A timeline of the ups and downs of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's relationship

Kayne West and Kim Kardashian's relationship has been like a fairytale in a lot of ways. But then, in other ways, it, well, hasn't been. From their beginnings as friends to West's truly epic proposal to their luxe wedding in Italy (that flower wall!), the relationship has been full of a lot of very memorable highs. 

But, here's the thing: the lows (like Kardashian's fertility struggles and West's public issues managing his mental health) have been just as memorable — if not even more so. To be totally honest, there have been so many highs and so many lows, though, no one could blame you if you've forgotten a few (or a lot) of them over the years. 

If you're struggling to remember the full range of amazing and not-so-amazing moments in Kimye's enduring relationship, this should help jog your memory. We've compiled a timeline of some of the most major ups and downs in the famous couple's sometimes picturesque, sometimes tumultuous relationships over the years.

Kanye West didn't know who Kim Kardashian was

When Kim Kardashian and Kayne West met in the early 2000s, it definitely wasn't love at first sight. In fact, West didn't even know who Kardashian was. "I met him I think in 2002 or 2003," the reality TV star told Ryan Seacrest during the Keeping Up With the Kardashians 10th-anniversary special, per Us Weekly. "He was recording a song with Brandy, and I was her friend. I vividly remember hanging out with him, and then they did a video together, so I'd see him a few times. He was asking his friends: 'Who is this Kim Kardajan?' He didn't know what my name was."

To be fair, West was more famous than Kardashian at the time. But, if you're thinking, "Sure, but Kim Kardashian was already pretty darn famous, and her star power was rising quickly at that point," you're right, but, well, claiming not to know who someone is such a Kanye West move to pull, right? 

Couple-worthy cosplay

Back before they were romantically linked, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West were out there showing the world what a cute couple they could make. In 2008, Kardashian and West starred together in a Star Wars-themed video in which she dressed as Princess Leia, and he dressed as a Stormtrooper. Kardashian shared pics from the shoot on her now-defunct website in 2015, writing (per Us Weekly), "In honor of Star Wars: The Force Awakens being released today, I wanted to share these old pics of Kanye and me from years ago! We worked together on a pilot for a show called Alligator Boots back in 2008, and I played Princess Leia."

Of course, this wasn't Kardashian and West's meet-cute moment, which the reality TV starlet was quick to remind fans when she shared the vintage pics. "We had met before this project (back in 2003), but I would say this is when we first really connected. These pics are SO funny!" she added. 

Kim Kardashian marries Kris Humphries

In 2011, Kim Kardashian married NBA player Kris Humphries—but the couple famously divorced just 72 days later, paving the way for her and Kanye West's future romance. "Right before I got married to Kris Humphries, [Kanye and I] were talking and I just went a different direction. I think I had to go through that to figure out what I wanted," Kardashian explained during the Keeping Up With the Kardashians 10th-anniversary special (via Cosmopolitan). 

"After my breakup, I was feeling really low and down and he said, 'Just come to Paris and see my fashion show.' He jokes that he put on this whole fashion show just to get a date with me. I went and I stayed with him, and that's where we started dating. I swear from the moment I landed and was there, I fell madly in love with him and I thought, 'Oh my god, why didn't I do this sooner?' This is what real life is like and love and fun and real support." We're not crying, you're crying.

They realize they're in love

After Kanye West's 2012 Paris fashion show that Kim Kardashian attended, sparks were flying, and the duo was officially dating. In his track, "Cold," West publicly confirmed his and Kardashian's love, rapping, "And I'll admit, I had fell in love with Kim / Around the same time she had fell in love with him / Well, that's cool, baby girl, do ya thang / Lucky I ain't had Jay drop him from the team."

It's during this time that the now-iconic couple was seen everywhere together. According to Hello!, after Paris Fashion Week that year, the pair flew to London for a lavish date, then flew back to America where Kardashian played West's plus-one at the 2012 BET Awards. It looks like Kim got the seal of approval from the entire Kardashian-Jenner clan as "around this time," the reality TV star's beau also attended Kourtney Kardashian's baby shower. 

Kanye West trashes Kim Kardashian's style

In 2012, Kanye West started making appearances on Kim Kardashian's reality show Keeping Up With the Kardashians. In one of the rapper's most memorable early appearances, he gave Kardashian's closet a makeover. In 2018, she reflected on the closet clear out during the BoF West Summit (via Elle), "I always thought I had really good style until I met my husband and he told me that I had the worst style. He was really nice about it and cleaned out my whole closet."

