The Vampire Diaries actress Nina Dobrev first crossed paths with her now boyfriend, Olympic snowboarder Shaun White, in 2012. However, it wasn’t until seven years later that the two were formally introduced to each other.
Then, fast forward to February 2020, eagle-eyed fans spotted matching photos of them taken from what looked like a trip to South Africa. Naturally, everyone got curious if the two were an item.
A few months later, in April, Us Weekly broke the long-awaited confirmation news: Dobrev and White were definitely a couple. After a month, the two made it Instagram official with a series of photos of the actress giving her beau a quarantine haircut. It has been quite the fairytale for the twosome (happily ever after since), with their adorable moments documented on their social media accounts.
So, it’s time to take a look back at how the quarantine-made couple started their whirlwind romance and how far they’ve come.
Chapter One: The Meet
So, technically, their story started way back in 2012 when they had a brief encounter at an awards show. Officially, it was in late 2019 when they met at a Tony Robbins workshop in Florida.
They both had their own speaking engagements, and after they finished, they decided to eat dinner together at a nearby restaurant. At that point, White didn’t know anything about the actress, probably except her name.
So when they walked into the crowded restaurant, he had two things in mind. First, Dobrev secured a table thanks to him being an Olympic athlete, and second, the staff members approaching them were going to ask for a photo with him. To his surprise, they asked to have one with her.
Remembering the moment, he revealed he was just so confused then and recalls saying, “And I was like, What’s happening? What’s going on? It was actually really funny.”
Chapter Two: All Of The Firsts
The Start of Dating Rumors
The two first sparked rumors in late February 2020 when they posted similar individual shots of them with the beautiful South African safari as the backdrop. Fans were quick to notice that they were always in the same location, and that ran for an entire week.
It was later revealed that they really were. Dobrev was there to film her movie “Redeeming Love,” and she invited White to visit her. In an interview with Us Weekly, the X Games gold medalist shared that it was actually how everything started for them.
The rumors continued rolling in March when they were spotted leisurely riding their bikes together in Malibu, with White holding Dobrev’s adorable dog Maverick.
While this was the first time they were photographed hanging out, a source close to the actress told E! News that they had been enjoying each other’s company for quite some time already. However, they emphasized that at the time, their relationship had no official title, which was “pretty normal” for the actress.
They also added that Dobrev was a very private person, and she had always been careful about posting photographs together. She wanted to ease into things naturally and organically.
Another one of their bonding moments was actually snowboarding. As an Olympian in the sport, White was absolutely versed in it.
Little did he know (among the many things he didn’t in their early relationship) was that Dobrev began skiing and snowboarding when she was just around 8 or 9. When they finally tried doing it together for the first time, the actress saw how surprised he was to see that she could keep up.
Sharing with E! News Daily Pop, she said that he was expecting to wait for her when she passed him by a landslide. White acknowledged that in an interview with Us Weekly, saying she was talented and “pretty pro” on the snowboard.
First Social Media Debut
Then, on April 18, 2020, the two finally made their social media debut on Dobrev’s Instagram. It was a hilarious Instagram video of Dobrev trying to wash her groceries (in the midst of the pandemic) inspired by fellow actress Dakota Johnson.
However, the twist was there was another person behind her who was doing all the work for her. The arms even unscrewed a bottle of juice and tried to get her to drink it.
While White wasn’t completely in the frame, fans knew it was him by his tattoo and freckled arms.
Their couple label, though, wasn’t publicly official until May when Dobrev posted a photo of them in quarantine with the caption, “Adding to resume: hairdresser ✂️.” She was holding scissors while White acted like he was scared to have his long hair cut by his only choice for a hairdresser. That said, he did give in (because he had no choice) and posted a time-lapse video of his fun, relaxing salon day.
According to a source close to them, their friends were actually surprised about them at first, but after seeing them together, they finally saw that it made a lot of sense. The two had a lot in common, including being goofy, free-spirited, and adventurous, as well as having the same sense of humor.
They were also very supportive of one another in their respective fields. That was why it was no wonder that they were comfortable around each other.
In August, the twosome was spotted kissing in Tulum, Mexico, during their vacation. A month later, they celebrated White’s 34th birthday.
In her post, Dobrev penned a sweet, sarcastic message for her boyfriend, calling him “the most untalented, humorless, least athletic, least coordinated, least gifted” and her least favorite person. She then quipped, “Hang in there. One day you will accomplish something.”
First Holidays as a Couple
To cap off the year, they celebrated their very first Thanksgiving and Christmas as a couple.
