The Truth About Ariana Grande's Relationship History

After rising to fame on Nickelodeon's "Victorious" and then "Sam and Cat" when she was only a teenager, Ariana Grande has blossomed into a full-blown superstar with multiple hit albums, heaps of awards, a role in Adam McKay's "Don't Look Up," and a gig on Season 21 of reality competition series "The Voice."

Yet, it hasn't been all work and no play for Grande; she's definitely found time to date, despite her busy schedule. More often than not, the "Positions" singer has not been one to keep her personal life away from fans. Over the years, Grande has been more open than most celebrities about her relationships, discussing them in interviews, posting about them on social media, showing PDA on red carpets, and of course writing songs about them.

As of May 2021, Grande is happily married to someone who isn't in the spotlight. But before that? The "Scream Queens" actor had her fair share of high profile romances. Grande even wrote her hit song "Thank U, Next" as a nod to past failed relationships that made her stronger. Grande only touches on four of her exes in the hit single, but there is much more to the star's relationship history than she could cover in a three-and-a-half-minute song, so let's break it down.

A young romance with Graham Phillips turned into a friendship

Ariana Grande's first public relationship began in 2008, when the star was only 15 years old. According to Us Weekly, she hit it off with her former boyfriend Graham Phillips when the two were in the Broadway musical "13."

As for why the two split up three years later? An official reason hasn't been given, but we do know that Grande and the "Riverdale" actor were able to maintain a friendship. Phillips even proved there was no bad blood when he defended Grande in 2015 after the donut shop debacle heard 'round the world. At the time, he told People, "She's such a sweet girl... I don't think it speaks to her character at all."

That next year, the former couple was seen hanging out together at a Los Angeles restaurant. Phillips posted about their dinner on his Instagram, captioning a photo with "Lil 13 reunion." In February 2019, the pair was spotted out again, that time singing together with another "13" alum, Elizabeth Gillies. Grande even posted videos of their hangout, tagging Phillips in one video of him singing with a heart emoji next to his name. That next month, TMZ reported that Grande and Phillips went to dinner alone in New York City, which led to speculation that they rekindled their romance. Yet it appears that Phillips and Grande were always better as friends.

Remember Ariana Grande's online drama with Jai Brooks?

Ariana Grande was far more public with her next relationship with YouTuber Jai Brooks. According to Bustle, the two met on the internet in 2012 and began dating each other before ever meeting in person. When they did finally meet, the whole thing was filmed and put on YouTube. From there, the two would regularly share stuff like canoodle-y photos and pics of Grande gifting Brooks a sloth for his birthday — you know, typical teen stuff. 

Unfortunately, Brooks couldn't help but take their split online as well, going so far as to accuse Grande of cheating on him with The Wanted's Nathan Sykes. He wrote, "Yes I was cheated on. Yes it does suck. Yes I was left for another man," but strangely added, "Nathan if you read this, when you hold her hand you better hold it tight because you are holding my world." Grande responded with her own tweet, writing, "You said to me if I didn't come back to you, you'd make me look bad to the entire world... I'm no longer afraid of you or your lies anymore." 

Despite all the shade thrown, the two ended up briefly getting back together. Yet their reunion didn't last long; Grande pulled the plug again in 2014. According to E! News, it apparently happened because Brooks wasn't present when her grandfather died. Grande even tweeted at the time, "I thank everybody who was here for me when I needed them as the ones who weren't really broke my heart."

Ariana Grande's relationship with Nathan Sykes led to some music

Although their relationship was brief, a few songs did come out of Ariana Grande's romance with The Wanted's Nathan Sykes. The two dated for just a few months in 2013 after dueting on the song "Almost is Never Enough." At the time, Grande gushed to Entertainment Wise that after spotting him on a red carpet, "​​we locked eyes with each other all night. I thought, he was cute as hell." 

The "Bang Bang" singer added that things really took off after they met while shooting the music video for it. Calling him "very sweet and cute," she said the two "started talking and then it just went from there." The two decided to confirm their romance on Twitter after they were spotted embracing at Disneyland, according to Us Weekly. Sykes wrote, "So, I guess it's obvious now ... thanks to everyone who is being so lovely. I'm so happy." However, that happiness didn't last long and the pair split that same year. 

In addition to inspiring what was, as Sykes told MTV News, "a really nice song even though it is quite heartbreaking," that next year, Grande even appeared on his track "Over and Over Again." But when Grande didn't include Sykes in her 2018 hit "Thank U, Next" he seemed relieved, telling TMZ, "That's good!" He noted that while he hadn't listened to it, he did "hear it's fantastic, so that's amazing."

