TBT: Justin Bieber Rented Out the Staples Center to Watch ‘Titanic’ With Selena Gomez
“Romance isn’t dead.”
Who: Emmy-nominated actress and Grammy-nominated singer Selena Gomez, 30, and two-time Grammy-winning musician Justin Bieber, 29.
How They Met: Like how so many celebrity relationships happen, Justin’s people called Selena’s people. After revealing that the Disney Channel star was his celebrity crush during an interview with radio host DJ Skee in 2009, Justin’s manager, Scooter Braun, reached out to Selena’s mom (who was her manager at the time) to set up a meeting between the two.
For years, Selena was adamant that Justin was more like a brother than a boyfriend, and even when they were spotted on what was reported as a “cuddly” date at an IHOP in Philadelphia in December 2010, the songstress still played coy. “Who doesn’t like pancakes? We were both performing in the same place so we went and had pancakes together,” she told MTV News when asked about the rumored date. “That’s all it is. All innocent.”
Three weeks later, the pair were photographed sharing a not-so-innocent New Year’s Eve kiss on a yacht in St. Lucia, confirming what everyone already suspected — they were a couple. But it wasn’t until February that Selena and Justin made their red carpet debut at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party (there were also some super-cute photo booth pictures taken).
From that point on, Jelena — as they were affectionately known — weren’t shy about their romance. They engaged in cute PDA courtside at a Lakers Game, attended red carpet events together, and jetted off for a couple’s vacation to Hawaii.
In May 2011, Selena told Seventeen why she decided to finally go public with her relationship with Justin. “I don’t like hiding. 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,” she said. “I’m going to hang out with people and I’m going to explore myself, and I’m OK with that.”
RelatedSelena Gomez takes social media break amid Hailey Bieber drama
Why We Loved Them: Jelena’s teen-dream love story was one that defined a generation. Fans have never been more invested in (or, rooted for) a celebrity pairing more than they have with Selena and Justin. As one of young Hollywood’s longest-running on-and-off couples (eight years!), there was something relatable and incredibly endearing about how the two could seemingly never shake each other, like so many have difficulty doing with their first loves.
In 2015, Bieber told Complex magazine of their dramatic ups and downs over the years, “When stuff would happen, I would lose my freakin’ mind, and she would lose her mind, and we would fight so hard because we were so invested in each other. Love is a choice. Love is not a feeling.”
When They Peaked: Their iconic Staples Center date. In September 2011, it was reported that Justin rented out the entire Staples Center in Los Angeles (it’s now called Crypto.com Arena) for a romantic movie night with Selena. With the 20,000-seat arena all to themselves, the pair enjoyed a candlelit dinner on the court and a private screening of Titanic.
“Romance isn’t dead,” Bieber tweeted that night. “Treat your lady right fellas.”
The Breakup: In November 2012, Jelena had their first of many breakups to come. After a year-and-a-half of dating, the two split for reasons unknown but appeared to get back together five months later when Bieber posted a series of throwback photos of the couple on Instagram. They split again in November 2014, with Justin moving on with his now-wife Hailey Bieber (née Baldwin) and Selena striking up a brief romance with DJ Zedd.
The are-they-or-aren’t-they saga continued into 2016, before they both seemingly moved on with new relationships — Selena was with The Weeknd, while Justin began dating Sofia Richie for a short time. A year later, they reconciled (again) much to the internet’s delight. But their reunion didn’t last long. Following four months of hockey dates, bike rides, and church services, Selena and Justin went on a break that eventually turned into a breakup in March 2018.
“Selena realized even though he’s made some positive improvements, they just aren’t a perfect match right now,” a source told E! News at the time. Another insider explained that Selena “decided she is much happier doing her own thing, adding that she “rarely even talks about Justin anymore, and is fully open to dating.”
Within months of splitting, Justin reconnected with Hailey and the two quickly got engaged, which prompted a lot of social media drama and saw Selena release her breakup song “Lose You To Love Me.”
Looking back on their relationship years later, Selena came to the realization that the breakup with Justin was “the best thing” that ever happened to her. “I felt haunted by a past relationship that no one wanted to let go of,” Gomez said in her documentary My Mind & Me. “But then I just moved past it. I wasn’t afraid anymore.”
She added, “I feel like I had to go through the worst possible heartbreak ever. I just think that needed to happen, and ultimately, it was the best thing that ever happened to me.”
Where They Are Now: Bieber began dating his former fling Hailey Baldwin three months after his split from Gomez. The two were spotted kissing that June, and by July, they were engaged. In September 2018, Hailey and Justin were married at a New York City courthouse, before officially tying the knot during a second wedding ceremony in South Carolina a year later.
With his new role as a husband, Justin came out with the album Changes in 2020 that read like a romantic love letter to Hailey. The next year, he came out with his sixth studio album, Justice, and embarked on a world tour to promote his new music — that is, until he was forced to cancel his final six concerts due to his recent Ramsay Hunt Syndrome diagnosis.
In the years following her breakup from Justin, Selena has remained single. However, just a couple months ago, she sparked dating rumors after she was spotted on a bowling date with The Chainsmokers’s Drew Taggart. But Selena quickly shut down any speculation, stating that she was single in a now-deleted Instagram post. “I like being alone too much,” she wrote, adding the hashtag #iamsingle at the bottom.
In 2020, Selena came out with her first album in five years, Rare, which included her Bieber breakup ballad “Lose You To Love Me,” and also released a beauty brand with the same name. The next year, Gomez returned to acting with a starring role in the Hulu mystery series Only Murders in the Building, and she was nominated for an Emmy as an executive producer on the show.
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