After all, it had only been a few days since the reality TV contestant sat down with The Bachelorette herself, Hannah Brown, during the show’s live finale and agreed to meet the newly-single woman who’d just called off her engagement with Jed Wyatt for drinks, which they followed up by spending the night together days later. Suddenly, the prospect of a fairy-tale ending to a rather rocky season of ABC’s long-running search for love seemed in question.
Tyler’s public outings with the supermodel certainly left Hannah perturbed, as she admitted on fellow Bachelorette stars Rachel Lindsay and Ali Fedotowsky-Manno‘s Bachelor Happy Hour podcast, released on August 7, that she found the whole thing “a little disrespectful.”
“It’s kind of like, bruh, slow your roll,” she said. “You’re on Twitter talking about ‘Hannah’s the queen’ and preaching about respect, but then you’re being a little disrespectful by dating other people in such a public way where you know it’s gonna get so much attention. I think that’s my beef with it.”
Regardless of how anyone else felt about it, Tyler and Gigi seemed unbothered, racking up public date after date in the Big Apple—dates that usually didn’t end until he left her place the next morning. And while many were wondering just how these two beautiful people from seemingly disparate worlds came together in the first place, a source told E! News at the time that they’d “been texting for weeks,” thanks to their mutual friends in the modeling industry. “They are both taking things slow, but have made it clear they are interested in each other,” the insider added.
As August progressed and the two continued to spend more and more time together, those in their inner circle continued to drive home the casualness of the situation. “He really likes Gigi, but it’s just a fling for now,” a source close to Tyler told us. “He’s living in the moment and not thinking too much past that.”
“They have a strong connection but are definitely just testing the waters right now,” another, this one close to Gigi, said. “Tyler has not met [her mom] Yolanda [Hadid] and hasn’t been invited to any family gatherings just yet.”
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Of course, all that changed when tragedy struck at the end of August. On the 31st, Gigi took to social media to announce that her beloved grandmother Ans van den Herik, Yolanda’s mother, had passed away after a battle with cancer at the age of 78.
“OUR QUEEN ANGEL fought cancer six times in her life with courage, strength, and grace while being the greatest mother and grandmother,” Gigi wrote on Instagram. “She is an honorable guide we will carry with us forever. We love you more than words, our beautiful wonderful Oma.”
Days later, when Gigi traveled to the Netherlands along with her siblings Bella and Anwar Hadid, as well as their mother, her boyfriend Joseph Jingoli, and Anwar’s girlfriend, pop star Dua Lipa, to attend Ans’ funeral service, photos popped up revealing that Tyler had followed her across the pond to pay his respects as well, supporting a grieving Gigi as they walked arm-in-arm. Suddenly, something that seemed like nothing more than summer fling felt a whole lot more serious.
“Neither of them really anticipated that it would turn in to what it has,” an insider tells us about the current state of things. “For Tyler, it’s still pretty casual, but they are spending a lot of time together and really like each other. Gigi asked him to come to the Netherlands and he agreed. He’s a very supportive person and someone that’s great to have around when you’re going through something. He’s rock solid and very kind. They didn’t put too much thought into it. They are together a lot and she didn’t want to go without him.”
The source adds, “They aren’t talking about the future or what any of this could become, they are just going with it. But he loves being with her and they are really clicking.”
And while they’ve yet to make a public appearance as a couple—despite Tyler joining Gigi at Republic Records’ 2019 MTV Video Music Awards after-party, where her pal Taylor Swift “greeted him with a big hug,” not to mention the fact that they both attended the Zendaya x Tommy Hilfiger New York Fashion Week event on Sunday, Sept. 8 (where they went out of their way to arrive separately and walk the red carpet solo)—they’ve truly begun ingratiating themselves in one another’s lives.
“Tyler has been looking at apartments that are in the same area as Gigi’s in NYC,” an insider tells us. “She suggested a few to him and he wants to be nearby. They are getting pretty serious and it’s not slowing down. They text all day every day and see each other multiple times a week.”
While they’ve yet to put any official labels on whatever their relationship may be, it’s become abundantly clear that it’s no longer merely casual. “They both are very into each other and are having a lot of fun together,” our source continued. “They haven’t had any official talk yet, but [they] aren’t dating other people.”
As for that “official talk,” something tells us it’s only a matter of time.
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