance isn’t dead,” he tweeted afterward. “Treat your lady right fellas.”

November 2011 brought Justin and Selena’s second public red carpet appearance together. They attended the American Music Awards, where they did not shy away from packing on the PDA on the red carpet. In 2012, Justin spoke to Oprah Winfrey about his love for Selena. “I never make her separate from me [when we’re in public],” he shared. “Because I don’t want her to feel like I’m ashamed of her. I feel like a lot of guys do that — they don’t want to be seen with a girl so they ride in separate cars and stuff.”

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Selena and Justin at 2011 AMAs. ( Jim Ruymen/UPI/Shutterstock)

Justin & Selena’s Rocky Romance

Justin and Selena split for the first time in November 2012, according to People. The breakup came after weeks of speculation that something was up between the young lovers. However, they sparked speculation that they may have reconciled in April 2013 when Justin posted a photo of Selena hugging him while he worked on music. They also spent the Fourth of July together that summer, which Justin confirmed with a now-deleted Instagram photo. He also showered Selena with love by helping her celebrate her 21st birthday later that month.

The years that followed featured plenty of more ups and downs for Selena and Justin. The two broke up and got back together on and off as time went on. By the summer of 2014, they had seemingly reconciled, with Justin posting a black and white photo of them together on Instagram. Later that year, though, Selena released her heartbreaking balled “The Heart Wants What It Wants.” She confirmed in an interview with Ryan Seacrest that it was about her relationship with Justin and that she had played it for him before releasing it publicly.

During Justin and Selena’s times apart, they were both romantically linked to other people. He was actually first rumored to be dating Hailey at the end of 2014 when they were seen in various photos together. However, Justin insisted on Instagram at the time that he was “super single” and that Hailey was just his “good friend.” In 2015, Selena briefly dated Zedd, who she collaborated with on the song “I Want You To Know.”

In the fall of 2015, Justin and Selena both released albums. His record, Purpose, featured songs like “Sorry” and “What Do You Mean?” — among others — that were admittedly inspired by Selena. “I think a lot of my inspiration comes from her,” he said on On Air With Ryan Seacrest. “It was a long relationship that created heartbreak and created happiness and a lot of different emotions that I wanted to write about. There’s a lot of that on this album.”

Meanwhile, Selena’s 2015 album, Revival, featured Justin-inspired breakup songs like “Sober,” “Same Old Love” and “Revival.” “At this point, there is no anger,” she told Refinery29 at the time. “There’s closure in a very good, healthy way. We’ve seen each other. I’m always encouraging him and I’m proud of his journey. I think people are making it out to be something that is more tragic than it really was. We grew up together. We both made mistakes. That’s it.”

Since Justin and Selena both talked about their breakup at length while doing press for their respective albums, fans were shocked to see them together again in Nov. 2015. Videos surfaced online of Justin serenading Selena with a rendition of “My Girl” at the Beverly Hills Hotel bar. Just weeks later, though, Justin spent New Year’s Eve with Hailey and posted a photo of them kissing on Instagram.

Right around that time, Selena told Rolling Stone that she was “so beyond done” talking about Justin and their relationship. She refused to talk about their 2015 rendezvous at the Beverly Hills hotel during the interview. She shared a similar sentiment with W magazine that March, adding, “I’m so exhausted. I honestly am so done. I care about his health and well-being, but I can’t do it anymore.”

However, at the end of that month, Selena showed up in the audience at Justin’s concert, and then he posted a throwback photo of them kissing on Instagram. At her own show in May, though, she crumpled up a fan’s sign that read “Marry Justin, please.” Amidst the pair’s ups and downs, Selena was also linked to Niall Horan, while Justin had been rumored to have romanced various models.

By August 2016, Justin was publicly dating Sofia Richie. The model was attacked by Selena’s fans online to the point where Justin had to defend her. “I’m gonna make my Instagram private if you guys don’t stop the hate,” he wrote. “This is getting out of hand. If you guys were really fans you wouldn’t be so mean to people that I like.” His message prompted a response from Selena, though. She commented, “If you can’t handle the hate then stop posting pictures of your girlfriend lol. It should be special between you two only. Don’t be mad at your fans. They loved you and supported you before anyone ever did.”

This wound up in a back and forth between Justin and Selena. He clapped back, “It’s funny to see people that used me for attention and still trying to point the finger this way. Sad. All love. I’m not one for anyone receiving hate.” In her response, she accused him of cheating on her. “Funny how the ones that cheated multiple times are pointing the finger at one that were forgiving and supportive. No wonder fans are mad. Sad. All love.”

