Two years after a painful breakup with ex-fiancé Taylor Kinney, Lady Gaga is in love again.
The musician is earning rave reviews for her captivating performance in A Star Is Born, and off-screen she’s happier than ever. Together for nearly two years, she and Christian Carino, 49, an agent, have yet to publicly comment on their relationship status, though it is widely believed in industry circles that they are engaged.
In this week’s cover story, PEOPLE explores Gaga’s meteoric rise to superstardom — and how she keeps her support system, with Carino at its center, close. The couple mostly keep a low profile. Yet “they were inseparable” when they spent time together in New York City this past spring, a source tells PEOPLE in the latest issue.
For more about Gaga, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on stands Friday.
After ending her five year relationship with Kinney, “she wasn’t expecting to find love with Christian so quickly,” says an insider, “but things just became serious very fast. Christian is a good, grounding force and understands her career. She’s in a great place now.”
Gaga reflected on her love troubles before Carino in her painfully honest documentary Five Foot Two, where she correlated professional success with heartbreaking relationship loss.
“I sold 10 million [records] and lost Matt [“Dada” Williams, a producer she dated in 2009 and 2010],” she said. “I sold 30 million and lost Luc [Carl, a bar owner she dated in 2005 and 2010]. I did a movie and lost Taylor [Kinney]. It’s like a turnover. This is the third time I’ve had my heart broken like this.”
The insider echoes her statement, revealing that their relationship “started falling apart” while Gaga was busy filming A Star Is Born.
“She was super heartbroken when things ended with Taylor,” the insider adds. “They just ended up in one of those situations where schedule-wise, it was impossible to be in a healthy relationship…it was just a matter of scheduling so there aren’t really hard feelings there.”
But now, the “very down to earth and sweet” singer is in love again and not afraid to be open about her feelings, another source tells PEOPLE.
“When she introduces Christian, she says he is her special guy,” the source says. “She seems very serious about him. They are very sweet together. They always walk around hand in hand.”
A Star Is Born is in theaters now.