On Christmas Eve weekend 2018, Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth somehow managed to pull off what many might think impossible for a celebrity couple: a low-key wedding away from the prying eyes of the public at their home in Tennessee. The bride wore Vivienne Westwood, and the party looked like an excellent time based on the Instagram posts from the couple's friends and family. Unfortunately, it didn't last: The two announced their separation in August.
It's been a long and winding road for the couple over the past 10 years: Prior to their separation in August was one big breakup, plenty of gossip for the couple to navigate, and some truly tough moments, like the destruction of the couple's Malibu home in the recent California wildfires.
So let's break down how we got here.
Cyrus, at the time a major Disney star on Hannah Montana, and Hemsworth, a then relatively unknown Australian actor, are both cast in the film adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel The Last Song and start dating during the shoot. They're even spotted "full-on making out," according to People, as they say goodbye at the Nashville airport after shooting wraps.
The pair makes their red-carpet debut together looking all sorts of lovey-dovey at The Last Song premiere in March. They also pose for a very couple-y photo shoot for Teen Vogue as part of the movie's promotion. "It's refreshing to work with an actor who isn't also a singer and dancer and musician and artist and this and that. I'm sick of quadruple threats," Cyrus tells the magazine.
They allegedly break up for about a month in August of that year but are back together by September.
It's a big career year for both Cyrus and Hemsworth: Her final episode of Hannah Montana airs, and he begins shooting the first of the Hunger Games movies, in which he stars as Gale. They've not yet become totally press-shy as a couple at this point: The two step out together and are photographed at big events.
Public interest in the couple gains serious steam, and you can bet there are plenty of questions about what their relationship status is—to the point that Cyrus has to respond to rumors of an engagement ring herself.
The couple confirms their engagement to People. Cyrus is 19, and Hemsworth is 22. He proposes on May 31 with a 3.5-carat Neil Lane diamond ring. “I’m so happy to be engaged and look forward to a life of happiness with Liam,” Cyrus tells the magazine.
This year marks the first serious rough spots in the relationship—as well as a major move forward in Cyrus' music career with the release of Bangerz. The couple has to navigate constant rumors that the wedding has been called off—and there's much speculation when Cyrus is spotted without her ring.
In April, People reports that the couple have postponed the wedding but are still engaged and living together. In September, Cyrus unfollows Hemsworth on Twitter, right before official confirmation that the couple's engagement is indeed off.
“I don’t think I realized what 19 truly is, and I got engaged at 19, and I definitely wouldn’t change being engaged. It was so fun wearing a fat rock for a few years,” Cyrus told Barbara Walters in December. “But now, I just feel like I can actually be happy.”
Post-breakup, Cyrus starts dating Patrick Schwarzenegger late in the year.
Schwarzenegger is out of the picture by April, but there are rumors that Cyrus is dating model Stella Maxwell. “I remember telling her I admire women in a different way. And she asked me what that meant. And I said, 'I love them. I love them like I love boys,'” Cyrus tells Paper in June of a conversation about sexuality with her mom, Tish Cyrus. “And it was so hard for her to understand. She didn’t want me to be judged, and she didn’t want me to go to hell. But she believes in me more than she believes in any god. I just asked for her to accept me. And she has.”
Cyrus is also spotted at events like New York Fashion Week. Meanwhile, Hemsworth adopts a rescue dog.
By fall, however, Cyrus is borrowing a costume from Hemsworth for Halloween, and rumors of a reunion heat up.
In January, the couple is spotted together at a music festival in Australia. And Elsa Pataky, who is married to Liam's older brother Chris Hemsworth, posts a photo of herself hanging with Cyrus.
Cyrus is soon seen wearing her old engagement ring, and the relationship is officially back on.
“Of course it was hard, man. But at the time we were going in different directions, and it’s just what needed to happen," Liam tells GQ. "We were both super young, and it was a good decision at the time—we both needed that."
He even hints at the reconciliation: “People will figure it out; they already have≥. They’re not dumb.”
Cyrus is also back as a consistent presence on Liam's Instagram, where he frequently calls her "my angel."
The couple also spends Christmas together again.
This was a big Miley-Liam year, starting with the release of "Malibu," a song Cyrus dedicated to Liam (and, well, Malibu). "They’re going to talk about me if I come out of a restaurant with Liam," she tells Billboard. "So why not put the power back in my relationship and say, 'This is how I feel'?" Cyrus also drops Younger Now, which Liam hypes.
There are ever-present rumors of a secret wedding, but mostly the pair just seems pretty happy together. They walk a red carpet or two, and Liam pops up on SNL that November—for an episode with Cyrus as the musical guest.
Big highs and big lows mark 2018 for the couple: They kick off the year in public view at a few Oscars parties but then keep things a little more low-key—as low-key as red carpets get, anyway.
However, in July, Cyrus deletes her entire Instagram and the Internet goes into overdrive about what at first seems like another breakup. Luckily, Hemsworth posts a cute video of the two that puts the rumors to rest.
In November, the couple's Malibu home is destroyed by the California wildfires—but Liam plays an important role in their evacuation. "He was so incredible. He got all the animals out in his truck. He put two pigs in crates, which I tell you is so hard," Cyrus tells Howard Stern of Hemsworth's heroics during the fires.
"He got a lot of action for saving the animals," Miley tells Howard Stern. "We had to make sure he knew I was very, very grateful." The couple also donates $500,000 to the relief effort.
But they're still able to find happy things to celebrate, like Cyrus's November birthday.
Late in the summer, the two announced that they were splitting up. On August 10, Miley and Liam announced they were separating. “Liam and Miley have agreed to separate at this time,” a rep for Cyrus told People. “Ever-evolving, changing as partners and individuals, they have decided this is what’s best while they both focus on themselves and careers. They still remain dedicated parents to all of their animals they share while lovingly taking this time apart. Please respect their process and privacy.”
Originally Appeared on Glamour