Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade’s Full Relationship Timeline Is Literal Goals
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TBH, if I were to have a relationship dream board, Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade would certainly be on it—I mean, the actor and retired NBA star are legit a walking ad for the ultimate powerhouse couple. And despite the fact that the closest I’ve come to having a career as an actor has been my recurring role of Perpetually Indecisive Libra™️, a girl can certainly dream. But I digress! If you, too, are in the mood for a casual deep dive into Gabrielle and Dwyane’s relationship history, look no further.
The first encounter! Picture this: The Indianapolis Colts are playing the Chicago Bears at the Super Bowl, Prince is headlining the halftime show, the game itself is in Miami…and life is good. It’s on this day that Gabrielle and Dwyane, who were both hired by promoters to host a Super Bowl party, meet for the first time. However, the two just so happen to be at, well, interesting points in their lives. Dwyane is four months shy of getting a divorce from his high school sweetheart Siohvaughn Funches, and Gabrielle divorced then-husband Chris Howard a year prior (not to mention, she’s dating someone new at the time of the party).
“When I met Dwyane, his ‘résumé’ looked like crap: athlete, going through a divorce, nine years younger than me,” Gabrielle eventually tells Glamour in January 2014. “None of that screamed, ‘Let’s have a lasting relationship.’” So despite the fact that her future husband is Literally! Right! There!, fans find out through Essence that the actor ends up “[staying] on one side of the room with my people.…We like to party and he doesn’t drink at all. He was on the other side of the room holding Bible study.” A truly unusual start indeed!
Dwyane officially files for separation from Siohvaughn, who had given birth to their second baby, Zaya, a month earlier. (The former couple also shares a son named Zaire.) Amid the divorce proceedings, rumors begin to swirl that the ex-pro-baller is secretly dating Gabrielle, which Dwyane responds to by reaching out to the actor, apologizing for the gossip, and extending a friendly olive branch, which doesn’t stay just “friendly” very long because…
…the two are seen together at a Zo Summer Groove Publix charities benefit dinner called Deco After Dark in Hollywood, Florida. Other famous faces spotted out that night are basketball player and host Alonzo Mourning, rapper Sandra “Pepa” Denton, and sports commentator Kenny Smith.
More than three years after their 2007 Super Bowl intro, Gabrielle goes to (surprise, surprise) Miami to attend Dwyane’s Summer Groove charity event. At the event, which benefits the former NBA star’s Wade’s World Foundation, the couple is photographed together, although they have yet to confirm anything about their ’ship publicly.
Also around this time, Dwyane’s ex-wife files a lawsuit against the athlete and actor for “emotional distress,” per the Boston Herald. The case ends up being dismissed because Gabrielle is able to prove she had nothing to do with the breakup. Why? Because her life is “just too easy to track,” Gabrielle explains to Jet magazine in 2012, per Us Weekly. “We were submitting plenty of proof for the times [Siohvaughn] said I was in Miami. So it was like, obviously you’re not telling the truth,” she said.
After a long legal battle, the NBA player is awarded sole custody of Zaire and Zaya, his two children with Siohvaughn. At this time, he also has custody of his nephew Dahveon.
It’s the cover we’ve all been waiting for!! The couple shares some serious spotlight in the February issue of Essence magazine. The two use the platform to open up about their romance and potential marriage plans.
“We’re not rushing it. Both of us have been married before, and we understand that if we choose to marry again, we want it to be right. We both took failing at marriage hard. The next time, it’s gotta be forever,” Dwyane admits.
January 2013 to April 2013
Gabrielle and Dwyane’s relationship hits a rocky point in 2013 when the duo decides to call it quits. During a January 2014 interview with Glamour, the Bring It On actor explains the breakup happened because of “distance and scheduling.” “I finished filming the show, then I flew to Vegas right away to start shooting Think Like a Man Too. I couldn’t take time off, and I missed some quality togetherness we desperately needed.”
But it isn’t long before the pair gets back together after Gabrielle “reassessed priorities.” “I’d always wanted an awesome career with back-to-back projects, but I realized I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my relationship for it,” she admits.
Later, it is revealed that during the break, Dwyane fathered a child with actor and Basketball Wives star Aja Metoyer (who gives birth to their son, Xavier, in November 2013). “I had a child with someone else and I had to tell her.…Hardest thing I’ve ever had to do is man up and tell Gabrielle Union that I’ve had a child with somebody else. I couldn’t sleep. I wasn’t eating,” the former Miami Heat star says in his ESPN doc, D Wade: Life Unexpected.
The two are officially back on!
Gabrielle and Dwyane take a trip to China together, which the actor talks about during The Ellen DeGeneres Show a few months later. “I didn’t realize, but he’s like Justin Bieber in China. I was not even prepared for this!” she jokes.
Dwyane goes on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno and makes us all emotional when he reminisces on giving his relationship with Gabrielle a second chance. “At the end of the day, we came back together and said, ‘Listen, we want to continue this. We want to try to continue to get better each day.’ She’s been with me and I’ve been with her all summer long. We’re going strong now.”
