Vanessa Hudgens has been dating boyfriend and fellow actor Austin Butler for almost seven years now, and the relationship shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. She was first spotted with the actor in 2011 and they’ve been going strong since.
Hudgens spoke to People in March, 2017 about how tough long-distance relationships can be, especially since she and Butler both travel so much for gigs, but mentioned how they make their relationship work, despite the distance. She told People: “Just communication, communication is key. I think that if anything’s bothering you, don’t hold it in. Always bring it up and just talk about it. Uncensor yourself and just be open.”
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, she claimed the two work so well together because they “always have each other’s backs.” The couple sparked engagement speculation back in 2017 after the former Disney star was spotted with a sizeable ring on her left finger, but she is adamant that she and Butler feel no pressure to tie the knot at the moment, saying “no, because if I felt pressure in a relationship, we wouldn’t have been together for almost seven years.”
It turns out that Hudgens and Butler were good friends long before they started seeing each other romantically. According to the Daily Mail, they first met in 2005 while Hudgens was still dating her long-time High School Musical co-star Zac Efron.
It wasn’t until 2011 when rumors began to swirl that the two might be more than just friends, after Butler was allegedly spotted leaving Hudgens’ home, according to Hollywood Life. The rumors were proven true when the couple was seen smooching over milkshakes in Los Angeles not long after Butler was seen leaving her house.
During the 2015 MTV Music Video Awards, Butler gushed about his love for Hudgens and how they’ve managed to make their relationship work.
“It’s important to put that other person first,” Butler told Entertainment Tonight. “If you’re constantly looking for ways that you can make them happy, and they’re constantly looking for ways that they can make you happy, then you kind of lift each other up as much as possible and you can’t go wrong.”
Hudgens was in a long-term relationship with ex-boyfriend Zac Efron for years before she and Butler started dating, and although she says there isn’t bad blood between the two, she has mentioned that she started to get “mean” when she was dating Efron, and that they eventually fell completely out of contact. She told The New York Times: “I went through a phase when I was really mean because I was so fed up. Girls were running after him, and I was giving them death stares. Then I realized that’s not what that’s about.”
It doesn’t seem to be that way with Butler at all. Hudgens told Women’s Health that she has found a renewed sense of confidence in her late twenties, which has directly translated to the success of her relationship with Butler. The now-30-year-old told the publication:
“He inspires me more than anyone. We both respect, trust, and admire each other. It’s so solid now because I feel strong as an independent woman. I am very self-reliant, but it’s nice to have a best friend you can share victories with as well as losses … He inspires me more than anyone.”
Hudgens is very active on social media, posting pictures of the two cuddling, watching the sunset and cruising on a boat, among many others. Although they haven’t shared publicly whether they plan to tie the knot soon, their relationship seems to be getting stronger every year, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise when they do finally announce an engagement.