Due to their busy schedules and the demands of both of their respective acting careers, their relationship was often long distance — something Hudgens spoke candidly about.
"Just communication, communication is key," the actress told PEOPLE in 2017 about how she and Butler made it work.
Ultimately, the distance and scheduling concerns proved to be too much and they parted ways in 2020.
Fans can't help but reminisce on their nearly decade-long relationship, though.
From supporting each others' careers to dressing up in iconic Halloween costumes, here is a complete timeline of Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler's relationship.
September 2011: Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler are spotted together for the first time
In September 2011, Hudgens was spotted cozying up to Butler at a birthday party for Ashley Tisdale's sister, Jennifer. Butler had just recently starred in Disney's Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure alongside Tisdale.
January 2012: Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler go on a double date
February 3, 2012: Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler hit the red carpet for Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
The couple made their red carpet debut at the premiere of Hudgens' new film, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.
April 2012: Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler attend Coachella together
Hudgens and Butler attended their first Coachella together later that year, and did not shy away from PDA at the festival. PEOPLE reported that they were seen cozying up together at the Smoke & Mirrors Party at the Guess Hotel in La Quinta, California.
"They held hands the entire afternoon," a source told PEOPLE. "They were extremely lovey-dovey."
August 2012: Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler attend Outside Lands Festival
The music-lovers then attended the Outside Lands festival in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. "She seemed to be having the time of her life," an observer told PEOPLE. "You could tell that she's really into music and felt good having her boyfriend by her side."
May 2013: Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler party in Las Vegas
In the spring of 2013, Hudgens and Butler took a trip to Las Vegas to celebrate a friend's birthday, and PEOPLE reported that they "couldn't keep their hands off each other."
"The couple was very cute together," a source said. "They were seen dancing a lot throughout the night. They were sipping on cocktails and being cuddly and affectionate and were spotted kissing non-stop throughout the evening. They were listening to the Bingo Players, who deejayed that night."
August 18, 2014: Vanessa Hudgens celebrates Austin Butler's birthday on Instagram
Vanessa Hudgens Instagram
The pair became Instagram official in August 2014 when Hudgens posted a sweet birthday tribute for her beau on Instagram.
"Yesterday was the love of my life's birthday. Happy birthday to the man with the kindest heart, beautiful soul, crazy talent and best looks I've ever seen," she wrote. "He never stops inspiring me in every aspect of life and always lifts those around him up higher. I thank god so greatly for blessing the world 23 years ago by creating Austin Butler."
September 12, 2014: Vanessa Hudgens supports Austin Butler after his mother passes away
Butler lost his mother to cancer in 2014. He posted a heartfelt message on Twitter that read, "Lori Butler, my mom, my hero, & my best friend passed away this morning. Lets all celebrate her. I love you and will miss you every day Mom."
Hudgens showed her support and retweeted the message adding, "I miss you already mama. #ripLoriButler #celebrateLori Spread the love for Lori."
August 30, 2015: Austin Butler opens up about his relationship with Vanessa Hudgens
At the MTV Music Awards, Butler spoke to Entertainment Tonight about his relationship and revealed how he and Hudgens made it work.
"It's important to put that other person first," he said. "If you're constantly looking for ways that you can make them happy, and they're constantly looking for ways that they can make you happy, then you kind of lift each other up as much as possible and you can't go wrong."
January 31, 2016: Vanessa Hudgens's father passes away and Austin Butler shows his support
In January 2016, just hours before she was set to perform in Grease: Live, Hudgens revealed that her father had passed away after battling stage four cancer. Hudgens then shared that she would be performing the three-hour live telecast in his honor.
Before her performance, the actress told PEOPLE about how much the original movie meant to her. "From the first time I saw it, I kind of just remember it being a part of my childhood," she said.
Butler supported his girlfriend on Twitter writing, "WOW @VanessaHudgens singing 'Worst Things' had me in tears. Just brilliant #GreaseLive."
February 2016: Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler get in trouble in Sedona
Source: Vanessa Hudgens/Instagram
Just weeks after Grease: Live, Hudgens and Butler took a trip to Sedona, Arizona, where they found themselves in hot water after carving their names and a heart into one of the red rocks. Hudgens posted the carving to Instagram, sparking an investigation by the Red Rock Ranger District of the Coconino National Forest. Hudgens deleted the post from Instagram and paid a $1,000 fine.
July 2016: Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler take a trip to Italy
In July 2016, the pair took a romantic road trip through Italy, stopping at many scenic travel destinations like Cinque Terre, Portofino and Florence. Hudgens documented the trip on her Instagram, sharing snaps of the couple throughout their travels.
July 2016: Ashley Tisdale talks about double dating with Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler
Later that month, Tisdale spoke to PEOPLE about her friendship with Hudgens and Butler, each of whom she was close with before they were a couple.
"I mean, it's great because Austin was my best friend since way before they got together, so it's just nice to have your two best friends be in a relationship," she said. Tisdale added that she and her husband Christopher French often went on double dates with Hudgens and Butler.
