Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello have been setting off the dating rumor alarm since the release of their single “Señorita” in June, and there’s plenty of proof to show that when there’s smoke, there’s fire. In fact, the release of Cabello’s new album is an ode to their love. But when did it really start? Here, a look back at their relationship from the “just friends” stage to Cabello’s love-filled album Romance.
August 2015: The first photographic evidence of Mendes and Cabello meeting was at the 2015 Video Music Awards in Los Angeles. Cabello, who was still in Fifth Harmony at the time, posed for photos with Mendes at an after party for the show.
September 2015: They reunited a few weeks later at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas.
November 2015: In November, the duo released “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” performing it together on The Tonight Show and beyond. During an interview with Elvis Duran, Cabello spoke about their professional relationship while recording the track together.
“That’s the cool part though, because we were so passionate about this song,” she said. “As artists, we’re both so invested in what we sing about that that makes the whole experience so much more intense.”
December 2015: The two then performed the single during KISS FM’s Jingle Ball show in Los Angeles, where the chemistry was…palpable.
June 2016: For the song, they ended up winning the award for Best Pop Video and Fan Favorite at the iHeartRadio Much Music Awards, going on stage to accept it together.
May 2017: After Cabello released her first single, “Crying in the Club,” Mendes tweeted out his support for his friend/collaborator, gushing over the song.
“Speechless.. goosebumps all over,” he tweeted. “you’re incredible.”
November 2017: Rumors that Mendes is dating Hailey Baldwin crop up, and the two eventually attend the 2018 Met Gala together wearing Tommy Hilfiger. Baldwin later went on to marry Justin Bieber, and Mendes revealed that he texted her a congratulations message.
“I texted Hailey the day of, and I said congrats,” he said in July 2018. “That’s what it is. I think everybody wants there to be more—there’s not.”
May 2018: Mendes released his third album, and while promoting it, fawned over Cabello in an interview with Zane Lowe.
“Oh my God, she is my favorite person in the whole world. I don’t think you’ll ever meet somebody who can feel emotion like her, in all aspects,” he said. “Her love for what she believed in was so powerful that it just kind of pushed me to like make an entire album out of inspiration of the one night.”
The pair then posed for photos with their mutual friend Taylor Swift at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards.
February 2019: Before the Grammys, Cabello shared a few photos of her and Mendes together writing, “so proud of this amazing human !!!!!! seems like yesterday we were just kids singing ed sheeran songs in the dressing room, now we’re kids trying not to throw up cause we’re at the Grammys!!!! i love you forever.”
June 2019: Mendes and Cabello reunite to release their summer anthem “Señorita” and the accompanying sexy video. Rumors of a relationship immediately bubble to the surface of the Internet.
Meanwhile, Cabello’s breakup with her boyfriend of over a year-and-a-half, Matthew Hussey, was reported by E! News.
“To my fans, if you really love me, please do not send people I love and care about hateful things,” she wrote on Instagram after the split was announced.
“You doing that really hurts me, and it’s so unnecessary and heavy and damaging to add more pain to pain. There’s a real person behind your tweets. You spamming them with hateful, insensitive things is really not funny, is causing all of us pain, and doesn’t all reflect the values I talk about.”
Mendes’s mom then chimed in on the inevitable dating rumors, adding fuel to the fire, leaving two heart-adorned emojis on a post of Mendes and Cabello on Cabello’s Instagram. Moms!
July 2019: The rumors then seemed to solidify after the two spent the Fourth of July holiday together this year acting…extremely couple-y.
“He was holding her at one point and they were staring into the ocean,” a source told E! News. “They both were smiling the entire time and Camilla was laughing a lot. They rarely mingled with other people and were together the entire evening. They were telling people they were a couple.”
A few days later, photos showed the two hugging in the wide-open public. The two went to brunch together a day after Cabello went to Mendes’s concert in Los Angeles.
“@shawnmendes you couldn’t be more amazing. Wow,” she wrote on Instagram before the show.
The next week the couple (it seems safe to call them that now) were getting very hot and heavy while in San Francisco, with plenty of cameras to document their public make outs and hand holding.
“They looked very much like a couple. You [could] see them making out at the table,” an source told Us Weekly. “They looked very into each other. Shawn and Camila were splitting pancakes. Then after, they started kissing. He had his arm around her a lot of the meal, and they were chatting—not too much laughing, but they looked in love. They were there around 10:30 a.m. and not too many people noticed who they were.”
Cabello continued following Mendes on tour throughout the month. In late July, the two were filmed kissing in Florida and made a splash (literally) when photos came out of them kissing in both the ocean and a pool in Miami Beach. E! reported that Cabello’s family was at Mendes’ Miami show with her.
During the month, E! and Entertainment Tonight ran comprehensive reports from sources on what the status of their relationship is.
E! published its report first. Its source explained that their romance was moving fast because they were close for years before. “It already feels to them like they’ve been together for a lot longer than they have,” the source started. “They’ve known each other and been a part of each other’s lives for a while so it’s all very natural and moving quickly.”
