The pair first met when Payne was performing on the British talent show with his future One Direction bandmates
Liam Payne‘s love life has taken a new direction.
The One Direction singer is dating X Factor judge Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, PEOPLE confirms.
The Sun was the first to report the romance, sharing that the pair have been dating since late 2015.
Payne, 22, and Fernandez-Versini, 32, first met when Payne was competing on the X Factor in 2010 with his future One Direction bandmates, and have kept in touch since Fernandez-Versini signed with Modest, One Direction’s management company.
It’s “been going on for awhile,” a source close to Fernandez-Versini tells PEOPLE. “Both are very similar and happy.”
According to The Sun the pair’s romance developed in December after the X Factor finale where One Direction gave their final performance before starting their hiatus.
Fernandez-Versini is currently in the midst of a divorce from Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini, her husband of 19 months. Payne split up with longtime girlfriend Sophia Smith in October, shortly after revealing they had discussed getting married.