People meet online every day. They connect on dating apps, slide into each other’s DMs on Instagram, or link up on Twitter. In this modern age, it’s all par for the course. People are even meeting over TikTok now. (Who knows, maybe BeReal will become the next matchmaking app.) Although we probably all know someone who met in this less-than-conventional way, there’s still something novel when you see it play out among the rich and famous—especially when they go all the way. Paul Mescal, 26, and Phoebe Bridgers, 28—who initially met and connected over Twitter for all the world to see back in 2020—are reportedly engaged. Millennials everywhere who are chatting with someone in their DMs right now just gained a little more hope.
News of the engagement broke on Sunday, when an interview with Mescal in The Guardian mentioned the couple, noting that “the pair are now engaged.” Since the publication of the story, however, the wording has been updated and now reads, “the pair are reported to be engaged.” Despite that, the Internet has already broken out in celebration, and no adjustment in syntax is going to stop them.
Much of the response has been playing out on Twitter, which is fitting, considering that’s where the relationship first developed. Back in May 2020, Bridgers, like seemingly everyone else during that time in the thick of quarantine, had just watched Normal People, Mezcal’s breakout Hulu show based on the book by Sally Rooney. “Finished Normal People and now I’m sad and horny oh wait,” she tweeted. Mescal responded, “I’m officially dead,” to which Bridgers wrote, “nooo don’t die your so talented aha.” Mescal’s excitement makes sense. He was a fan of Bridgers’s long before Normal People put him on the map. In December 2019, the actor shared his Spotify Wrapped, revealing Bridgers to be his top artist of the year. That’s the fun thing about Internet relationships, they can be completely tracked from (before the) start to finish, and fans of the pair have been delighted to dig up every little nuance over the years.
The interaction was followed up by an extremely awkward Instagram Live, where the pair met face to face for the first time, again, for all the world to see. From there, things continued to blossom. They began speaking about each other in interviews, with Bridgers calling Mescal a “cute boy,” saying, “I got a little pitter-patter in my heart” when he followed her on Instagram. A few months later and the Internet provided another update on the couple when a café in Ireland revealed they hosted Bridgers and Mescal for breakfast.
A few months later, and Mescal was mentioning his “girlfriend” in interviews (though he didn’t name Bridgers at the time). Then, in December, Mescal showed up in Bridgers’s music video for her song “Savior Complex,” directed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
It’s at that point that the duo probably realized they’d given enough fodder to the Internet and it was time to take their relationship offline. They, more or less, went underground, and weren’t really seen until the fall of 2021. Photos of a Halloween couple costume as Machine Gun Kelly and Megan Fox were followed up by their red carpet debut at the LACMA Art + Film Gala. With their relationship solidified, the pair seemed to be more comfortable to once again share their antics online. “Paul thinks thousand island is called hundred years sauce,” Bridgers tweeted. She also “hard launched” the relationship on her Instagram, sharing a selfie with the actor in December 2021.
Since then, we’ve gotten a pretty standard amount of output from a celebrity relationship—an Instagram post here, a red carpet moment there. Despite an extremely public beginning, Bridgers and Mescal quickly learned how to appropriately conceal their private life, while still keeping the fans fed. And there’s absolutely no lack of fans here. Both stars entered the relationship with a strong base, combining for a joint fandom that lives and breaths this relationship between the singer, actor, and their black pug, Maxine. So, of course, now that they’re “reported to be engaged,” Twitter is exploding. Not only has this cool, slightly alt-but-still-mainstream couple found love on the Internet...if they did, maybe that means you can, too.