Justin and Sofia’s romance lasted a mere six weeks, and by the beginning of 2017, it was Selena who had a new love interest in her life. She went public with her relationship with The Weeknd in January of that year. They even attended the Met Gala together that spring. However, they split by October, and shortly afterward, Selena was seen bike riding with Justin.

Justin & Selena Split For Good

Selena and Justin’s 2017 reconciliation wasn’t a one and done deal. Over the next several months, they were seen together on a number of occasions. She attended some of his hockey games and they were even seen kissing in the stands. “I’m not 18 or 19 or 20. I cherish people who have really impacted my life,” Selena told Billboard. “So maybe before it could have been forcing something that wasn’t right, but that doesn’t mean caring for someone ever goes away.”

After spending Valentine’s Day together in 2018, Justin and Selena also attended his dad, Jeremy Bieber’s, wedding in Jamaica that February. Selena also publicly wished Justin a Happy Birthday on March 1, although they did not spend his big day together. Just days later, it was confirmed that they had ended their rekindled romance.

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Justin and Selena at an event. (Matt Sayles/AP/Shutterstock)

By that May, Justin was starting to spend time with Hailey again. Selena sang about the breakup on her 2019 track, “Lose You To Love Me,” which feature heartbreaking lyrics like “In two months you replaced us” and “I needed to lose you to love me.” Although she never explicitly said that the song was about Justin, she told Ryan Seacrest in 2020, “I’m sure it’s just entertainment for other people but I just…I think I had become numb to it and it would be stupid of me if I didn’t acknowledge what I had felt because it would be inauthentic and that’s everything I claim to be.”

In another interview with NPR, Selena added, “It’s not a hateful song. It’s a song saying I had something beautiful and I would never deny that it wasn’t that. it was very difficult and I’m happy it’s over. I felt like this was a great way to just say, you know, it’s done and I understand that and I respect that.”

Justin Bieber Marries Hailey Baldwin

Just two months after Justin and Hailey reconciled, he proposed to her while they vacationed in the Bahamas in July 2018. That September, they got married in a courthouse in New York City. Of the decision to wed in a courthouse, Hailey told ELLE, “When we first got married, we were just figuring out our life together. I felt like putting a wedding in the middle of all of that would be really hectic and stressful.” The two wound up tying the knot again in front of friends, family and loved ones in South Carolina on Sept. 30, 2019.

Selena never publicly spoke about Hailey and Justin’s marriage. However, while reflecting on 2019 in an Instagram round-up, she confirmed that she was surrounded by her own friends on the same date that Justin got married.

Despite Justin making a clear commitment to Hailey, Jelena stans couldn’t let go of the pair’s former relationship. In March 2019, a fan claimed that Justin only married Hailey to get back at Selena, which prompted a response from the singer. “A logical person doesn’t talk or think this way,” he wrote. “U should be ashamed of yourself really. I absolutely loved and love Selena. She will always hold a place in my heart but I am head over heels in love with my life and she is absolutely the BEST THING that has ever happened to me period.”

Selena Gomez & Hailey Bieber Are Friends

After years of keeping quiet about this “love triangle,” Hailey spoke her mind during an Oct. 2022 interview on the Call Her Daddy podcast. During the interview, Hailey insisted that she never hooked up with Justin while he was with Selena. “I can say, period, point blank, I was never with him when he was in a relationship with anybody,” Hailey confirmed. “That’s the end of it. And I had been involved with him since I was 18.”

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Selena Gomez and Hailey Bieber at the Academy Museum Gala. (Tyrell Hampton)

She also explained that fans were confused about the timeline of things between the two couples, which is why they made those accusations in the past. Hailey specifically referenced Justin and Selena’s 2017/2018 reconciliation, which took place just months before she and Justin got back together. “I understand how it looks from the outside, and there’s a lot of perception there,” Hailey admitted, “But that was a situation where I know, for a fact, that it was the right thing for them to close that door.”

What shocked fans the most, though, is when Hailey revealed that she’d actually spoken to Selena herself since marrying Justin. “It’s all respect. It’s all love,” she shared. “That’s also why I feel like…well…if everybody on our side knows what happened and we’re good and we can walk away from it with clarity and respect, then that’s fine. That brought me a lot of peace. We know what happened. It is what it is.”

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Selena and Hailey prove they have no bad blood. (Tyrell Hampton)

The ladies then proved that they were on good terms while attending the Academy Museum Gala on Oct. 15, 2022. While Justin did not attend the event, Hailey and Selena hugged it out and posed for various photos together. Drama-free!

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