On November 26, White posted a picture of them with his family at the dinner table for Thanksgiving. Dobrev was goofing around wearing a matching pajama set with her boyfriend. In his caption, he wrote how thankful he was to be surrounded by so much love and how incredible it was to get older and watch his family continue to grow.
In December, they took their mandatory end-of-fall photo in matching outfits with beautiful autumn leaves in the background. Dobrev also shared their very first photo together on Instagram when she participated in the “Post a picture of” challenge.
Then, for Christmas, the two spent time with White’s family again. They snapped a Polaroid of them cozied up, sporting Santa hats, which White posted on his Instagram along with all his holiday photos.
After that, the two welcomed New Year together and celebrated Dobrev’s 32nd birthday (though she redid her 31st celebration because “2020 didn’t count.”) with a series of their silly photos in ’80s style, which White posted on Instagram. Of course, he didn’t skip out on a witty caption that precisely delivered their humor. He wrote, “Too bad we never have any fun together … 😉.”
A few days later, Dobrev tried sharing a video clip of her practicing shooting on her Stories. It was an attempt mainly because her boyfriend wasn’t too interested in the rifle shooting practice. His attention was rather directed at her butt.
In February, the two celebrated their first Valentine’s Day as a couple with short but sweet tribute posts on Instagram. Days before that, they went on a double date with Paul Wesley, Dobrev’s co-star in The Vampire Diaries, and his wife, Ines de Ramon, at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Wyoming, where they enjoyed some snow activities.
Months later, in June 2021, White shared what they did on their first milestone: their first anniversary. According to the snowboarder, with COVID-19 still looming, options were limited. However, that didn’t stop him from pulling out all the stops for Dobrev.
So, the plan was to recreate their first date, but everything was still closed. Fortunately, White was able to sweet-talk the owner of the place and got them to open the place for them. The two had a really fun time that day as they enjoyed everything all to themselves.
Chapter Three: A Year In
After their anniversary celebration, the couple attended their first party since the pandemic. The two dressed up boho-style with a rainbow in the background of their photo.
Then, in September, Dobrev wished her man, the funniest, most charming, sexiest, and hardworking person she ever knew, a happy birthday. It was the couple’s 2nd year celebrating it.
In October, Architectural Digest, known for its exclusive access to the world’s most beautiful homes, featured Dobrev’s 1920 Spanish-style home. In the video, she revealed that she and her boyfriend painted her entire home’s exterior by themselves.
She shared that she had always wanted to paint it white, and she found herself without any excuse not to do it. So, she enlisted the help of White.
However, their excitement over their DIY project fizzled out in a few days. Painting the whole house took forever, and they started questioning what they had gotten themselves into.
Having Time For Each Other Despite the Busy Life
White also had an eventful October as he prepared for the 2022 Beijing Olympics. According to him, his girlfriend had been nothing but the best. He gushed about how she was a good influence in his life as she held her to the same high standard she held for herself, and it was so wonderful to have that in a partner.
He also praised Dobrev for being on top of things and always finding a way for them to spend time together. He exclusively shared with Us that they had a nice little system set up on how to stay in touch by booking plane tickets for any opportunity that they could see each other.
“You just make it work. … I think that’s the goal of it all, and the key to it all is just making the time,” White said.
To end the month, they dressed up as gender-flipped characters from Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit for Halloween. White was Elizabeth Harmon, and he didn’t forget to wear a red wig, while Dobrev took on Benny Watts, complete with the mustache.
White posted their snaps with actor Adam Devine, who wore a black shirt with a white chess queen, and captioned it, “Your move @anyataylorjoy ♟👑.”
When 2022 rolled in, it was definitely hectic.
White was set for the Toyota US Grand Prix of Snowboard and Freeski at Mammoth Mountain. Dobrev didn’t miss out on it and supported her beau in person. She even posted a hilarious, cheeky boomerang of her outfit, from a whole white winter look to a pair of red bikinis, describing it as her version of a meltdown.
On January 15, Dobrev congratulated White for making it into the Olympic team for his final run. While she wouldn’t be able to join him at the 2022 Olympic Games due to pandemic restrictions, she was all-in supporting him from home.
Speaking with E! News’s Daily Pop, she shared her excitement for him. Getting into the Olympics was already huge, and winning five times was definitely a feat. Of course, she was very proud of what he had accomplished.
Ahead of the Beijing Olympics, the athlete shared more about his girlfriend and their relationship. He said that everything was great between them because any problem they had fell away through communication.