That’s partly why Cabello started following Mendes on his tour, the source added.
“The timing wasn’t right before but it is right right now,” the source said. “They are going for it without holding back. This step in their relationship is exciting for them both. They haven’t wanted to be apart at all. It’s 24/7 and all out at this point.”
Entertainment Tonight ran its report the day after Mendes and Cabello’s Miami Beach makeout photos came out. Its source explained that Cabello and Mendes hadn’t intended for their relationship to become what it was blossoming into.
“Shawn and Camila originally were just enjoying spending time together and having a summer fling,” its source said. “Camila had just got out of a relationship and Shawn was in the middle of a massive tour. But Shawn and Camila have really fallen for one another.”
August 2019: In an interview with Variety, Cabello hints at the role her relationship has played in her recent music. “Falling in love is like an infinite amount of levels and layers and angles,” she told the outlet. “I fell in love and just opened up. Everything was written in present moment.”
In the same piece she offered, “I’ve known Shawn for such a long time, and it’s so much fun getting to work and do things with somebody who means a lot to you.”
For Mendes’ 21st birthday, Mendes was by his side. The two were photographed walking the West Village together after lunch at the restaurant, Jack’s Wife Freda. E! reported that the couple attended a party for Mendes at Harriet’s Rooftop & Lounge at the 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge. A source said the event was “very low key but [Mendes] did get loose with his friends. Shawn and Camila arrived together holding hands and everyone inside cheered for them as they walked in.”
The insider went on to say, “Shawn was having fun playing beer pong with his friends and had a smile on his face the entire night. Camila was by his side the majority of the night and they looked really cute together. They took photos together and were on the beer pong table together at one point. Camila also planted a huge kiss on Shawn during the night and it was super cute.”
Cabello also shared a throwback photo of the couple to Instagram. She even dropped the L word in the caption, writing, “Happy birthday to this magic human, I love you!!!!❤️❤️❤️❤️.”
Towards the end of the month, the pair seemed to take their summer romance even more pubic. On August 19, they were spotted kissing during dinner at Montreal’s Cafe Aunja.
On August 23, Cabello was ever the supportive girlfriend at Mendes’ Brooklyn concert. Per an Us Weekly source, “Camila came out a little more than halfway through Shawn’s concert at the back of the floor on a raised platform. When Shawn introduced his song ‘Fallin’ All in You,’ he ended with, ‘This one is for my Mami!’ and he pointed to Camila.” They were also seen making out at Extra Virgin restaurant the same day.
The VMAs marked the first major event the duo attended since becoming a high-profile celebrity couple. At the awards show they won the award for Best Collaboration and displayed some major PDA, despite walking the red carpet separately.
But the only thing anyone could talk about was Mendes and Cabello’s steamy performance of “Señorita,” which catapulted to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart shortly after. The entire performance was filled with chemistry, but it was the almost-kiss at the end that got the likes of Taylor Swift and Sophie Turner excited.
Both Cabello and Mendes thanked fans on Instagram for their love and support, with Mendes sharing photos of the couple holding hands backstage.
September 2019: Mendes and Cabello’s relationship remains looking strong publicly. The two were recently spotted kissing while on a stroll through Toronto.
Then, Cabello took a major step in her relationship, telling ELLE that she’s fallen in love this year…and making it clear the person she’s in love with is Mendes.
“Honestly, this past year and a half was the first time I really experienced falling in love with another person. I think there is so much more depth to love when you know you are in it with another person. You have so much more to say—I think that’s what makes me emotional,” she said. “I’ve loved people from afar, but falling in love with someone and having feelings for someone but they don’t know…. It’s different.”
She also explained in ELLE’s October issue that public interest about her and Mendes was less important to her than their private happiness.
“I don’t know; people can say whatever they want to say,” Cabello said. “They can speculate, but at the same time, we are going to live our own lives, enjoy it, and fall for each other like nobody is watching. That is how I want to live. I never want to open the door for people to feel like they are involved. Like I said, I want it to be mine and [his]. That’s why I’m so tight-lipped about it: because I want to protect it.”
The couple also took time to showcase their love via a now-infamous Instagram video. In it, the two musicians comedically clear up rumors about their kissing style.
“So we saw on Twitter and stuff you guys saying stuff about the way were kissing and how it looks weird, like we kiss like fish,” Mendes said in the video.
“It really hurt our feelings,” Cabello added.
“So we just want to show you how we really kiss,” Mendes said, before the two launched into goofily making out.
“Look, one last thing, some people say that it’s a publicity stunt, and you say?” the paparazzo asked.
“We’re definitely not a publicity stunt,” Mendes replied.
When asked whether he’d met his girlfriend’s family he responded, “Camila’s parents I’ve known for a long time.”
October 2019: After the PDA-filled video, Mendes and Cabello became less tight-lipped about their blossoming romance. On UK’s Capital Breakfast radio show, Cabello said, “We’re pretty happy. I really, really love him a lot.”