On December 21, 2013, the athlete asks the Being Mary Jane actor to marry him! Years later in a December 2018 interview special called Oprah at Home With Gabrielle Union, Dwyane Wade & Their New Baby, Dwyane reveals:
“The boys had been pushing for us to be a ‘real’ family.…I had them down by the pool, and I had them make their own signs. I had each one say, ‘Will you marry us?’ I took her outside to look at the water, and at first, she’s like, ‘What is going on?’ I get behind her, and I get on a yoga mat because I couldn’t put my knees down. I’m sitting there waiting for her to turn around and she’s reading the boys’ signs, and the boys said, ‘Will you marry us?’”
Okay, we’re not not crying.
Gabrielle also takes to her Insta to share a pic of the seriously dazzling 8.5-carat cushion-cut diamond her fiancé got for her.
Oh, the ring also reportedly costs a cool $1 million. Speechless!
On the Arsenio Hall Show, Gabrielle admits that she asked her future husband to sign a prenup. “The biggest difference between this and the last marriage will be a prenup—at my insistence.…When you have your own stuff, you don’t need to worry about anyone else’s stuff. So everyone should go into the relationship knowing, ‘I’m here for you and you’re here for me.’ And the reality is I’ve never seen Dwyane balance a checkbook, so I gotta protect my stuff. It’s the wave of the future,” she says.
Less than a year after getting engaged, the two officially tie the knot on August 30, 2014, at the Chateau Artisan in Miami (okay, the city is clearly a lucky place for them!). The stunning ceremony includes Being Mary Jane cocreators Mara Brock Akil and her husband Salim Akil, Ludacris and his wife Eudoxie, Kevin and Eniko Hart, and Dwyane’s former Miami Heat teammate Chris Bosh and his wife Adrienne. Dwyane’s three children, Zaire, Zaya, and Xavier, and his nephew Dahveon are also in attendance. 🥺❤️
In the lead-up to her one-year wedding anniversary, Gabrielle shares pics from the big day on her Instagram.
Honeymoon time! The newlyweds embark on a seriously sweet trip to the Maldives, and the pics are truly *chef’s kiss*.
The two celebrate Gabrielle’s 43rd birthday in (you guessed it!) Miami. The bash is held at The Edison, where guests rep their high school and college alma maters at the School Daze–themed party. The music consists of hits from the ’80s and ’90s plus a performance by Color Me Badd.
The two turn serious heads during Gabrielle’s Emmys debut for alllll the right reasons.
In her memoir, We’re Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True, the actor discusses her struggle with fertility issues. An excerpt published in People reveals her and Dwyane’s attempts to have a new baby and the experience the couple has had with years of IVF.
“For three years, my body has been a prisoner of trying to get pregnant,” Gabrielle writes in the book. “I’ve either been about to go into an IVF cycle, in the middle of an IVF cycle, or coming out of an IVF cycle.”
Gabrielle also reveals that the cause of her infertility is actually a result of adenomyosis, a condition similar to endometriosis, which occurs when endometrial tissue grows outside of the uterus.
“For so many women, and not just women in the spotlight, people feel very entitled to know, ‘Do you want kids?’ A lot of people, especially people that have fertility issues, just say no because that’s a lot easier than being honest about whatever is actually going on. People mean so well, but they have no idea the harm or frustration it can cause,” she says.
In a seriously heartwarming Instagram post, the Think Like a Man actor reflects on her four-year marriage to her husband. She captions the post, “Waking up every morning next to my best friend is a blessing I could’ve never imagined. 4 years later…you’re still the one I wanna laugh with and snuggle and love on and ride with…@dwyanewade happy anniversary baby! 💃🏾🤗😍🤵🏿👰🏾” Consider us fully in our feels right about now.
After years of struggling to have a baby, the couple welcomes a daughter, Kaavia James Union Wade, via a surrogate. While speaking with Oprah a month later, the couple opens up about how happy they are to have a new baby together. “We want her to understand that she was so loved, wanted, desired, protected, and nurtured when she was just a thought,” Gabrielle says. “We want her to know everything it took to bring her into this world, usually around the time she starts talking back. We want her to really understand what we went through.”
The couple that commercials together stays together! The actor and athlete star in their first ad campaign together and look ridiculously adorable, even while they’re getting their workout in.
During a February 2020 appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Dwyane proudly announces that his daughter Zaya recently came out as transgender. “Zaya, our 12-year-old, came home and said, ‘Hey, so I want to talk to you guys. I think going forward, I’m ready to live my truth. And I want to be referenced as she and her. I’d love for you guys to call me Zaya,’” he explains.
The couple continues to share the sweetest words of encouragement on all of their socials—something they also did in December 2019 after online trolls came after Zaya when Gabrielle shared a Thanksgiving family photo.