"We do dinner parties," she shared. "A lot of the time we do dinner parties at one of our houses, and we all cook dinner together and have a bunch of girls over. Sometimes we do a themed night – she loves a good theme. One time we watched the Victoria's Secret model show and I had onesies for everyone."
March 23, 2017: Vanessa Hudgens opens up about making long distance work
While Butler was filming MTV's The Shannara Chronicles in New Zealand, Hudgens spoke to PEOPLE about how the couple maintains their long-distance relationship. "Just communication, communication is key," Hudgens said. "I think that if anything's bothering you, don't hold it in. Always bring it up and just talk about it. Uncensor yourself and just be open."
Earlier that week, Hudgens shared a picture of her and Butler kissing on Instagram with the caption, "Missing this guy."
December 2017: Vanessa Hudgens shuts down engagement rumors
Vanessa Hudgens Instagram
After Hudgens posted a photo showing off a new haircut and a ring on her left hand, rumors began swirling that she and Butler were engaged.
However, the actress quickly shut down the speculation on Twitter, writing, "Guysssss. I'm not engaged! I posted a pic. Not to show off my ring that I happened to throw on that finger after a long day of filming but to show off my haircut Lol."
July 18, 2018: Vanessa Hudgens shares her favorite photo with Austin Butler
In the summer of 2018, Hudgens sat down with PEOPLE for a segment of "Inside My Instagram" and looked back at some of her favorite Instagram pictures throughout the years.
For her favorite photo of her and her boyfriend, Hudgens chose a snap of the pair at the opening night of The Iceman Cometh, Butler's Broadway debut.
"The floor is blurry for some reason, I don't know how that happened, but our faces are in focus," she said of the photo. "And we're standing on the stage — his first Broadway stage! I'm just so proud."
February 14, 2019: Vanessa Hudgens shares a Valentine's Day tribute to Austin Butler
Vanessa Hudgens Instagram
On Valentine's Day, Hudgens posted a sweet Instagram tribute that celebrated their seven-year romance. "7 years strong 😍" she captioned a photo of Butler dipping her at a formal event.
April 2019: Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler attend Coachella again
Vanessa Hudgens Instagram / Eric Unger
Hudgens and Butler attended another Coachella together in 2019. In an Instagram photo from the weekend, Hudgens donned a bright orange wig while Butler showed off his newly dyed black hair.
July 15, 2019: Vanessa Hudgens celebrates Austin Butler's new role
In the summer of 2019, it was announced that Butler would take on the role of Elvis Presley in Baz Lurhmann's biopic about the King of Rock 'n' Roll. Hudgens shared the news on Instagram and expressed how proud she was of him.
"I AMMMM OVERRRR THE F—— MOOOOOOOOONNNNN. I CAN'T WAIT 😍😍😍😍😍😍 SO PROUD OF MY HONEYYYYY!!!" she wrote.
July 23, 2019: Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler attend the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood premiere
Later that month, the couple hit the red carpet to celebrate Butler's role in Quentin Tarantino's film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Hudgens shared a snap of the pair ahead of the event.
"And we're OFF!!!! To the @onceinhollywood premiere with my man of the hour @austinbutler," she captioned the post.
August 2019: Vanessa Hudgens celebrates Austin Butler's 28th birthday
Vanessa Hudgens Instagram
Hudgens posted a sweet birthday tribute on Instagram in honor of Butler's 28th birthday. "To my love, my other half, my constant inspiration and supporter. My best friend. My everything. 28 is going to be 🔥🔥🔥," she captioned a photo of the two of them.
October 2019: Vanessa Hudgens posts her and Austin Butler's throwback Halloween photos
In October 2019, Hudgens posted a handful of the couple's best Halloween costumes throughout the years, including a throwback of them dressed as Jack Skellington and Sally from Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas.
January 2020: Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler break up
After a few quiet months from the couple, a source confirmed to PEOPLE in January 2020 that Hudgens and Butler had split. Fans had started speculating about a breakup when neither of them posted photos celebrating Christmas and New Year's Eve together.
A source later told PEOPLE that the pair had discussed an engagement prior to breaking up. "They really loved each other and have been through some of their toughest life moments together," the source said. "Busy work schedules and travel definitely put a strain on the relationship. They were a wonderful couple and it's really sad that it didn't work out."
Shortly after news of their split broke, a source told PEOPLE that Hudgens was embracing the single life.
"The breakup isn't easy, but she's not one to sit around and mope," the source shared. "She's living it up and having fun. She seems really happy and excited about life, honestly."
May 2022: Austin Butler is asked about his breakup with Vanessa Hudgens
In an interview with GQ ahead of the release of Elvis, Butler made a rare comment about his breakup with Hudgens.
When asked about the split, the actor responded, "Life is full of changes, and you've got to find a way to constantly be evolving and growing." While he didn't directly mention Hudgens, it was the first time he spoke about the couple's split publicly.
September 12, 2022: Vanessa Hudgens discusses her "life-changing" relationships
In an interview with NYLON, Hudgens opened up about her past relationships and the challenges of navigating breakups in the public eye.
"The public only sees so much. I've also been through two very long life-changing relationships, and no one really knows what happened except for me," she said, seemingly referring (in part) to Butler. "When I write my memoir, it'll be amazing."