TV & Movies

Tyler James Williams Revealed His Approach To Relationships

Your latest TV crush knows what he wants in a partner.

by Justice Namaste and Grace Wehniainen
Originally Published: 
Tyler James Williams as Gregory in 'Abbott Elementary'
ABC/Pamela Littky

Tyler James Williams is currently charming audiences as Gregory the substitute teacher on ABC’s Abbott Elementary. But the first time you saw him on television was likely over a decade ago, when he starred as a young Chris Rock in the popular UPN sitcom Everybody Hates Chris. In the years since, Williams, 30, has appeared in a variety of movies and TV shows including Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, The Walking Dead, and both the film and TV series Dear White People. However, unfortunately for those now lusting after Gregory, he tends to keep much of his personal life — including his romantic relationships — out of the public eye.

Williams’ most recent public relationship was around 2017 with Russian-American actor Anastasia Baranova, who is best known for starring in the SyFy series Z Nation. The two were rumored to have been together since 2015, but they didn’t make their relationship public until 2017 when they shared a number of photos together in now-deleted Instagram posts.

Prior to his relationship with Baranova, Williams reportedly dated singer Karina Pasian until sometime in 2015. Despite the fact that they never publicly confirmed their relationship, the pair was spotted at numerous events together, and Williams appeared in the music video for Pasian’s 2014 single “Solitaire.” Back when he was just a teenager, Williams also reportedly dated actor and host Keke Palmer.

Williams’ online presence also doesn’t shed much insight on his personal life. He appears to use his Instagram page (@willtylerjames) mostly for work purposes, so it primarily features photos and videos promoting his recent projects — specifically Abbott Elementary and the 2021 film The United States vs. Billie Holiday — along with a handful of selfies.

In a new interview with Bustle, Williams did reveal that he’s currently single and on the exclusive dating app, Raya — and there’s one big thing he’s seeking in a potential partner. “I highly value people who look at me, and I’ve been able to tell since I was a child,” he said. “So that’s my criteria. Can you actually see me, or is this because it’s trendy?”

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