Ariana Grande 'had great chemistry' with Big Sean

While Big Sean may not have been "a match" for Ariana Grande, the two were pretty smitten with each other when they dated from 2014 to 2015. Their relationship commenced after Sean ended his engagement with the late Naya Rivera. The two collaborated on "Right There" and "Best Mistake," and the songstress couldn't stop singing his praises. She told the Telegraph, "He is one of the most amazing men in the whole world, and that includes my grandfather and my brother. I think the world of him, and he's an amazing person."

Sean apparently felt similar, dishing to MTV News that he and Grande "had great chemistry" even though they were "friends for years before anything else." However, Rivera didn't think so and even accused him of cheating in her book "Sorry Not Sorry, Mistakes and Growing Up" with someone whose name "rhymes with 'Smariana Schmande.'" A source denied the affair to Us Weekly.

In 2015, the pair split up, but in their joint statement (via E! News), they insisted they would "remain close friends." That seems to have stuck, as Grande revealed on the "Zach Sang Show" that she sent "Thank U, Next" to Sean before its release. "He was very supportive, he loved it," she shared. In 2019, TMZ reported that the artists were also spotted hanging out at a recording studio, proving at that point Grande often left relationships on good terms.

Ricky Alvarez was part of donutgate

You could say Ariana Grande's backup dancer turned boyfriend Ricky Alvarez got the short end of the maple bar when it came to her relationship history. Yes, this is the guy who was around for #donutgate. For those who blocked it out, that's when Grande was caught on a donut shop security camera in 2015 licking donuts that she hadn't purchased, while talking about how she "hates America," as TMZ reported at the time. Amidst her curious behavior, she was seen stealing a kiss from the guy she was with, Alvarez.

Chatting with Billboard, Grande's close pal Victoria Monet revealed that the "Victorious" star wrote the love song "Moonlight" about Alvarez. "He waited to kiss her for a long time, and she was really impressed," she said. "He's such a gentleman, and the song is a great little bookmark of the start of their relationship."

Romantic as it was, the 'ship eventually sailed. She did mention him in the first verse of 2018's "Thank U, Next": "Wrote some songs about Ricky, now I listen and laugh." Yes, if it weren't bad enough Alvarez is the donutgate guy, he also got that line in the song. To his credit, he seems to have a sense of humor about it. After the single dropped, he posted a video on his Instagram Story where he's listening to the lyric and looking dumbfounded (via Us Weekly). "IM SORRY U GOT THE WORST LINE...IT WAS MEANT V LOVINGLY," Grande replied in IG, indicating she and Alvarez remain on friendly terms.

Ariana Grande and Mac Miller were friends first

Even though they only dated between 2016 and 2018, Ariana Grande and Mac Miller had a close friendship for years. "I met him when I was 19," she said in Cosmopolitan. "We have loved and adored and respected each other since the beginning." While they didn't get together romantically right away, "the love has been there the whole time...we love each other as best friends first and foremost."

Sadly, Miller and Grande couldn't make it work. Yet following their breakup, Grande posted an Instagram story of them cuddling, writing (via Us Weekly), "I respect and adore him endlessly and am grateful to have him in my life in any form...Unconditional love is not selfish. It is wanting the best for that person even if at the moment, it's not you."

The "Side to Side" singer quickly moved on to Pete Davidson, while around the same time Miller, who struggled with substance use throughout his life, was arrested for a DUI crash. As E! News reported, some fans blamed Grande for Miller's relapse. She responded by referring to their romance as a "toxic relationship," adding, "I am not a babysitter or a mother... I have cared for him and tried to support his sobriety & prayed for his balance for years." Miller gave his take to Beats 1 radio, saying, "I was in love with somebody...We worked through good times, bad times, stress and everything else. And then it came to an end and we both moved on."

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Things got serious for Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson pretty quickly

While Mac Miller was clearly important to Ariana Grande, perhaps her most famous relationship was with "King of Staten Island" star Pete Davidson, whom she began dating shortly after she and Miller split. The two met when Grande hosted "SNL," and there were sparks there that eventually turned into something — but not right away. The singer later told Jimmy Fallon (via Insider), "We weren't even friends for the longest time, but I had the biggest crush in the whole world on him the whole time — like forever."

Their whirlwind romance was over the top even for Grande, consisting of a lot of heavy PDA, sentimental gifts, and matching tattoos. Grande of course also wrote a song for Davidson, which she actually called "Pete Davidson," and the lovebirds couldn't help but constantly gush about each other on social media and in interviews. Davidson told Fallon, "I feel like I won I contest. So sick...I'm a lucky motherf—er."

And like most couples in love, or just the celebrity ones, Davidson and Grande moved in together and got engaged after only a few weeks of dating. Yet some Grande fans were a little overprotective of their queen and frequently criticized Davidson on social media. At one point, the "Into You" singer came to Davidson's defense on Instagram writing, "stop w this s—. please. forreal." Sadly, overzealous fans wouldn't be the last of Grande and Davidson's problems after she was hit with news that would change her life.

