The Celeb Guide to ... Sliding into Those DMs
Want to turn social media flirtation into lasting love? Let these couples be your guides
Check Your Unread Messages
Model Winnie Harlow revealed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that her now-boyfriend, Kyle Kuzma, first reached out to her via DM — but that she never saw it.
"I got a DM a year prior from my boyfriend, and I never seen it," the model revealed to guest host tWitch. "I don't know what the glitch in the system with Instagram is, but that never came up for me!"
"A year later, at the top of quarantine, he DMed me again. He posted a picture of me in an outfit and I was like, 'Oh, hi!' ... and he shot his shot. He slid into the DMs," she continued, according to TMZ.
"That was cute, and I was like, 'Oh hey, how's quarantine been?' " The pair began FaceTiming and now often share cuddly shots of each other on social media.
If at First You Don't Succeed — Try Again
The couple is engaged now, but Selling Sunset star Heather Rae Young rejected the Flip or Flop star Tarek El Moussa's advances twice before they got together — first by turning down his invitation to a first date in Paris, and then by reminding him he'd already asked her out over Instagram.
The pair met in person on the Fourth of July in 2019 aboard El Moussa's boat, "Bad Decisions" (bought after his divorce from ex Christina Anstead).
When El Moussa approached her, Young was quick to call him out. "She was like, 'You already asked me out [on Instagram],' " El Moussa recalled on the Dear Media podcast Not Skinny But Not Fat. He didn't remember doing so, so he checked his old DMs and saw that at the time, she'd turned down the date because she had a boyfriend.
"So I looked back and asked, 'So, do you still have that boyfriend?' and she's like 'Nope,'" he said with a laugh. They ended up getting dinner locally, and the rest is history.
Lay Some Groundwork on Twitter
"I was following him. We had tweeted each other because I thought he was funny and he was a fan of the show," Sarah Hyland told Jimmy Kimmel about meeting her now-fiancé Wells Adams. "I was like, 'This is really awesome. You're being very forward and it's sexy and not aggressive but very confident and sexy,' and I liked that."
Always Advertise Your Love of a New Band
Mandy Moore can thank Instagram for introducing her to her husband Taylor Goldsmith, frontman for the band Dawes. "I took a picture of their album and posted it on Instagram," the This Is Us actress told PEOPLE. "Somehow, Taylor saw it and sent a note to me. We started emailing back and forth, then we went on a date and the rest is history."
Take the Initiative
Amber Riley didn't wait for Desean Black to make the first move, sending him a simple but effective message instead.
"Hi Desean, how are you," read her DM message, according to a screenshot the Glee actress shared on Instagram. In his follow-up, Black replied, "Hey beautiful I'm doing great and you???"
The move worked: The couple got engaged in November 2020!
It's All About the Follow-Through
Sometimes, sparks fly IRL first, but you don't get the number. That's where DMs come into play, as they did for Dua Lipa and Anwar Hadid.
After admitting on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen that she did, indeed, slide into her now-boyfriend's DMs, the pop star clarified, "No, we actually met at a barbecue. But then it carried on onto DMs."
A Picture's Worth 1,000 Words
Riverdale star Madelaine Petsch first met her ex, actor-musician Travis Mills, when he was up for the role of Jughead, but the romance didn't take off until they reconnected online.
"He messaged me on Facebook in January of season one and congratulated me on the show. He had auditioned for Jughead," she told Cosmopolitan in 2017. "I think we just randomly had mutual friends, so we added each other."
"We kept in touch very rarely, not even that much, from January to February, and then the day I got back from season one in February I was bored in L.A., believe it or not," she continued. "I was like, 'What am I gonna do?' I got my hair cut and he texted me like, 'Let's go to a movie!' We hung out."
The pair split after three years together in February 2020.
Take Your Flirting to the Real World
Sadie Robertson chatted online and over text for two years before she started dating former Disney Channel star Austin North. "Austin DMed me on Twitter two summers ago and quickly got out of the DMs by giving me his number," Robertson told Entertainment Tonight in 2018. "We spent most of that summer calling and texting." It took the pair nearly two years to meet in real life, but when they did there was an "instant spark."
The pair broke up shortly after, but Robertson found her happy ending with now-husband Christian Huff, whom she married in November 2019.
Never Give Up
It's the scenario all superfans dream of: Danielle Ceasar — a fan of The Fosters actor — began tweeting Jake T. Austin in 2009 and continued to do so for the next five years until the actor finally took notice. The couple began dating and soon made it official on social media. (Believe in your daydreams, everyone!) While they never publicly announced their split, they've since removed all photos of each other from their respective social media accounts.
Bond Over What You Have in Common
For Austin Mahone, cupid struck his arrow on Instagram. The singer began messaging Katya Henry — who is known to post selfies and workout pics galore — which sparked a conversation between the two about their love of fitness and ultimately led to a relationship offline. (Sadly, their romance was not meant to be, and the pair split in 2017.)
Never Be Afraid to Shoot That Shot
Been dreaming of meeting PEOPLE's 2020 Sexiest Man Alive Michael B. Jordan since the (first) time you saw Black Panther? Why not try sliding into his DMs? After all, it worked for Temple University student Sylvia, who offered to buy the actor a smoothie on Instagram after hearing that he was shooting on the campus. In response, Jordan invited her and some friends to stop by the set for a picture — no purchase necessary.
Network, Network, Network
Sliding into someone's DMs doesn't always have to be about finding romance — sometimes, it's just a way to set up a business meeting. "Lindsay [Lohan] and I have been slipping into each other's DM's a lot lately," Tyra Banks told EW about plans for Life Size 2. "I think she's very interested in returning."