Rob Gronkowski and Camille Kostek‘s romance was a match made in football heaven.
Except, it didn’t exactly start out on the field. As the tale of the long-linked 29-year-old New England Patriots tight end and 26-year-old former cheerleader goes, their story began beyond the gridiron.
“We first got in touch once I resigned from the team,” Kostek told Fox News in March after more than two years of being romantically tied to the athlete. “I always knew who he was before I was even a cheerleader. I knew who he was on the roster. I just never paid any mind. Once I resigned is when we finally met.”
She said goodbye to the squad in March 2015, right around the time Gronk publicly professed that no, he did not have a girlfriend. While he continued to stick to that story, even telling E! News later that spring that he was single, from the looks of social media, he and Kostek were heating up.
By the summer of 2015, the football player was making appearances on Kostek’s Instagram account.
“Friday night date night,” she professed along with a black and white shot of the two together in September 2015. As the month progressed, it appeared so did their relationship. When it came time to celebrate Kostek’s sister’s birthday, Gronk was included in the crew.
The PDA continued well into the new year as they celebrated his 27th birthday together and hit the 2016 Kids’ Choice Sports Awards red carpet side by side. When they weren’t glued at the hip, Kostek was cheering for her man from the stands at Patriots games and rocking his jersey.
But, it looked like their romance took a brief hiatus at the start of 2017 as their joint sightings came to a screeching halt and a report from TMZ claimed the football player had moved on. Whatever had transpired, it didn’t last long as the model was his date to a wedding in May 2017 as they simultaneously rang in Gronk’s 28th birthday.
As her quest to become a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model for the 2018 issue came to fruition, Kostek was spotted wearing Gronk’s number again as the 2018 football season kicked into high gear.
Perhaps the dancer was feeling a bit more comfortable discussing their high-profile relationship as she addressed it with Fox News this year. “I am such a private person,” Kostek told the news outlet. “It was hard at first when people would send articles with my name on it. It’s an overwhelming feeling to read something that you have no control over…But like most things, you get strong when you have to deal with situations like that. It’s gotten a little easier. And usually, the people that are close to you know the truth. So it’s one of those things where you just have to let people think what they wanted to think.”
Meanwhile, the pair went on living life together on their own young and fabulous terms as they soaked up the sun in Florida in April and jetted off to Jamaica for Gronk’s 29th birthday, his third birthday with her by his side.
And much like she’s always supported him from the stands, he digitally cheered her on after she walked the runway for a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Fashion Show on Sunday.
“O baby, I would be considered a super plus size if I modeled and I’m d–n sexy… own it, embrace it, be different, respect all types and just do you baby!!” the athlete commented on a photo she shared on Instagram. “Love you,” she replied.
After all these years, they’re still a couple of few public words—but they seem to be all the right ones.
With Nickelodeon’s 2018 Kids’ Choice Sports Awards airing on Saturday night—for which Gronkowski is nominated in two categories—we have an idea about who the star tight end will have next to him on the special day.