Additionally, she had been very giving, asking him how she could help him. He continued, “She wants to elevate the people around her. It’s such a beautiful thing, especially in today’s world.”
White ended his legacy with a fourth finish at the halfpipe. Dobrev made a tribute post for him, writing that the end of this chapter of his life marked the beginning of an exciting new one with endless possibilities. She also added that he will forever be etched as the G.O.A.T. of the sport. Additionally, she called him the “G.(B).O.A.T. = Greatest Boyfriend Of All Time.”
Retirement, though, was looking exciting for the five-time Olympic winner, thanks to the bucket list that Dobrev inspired him to do. He actually crossed off one right after he landed from Beijing, which was attending the Super Bowl.
After greeting his family, he and Dobrev made their way to Los Angeles, where they watched the Los Angeles Rams defeat the Cincinnati Bengals at Super Bowl LVI.
Of course, no retirement was ever complete without a party. Dobrev organized one for White, and guests wore red wigs (after his signature hair color).
After partying hard, they enjoyed a tropical vacation at Hacienda AltaGracia, a celebrity-approved wellness retreat at Auberge Resorts in Costa Rica. They ziplined, surfed, sunbathed, and drank cocktails, and then, after a day of activities, they hit the spa to relax. Then, they headed back to the US and partied for a weekend at Coachella.
May marked another milestone in their relationship. The lovely couple stepped out for their red carpet debut in the London premiere of “Top Gun: Maverick,” starring Tom Cruise, Miles Teller (her friend), and Glen Powell (her ex-boyfriend). Before that, they had a quick fun in Greece, where Dobrev was filming for her new movie.
Days after their red carpet debut, they attended a charity gala for Ukrainian refugees in France. Afterward, they headed for the Cannes Film Festival.
After a heavily-booked May, they went on another getaway in June, and this time, it was the Maldives. It was undeniable that the two had such a great time with all the fun photos that they posted of their trip.
Chapter Four: More Milestones And Moments
The two spent more time together after White’s retirement. In July, they did a double date with Miles and Kelleigh Teller at a UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas.
They even made a TikTok with Chris Pratt and Shaquille O’Neal making a cameo. A month later, they were at Sarah Hyland and Wells Adams’ wedding.
Dobrev and White went on another trip in September, but this was a mix of business and fun. The couple attended the Omega Masters tournament at the Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club in Switzerland, swapping off the bikinis and shorts for chic ensembles.
White sported an all-black fit, while Dobrev stunned with her tailored plaid suit. They also had a photo opportunity with George Clooney during the event.
After that, they explored the Swiss Alps. Dobrev also had the chance to take some photos with friends and fellow actors Paul Wesley and Anthony Anderson.
According to Us, the two also moved in together in New York City that month.
In October, they celebrated Halloween for the second time, and they chose Stranger Things for their theme. White went for Vecna, and Dobrev, on the other hand, portrayed Max Mayfield. In November, they made their way to the Guggenheim International Gala.
Capping off their eventful year, the Dobrevs and the Whites had a joint vacation in Mexico, where they enjoyed stunning sunsets and conversations over family dinners.
Chapter Five: Current Status
For 2023, after the couple was taking it nice and slow.
They celebrated Dobrev’s 34th in January and also shared some snaps from their vacation in Antarctica. According to White, Dobrev had been so supportive of him, and she was his lifesaver through the pandemic. That time in his life was special since they quarantined together.
In February, an insider gave an exclusive interview that the couple had discussed getting married and having kids. Even though they’ve had the whole nine yards talk, White shared with PEOPLE that there was no pressure for him to propose to her this year. He said that they were just enjoying their time together, especially since it was just a while since he finally got his freedom.
However, he didn’t close his doors entirely and said, “But you never know. We’ll see what happens.”
In June, White joined Dobrev at the premiere of her Netflix film “The Out-Laws” in LA. The athlete wore a classic black suit, while the actress wore a sparkly mini dress on. In an interview a week later, Dobrev revealed that White actually helped her run her lines for her audition for the film. And she ended up landing the part!
In more recent news, the two attended the second annual Albies in New York City hosted by the Clooney Foundation of Justice last September. The couple was decked in matching all-black Versace outfits.
Then, last October 23, they had an accidental double date with another power couple, Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra, on Broadway.
Will Nina Dobrev and Shaun White finally take their relationship to the next level this year? Well, there’s still two months before 2023 ends. Anything can happen. For now, we just have to wait and let the lovebirds enjoy their time.