Ariana Grande publicly mourned Mac Miller

Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson's intense lovefest came to a screeching halt when news broke that Grande's ex Mac Miller had died of an accidental drug overdose in 2018. Despite their breakup, it was clear Miller has remained an important person in Grande's life. As a source told ET, "Ariana always shared a deep connection with Mac." Another source added that no matter their relationship status, the pop star "had always been supportive of his sobriety."

Following his death, she took to Instagram to post, "I adored you from the day i met you when i was nineteen and i always will. i can't believe you aren't here anymore...we talked about this. so many times. i'm so mad, i'm so were my dearest friend." As PopCrave noted, some of Miller's fans blamed Grande for the rapper's death. At the time, she reportedly disabled comments.

"He was the best person ever, and he didn't deserve the demons he had," Grande told Vogue in 2019. "I was the glue for such a long time, and I found myself becoming... less and less sticky." She added that her grief was "pretty all consuming." The singer has since found ways to pay tribute to Miller, calling him "an angel" in "Thank U, Next," singing about "love letters to heaven" in Just Like Magic," and walked up a stairway to the heavens as their song "The Way" played during her "Fortnite" concert. Miller means a lot to Grande, and his death impacted her then-relationship.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Ariana and Pete Davidson didn't end on good terms

Only a few weeks after her ex Mac Miller's death, Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson split, with an unnamed source close to Grande telling People, "It was way too much too soon." It appeared Grande needed time to grieve Miller and heal after an extremely difficult year. The "Positions" singer later completely changed her tune on her relationship with Davidson, telling Vogue that it was "an amazing distraction." She added, "It was frivolous and fun and insane and highly unrealistic, and I loved him, and I didn't know him."

Davidson for his part knew the breakup was coming when Grande openly grieved Miller. He told Charlamagne tha God, "I think I said, 'I'll be here until you don't want me to be here.' I pretty much knew it was around over after that."

However, Davidson wasn't exactly a fan of some of Grande's post-relationship remarks. He referred to her as the "Queen of Shade" in that same interview, and in his "Pete Davidson: Alive From New York" standoff special, he poked fun at his ex calling him a distraction. He said (via The Hollywood Reporter) "My career would be over tomorrow if I spray painted myself brown and hopped on the cover of Vogue magazine and just started sh**ting on my ex." Davidson later covered up his Grande-related tattoos and became one of Hollywood's hottest bachelors. It appears Grande didn't remain friends with this former fiancé.

After vowing to stay single, Ariana Grande maybe had a change of heart

Following her broken engagement with Pete Davidson, Ariana Grande decided that it would be best if she remained single for a while. In early 2019, the "34+35" artist shared an article titled "Who is Ariana Grande dating now?" and tweeted (via the Evening Standard), "spoiler for the rest of this year / probably my life: it's no one. please refer back to this tweet for future questions." That same year she told Vogue, "I can no longer put off spending time with myself, just as me. I've been boo'd up my entire adult life. I've always had someone to say goodnight to."

However, later that year it was rumored Ariana was in a thing with her friend and Social House singer, Mikey Foster. Not only did he wish her a happy birthday in an Instagram post where he called her "one of the most incredible people the universe," but the two were super cozy in her music video for "Boyfriend."

In early 2020, People reported that the two were even seen cuddling at Disneyland, but by March of that year, Us Weekly claimed they were over. Perhaps the two were just a fling. As Ariana's brother Frankie Grande told Us Weekly in September 2019, "Ariana and Mikey Foster are not in a relationship, she is single" after he revealed that he and his boyfriend had hung out with the pair. Regardless of what Foster was to Ariana, he apparently wasn't "the one," but that person would come soon after.

Non-celebrity Dalton Gomez and Ariana Grande got hitched

In 2020, Ariana Grande met the man who would become her husband, real estate agent Dalton Gomez. Not only is Gomez not a public figure, but unlike a lot of her past loves, Grande has worked to keep this relationship pretty private, except for of course some Instagram posts and music video cameos. According to Us Weekly, the pair started officially dating in early 2020 but didn't publicly confirm things until he appeared with her in the music video for "Stuck on You," which showed them dancing together at home during quarantine.

In true Grande fashion, the "Rain on Me" singer didn't waste any time. That December, she announced they were engaged on her Instagram by showing off photos of the ring. "forever n then some," she wrote. A few months later, she posted a picture of them canoodling by a fire and wrote, "my heart my person !!! thank u so much for being u."

While Grande is known for falling hard fast, Dalton appeared to be for real. In May 2021, People reported the two were married at Grande's California home. Her rep revealed, "It was tiny and intimate...The room was so happy and full of love." Grande also posted several snaps from the big day, captioning them with their wedding date, 5.15.21. It seems that Grande had to kiss a few frogs and suffer a lot of heartbreak but has finally found her happily ever after, surprisingly out of the spotlight.