The process might have seemed harsh from the outside looking in, but Kardashian insists it was really a positive experience overall. "I probably had 250 pairs of shoes and when we were done cleaning it out, I had two pairs left and I cried," she admitted, adding, "There were racks of clothes of designers I have never heard of before like Lanvin and Givenchy. I didn't know that then. I kept everything because it was really sentimental to me. I wanted to learn. I wasn't offended when he said that. When he did that he wanted to teach me."

Kanye West announces that Kim Kardashian is pregnant

A little more than a year after the end of her whirlwind marriage to Kris Humphries, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's relationship hit a very important milestone as they started to grow their family. In December 2012, West broke the news (onstage, of course) that Kardashian was pregnant with their first child. He first shared the goss while performing onstage in Atlantic City, telling the crowd to "stop the music, can we make noise for my baby mama?" According to People, when "West was singing 'Runaway' ... he went into a freestyle ballad with the words 'and now she's having my baby,'" causing "the crowd of 5,000" to erupt into cheers and applause.

"It's true!! Kanye and I are expecting a baby," Kardashian wrote on her website at the time in a post titled, "New Year, New Beginnings "(via People). "We feel so blessed and lucky and wish that in addition to both of our families, his mom and my dad could be here to celebrate this special time with us. Looking forward to great new beginnings in 2013 and to starting a family."

Kim Kardashian cries at the Met Gala

These days, Kim Kardashian is a staple at high-profile, fashion-forward events, but in the earlier days of her career, that wasn't always the case. Her relationship with Kanye West actually helped open some new doors for the reality star, like in May 2013, when she attended the prestigious Met Gala in New York City for the first time ever as her beau's guest. 

Kardashian wore a long-sleeved, high-necked floral print gown for the occasion. Years later, she tweeted about the event, admitting that she was so vulnerable she broke down in tears after the event. "Year 1- 2013 Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy," she tweeted in 2019 of the event and the gown she wore for the occasion. "I was Kanye's plus one & so nervous! I didn't know anyone & I'm sure no one wanted me there lol. I did my own lipstick & the color is so off. I went home & cried after of insecurity but this is one of my fave looks now."

North West is born

In June 2013, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West welcomed their first child, North West. Some people didn't love the baby's name, but it was perfect for the self-aware couple. "The way [Kim] explained it to me was North means 'highest power," Kris Jenner told Barbara Walters of the name in an appearance on The View (via The Hollywood Reporter), "And she says that North is [Kim and Kanye's] highest point together. And I thought that was really sweet."

The story behind North's name turned out to be even more on-brand for the couple than anyone could have guessed, though. "I remember this is actually where we decided, finally, on North as a name for our baby girl," Kardashian told British GQ in 2014 of North's name. "It was a rumor in the press and we'd never really considered it seriously, at all, but Kanye and I were having lunch right over there at that table about a year ago and Pharrell [Williams] came over to us and said, 'Oh my God, are you guys really going to call your daughter "North"? That is the best name.' I said, 'No, we're not, that's just a rumor.' Then a little while later Anna Wintour [Editor-In-Chief of American Vogue] came over and asked the same thing. She told us: 'North is a genius name.' Kanye and I looked at one another and just laughed. I guess at that point it sort of stuck."

Kanye West proposes in a very Kanye way

In October 2013, just four months after North was born, Kanye West proposed to Kim Kardashian in a huge display in front of family and friends at San Francisco Giants baseball stadium, AT&T Park. After luring Kardashian to the park, West put his proposal in writing. "He projected please marry me onto the stadium screen for everyone to see," a source told Us Weekly of the proposal at the time. 

West popped the question with an insanely gorgeous, 15-carat diamond engagement ring that reportedly cost $8 million, according to Brides.com, which added that "jewelry designer Lorraine Schwartz described the D flawless type 2A rock as the 'perfect cushion-cut diamond.'" In 2016, West upgraded his wife with a second, even blingier engagement ring, but the 20-carat emerald-cut piece was, sadly, stolen during Kardashian's Paris robbery in 2016

Kardashian and West had been the subject of marriage rumors long before their spectacular engagement. In a February 2013 interview with Cosmopolitan, the starlet revealed, "[Marriage] is something I know that we both want in our future, but I don't have this sense of urgency about it. I have this best friend who understands me and helps me through all my tough experiences, and vice versa, you know? It just feels like this is it for me."

