Everything We Know About Vanessa Hudgens' Relationship With Cole Tucker

After singing her way to fame as the beloved "High School Musical" character Gabriella Montez over a decade ago, Vanessa Hudgens has continued to live her life in the spotlight. Professionally, she's enjoyed roles in a variety of projects like "Grease Live!," "Tick, Tick ... Boom!," and "The Princess Switch" franchise. But she's also been known for her high-profile relationships with fellow actors like Zac Efron and Austin Butler. 

Hudgens dated her former "High School Musical" co-star from 2005 until 2010. A year later, she found happiness again in a long-term relationship with another Disney Channel alum, Austin Butler. The couple was together for nine years, during which time Hudgens reportedly encouraged Butler to audition for "Elvis" – so she's basically responsible for his award-season success with the film. But they eventually grew apart and went their separate ways in January 2020. An insider claimed to People, "Vanessa and Austin's relationship had been slowly fading — it was one of those things where you don't even realize it's happening."

Hudgens quickly put herself back out there and reportedly dated L.A. Lakers player Kyle Kuzma later that month. However, any potential romance apparently fizzled out quickly. By February 2020, the actor seemingly confirmed she was single by wishing herself a happy Valentine's Day on Instagram. It wasn't until later that year that Hudgens was ready to seriously move on, getting together with baseball player, Cole Tucker. And, her relationship with the Major League baseball player has only gotten stronger — here's everything you need to know about the star's latest romance.

They met in a pretty unusual way

Vanessa Hudgens might be an A-List celebrity, but she experienced the same problem as many other people during quarantine and found herself wondering how she would ever meet anyone. She even tried dating apps, something she swore she would never do, and hated the experience. "So I kind of gave up for a minute," she admitted on "The Drew Barrymore Show." But not all hope was lost. 

Hudgens told the "50 First Dates" star that she found love in a very unexpected way while working on "Tick, Tick ... Boom!" A friend offered her a spot in a Zoom meditation group. During the group chat, everyone was sending GIFs of themselves when she spotted one of a baseball player. She thought it was a joke and noted that the guy was hot — not realizing he was a member of the group until Cole Tucker showed up on her screen. Afterward, Hudgens decided she just had to shoot her shot, telling Barrymore, "I fully just slid into his DM's and was like 'Hey, it was nice to meet you!'"

The celebrity Zoom chat was chock full of A-listers like Joe Jonas and Wilmer Valderrama. But as Hudgens explained, she didn't join it expecting to find love there. "I don't think if I entered a meditation Zoom, I'd be like, 'This is where I'll meet my person.' I just showed up and I was like, 'Who the f*** is that?'" she said, per Nylon.

Vanessa Hudgens first teased their romance in 2020

After their zoom meet-cute and a flurry of DMs, Vanessa Hudgens and Cole Tucker met up in real life. The actor teased that she was exploring a new romance by posing a picture of herself all dressed up and holding a rose on Instagram. She captioned the photo, "Date night," but didn't reveal who she was meeting. However, E! News Later confirmed that "The Princess Switch" star had been spotted having dinner with the athlete at Pace in Laurel Canyon, California, the night she posted the photo.

"They had a romantic dinner outside under the stars," an eyewitness told the outlet. "They shared wine and food and had a great two-hour meal. Vanessa was giddy with laughter. She was looking over at Cole and couldn't contain her smile." As seen in photos published by the Daily Mail, the Disney Channel alum looked absolutely smitten with Tucker, who is eight years her junior. The pair, who were all smiles, were photographed holding hands and hugging while waiting for their car at a valet outside a restaurant.

Their early relationship was a whirlwind

Relationships are all about timing. By all accounts, coming out of her nine-year relationship with Austin Butler may not have necessarily been the perfect time for Vanessa Hudgens to open herself up to a new romance. Following her Instagram on February 14 in which the star celebrated self-love and wished herself a happy Valentine's Day, the actor decided to stay single and kept herself busy with work. 

But, in November 2020, Hudgens told ET shared that she was definitely open to a new relationship, and outlined what she was looking for in a romantic suitor. "I feel like at the end of the day, it's just about having similar fundamentals and wanting the same things. Like, I am not picky, really," she said. "... I know what I want and ... if someone comes into the picture and can give me all those things, then great."

