Perrie Edwards and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have to be one of the cutest celebrity couples on the scene right now. She makes up one-quarter of the UK's biggest girlband Little Mix, meanwhile, he's a midfielder for one of the country's biggest football clubs, Liverpool FC. Talk about a power couple. But how did Perrie and Alex meet? What's their love story?
Well, let's start at the beginning. Chamberlain first met Little Mix back in January 2015 during an interview on BT Sport. Unfortunately, Edwards wasn't able to make it into work that day but her bandmates Jesy Nelson, Jade Thirlwall, and Leigh-Ann Pinnock were all in attendance. At the time, he was single and so was Thirlwall, so Nelson (aka Edwards' BFF) tried to play cupid and set them up live on TV.
As the group chatted away about the NBA Global Game they were all set to attend later that evening, presenter Helen Skelton asked if Chamberlain was going to "protect" the girls in case they were accidentally hit by the ball while sitting court-side. Nelson quipped: "Jade needs protecting. Jade's very diddy — and she's single as well..." The footballer then smiled and confidently hit back "I'm sure I can help out", before Skelton joked that the interview had turned into an episode of Take Me Out.
Edwards shouldn't be too worried about this though as she was still engaged to her ex Zayn Malik at the time. That relationship didn't come to an end until seven months later in August 2015.
Following the break-up, Edwards embraced the single life and made it clear she had no interest in dating for the time being. Opening up about her love life in March 2016, she told the Daily Star: "There is no rush at all for us to be dating — we’re just enjoying ourselves. I always say I like my own company — to the point where that person would have to compete. I love doing my own thing — it just makes me feel independent. I don’t think a woman should ever feel the need for a man."
By the summer, Edwards was still very much single while Chamberlain was reportedly dating someone else. He was photographed with a woman in July 2016 during what appeared to be a lunch date. But that was pretty much the last fans heard about this rumoured romance.
It wasn't until November 2016 that Chamberlain and Edwards were first linked with one another. As Capital FM reported, they were apparently spotted out and about together, but were they dating? Weren't they? Perhaps they were just friends.
However, The Sun reported that they were 100 percent dating after she was reportedly seen at an Arsenal game (the team he played for before moving to Liverpool FC in 2017). The newspaper followed these claims up by reporting in December that Chamberlain had turned up to see her band Little Mix perform on the X Factor. An audience member who spotted the footballer in the crowd told the newspaper afterwards that he looked "smitten" with Edwards. Apparently, he "didn’t take his eyes off her throughout the entire thing." Despite the mounting evidence, the couple did not confirm or deny their relationship — which, after all, is totally their prerogative.
It might be that the two wanted to keep their romance low key and out of the public eye on account of Edwards' very public split from ex-fiancé Malik. The former couple started dating in 2012, according to MTV, and were together for four years. They got engaged in 2013, however in 2015 Malik called off the engagement, reportedly ending things just three weeks before they were due to move into their dream £3 million house together.
Fast-forward to January 2017, Edwards publicly made her relationship with Chamberlain official by posting a picture on Instagram of him next to her dogs. However she mysteriously then deleted the post, leading to rumours that the pair had already split up (not helped by the fact they'd been seen emerging a little worse for wear from a London nightclub, reportedly in the throws of an argument). But then, in February last year, Edwards shared a photograph of them kissing in front of the Eiffel Tower on her Instagram. Finally, their relationship was confirmed.
At the 2017 Brit Awards, Little Mix had a big night by performing and scooping the Best British Single gong for their hit Shout Out To My Ex. As they were awarded the prize, Edwards sent fans into meltdown by very publicly kissing Chamberlain.
They've since been spotted on a host of adorable dates. They posed for a picture in front of a romantic-looking London skyline, saying they were being "tourists in their own city" on Instagram. They've also been spotted on several dates, including on a casual lunch in Cheshire.
Over time, Edwards has started to gradually open up more about her relationship. She's even revealed her rather unusual pet name for Chamberlain. "I shall call him SQUISHY," she wrote in a 2017 Instagram post. "And he shall be MINE and he shall be MY squishy!"
However, neither Chamberlain nor Edwards have ever officially confirmed how they actually met. Evidently, it wasn't when he was first introduced to the rest of Little Mix. So when did it happen? Well, Twitter has its suspicions. Fans of the couple, who have nicknamed them "Alerrie", believe that they were introduced by friends on a night out in September 2016 after she ended her brief romance with Our Girl actor Luke Pasqualino:
Chamberlain has previously joked that he doesn't want to become the subject of a Little Mix song should they break up. He told The Sun On Sunday: "I better watch out! 'I don't want her to become an ex and sing about me. Probably something about Arsenal being rubbish. I better look after her." Obviously, this was probably a quip about the group's hit Shout Out To My Ex (which many believe is about Edwards' ex Malik, though she has never officially confirmed this).
Well, judging by the smile on her face and posts on Instagram, I'd say she looks pretty happy.