All the Times NFL Star J.J. Watt and His Girlfriend Have Been Totally Adorable
The "very happily dating" couple have gone from an undercover relationship to Instagram displays of affection
NFL star J.J. Watt had been quietly dating professional soccer player Kealia Ohai for about a year before going public with their love in January. The pair, who met through Watt’s Houston Texans teammate Brian Cushing (Cushing is married to Ohai’s older sister Megan), are “very happily dating” while balancing busy training and traveling schedules, a source tells PEOPLE.
“We’re both very proud of each other and what we both do,” Watt, 28, told PEOPLE at a pre-Super Bowl event in February. “We have a lot of fun together.”
Although the couple remains relatively private about their relationship, Watt and Ohai, 25, still find sweet ways to show each other—and their fans—how much they mean to one another. Below, see five of our favorite swoon-worthy moments:
1. When Watt wore Ohai’s jersey number during a press conference
While rumors swirled around the couple since early 2016—Watt was spotted at several Houston Dash home games and the pair was seen on date nights around Houston—neither had officially confirmed the relationship by the time the 2016 NFL season started. However, Watt found a sneaky way to show support for his girlfriend. At a Texans press conference in September, Watt wore a Dillon Panthers t-shirt with Friday Night Lights‘ quarterback Matt Saracen’s No. 7—which, not so coincidentally, is also Ohai’s soccer jersey number. (We can only hope Ohai was as excited to see the sweet fashion statement as FNL actor Zach Gilford was.)
2. When Ohai told the world how “proud” she is of her boyfriend
While appearing on the 2 Up Front podcast in October, Ohai was asked whether she and Watt were a couple. “The rumors are true. We are dating,” she said, publicly confirming the romance for the first time. “I’ve known J.J. for a really long time, and we’ve always been great friends.” The soccer star had nothing but praise for Watt, who had recently suffered a season-ending injury and undergone a second back surgery. “Yeah, I’m really proud of him for everything he’s been going through, but it’s been pretty crazy with all the rumors.”
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3. When Watt hung a personalized “K” Christmas stocking on his mantle
Although Ohai had gone public with their relationship, Watt was still keeping fans guessing with cryptic and teasing social media posts. In December, he shared a Snapchat photo of his Houston living room all decked out for the holidays—complete with a lit up Christmas tree, reindeer throw blanket and, oh, two “J” and “K” monogrammed stockings hanging over a roaring fireplace.
4. When Watt whisked Ohai off on a romantic Mexican vacation for her birthday
The NFL star made it official on his end in late January when he posted a photo of the pair on the beach in Cabo San Lucas. “Happy Birthday beautiful. May this be your best year yet!” he captioned the cuddly Instagram pic. “She’s awesome. We just went to Mexico for her birthday and the whole weekend was competition—whether it was ping pong or the weight room,” Watt told PEOPLE in February. “She’s extremely competitive which is a ton of fun. She’s incredible.” When asked why he waited nearly a year to go public, Watt said: “There’s a little bit of that cat and mouse game where everyone wants a photo of us and wants us to confirm it. And I was like, all right, I’ll do it so now we can enjoy ourselves and live happily. And it’s been great.”
5. When Ohai flew across the country to spend 12 hours with Watt on his birthday
A trip to Mexico may be a hard birthday gift to follow, but the soccer star found a way. On Watt’s 28th birthday on March 22nd, Ohai surprised her boyfriend with a short but sweet visit to his cabin in Wisconsin. “On her only off day during preseason camp, flew in to spend 12 hours here for my birthday. Such an awesome surprise. Thank you beautiful,” he captioned the photo. Ohai returned the love with her own sweet post: “Happy birthday @justinjames99 I love you a lot 💙,” she wrote.