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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Emma Loffhagen

A complete timeline of Zendaya and Tom Holland's relationship

These days, there are vanishingly few celebrity relationships that seem destined to last. After last year’s swathe of shocking A-list break-ups, the “relationship goals” pool was looking disappointingly shallow. 

But one A-list couple who never cease to disappoint is the internet’s favourite transatlantic duo Tom Holland and Zendaya

Since they were first papped kissing in 2021, the pair have been pretty private about their relationship, save for Tom’s adorable habit of reposting pictures of Zendaya on his Instagram story, accompanied by some variation of the heart eyes emoji. 

(Getty Images)

But over the years they seem to have opened up a little more, most recently being spotted on a cute tennis date at Indian Wells in California over the weekend. The couple were watching the women’s final, and were spotted singing along to Whitney Houston in their courtside seats. 

The pair have been close friends since they were cast as the leads of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Homecoming in 2016, but it didn’t take long for rumours to start to swirl about a potential romantic connection. 

Here’s a full timeline of Tom Holland and Zendaya’s friends to lovers romance. 

2016: Tom Holland and Zendaya are cast as co-stars in the reboot of the Spider-Man franchise


In March 2016, news breaks that Holland and Zendaya had been cast as the iconic couple Peter Parker and MJ in Marvel’s reboot of the Spider-Man franchise. 

The first film in the series, Spider-Man: Homecoming, begins production in June 2016 and is released in July 2017.

2017: They jokingly deny dating rumours during the Spider-Man press tour 

(Getty Images)

While on the road promoting their new film, rumours begin to swirl about a possible romance between Zendaya and Holland. But the co-stars take to social media to shut down the whispers. 

In response to a tweet that suggests the pair have gone on holiday together, Zendaya writes jokingly, “Wait favorite is when it says we go on vacations together HA! I haven't been on a vacation in years!hbu @TomHolland1996 ???”

Holland replies: “Does the press tour count.”

August 2017: Holland and Zendaya open up about their friendship, but still deny a romance


Shortly before the premiere of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Holland tells PEOPLE how Zendaya has helped him navigate the spotlight. "We are like the best of friends. She's so great and amazing," he says of his American co-star.

"I'm a little worried [about dealing with fame … but] Zendaya is super famous and she's been through this and I just call her up and say, 'How do I manage being famous?' I'm very glad I have a friend like her," he adds.

In August 2017, the Euphoria star tells Variety she and Holland were not dating. "We are friends," she says. "He's a great dude. He's literally one of my best friends. This past how many months we've had to do press tours together. There's very few people that will understand what that's like at 20 years old."

2019–20: Zendaya reportedly dates Jacob Elordi

(AbacaPress /

In 2019, Zendaya reportedly starts dating her Euphoria costar Jacob Elordi. The two are first spotted cosying up to each other during an outing in New York. 

In August, the pair are photographed on holiday together in Greece. In a pictured shared by one Instagram user on holiday, the couple are seen in the background enjoying a trip to the Acropolis of Athens.

July 2021: Paparazzi photos show Zendaya and Tom kissing in a car in LA

Five years after the pair first worked together in Spider-Man, it seems that a relationship is finally on the cards. 

In July 2021, paparazzi photos emerge of the two kissing in a car while at a red light. Other photos show them leaving Zendaya’s mother’s house in LA. 

August 2021: They attend a friend’s wedding as each other's dates

Though they haven’t yet made any comment about the status of their relationship, the pair are seen attending a friend’s wedding together, looking very much as though they are each other's dates. Internet sleuths manage to find photos from the event where they can be seen sitting with their heads leant against each other. 

September 2021: The couple go Instagram official

For the actress’s 25th birthday, Holland posts a sweet tribute on Instagram featuring a behind-the-scenes film photo of their time on the Spider-Man set.

“My MJ, have the happiest of birthdays,” he writes in the caption. “Gimme a call when your up xxx.”

"Calling now♥️," Zendaya replied just a few hours later. 

November 2021: Tom Holland opens up about his relationship with Zendaya

(Zendaya Instagram)

In an interview with GQ, Holland speaks candidly about his and Zendaya's relationship.

“One of the downsides of our fame is that privacy isn’t really in our control anymore, and a moment that you think is between two people that love each other very much is now a moment that is shared with the entire world,” he says..

“I’ve always been really adamant to keep my private life private, because I share so much of my life with the world anyway. We sort of felt robbed of our privacy.”

Asked whether the couple were ready to go public with their romance, he responds: “I don’t think it’s about not being ready. It’s just that we didn’t want to.”

“It’s not a conversation that I can have without her,” he continues. “You know, I respect her too much to say… This isn’t my story. It’s our story. And we’ll talk about what it is when we’re ready to talk about it together.”

In a separate interview, Zendaya also comments about the pair’s privacy. “It was quite strange and weird and confusing and invasive. The equal sentiment [we both share] is just that when you really love and care about somebody, some moments or things, you wish were your own.… I think loving someone is a sacred thing and a special thing and something that you want to deal with and go through and experience and enjoy amongst the two people that love each other.”

December 2021: The couple talk about their height difference on the Graham Norton Show

(BBC/Graham Norton Show)

In December 2021, Zendaya and Holland make a rare public appearance together on the Graham Norton Show. In a now viral clip, they share a sweet moment laughing about how their height difference affected the filming of their upcoming Spider Man film. 

They explain how their characters are supposed to land on a bridge together at the same time but given their height difference they couldn't.

“I would land before him,” Zendaya explains to Norton.