She also gave insight into how the pair turned from friends into something more. “There was a period where we didn’t hang out as much just because we were both busy, and this song was really fun because we got to just hang out again like we did on the song we did before, ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer,'” she said. “Which was when we got really close….We were like ‘oh yay, we get to be pals and just hang out!’”
After that, she spoke to The Sun‘s Dan Wootton about the origins of their relationship—and the anxiety that accompanied it since they were close friends before they dated. “It’s almost more scary because you have more to lose,” she said. “When you first start dating a person and you know nothing about them, there’s less at risk there. I think when you fall in love with somebody you’ve known for a long time, there’s more at stake.”
“But it also feels more special because it feels like the love story you see in the movies of people who have known each other for a long time but been too stupid to realize it or say it and then it happens—and that’s beautiful too,” she added.
Cabello also admitted that she was attracted to Mendes from the beginning. “Definitely there were feelings, but I think we were just too young to know what to do with them,” she said. “The thing I’ve always loved about Shawn so much is that he just radiates this goodness,” she added. “He’s always been so kind.”
Next, it was Mendes’ turn to kiss and tell. During a fan Q&A, he was asked about a typical date with Cabello. “Camila and I will basically wake up and find the nearest coffee we can find,” he began. “She’ll have, basically, half a coffee and I’ll have, like, three. We’re always in different countries and cities when we hang out with each other. Probably find some food, then an hour later we’d be like, ‘Are you hungry?’ and we’ll eat again. Probably watch a movie, Tangled. She loves Tangled.”
When asked his favorite topic to discuss, Cabello came up again. “I don’t know. Camila is so good at coming up with random topics,” he said. “One time we were having dinner and she pulled out this phone and a list on this phone was like, ‘What would you do if it was the last day on earth?’”
During an interview with ITV’s Lorraine, Cabello disclosed that a few tracks on her upcoming album Romance would address her romance with Mendes. “Towards the end there were [songs about Mendes], yeah, yeah.” She also confirmed that things between the two were better than ever. “I’ve known him for such a long time and I don’t know, he just feels like home to me,” she said, via Entertainment Tonight. “Yeah, I’m really happy.”
By the end of the month, Mendes had shared a sweet of snap of he and Cabello kissing to Instagram. It was simply captioned with, “?.”
November 2019: Entertainment Tonight reported that Cabello revealed where she and Mendes had their first date and kiss. The pair was in San Francisco, where they were spotted making out on July 12. Previously, Mendes said, “We haven’t been dating for that long. We have been dating since July 4th officially,” which means they could have differing opinions on the date of their first official outing as a couple.
The couple’s PDA tour continued, smooching court side at the Los Angeles Clippers and the Toronto Raptors game at Staples Center on November 12. No kiss cam required.
Six days later, they treated paparazzi to some kissing while dining at Giorgio Baldi in Santa Monica.
Later in the month, Rolling Stone published a profile of Cabello where she talked about the origins of her love story with Mendes. She revealed that while working on the 2015 song “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” they initially connected. She told the outlet:
“I really bonded with him as more than a friend. I think he did, too, but we were both really young, and he was experiencing the pressures of his career. I don’t think we knew what to do with those feelings. It was this awkward thing where we both liked each other, but we weren’t together. It was just weird. An energy was there from the beginning, but after that song, we didn’t spend as much time together. Our paths just didn’t cross in that way romantically until we started hanging out again and writing. For me, it just brought it back.”
The American Music Awards brought some classic Mendes and Cabello behavior. They kissed from the front row, performed “Señorita” up to the point of kissing before stopping, and won the award for Collaboration of the Year.
December 2019: On December 6, Cabello released her album Romance, which as the title would suggest, features a lot of relationship talk. Ahead of the release, Mendes told Ellen DeGeneres while on her show, that the record was in fact “about being in love,” adding,”I was basically completely single for 20 years, and it was like the intensity and adrenaline of my life was in the studio, writing about an emotion that I wanted whereas this time, it’s just been a lot that has happened and I’ve fallen in love and out of love and in love, and that’s basically what this album is about is just kind of falling in love and what that feels like.”
When asked by DeGeneres if Cabello and Mendes had feelings for each other back in 2015, 2016, she replied, “We were stupid. I think we both had a crush, but we were being babies about it. But we’re grown now!”
As for the album, references to her romance with Mendes are everywhere. In singles “Liar” and “Shameless,” she said,”They’re both about the same situation… I was denying feelings for this person for a long time. And before I would see him, I’d be like, ‘I don’t like him, I don’t like him. What, I don’t like him.’ And then I would be like ‘I like him.'” This would nod to Cabello and Mendes being friends before becoming romantic.
In “Used to This,” she sings, “No, I never liked San Francisco / Never thought it was nothin’ special / ‘Til you kissed me there / No, I never liked windy cities / But I think maybe when you’re with me / I like everywhere (Oh).” That would refer to the month prior, when she told a crowd at Apple Music’s New Music Daily performance that she and Mendes shared their first date and kiss in San Francisco.
As for Mendes? He shared on his Instagram Stories that he was streaming the new album.