Before their 2020 split, Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler were easily associated with the term “relationship goals.”
According to the Daily Mail, the acting pair first crossed paths in 2005 on the set of High School Musical. At the time, sparks were flying between Hudgens and her costar Zac Efron, who she dated for five years before calling it quits in December 2010.
When Hudgens reflected on her former romance with Efron, she noted how appreciative she was of the time they spent together. “It started off really organically. I could not have been more grateful to have that relationship at the time,” Hudgens said on The Hollywood Reporter’s “Awards Chatter” podcast in April 2019.
“[High School Musical] was this massive phenomenon and [all] eyes were on me. And it’s just a really weird, foreign thing to go through,” she continued. “And by being in a relationship, it kind of kept me stabilized and grounded, and I had someone to lean on who was going through it as well.”
Nearly a year after her split from the Neighbors actor, Hudgens was spotted packing on PDA with Butler. Though the actors hadn’t addressed their rumored romance just yet, they eventually confirmed their relationship on their own terms.
“Communication is key,” Hudgens told Access Hollywood in August 2018 the key to their successful romance. “It’s so easy to let things get lost in the shuffle or to, kind of, push things down because you don’t think they really bother you. But if anything even remotely bothers you, you gotta talk about it.”
Three years earlier, the Carrie Diaries alum told Entertainment Tonight in August 2015 that he believes “it’s important to put that other person first” in a romantic relationship. “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,” he added.
The Shannara Chronicles alum also gushed about his longtime love. In July 2019, he praised Hudgens for being an inspiration to him. “It’s hard for me to even put into words what that girl means to me,” he told E! News at the time. “I am so inspired by her every day and I just love her to my core.”
Us Weekly exclusively confirmed on January 14, 2020, that Hudgens and Butler split after nearly nine years of dating. The pair had been “telling those close to her about their breakup,” a source said.
Scroll down to see a look at the pair’s relationship over the years.