HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 26: Tom Holland (L) and Zendaya pose at the after party for the premiere of Sony Pictures’ “Spider-Man: Far From Home” on June 26, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

When Zendaya and Tom Holland were papped kissing in a car earlier this year, the photos sent the internet wild. Since the pair starred alongside each other in Spiderman in 2016, fans of the duo have shipped them hard with reports of a relationship beginning as early as 2017, following the undeniable chemistry people were spotting during the movie’s press tour. 

In July 2017, a source told People, “They started seeing each other while they were filming Spiderman. They’ve been super careful to keep it private and out of the public eye, but they’ve gone on vacations with each other and try and spend as much time as possible with one another.”

However, following the reports it appears the duo went their separate ways: Zendaya went on to date Jacob Elordi in 2019, while Holland went public with girlfriend Nadia Parks in 2020. So when they were photographed kissing in Holland’s car while stopped at a red light in Los Angeles in July of this year, naturally, the crowd went wild.

Now, in the first interview they’ve done confirming their romance, the famous pair have revealed it wasn’t their choice for people to know about their relationship.

In a GQ profile of Holland, the actor addressed the car photos, saying, “One of the downsides of our fame is that privacy isn’t really in our control anymore, and a moment that you think is between two people that love each other very much is now a moment that is shared with the entire world.”

“I’ve always been really adamant to keep my private life private, because I share so much of my life with the world anyway. We sort of felt robbed of our privacy,” he added.

In fact, if the images hadn’t leaked, we likely still wouldn’t know about the relationship at all. “I don’t think it’s about not being ready. It’s just that we didn’t want to.” Holland added, “It’s not a conversation that I can have without her. You know, I respect her too much to say… This isn’t my story. It’s our story. And we’ll talk about what it is when we’re ready to talk about it together.”

Jumping in via phone call, Zendaya added the attention around their romance when the photos leaked “was quite strange and weird and confusing and invasive.”

MADRID, SPAIN – JUNE 14: (L-R) Zendaya and Tom Holland attend a photocall for ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ at the Villa Magna Hotel on June 14, 2017 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Fotonoticias/FilmMagic)

“The equal sentiment [we both share] is just that when you really love and care about somebody, some moments or things, you wish were your own,” she continued. “I think loving someone is a sacred thing and a special thing and something that you want to deal with and go through and experience and enjoy amongst the two people that love each other.”

Holland also addressed Zendaya’s years-long impact on him as he adjusted to fame: “Having her in my life was so instrumental to my sanity,” he said. “She is so good at being the role model for young guys and girls. When anyone comes up, like, ‘Can I have a picture?,’ it’s never a bad time. Whereas my initial reaction was: ‘Why are you talking to me? Leave me alone.’”

There you have it. Ultimate sweethearts Zendaya and Tom Holland are very much in love. But they’d also like for us to leave them to it.