I’ve seen some post-thanksgiving hate on social about my family photo. Stupidity is apart of this world we live in—so i get it. But here’s the thing—I’ve been chosen to lead my family not y’all. So we will continue to be us and support each other with pride, love & a smile! ✌🏾
— DWade (@DwyaneWade) November 30, 2019
Meet Zaya. She's compassionate, loving, whip smart and we are so proud of her. It’s Ok to listen to, love & respect your children exactly as they are. Love and light good people. pic.twitter.com/G2lLVdD2VT
— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) February 11, 2020
The duo sends their oldest son, Zaire, to Brewster Academy, a boarding school in New Hampshire, and they both post emotional tributes.
“Man oh man. 😭😭😭 Dropping your oldest off to school is another set of emotions that I didn’t know existed,” Dwyane posts to Instagram alongside a photo of himself, Gabrielle, Kaavia, and Zaya.
Gabrielle takes to her own Stories to post pics as well.
The couple truly embodies what it means to be goals when they grace the cover of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020 list for their commitment and allyship to the LGBTQ+ community.
“She is intentionally directing her attention, influence, and resources to advance an agenda that deliberately celebrates the most marginalized among us, including Black women and girls and queer and trans folks,” mused activist Tarana Burke in reference to Gabrielle for the magazine.
Gabrielle and Dwyane also open up about how their children inspire them for ABC’s Time 100 special.
In this new decade, we can look to @itsgabrielleu and @DwyaneWade in raising our next generation. @johnlegend #Time100 pic.twitter.com/IBn0gh1aEw
— ABC (@ABCNetwork) September 23, 2020
The L.A.’s Finest star posts some seriously 🔥🔥🔥 pics of herself and her husband with the caption, “8th Grade Dance Vibes. 🕺🏿💃🏾🖤🖤”
It’s truly a family affair for the couple, who go on a trip to Paris with kids Zaire, Zaya, and Kaavia James. While visiting the Palais-Royal and the Louvre Museum, Gabrielle shows the world a glimpse into what she calls the #WadeWorldTour with a series of pics that are amazing!
Oh, the first Monday in May, how we adore thee. Gabrielle and Dwayne hit the Met Gala red carpet coordinating in silver and white Versace ensembles and it was truly breathtaking to see. Behold:
Kaavia’s parents sure know how to stunt! And later in the month, Dwayne celebrates Gabrielle on Mother’s Day with this sweetness:
The couple travel to Milan for Fashion Week and look..literally amazing.
Gabrielle and Dwayne go on vacation and share some steamy pics:
October is truly just a month of impeccable couples’ fashion moments for these two, starting with these ’fits at a screening of The Redeem Team:
Plus, this moment at the premiere:
And this cute pap pic from their time in NYC!
Gabrielle and Dwayne take to Instagram to share a number of pics and videos of Zaya beautifully dressed up in a stunning, sequined dress in honor of her formal.
The first image in the carousel shows just how tight-knit the family is, with Zaya posing alongside her stepmom, dad, and little sister Kaavia. Captioned “❄️☃️Winter Formal ❄️☃️ Supporting each other for life’s big moments is key. All the nerves, all the anxiety, all the fear…With loved ones by your side, no matter the challenge, we 10 toes down. Always. 🖤🖤🖤🖤,” we can’t help but continue to be absolutely obsessed with them all. ❤️
The iconic couple accept the NAACP's President's Award in honor of their continued advocacy for social equality and the Black community. During their speech, Dwayne begins by saying the following to his daughter, Zaya. “Zaya, as your father, all I've wanted to do was get it right. I've sat back and watched how gracefully you have taken on the public scrutiny. And even though it's not easy, I watched you walk out of the house every morning as yourself. I admire how you handle the ignorance in our world…that you face every day. To say that your village is proud of you is an understatement.”
He continues, “Thank you for showing me that there's more than one way to communicate effectively. You taught me that communication with your mouth isn't enough. I have to also communicate with my two ears and my two eyes. As your father, my job is not to create a version of myself or direct your future. My role is to be a facilitator to your hopes, your wishes and your dreams.”
Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union’s powerful full speeches at the #NAACPImageAwards
“Even as we demand equality at the top of our lungs, we consistently fail to extend our advocacy to protect some of our most vulnerable.”
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) February 26, 2023
Gabrielle then adds that, “We honestly don't approach this work as activists or leaders as much as we do this as parents. Parents who love our children and will do whatever the hell we can to keep them seen, secured and safe. This is a conversation worth having in ways that actually build bridges; that don’t fan the flame of hatred or division; that don’t enable lawmakers or justice systems to look the other way when Black trans people are under attack; that don’t drive more young people to hate themselves or harm themselves; that don’t cost people their lives.”
The actor concluder her speech by musing, “So we are humbled and we are hopeful for the future. I’m hopeful, we are hopeful that we may witness a real shift in the fight for justice, the moment, the movement makes room for everyone.”
^ Literally obsessed with these two.
And that’s it! This timeline will be updated with the next sweet installment of Gabrielle and Dwyane’s relationship.
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