Kim Kardashian and Kayne West get married in Italy

On May 24, 2014, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West tied the knot in Florence, Italy, in front of their family and friends at the 16th-century Forte di Belvedere. The exclusive guest list included John Legend, Chrissy Teigen, LaLa Anthony, Lorraine Schwartz, and Q-Tip. West reportedly went out of his way to make the wedding a "princess fairy tale for Kim," a source close to the rapper told Us Weekly at the time, adding, "Kanye thought of every detail."

It wouldn't be a Kardashian-West event if it wasn't super extra, and their wedding, of course, was no exception. The couple splashed out for a luxe venue, elaborate dinners, and a performance from opera legend Andrea Bocelli. Experts estimated that the entire lavish affair cost $2.8 million. Naturally, the wedding was documented for the starlet's reality show, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, giving fans an intimate look at the nuptials.

Kim Kardashian struggles with fertility issues

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have always known that they wanted to have a large family, but growing their brood wasn't easy. In 2015, the starlet opened up to Glamour about the challenges she faced conceiving her second child and the serious health risks that pregnancy has meant for her. 

"I didn't know that I was going to be so open with [my fertility challenges]. But meeting people at my fertility doctor's office who are going through the same things I'm going through, I thought, why not share my story?" Kardashian explained. "It's been really emotional. One doctor told me I would need my uterus removed after I had another baby — I could only have one more. One was like, 'You should get a surrogate.' The other one was like, 'Oh, no, you'll be fine.' Then I called my doctor, and he's like, 'You know what? I believe — we'll get through it.'" Musing, the Skims owner added, "The waiting and waiting has been a roller coaster."

Eventually, Kardashian and West welcomed their two younger children, Chicago and Psalm, via surrogates.

Saint West is born

In spite of the issues Kim Kardashian had with fertility and the difficulties pregnancy posed for her, the Kardashian-West family kept growing. In December 2015, the reality TV star made her daughter North a big sister for the first time when she gave birth to her and Kayne West's second child, their son, Saint West. 

Kardashian announced the news on Twitter, writing, "He's here!" along with a sweet, surprisingly low-key (for the Kardashian-West clan, anyway) photo of her and Kanye holding hands. "Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West welcomed the arrival of their son this morning," the couple explained in a statement on Kardashian's website (via Us Weekly) "Mother and son are doing well."

The makeup mogul announced Saint's name on Twitter two days after confirming his birth, along with a photo of four emojis representing the growing Kardashian-West family, representing Kanye, Kim, North, and, of course, baby Saint. Announcing your child's birth via emojis? Now that's a very Kardashian thing to do. 

Kim Kardashian defends Kanye West amid the Taylor Swift drama

In the big picture sense, there was nothing positive about the drama between Kanye West and Taylor Swift. But, as a moment in Kim Kardashian and West's relationship, it has to count as an up, not a down. In her Grammy acceptance speech in 2016, Swift made a low-key reference to West's song, "Famous," which included the now-infamous lyric, "I feel like me and Taylor still might have sex / Why? I made that b*tch famous." As Swift declared, "I want to say to all the young women out there, there are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame." There's no denying that the words were a reference to the controversial track. 

Kardashian came to her husband's defense in a big, game-changing way when she leaked video footage of West and Swift's phone call about the song on Snapchat. The move started a movement against the songstress on Twitter, forever changed the meaning of the snake emoji, and took the pop star and rapper's feud to another level. Still, it came from a place of wanting to protect a loved one on Kardashian's part.

So, what did West have to say about Kardashian exposing Swift? "I am so glad my wife has Snapchat," the rapper smugly declared during a surprise appearance at a Drake concert in Chicago (via TMZ).

Kanye West is hospitalized and divorce rumors swirl

In November 2016, Kanye West was hospitalized for a "psychiatric emergency" in Los Angeles hours after he canceled the remaining dates on his 2016 Saint Pablo Tour (via The New York Times). The hospitalization came shortly after the rapper made headlines for delivering a bizarre speech during a concert in which he criticized Jay Z and Beyonce and endorsed Donald Trump. "I am putting my career, my life, my public well-standing at risk when I talk to y'all like this," he said, according to The New York Times. "I've been sitting here to give y'all my truth even at the risk of my own life. Even at the risk of my own success, my own career. I've been sitting here to give y'all the truth."