Shortly after this interview, Hudgens started dating Cole Tucker. As the actor noted, she certainly knows what she wants and isn't afraid to go after it. In January 2021, an insider told E! News that the new lovebirds had already defined their relationship, confirming their status as boyfriend and girlfriend. The outlet also suggested that the couple had celebrated New Year's Eve together. Their early relationship, complete with cozy picnics under the stars, sounds like a romantic whirlwind and it's obvious Hudgens and Tucker were meant to meet when they did.

They went Instagram-official on Valentine's Day

By our timeline, Vanessa Hudgens and Cole Tucker had been together for fewer than three months when they made their relationship Instagram-official. The pair both confirmed their relationship by posting romantic couple pics together on their respective pages on Valentine's Day in 2021.

Hudgens shared a sweet snap of the couple kissing (left), dressed in cozy clothes and holding each other close, while Hudgens had her left hand on Tucker's chest. "It's you, it's me, it's us," Hudgens captioned the snap on Instagram, finishing off her caption with a series of romantic emojis. Meanwhile, Tucker shared a colorful shot of the couple at one of their homes during the Christmas period (right). Hudgens wore a matching tie dye sweat-set which she completed with a bucket hat, while the baseball player appeared to be rocking a festive "Elf" onesie topped off with a classic red and white Santa hat. Alongside the photo, he wished the "High School Musical" star a happy Valentine's day. Aw.

The couple shared their love for each other in interviews

Once Vanessa Hudgens and Cole Tucker confirmed their relationship on Instagram, it was full steam ahead on the PDA front and public commentary that followed. They both continued posting about their romance on social media and also started addressing it in interviews. Then, just a few weeks after their inaugural Valentine's day post, Tucker publicly dropped the L-bomb.

Speaking to CBS Pittsburgh about his Spring Training, the then-Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop jokingly confirmed his romance with Hudgens, saying, "I got a girlfriend and she's cool." But he didn't stop there. He continued to gush about the actor, declaring, "She's awesome. I love her." The feeling was totally mutual for Hudgens, who also opened up about their relationship in April 2021. "He's just kind of perfect for me. I am [happy]. I really am," she said during an interview with ET. Hudgens continued, telling the outlet that she has been living with more positivity and gratitude, which she thinks is contributing to the happiness in her relationship and life, overall. "I've been making that a priority, and I feel like it's just been making magic happen all the more," she explained.

Hudgens supports Tucker at his baseball games

Prior to dating Tucker, Hudgens' knowledge of baseball boiled down to going to a couple of games with her dad when she was young. "I've definitely grown my knowledge in baseball. I know how the game works now," she admitted on "The Kelly Clarkson Show." The actor explained that she'd been down to the Pittsburgh Pirates training ground in Bradenton, and to several of the team's matches to support Tucker.

It's pretty typical for the partners of players to come down and support them, but it is pretty unusual for one of them to be as famous as Hudgens is. In the same interview with CBS Pittsburgh in which Tucker let his love for Hudgens be known, he noted that he didn't want for his famous girlfriend's presence to be any different than that of his teammate's partners. "I don't want to be treated any differently than Mitch [Keller] having his wife come down, or Ke'Bryan [Hayes] having his girlfriend come down," he insisted.

It seemingly hasn't been an issue for Hudgens or Tucker, which is potentially a sign of the healthy boundaries they've created in their relationship. While speaking to Kelly Clarkson, the Disney alum briefly suggested this may be the case, beaming, "It's the best when it's healthy ...  It's really exciting, it's really beautiful." Meanwhile, Tucker has also shown support for his other half. In 2021, he posted an Instagram about how proud he was of Hudgens after the premiere of "Tick, Tick ... Boom!"

Their interests are 'very different'

No couple is going to agree on everything, and according to Vanessa Hudgens, she and Cole Tucker seem to have contrasting hobbies. "He's his own person. Our interests are very different," she told Glamour. It doesn't just begin and end with their eight-year age gap, either. But, despite her love of musicals and his devotion to sports, their relationship works because they share core values. "Our fundamentals are the same. He's goofy and I'm very goofy. None of us take ourselves too seriously," she explained.