“So Zendaya would land. And I'm the superhero, I'm supposed to look cool. And I would land and my feet would swing from underneath me and then she would catch me”.

The pair then demonstrate to the audience the mechanics of the catch, with Zendaya saying to Holland: “You were actually very lovely about it. You would be like ‘Oh my gosh, thank you’.”

December 2021: They appear on red carpets together while promoting the final Spider Man film

(Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

While on the press tour for the third film in the Spider Man reboot, Spider-Man: No Way Home, the couple make various stylish appearances together on the red carpet. 

They are photographed together in London on December 5 together looking very cosy on the carpet, with Zendaya in a dazzling Alexander McQueen oversized embellished blazer.

December 2021: Zendaya shares an adorable Instagram post of Tom

Zendaya posts a series of sweet Instagram pictures of Holland, including one of him as a child, with a gushing caption to accompany it. 

“My Spider-Man,” she writes. “I’m so proud of you, some things never change and good thing♥”. 

March 2023: The couple wear each other’s initials

In March 2023, eagle-eyed fans spot the actors wearing each other’s initials in recent outings.

During a nail appointment, Zendaya is seen wearing a signet ring featuring Holland’s initials, seen in a video shared by her manicurist on Instagram.

Holland is later seen with Zendaya’s initial emblazoned onto the back pocket of his trousers.

March 2023: Zendaya and Tom show off their date night fashion in London

The pair pose for photos with London restaurant Jamavar's executive chef Surender Mohan at the end of March 2023, and show off their date night fashion. 

“Was a pleasure having @zendaya & @tomholland2013 dine with us @jamavarlondon this afternoon,” Mohan writes in the post's caption.

April 2023: They are spotted on couples trips to Mumbai and London

(Tracy Borman)

Zendaya and Holland are spotted arriving at the Mumbai airport together and embark on a yacht outing. They are seen on the Instagram account of Blue Bay Marine, a yacht charter service, which captions a group photo with the actors, “Hosted Zendaya & Tom on our yacht.”

Later that month, the couple pay a visit to Hampton Court Palace. In photos shared by the Queen Anne Boleyn Society on Instagram, the couple poses with historians Tracy Borman and James Peacock during a tour of the palace.

Historian Tracy Borman shares photos with Tom Holland and Zendaya. (Tracy Borman)

June 2023: Zendaya celebrates Tom’s birthday on Instagram


On Holland’s 27th birthday, Zendaya shares some loving snaps of Holland to her Instagram story.

In the first picture, Holland makes a heart gesture with his hands as he swims in the sea. In the second photo, Holland smiles for the camera as he poses on a shoreline, with Zendaya adding a heart-eyes emoji in the corner.

June 2023: Tom talks about being “happy and in love” with Zendaya

(Getty Images)

In an interview with BuzzFeed, Holland jokes about having limited “rizz” while discussing his relationship. 

“I have no rizz whatsoever. I have limited rizz,” he tells the website. “I need you to fall in love with me, really, for it to work. So, long game. Probably making a movie with each other. Definitely helps when the characters you’re playing are falling in love with one another—you can sort of blur the lines a little bit. That’s kind of where my rizz is at. And I’m, you know, I’m locked up, so I’m happy and in love. So I’ve got no need for rizz.”

July 2023: Tom says he’s “lucky” to act with Zendaya

During an appearance on the SmartLess podcast, Holland says his shared experiences with Zendaya in the world of acting have been helpful for their relationship.

“I’m lucky that I have someone like Zendaya in my life,” he tells the hosts. “It’s interesting being in a romantic relationship with someone that is in the same boat as you.”

Holland adds, "You can share your experiences and all that sort of stuff. And that’s worth its weight in gold.”

September 2023: Zendaya and Tom serenade each other at Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour 

The couple are among the hoards of celebs in attendance at Beyoncé’s LA show on September 4, which marked the singer’s 42nd birthday. 

A video shows the couple freezing in sync during Beyoncé’s onstage mute challenge during her performance of Energy.

The pair also attend another leg of the tour in Warsaw, and in a moment to define “couple goals” they are filmed serenading each other to Bey’s hit Love On Top.

February 2024: Zendaya and Tom attend the Dune: Part Two after-party.

Zendaya at the Dune 2 world premiere in AW95 Mugler couture (Getty Images for Warner Bros. Pi)

The couple is captured holding hands and smiling leaving the Dune: Part Two world premiere after-party in London, coordinated in monochromatic black outfits. 

In a viral TikTok, Holland is seen protecting Zendaya from the cameras as they leave the event. 

February 2024: Zendaya praises Tom’s “rizz”

When asked in a BuzzFeed interview who in the Dune: Part Two cast has the most rizz, Zendaya jokingly replies, “Me. Hello?” before saying, “I don’t know. ‘Rizz’ is short for charisma, right? Everybody’s kind of got their own.”

She then pivots to gushing about Holland. “I think someone who has beautiful charisma, not on the Dune cast, but I personally—works for me—is Mr. Tom Holland,” she says. “I’m more shy and kind of quiet, so it takes a little bit more to pull me out of my shell. But he’s great at just talking to people and getting to know people. You see him on talk shows and stuff like that. He’s just naturally very good at that. Whereas for me, I’ve definitely had to pull it out of me a little bit. So, he’s got that natural gift.”

March 2024: Tom and Zendaya are spotted at Indian Wells together

They are seen singing along to Whitney Houston's 1987 classic I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me) while seated courtside.

The actress also met with champion Iga Swiatek, who had defeated runner-up Maria Sakkari, for photos later in the day while congratulating her on the win.

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