One of the downsides to being a celebrity is that it can be nearly impossible to keep certain elements of your personal life under wraps—especially when it comes to something as exciting as a new romantic partner. Fans and paparazzi can’t get enough!
That’s why it’s so fascinating to find out that the following 20 celebrity couples were actually dating way before anyone knew they were even talking. You might be surprised by just how long some of them were able to keep their relationship a secret…
1. Beyonce and Jay-Z: You won’t find a better example of an entertainment “power couple” than these two, but it wasn’t always that way. Before their 2008 nuptials, they teased their blossoming love in their collaborations on several hit songs. Though they officially started dating in 2000, they didn’t make their relationship public until 2004.
2. Joe Alwyn and Taylor Swift: Apparently, the country-pop star had been secretly dating this young actor—who starred in films like Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk—since 2016, though they waited until 2018 to go public with their relationship. Maybe her penchant for writing songs about ex-lovers had something to do with it…
Jana Beamer / Flickr
3. Katie Holmes and Jamie Foxx: These two huge stars have been dating since 2013, though they’ve largely kept it low-key. Many of their fans didn’t even know about their relationship until January 2018, when they were spotted cozying up to each other at Clive Davis’s pre-Grammy Awards Gala.
4. Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan: When the steamy Fifty Shades of Grey was released in 2015, everyone suspected these costars were secretly dating… even though Dornan was already married! However, both assure their fans that they’re really just good friends.
5. Danica Patrick and Aaron Rodgers: The star race car driver confirmed in February 2018 that she was in a romantic relationship with this NFL quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, though they’d known each other since meeting at the 2012 ESPY awards.
6. Michelle Williams and Andrew Youmans: Rumor has it that not only has this acclaimed actress been dating this mysterious man, but the two of them are actually engaged! Still, their relationship is unconfirmed… for now.
7. Zendaya and a mystery man: Between 2012 and 2016 Zendaya confirmed that she was in a relationship… but she never revealed who she was dating. The relationship may be over, but his identity remains a secret.
8. Melissa Benoist and Chris Wood: Some fans of the Supergirl television series are clamoring for Benoist’s titular heroine to establish a romantic relationship with Wood’s Mon-El, especially since the actors publicly revealed their real-life relationship in 2017.
9. Shailene Woodley and Ben Volavola: The Big Little Lies actress was first seen with this Australian-born Melbourne Rebels rugby star in 2017, but it wasn’t until the next year that she confirmed they were an item. Previously, Woodley was rumored to be dating her Divergent co-star Theo James and The Fault in Our Stars co-star Ansel Elgort, respectively, but none of those were substantiated.
10. Cole Sprouse AND Lili Reinhart: While they still had not yet officially confirmed their romantic relationship, the actors behind Jughead and Betty on Riverdale are sure acting like a couple. They even took a trip to Hawaii together…
These rumors persisted for over a year until the stars’ apparent confirmation in late March 2018, answering nosy paparazzi by simply stating that their romantic relationship status was “obvious”.
Gage Skidmore / Flickr
11. Nash Grier and Taylor Giavasis: these two young internet personalities had been secretly dating since 2015, but in 2016, Nash revealed in an Instagram post that they were in fact “in love” and had been dating for over a year.
12. David Giuntoli and Bistie Tulloch: The two Grimm co-stars revealed that they had been dating in 2014, although it’s unclear how long they’ve been together. They got engaged in 2016, and married in 2017!
13. Grant Gustin and LA Thoma: Keeping a romantic relationship under wraps for over a year and a half until announcing an engagement may sound a bit like something that Barry Allen would do, but that’s exactly what happened with The Flash star and his girlfriend in 2017!
14. Darren Criss and Mia Swier: this Glee star started dating his girlfriend way back in 2010 before he even started appearing on the show, but they didn’t go public with it until 2013 and then announced their engagement in January 2018.
darrencriss / Instagram
15. Harry Shum Jr. and Shelby Rabara: these two Glee alums started dating in 2007, before their respective appearances on the series, before announcing their engagement in 2013. They’ve been married since 2015.
harryshumjr / Instagram
16.Tobey Maguire and Rashida Jones: between 1997 and 1999, long before landing iconic roles like Ann Perkins and Spider-Man, these young, future stars were an item! The biggest reason why few people seem to know about their 3-year relationship was that they weren’t particularly famous yet.
17. Zendaya and Tom Holland: speaking of Spider-Men, the actor currently playing Peter Parker has reportedly been dating his co-star since early 2017, even sitting next to each other at the Academy Awards in 2018… but they’re still trying to keep it quiet!
disneyabc / Flickr
18. Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki: These costars of The Big Bang Theory dated from 2007 to 2009, and part of the reason they kept their relationship secret was to avoid affecting fan’s perceptions of their characters’ relationship on the show. They remained friends, even seeing “Penny” and “Leonard” marry in the show’s ninth season!
19. Matthew Broderick and Jennifer Grey: the fact that two Ferris Bueller’s Day Off stars dated was certainly a juicy secret, but the way in which it became public was tragic, as Grey was in the car when Broderick got into a 1987 accident that ended the lives of a mother and daughter in Ireland.
20. Rachel Weisz and Daniel Craig: these British actors have been married since 2011, so their marriage isn’t exactly a secret, but Weisz has explained why they almost never discuss their relationship. “It would be a betrayal,” she said in an interview. “You have to protect your marriage.”
When you’re a celebrity, sometimes simple activities like going out to eat become covert operations! Long term relationships are rare, and in show business, out of the ordinary. But some couples really have kept their love tanks full for decades.
1. Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell: They’ve kept the spice alive since 1983, claiming the secret ingredient to their love is never getting married! Other than not tying the knot, the couple attributes a healthy intimate life to their long-lasting relationship.
2. David Furnish and Elton John: Laws prevented the longtime lovebirds from officially marrying until 2014, but David and Elton started their courtship way back in 1993. They devote much of their time to raising their tiny dancers, Zachary and Elijah.
David Furnish / Instagram
3. Michelle and Barack Obama: Long before the White House, the former president swooned over Michelle when she was assigned to mentor him at a Chicago law firm. Despite their seemingly perfect relationship, they’ve been open about using couples’ counseling to work on their marriage.
4. Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy: It took 15 years of on-and-off dating for Felicity to agree to marry her husband. Over 20 years later, the couple has relied on their love for acting to push each other creatively. Besides their shared careers, they bought and rebuilt Felicity’s childhood home, where, in 1997, they wed in the backyard.
5. Steve and Nancy Carell: As an improv student in Steve’s class at the Second City, Nancy must have made quite an impression. The couple has been married for 23 years, wedding the same year Nancy started on Saturday Night Live. Together, they briefly played a perfectly awkward pair on The Office, as Michael Scott and his real estate agent Carol Stills.
6. Tina Fey and Jeff Richmond: Like the Carells, Tina and Jeff met at the Second City in Chicago back in 1994. Instead of competing for laughs, Jeff made sweet music to accompany every comedy project Tina has made.
Jason Chin FTW
7. Julia Louis Dreyfus and Brad Hall: Julia “knew almost immediately” that her husband was the one. They met in at Northwestern University and went on to land roles on SNL together. Now the couple snuggles up at NU basketball games to watch their son Charlie play on the court.
Superstar Floral UK
8. Snoop Dogg and Shante Broadus: Totally smitten since puppyhood, Snoop and Shante were textbook high school sweethearts. The late Tupac Shakur advised Snoop to put a ring on Shante’s finger. They divorced in 2004, but they rekindled their love, remarried, and became grandparents in 2015.
Shante Broadus / Instagram
9.Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness: Few husbands are as openly smitten with their spouses as Hugh is for his wife Deb. The pair met on the set of the Australian TV show Corelli and married in 1996. Hugh attributed being madly in love with his wife, and their stability, for his career success.
10. Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon: Married in 1988, Kyra and Kevin celebrated their 30th anniversary this year. Together they recorded and shared a precious duet of themselves crooning the Bee Gees hit “To Love Somebody.” There may be 6 degrees to Kevin Bacon, but Kyra will always be the closest.
Kevin Bacon / Instagram
11. Kelly Preston and John Travolta: Love at first sight was real for Kelly and John when they met in the 1987 on the set of The Experts. The couple married in 1991 but had a second ceremony to make their union valid under the church of Scientology.
12. Denzel and Pauletta Washington: After 35 years of marriage, Denzel claims being friends with your partner is a key. He also boasted, “I married up!” Pauletta certainly has been a strong force in their marriage — and for their kids. Her son, actor John David Washington, credited his mother for teaching him “how to love.”
Black and Married With Kids
13. Joel Cohen and Francis McDormand: In 1983, Francis auditioned for Joel’s film Blood Simple. Ever since they’ve been united in quirkiness — and matrimony. Throughout their marriage, they’ve kept a notoriously private life, focusing on their craft and adopted son, Pedro.
14. Tina Turner and Erwin Bach: In her second marriage, The Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll found the man she deserved. Her relationship with Erwin has been going strong since ’85, though they waited until 2017 to tie the knot). Proving his love in the most tangible way, he donated a kidney to Tina shortly after their nuptials.
15. Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos: Hot and heavy soap opera scenes between Kelly and Mark on All My Children blossomed into the real deal. The fun couple stayed true to their romantic playful side and eloped in Las Vegas back in 1996.
Kelly Ripa / Instagram
16. Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance: Acting powerhouses Angela and Courtney had their meet-cute at the Yale School of Drama, where they both earned their MFAs. No doubt these brainy sweethearts were perfectly matched. They wed in 1997.
17. Meryl Streep and Don Gummer: In 1978, Meryl’s boyfriend John Cazale died of cancer. Overcome with grief, Meryl’s brother came to help her move out of their shared apartment. Little did her brother know, the friend he dragged along to help, Don, would marry Meryl just six months later.
18. Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson: “We learned the secret of happiness with each other a long time ago,” Tom said, “and that’s always telling the truth.” When they met on the set of Bosom Buddies, Tom was married, but he couldn’t deny the immediate connection he had with Rita. Tom and Rita have kept their marriage strong for 30 years!
Tom Hanks / Instagram
19. Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick: Some couples just fit together, and like PB & J, SJP & MB are a classic combination. After over 20 years of marriage — and three kids — they’ve said time apart from each other due to their hectic schedules benefits their relationship and gives them independence.
Trattoria Al Gusto
20. LL Cool J and Simone Smith: Happy couple LL and Simone swapped vows in 1995, but their love began back in the halls of their high school. Over the years, they’ve weathered storms, like Simone’s bone cancer diagnosis in 2005. During that time, LL put projects on hold to be by his wife’s side.
Simone I. Smith / Instagram
21. Jeff Bridges and Susan Geston: Forty years of marriage is no small feat, but romantic Jeff Bridges said he loves his wife more each year. “If you change your partners every time, it gets tough or you get a little dissatisfied, then you don’t get the richness that’s available in a long term relationship.”