Another thing that brings them together is their willingness to try new things for each other. While appearing on "The Kelly Clarkson Show" Hudgens revealed that she'd gotten more involved with sports and even taken up golf to spend time with her beau. She ended up really enjoying it, starting out on a driving range before taking on a full course. Still, she did also admit that the best thing about it is just being outside, enjoying the fresh air in nature. "You do it at the right time of the day, you get a sunset ... it's a vibe. I'm into it," she said. Hudgens shared a black and white snap from a golf date with Tucker on Instagram, which she jokingly captioned, "Me? Sporty? That's spoooooky ..." complete with a pair of winking and laughing emojis.

They made their red carpet debut in 2021

Almost a year on from their infamous date night, Vanessa Hudgens and Cole Tucker made their red carpet debut as a couple (above). The pair attended the 2021 AFI Fest Opening Night Gala together for the premiere of the biographical musical comedy, "Tick, Tick, ... Boom!" alongside the film's lead star, Andrew Garfield, and director, Lin-Manuel Miranda. Hudgens turned heads in a floor-length white lace gown designed by Vera Wang. She wore her hair slicked back into a long braid, while Tucker matched her classic look in an all-black suit.

This was not the first premiere Hudgens attended for one of her movies while dating Tucker. Back in June 2021, she stepped out alone for the premiere of "Asking For It" at the Tribeca Film Festiva because the baseball player was in the middle of a busy season. To commemorate the milestone of Tucker's first-time accompanying his movie star girlfriend to a premiere, Hudgens posted a picture on Instagram of him kissing her on the cheek with the caption, "Couldn't be happier."

They celebrated all the major holidays together in 2022

Ever since they made their relationship Instagram official in February 2021, it's been pretty clear to see that Vanessa Hudgens and Cole Tucker are absolutely smitten with each other. And the couple has no problem sharing that love with their followers on social media. This became a regular thing in 2022 as the loved-up pair celebrated every major holiday together, from ringing in the new year and another special Valentine's post, to an alfresco Earth day and celebrations for Hudgens' favorite holiday, Halloween. 

It was all glitz and glamor as they celebrated the arrival of 2022. In a multi-pic Instagram post, Hudgens and Tucker were surrounded by close friends, and the occasion naturally made her reflect on the past year — her first with the baseball player. "The thing I'm most grateful for this year has been my community," the actor gushed. "I'm so proud and honored to have such an incredible group of human beings in my life. You all inspire me and make me better." They rounded the year off with equally sweet sentiments, but much cozier outfits for Thanksgiving and Christmas. All in all, 2022 looked to be a celebratory year of love for Hudgens and Tucker.

Hudgens and Tucker got engaged at the end of 2022

It was a celebratory year of love indeed! In February 2023, TMZ reported that Vanessa Hudgens and Cole Tucker were engaged with a source telling the outlet, "Tucker popped the question sometime at the end of 2022." The following day, the couple's respective reps confirmed the news with People

After two years together, Tucker put a ring on it. This may seem relatively quick compared to Hudgens' nine years with Butler, which did not come with a proposal — although there was plenty of speculation. But, when you know, you know, and apparently Hudgens and Tucker do. Although neither of them immediately commented on the now-confirmed rumors that have been swirling around the internet, they have posted some increasingly mushy sentiments on social media to celebrate their love. 

In retrospect, Hudgens' Instagram post at the end of January 2022 was a pretty big clue. She shared a snap of herself gazing lovingly at her fiance with a big smile on her face. To caption the moment, she seemingly borrowed a line from Modern English's classic new wave tune, "I Melt With You," by writing, "I'll stop the world and melt with you," adding love heart emojis alongside it.

Vanessa Hudgens wants to have kids

Any Vanessa Hudgens fan will already know that she's a woman who knows what she wants and goes after it — both in her career and her personal life. The go-getter literally made her relationship with Cole Tucker happen, and who knows if the baseball player would have made the first move otherwise. Hudgens has been pretty candid and direct about the fact that she wants her future to include kids. While she was dating Austin Butler, she told Women's Health, "I want to get married, travel, then have kids — probably in my late 30s ... Everyone's clock is different."

Now that she's engaged to Tucker, it's a pretty safe bet that they're on the same page about what the future holds for them. Especially since she has also been open about the fact that she has a healthy relationship with the baseball player and noted how they share the same fundamental core values, which is what makes their relationship work. Family is undoubtedly one of those core values, so don't be surprised if there's a little Vanessa or Cole running around sometime after the wedding.