West's hospitalization lasted for nine days and was characterized as an episode of "temporary psychosis" by his physician, Michael Farzam. After his release, sources told Us Weekly that Kim Kardashian wanted a divorce and was only waiting to file because she was building a case to obtain full custody of their children, but that claim was never substantiated by Kardashian or anyone going on the record for her in an official capacity. 

Kayne West gets close to Donald Trump

In December 2016, following his hospitalization, Kanye West famously met with then-President-elect Donald Trump. Kim Kardashian later admitted that Kanye's decision to wear a red "Make America Great Again" hat used to drive her crazy, but that she eventually adapted to it. 

"He doesn't represent either side," she insisted in an interview with Vogue in 2019. "But he doesn't want to be told what he should be. It can be confusing. I get it. The one thing that I respect so much is that he is who he is, no matter what anyone tries to tell him to do. I can be sitting there crying: OH, MY GOD! TAKE OFF THE RED HAT! Because he really is the sweetest person with the biggest heart. I stopped caring, though. Because I used to care so much. I was making it such an issue in our relationship. And in my life. It gave me so much anxiety."

Kardashian later met with Trump herself in 2018, to advocate for prison and sentencing reform. "I would like to thank President Trump for his time this afternoon," she said in a statement (via Us Weekly). "It is our hope that the President will grant clemency to Ms. Alice Marie Johnson who is serving a life sentence for a first-time, non-violent drug offense. We are optimistic about Ms. Johnson's future and hopeful that she — and so many like her — will get a second chance at life."

Kanye West opens up about his mental health

In the song "Yikes" on his 2018 album Ye, Kanye West confirmed that he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in his late 30s. As Us Weekly further noted, "In addition, the cover art for the project features a photo of a Wyoming mountain range with 'I hate being bipolar it's awesome' written across it."

Opening up about his diagnosis more, West candidly discussed his experience with mental illness in an interview with David Letterman on My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. "I wouldn't be able to explain that as much just because, you know, I'm not a doctor," he said. "I can just tell you what I'm feeling at the time, and I feel a heightened connection with the universe when I'm ramping up. It is a health issue. This — it's like a sprained brain, like having a sprained ankle. And if someone has a sprained ankle, you're not going to push on him more. With us, once our brain gets to a point of spraining, people do everything to make it worse."

Kanye West announces his presidential run and shares personal information about his family

In July 2020, Kanye West announced his intention to run for president in the upcoming election, a move many assumed was the result of his struggles with bipolar disorder. At a campaign rally in South Carolina, he delivered a shocking speech in which he described urging his now-wife Kim Kardashian to have an abortion when she was pregnant with their first child, North. "Cause I was having, like, you know, the rapper's lifestyle, so she said she was pregnant and for one month and two months and three months we talked about her not having this child. She had the pills in her hand," he said (per Us Weekly), adding, "She brought North into the world even when I didn't want to. She stood up and she protected that child." The rapper tearfully added, "I almost killed my daughter."

Although multiple outlets reported that sources said Kim was upset by the speech, the reality star stayed silent directly following the incident. In a now-deleted Twitter rant, West claimed that Kardashian tried to have a doctor "lock [him] up" over the comments he made at the rally.

Kim Kardashian stands by Kanye West

After the fallout from his rally in South Carolina, Kanye West apologized to Kim Kardashian publicly on Twitter, writing, "I would like to apologize to my wife Kim for going public with something that was a private matter. I did not cover her like she has covered me. To Kim I want to say I know I hurt you. Please forgive me. Thank you for always being there for me." 

Kardashian spoke publicly about her husband's bipolar diagnosis for the first time following the incident, taking to her Instagram Story to issue a lengthy statement about his struggles and the impact his condition has on their family. "People who are unaware or far removed from this experience can be judgemental and not understand that the individual themselves have to engage in the process of getting help no matter how hard family and friends try," she wrote (via Us Weekly). Ultimately, she called for understanding and support for West, adding, "He is a brilliant but complicated person who on top of the pressures of being an artist and a Black man, who experienced the painful loss of his mother, and has to deal with the pressure and isolation that is heightened by his bi-polar disorder."

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, or call the National Alliance on Mental Illness Helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264).