Let’s cut to the chase. Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson are engaged, and people are losing it over the fact that the SNL star popped the question after only a month of dating. Personally, I’m not bothered by it. If America can believe two complete strangers can fall in love with The Bachelor as their vehicle, why are we trying to remove Grande and Davidson from the driver’s seat of their own love boat?
But it’s a tale that merits a deeper dive, mainly because a string of wacky Internet conspiracy theories want us to believe that—gasp!—they’ve possibly been dating longer than we think!
After news of their engagement broke last week, Twitter and Instagram exploded with terrific timelines that outline just when they started canoodling and why what they’ve confirmed to the press (not much) doesn’t add up.
Writer Nicole Boyce whipped together a much-referenced calendar with all of the couple’s milestones, and a slew of other similar timelines have also surfaced. All of which leaves us wondering, could the couple have been cheating on their respective beaus and secretly dating for months? Or perhaps they’d secretly broken up with their exes, and been seeing each other on the DL before making their relationship public?
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To put these exhausting conspiracy theories and timelimes to rest, we pieced it all together so you don’t have to. Below, a clear explanation of what, exactly, we know about their relationship so far, and where things get murky. Let Boyce’s calendar serve as a point of reference.
What We Know For Sure
On May 21, Us Weekly reported that Grande and Davidson were a thing. A week later, he shared a photo with her in Harry Potter costume, essentially confirming the report. Ten days after that, we learned, via Instagram, that Davidson got tattoos in honor of his new girl. And then, nearly four weeks after the initial report, People confirmed that these two are planning to walk down the aisle. Other than the rapid speed of things, all sounds normal, right? Wrong.
Things get really messy during the month of May, and it traces back to their previous relationships.
We’ll begin with Grande and Mac Miller. Earlier this year, rumors swirled that Miller was cheating on her. Poor Ari! On May 9, TMZ reported that they called it quits. This put Grande totally in the clear; according to media reports, she technically began to see Davidson after the news of her breakup.
On May 12, a Saturday, she hit up an SNL after-party (which Davidson presumably attended) and was photographed with a cloud-shaped cell phone case that her new beau also has. This is the night where it’s assumed Grande fell victim to Davidson’s charm. The following Monday, she posted a video of herself with the cloud emoji as her caption. Cryptic and teasy. After this, she was spotted at other events where she reportedly hung out with Davidson, and he followed up by getting those tattoos and eventually proposing.
So back to Davidson.
We all thought that he was still with ex Cazzie David until May 16, when People confirmed their split exactly one week after Grande and Miller’s breakup—saucy timing. Then, Davidson and Grande started hanging out more, and posting on Instagram. David has since shared a few slightly shady posts, but they don’t do much to help clear things up.
That’s everything we know! In other words: they were each dating someone else, became single, started flirting at the SNL after-party mid-May, and boom, became engaged less than a month later.
What The Internet Thinks
Things get hairy when we start to discuss the idea that this is simply the timeline Grande and Davidson want us to believe, not what actually has gone down. Here’s why. As we see in Boyce’s timeline, everything on May calendar makes logical sense minus a) Davidson’s ex David’s Instagram, which we’ll discuss, and b) the duration of time it took for Grande’s ring to be made.
On May 3, David posted a photo with Davidson with the caption “bffs.” Why, people wonder, did she share that image to then split with Davidson on May 9, just less than a week after? Is it because she found out he was secretly dating Grande? Is it because they actually split long before and she was just reminding the world of their friendship, making it clear things were all gravy, knowing Grande and her ex planned to go public, ASAP? The world may never know, but this is the premise of the theory, and of the lapse in the timeline.
Also puzzling is the ring Grande got from Davidson. Its designer, Greg Yuna, told E! News that it took two weeks to make, and that Davidson didn’t reveal who it was for. E! also reported that Grande was spotted wearing the ring on June 2, which means that if it took two weeks to make, Davidson could have requested it as early as May 19, three days after the Davidson-David breakup made headlines, and exactly one week after he and Grande “met” at that SNL after-party.
Grande and Davidson may have been together for much, much longer than what we’ve been expected to believe. Further evidence? One Twitter user pointed out that while Grande shared a photo of herself with Davidson on May 31, after their official breakups, it looks like she’s wearing the same outfit from a photo shared on May 13, before David and Davidson’s official split.
Refinery29 also speculates that they could have been dating since April 21, when Davidson mentioned he was planning to wife up his girlfriend at the time during a set at Kenyon College in Ohio. Who knows whether he was referring to David or Grande. If it was about David, this tells us that she and Davidson were still together through April, confirming the odd validity of the timeline. If he was referring to Grande, then she and Davidson have been dating for longer than reported, and Grande, Davidson, and David have just been all in on those confusing, head-scratching situation. They think we’re fools!
Only one thing’s for sure: young love is wild AF.