It’s safe to say that Aaron Rodgers and Shailene Woodley‘s relationship came as a complete surprise to the world. Really, who was expecting the Big Little Lies actress to start up a whirlwind romance with an NFL quarterback? How did they even meet? And when the heck did this relationship even start? I know, I know—Aaron and Shailene’s relationship raises lots of questions, giving us all the more reason to do a deep dive into their relationship timeline.
While the details of their romance weren’t always so clear, don’t worry; we did all the leg work and gathered up everything you need to know about this surprising couple. If you’re curious about when Aaron and Shailene started dating, who introduced them, when they moved in together, or when their engagement took place… just keep on reading below to find out!
May 2021: Shailene and Aaron visit Hawaii
In late May, Aaron skipped the start of the Packers off-season training program to go on vacation with his fiancée Shailene in Hawaii. And they weren’t alone—the engaged pair decided to link up with Shailene’s close friend and former Divergent co-star, Miles Teller, and his wife, Keleigh Sperry, for the double couple’s vacation of our dreams.
March 2021: Shailene and Aaron are photographed together for the first time
Just one month after Shailene confirmed their engagement, the actress was pictured with Aaron as they prepared to board a flight on a tarmac in Mexico. According to The Daily Mail on Monday, March 29, Aaron and Shailene were leaving the beachside town of Costa Careyes, where they spent a few days enjoying the sun together.
The following day, the couple were photographed again in an Instagram post shared by Breakfast Café in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Aaron and Shailene looked cozy posing next to the restaurant staff after enjoying a meal together. “Our team had the opportunity to cook for @aaronrodgers12 and his crew last night,” the restaurant captioned the photo, “Grateful for the opportunity.”
February 22, 2021: Shailene confirms her engagement to Aaron
Shailene finally set the record straight on her relationship with Aaron during an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in late February. “Yes, we are engaged, we are engaged,” she replied when host Jimmy Fallon asked if the news was true. “But for us, it’s not new news, you know, so it’s kind of funny, everybody right now is freaking out over it, and we’re like, yeah, we’ve been engaged for a while.”
February 6, 2021: Aaron reveals he “got engaged”
The Green Bay Packers quarterback was awarded the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award during the league’s Honors Broadcast in early February, and during his acceptance speech, Aaron let slip that he “got engaged” in 2020 before going on to thank his “fianceé” for her support.
“2020 was definitely a crazy year filled with lots of change and growth, some amazing memorable moments,” he said in his speech. “One hundred eighty straight days of having my nose hair scraped, playing for very little fans or no stands the entire season. I got engaged, and I played some of the best football of my career.”
January 2021: Aaron and Shailene try long-distance
Aaron and Shailene reportedly kept their relationship going over long-distance during football season, sources told E! News in early February. The NFL star wrapped up his season on January 24 in Wisconsin when the Green Bay Packers lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Shailene, meanwhile, was busy filming her new movie Misanthrope in Montreal. According to insiders who spoke to E! News, the couple “kept things private and low key” while living apart.
October-December 2020: Shailene and Aaron move in together
Before trying things out long-distance, Shailene and Aaron reportedly decided to move in together during the fall and early winter. As a source explained to E! News, “They have spent the entire fall together and lived together throughout.” The insider went on to reveal that the couple had plans to travel together in the New Year: “Over the next year, they plan to spend some time traveling and enjoying a warmer climate.”
Later, in June 2021, Shape published their interview with Shailene for their July/August 2021 Issue, where the actress confirmed she moved in with Aaron pretty much “immediately” at the start of their relationship.
“Starting a relationship where you immediately move in with someone—because it’s a pandemic and you can’t just get on a plane and go back and forth on weekends—taught us a lot about each other very quickly,” she told the magazine at the time. “We jumped in headfirst and got some of the sticky bits out of the way early.”
September 2020: Aaron hints at his relationship with Shailene
Aaron first alluded to a change in his love life during an appearance on the Pat McAfee Show in September, noting that he was in a “lot better headspace” due to the “increased love” in his life. While he didn’t name any names at the time, it’s clear that he was already smitten.
“I just have a new and increased love of life,” he said at the time. “I’ve made decisions and changes and habits that put me in a lot better headspace and there’s just a lot of things that have come together in my life over the last few months that have really been enjoyable and reminded me, given me perspective, of life and in football, to view things through the most positive lens that I possibly can.”
He continued, “And that’s why I’m having so much fun, and it starts with love. And then, surround yourself with people that you really enjoy.”
Mid-2020: Shailene and Aaron meet
During her appearance on Jimmy Fallon, Shailene revealed that she and Aaron “got engaged a while ago” during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s likely that their meeting took place either during the summer of 2020 or early fall, after her split from rugby player Ben Volavola in April 2020.
The Divergent actress also explained the unlikely way she was introduced to Aaron. Apparently, her dog was their matchmaker: “When I first met him, I think my dog like pulled me aside and was like, ‘If you don’t date this dude, I will disown you as my mother, because the three feet that I run with you when you throw a ball is nothing compared to the marathon I’m able to run with him,'” Shailene told Fallon.