On paper, Shailene Woodley and Aaron Rodgers are an unexpected match, with her being an acclaimed actor in the Divergent saga and HBO’s Big Little Lies, and him being one of the most popular NFL players of all-time. Even Woodley wasn’t expecting it when they met. “I never thought I’d be engaged with somebody who threw balls for a living,” she said jokingly on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in February. “I never thought as a little girl, I was like, ‘Yeah, when I grow up, I'm gonna marry someone who throws balls! Yeah!’ But he’s really just so good at it.”
But despite their romance being new to the public, Woodley and Rodgers have been an item for longer than anyone knows. Although they met sometime during the COVID-19 pandemic, rumors about their relationship only started swirling in February 2021, and their engagement was announced just mere days later. Woodley and Rodgers’ relationship timeline proves that they’re a super low-key couple, but when they do show love for each other on social media, you know it’s real.
February 2021: Engagement News
Woodley and Rodgers’ relationship was first reported by Us Weekly on Feb. 3, 2021, explaining that they had started as friends before things turned romantic. “The two are staying in contact while they are living away from each other,” a source told the outlet. “The relationship is long-distance for right now, but they are making it work.”
Apparently, the long-distance arrangement worked really well for them. Just three days later, Rodgers slyly announced that he was engaged during his acceptance speech at the NFL Honors awards on Feb. 6 — without naming Woodley. “2020 was definitely a crazy year filled with lots of change ... I got engaged and I played some of the best football in my career,” he said. He also thanked “my fiancée” in the speech.
However, it didn’t take long for Woodley to confirm that she was in fact Rodgers’ fiancée. During a Feb. 22 interview on The Tonight Show, the Emmy-nominated star said they had actually been engaged for quite some time. “For us, it’s not new news, you know, so it’s kind of funny,” she said. “Everyone right now is freaking out over it and we’re like, ‘Yeah, we’ve been engaged for a while.’”
March 2021: Baby Talk
In an Instagram Live interview on March 4, Rodgers called his engagement to Woodley the high point of his 2020, saying that he’s “been enjoying” their time together. “Obviously that’s the best thing that’s happened to me in the last year,” he said. He even opened up about starting a family with her one day — but they’re not in any rush. “I’m in that age group where a lot of my close friends from high school and college are fathers now and have families of their own,” he said. “It’s maybe not in the immediate future but definitely something that I really look forward to.”
Later that month, the couple were spotted spending time together in Hot Springs, Arkansas, thanks to local eatery Best Cafe and Bar, who prepared a private dinner for the couple and posted about it on Instagram. “Our team had the opportunity to cook for @aaronrodgers12 and his crew last night,” read the caption of the post, which has since been deleted, per E! News. “Grateful for the opportunity.”
April 2021: Jeopardy!
April saw one of Rodgers’ biggest dreams come true: being the host of Jeopardy. The Green Bay Packer hosted the game show for a week as part of a revolving door of guest hosts, and Woodley was just as excited as he was, promoting his appearance on her Instagram Story. “This guy right here is super sexy, super attractive, just shaved his neck this morning, has a little man bun growing,” she said, pointing the camera at Rodgers. “This guy is hosting Jeopardy! tonight!”
May 2021: Down and Derby
The couple that derbies together stays together, apparently. On May 1, Woodley and Rodgers donned their most dashing hats and joined her Divergent co-star Miles Teller, his wife Keleigh Sperry Teller, and more friends at the Kentucky Derby. “Down n Derby,” Sperry Teller wrote on Instagram, sharing a snapshot of all the couples together.