Whirlwind Celebrity Romances That Actually Worked Out

Ariana Grande Is Engaged to Boyfriend Dalton Gomez

What does “whirlwind” really mean, anyway?

Well, technically, it’s “a small rotating windstorm of limited extent.” But when it comes to love, it just means intense and fast, as in Ariana Grande and Dalton Gomez‘s whirlwind romance leading up to Gomez popping the question last month with a custom diamond and pearl ring.  

They were first seen together last March—which soon proved not to be the best-ever time to start dating someone as the realities of the coronavirus pandemic set in. But Grande and Gomez made the most of stay-at-home orders and decided to bubble up together. The pop star introduced her new relationship to the world by sharing a slow dance with Gomez in the video for “Stuck With U,” the track she made with Justin Bieber to benefit COVID-19 relief work.

Barely seven months later, they were engaged.

Quarantine love didn’t ultimately work for Demi Lovato (or a bunch of other people), and a quickie engagement didn’t work for Grande last time (and the speed with with Pete Davidson proposed in 2018 makes her courtship with Gomez, a real estate agent, look relatively lengthy), but there is no rule in the book that says you have to date forever before you know.

“It’s a very healthy relationship,” a source shared with E! News in October. “They love to be ‘normal’ and Ari loves that he is very down to earth. He balances her out from the crazy industry she is in. They spend a lot of time hanging out at her house being low-key.”

Enjoying being at home together is a superior indicator of a lasting connection, after all. Because if you can’t do that… really, what are you doing?

And though announcements of speedy engagements don’t exactly foster immediate confidence in long-term potential, here is a slew of precedent that proves whirlwind romance—even in Hollywood, which isn’t exactly known for its nurturing atmosphere—doesn’t have to be “of limited extent.”

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Justin and Hailey Bieber

OK, to mention a situation about which people had their doubts, look no further than the Biebers, who had known each other for years and had dated in the distant past, but had barely rekindled that nascent flame before Justin proposed a month later. Two months after that, on Sept. 13, 2018, they made it official at a New York City courthouse. 

Their honeymoon period wasn’t perfect–“The thing is, marriage is very hard. That is the sentence you should lead with. It’s really effing hard,” Hailey told Vogue in early 2019–and Justin himself question his long-term ability to be faithful. But, he has said that he was ready to commit to her and that she is the rock that he needs.

“Obviously, it took work and getting past things between the two of us, but it was all very worth it,” Hailey told Elle at the beginning of 2020. “He’s an incredible, amazing man, and such a good partner to go through life with. There is no one else I would have ever wanted to spend my life with except him. So I’m lucky.”

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Mark Consuelos and Kelly Ripa

They met playing a tumultuous couple on All My Children in 1995—and about 15 months later, on May 1, 1996, Mateo Santos Sr. and Haley Vaughan became husband and wife in real life, eloping to Las Vegas. The parents of three remain partners in everything.

“We just understood each other really well,” Ripa told Soap Opera Digest in August 1996. “If two people were ever supposed to be together, I’d say it was us.”

Eric Charbonneau

Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky

On the precipice of Marvel stardom, Hemsworth met Pataky in early 2010 in his native Australia and took the opportunity to marry her Dec. 26 while they were on vacation with their families in Bali.

“There was no great plan to any of it to be honest, we were on holiday and we said, ‘Why don’t we get married, too?'” the actor recalled on Good Morning Britain in 2016. “And then the next minute…There probably should have been some planning, but it all worked out. Honestly, we had both our families on holiday at the same time, just randomly, and we said, ‘This is a good opportunity with everyone together.’ So, we just did it.”

A decade later, they have three kids and a custom home to call their own. “Yeah, we’ve been building a house for a while now and that’s always fun, isn’t it?” Hemsworth quipped to USA Today in 2019. “Yeah, I think the vast majority of divorces happen during the process of building a house, so I’m thankful we’ve survived that.”

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Benji Madden and Cameron Diaz

Their paths had crossed time and again over the years, but they needed fewer than 12 months as a couple to know they wanted to say “I do.”  They went public in May 2014, the ring appeared in early December, and on Jan. 5, 2015—a Monday to remember—they got married in their backyard.

“Getting married to him was the best thing that ever happened to me,” Diaz, who’s since shifted her energies from acting to wellness and the organic wine business she started in 2020, told InStyle in 2019. “My husband’s the best. He’s the greatest human being, and he’s my great partner. Marriage is certainly hard, and it’s a lot of work. You need somebody who’s willing to do the work with you, because there’s no 60-40 in marriage. It’s 50-50, period. All the time.”

On Jan. 3, 2020, the couple announced that they had welcomed a daughter named Raddix.

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George and Amal Clooney

Down for the count when his agent basically delivered the human rights attorney to his door in Lake Como (why wouldn’t the guy who knew what was best for George professionally also have solid instincts when it came to his A-list client’s personal life) in July 2013, the Oscar winner wasted no time. After hitting it off, Amal had to go back to making the world a better place, so they started emailing. Once George had confirmed that, yes, she was interested in him romantically, the courtship began and he proposed at his L.A. home on April 28, 2014.

They wed Sept. 27, 2014, and welcomed twins Alexander and Ella on June 5, 2016.

“There is no question that having Amal in my life changed everything for me. No question,” George said on CBS Sunday Morning in November 2020. “It was the first time that everything that she did and everything about her was infinitely more important than anything about me.”

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Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra

After a most auspicious beginning in 2017, when they started texting and then met in the flesh at the Vanity Fair Oscar party—”You’re real. Where have you been all my life?” Nick has recalled gushing—they were reunited by their mutual outfitting courtesy of Ralph Lauren for the Met Gala. And then

Nothing for 12 months, as busy schedules and other obligations got in the way. 

But Nick didn’t miss the chance to prove himself to Priyanka when they saw each other again at the 2018 Met Gala, and by the end of the year, he couldn’t stop marrying her.

“It was very extravagant,” Priyanka recalled their myriad celebrations in her native India to Elle UK. “Hopefully, you just do it once. So it’s fine.”

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Jennifer Lawrence and Cooke Maroney

The Oscar winner laughed all the way to the altar with her art gallery director love after first venturing out where the paparazzi could see them in the summer of 2018. They got engaged the following February and wed Oct. 19, 2019, in Rhode Island.

“Well, he’s just the best person I’ve ever met in my whole life,” so saying yes to his proposal “was a very, very easy decision,” Lawrence explained to Entertainment Tonight before saying “I do.”

Checking in during quarantine, the actress told Absolutely Not podcast host Heather McMahan that their first full year of marriage was going pretty well, except…

“I think our lowest moment,” she recalled, “he tried to pick out a three-hour black-and-white Japanese film with subtitles and I was just like, ‘How dare you?'”

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Ian Somerhalder and Nikki Reed

Proving it’s not the time it takes, but who you marry, the Twilight actress—a veteran of a two-year marriage to singer Paul McDonald that followed a three-month-engagement—wed the Vampire Diaries star in April 26, 2015, after nine months together.

They welcomed daughter Bodhi on July 25, 2017.

“I get it now. The secret to our long happy marriage is this: I need to be in bed by 930, and you need to start manifesting all your dreams at 10. Done,” Reed wrote to her husband on his 39th birthday in 2017. “As long as we always find each other for breakfast:).”

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Zoe Saldana and Marco Perego

The Guardians of the Galaxy star needed barely six months to know she wanted to marry the artist in June 2013—and a small fraction of that to plan the wedding.

“As soon as we decided we were going to get married, we didn’t wait,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “We did it three weeks later. That part was very, very quick.”

Saldana later revealed that she had known who Perego was through the art world, but since she was with Bradley Cooper for the better part of 2012, her coupling with her eventual husband and father of her three children certainly qualifies as whirlwind.

“I’ve known my partner for five years. I knew of his work. I knew of him,” she clarified. “Then we met. And months later, we both made the decision to do what we both individually vowed never to do—to get married.”

Of course, Grande and Gomez haven’t set a date, so by the time they actually get married, their romance itself could possibly no longer qualify as whirlwind. But their quarantine-fueled engagement, along with that diamond, is forever.

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