As the chances of being a professional athlete are incredibly slim, it’s probably the case that dating one is just as improbable. After all, most relationships develop out of convenience and similar experiences, and if you’re rich and famous, then you’re looking for equally rich and famous people to spend your quality, intimate time with.
It’s not enough to find important similarities, but also to seek out key complements, which is why stars in different industries align – like athletes and other celebs. It seems far more prevalent over the last decade or so; at least, it appears to be the case. Perhaps one of the earliest, and indeed the most famous case, was Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio, the Yankee leader, dating and marrying (and later divorcing) Marilyn Monroe, an actress who was the epitome of beautiful.
Surely this happened with some frequency, but it simply seems even more frequent now. Because of the ubiquity of cameras and videos, the rapidity with which our society consumes gossip and information, and the increasing confluence of sports and celebrity, we see athletes meeting up with actors and musicians and models and others of fame.
Of course, it doesn’t always end well, which leads a curious public to wonder about those who seems to exclusively date athletes, or think about the sort of awkward situations that star couples could get into that make them just like everyone else. I mean, Kim Kardashian did date both Reggie Bush and Kris Humphries - well, she even married Humphries!
On the other hand, there are those celebrity-athlete power couples that seem to be the paragon of perfection and balance. It doesn’t seem to get much bigger and better than Tom Brady AND Gisele Bundchen. The man has four Super Bowl rings, and may be the best QB ever, and it’s still the woman who’s bringing in the most money to the household.
Regardless of the outcome, it’s popular for athletes to seek out celebrities and vice versa, so let us take a look at those dating and engaged couples today. Of course, this is subject to change: marriage could be around the corner, but so could a quick ending.
20 20. Justin Brent & Elke
Justin Brent sure has a type. After being linked with famed adult film actress Lisa Ann, according to TMZ, Brent is now shacking up with ‘Elke the Stallion,’ an internet-famous model who boasts about her beautiful backside. I suppose in 2015, ‘internet famous’ means something, so she counts for this list, albeit with some reluctance on this writer’s part. She is noted for appearing in the video for ‘Bubble Butt’ from Major Lazer. Still, the 19-year-old Freshmen wide receiver for Notre Dame met the nearly 40-year-old Elke online late last year, and things seem to be working out for these two crazy kids.
19 Joseph Fauria & Erika Hammond
This one may be bending the rules a bit too: while Erika Hammond is an athlete and former WWE model, that was then, and she is also a model and still a self-proclaimed diva now. There is also a juicy story here that’s also worth mentioning. Neither is especially famous, certainly compared to others on this list, as Fauria is a tight end for the Detroit Lions, but the two made headlines last year when the insecure NFLer took to social media to call out his lady. It seems he thought his girlfriend was cheating on him with Super Bowl winning quarterback Russell Wilson. Apparently he didn’t have all the facts, later apologized, and the couple is still going strong, or so it would seem.
18 Samir Nasri & Anara Atanes
Being a soccer player isn’t a bad gig - after all, it’s the most popular sport in the world and a lot of those fans are going to be women. Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri has been coupled up with English model and singer Anara Atanes for a couple years now. Atanes created quite a bit of a stir last year when she went on an expletive-laden rant about France coach Didier Deschamps for leaving Nasri off the national World Cup team. While he hasn’t had the greatest of years, the 27-year-old likely can find comfort next to the beautiful and successful Atanes, who definitely has his back.
17 Hakeem Nicks & Ariel Meredith
While the once star wide receiver seems to be losing a step in the NFL, as does just about every star in the cutthroat league, his life off the field has a far stronger direction. Last summer, following a signing with the Indianapolis Colts after having left the New York Giants where he won a Super Bowl Ring in 2011, Nicks put a ring on someone else’s finger. He got engaged with Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Ariel Meredith (which counts as a celebrity). While Nicks is without a team at the moment this year, and the couple could end up anywhere, at least they know they will be together.
16 Lewis Hamilton & Nicole Scherzinger
Okay, this may be cheating a little bit, but hear me out. Sure, the talented songstress and the Formula 1 racer split up last month, but it was the fourth time they did. The two have been dating and not dating across some seven years, and have gotten back together each of the three times they previously split up. Apparently the pressures of a long distance relationship became too much and who can blame them? It seems they could get back together too. According to The Daily Mail, a source told them the break 'was a mutual decision,’ while another source said, ‘It's been seven years now, and it's always the same reason that splits them up. Love always brings them back together.'
15 Carl Crawford & Evelyn Lozada
In today’s world, if you’re on TV, you count as a celebrity. Reality star Evelyn Lozada has done quite well for herself, rising to fame on Basketball Wives. She was also supposed to be on Ev and Ocho, where she would star alongside her then-husband, former outspoken NFL wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, but a public dispute and arrest had it pulled from the air. Two months in, she filed for divorce citing abuse, and since has been seeing Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford. The two are now engaged, and rumors have been swirling around whether or not Lozada is pregnant, according to MadameNoire.com. That is to say, people are speculating, and she is shooting down those speculations.
14 Dustin Johnson & Paulina Gretzky
Like several other couples on this list, this star pair recently made headlines in the most positive of ways. Paulina Gretsky and fiancé Dustin Johnson welcomed their first baby into the world, a son named Tatum, making legendary hockey great Wayne Gretzky a grandfather. Now, Paulina is mainly famous for being Wayne's daughter, but she is indeed a celebrity, and she has been with the PGA pro since early 2013. They pair dated for eight months being becoming engaged. The 30-year-old American will be looking for his 10th PGA win this year upon his return, something for his new son to look up to.
13 Brooks Laich & Julianne Hough
One of the newer couples on the list, the actress and the hockey player met through a mutual friend last winter, and have been embracing each other in public ever since. Hough, 26, is a multi-talented rising star, perhaps best known for her dancing skills with Dancing with the Stars. She has a handful of films to her credit, including Rock of Ages and Safe Haven, and is also an accomplished singer and songwriter. Laich, 31, meanwhile, is a forward for the Washington Capitals, and was seen recently taking his girlfriend on a lovely New Year’s Day skate ahead of the NHL Winter Classic.
12 Wladimir Klitschko & Hayden Panettiere
He is 13 years her senior and a good foot and a half taller than her, but love and attraction works in mysterious ways. These on again and off again lovers recently welcomed a daughter to the world in December by the name of Kaya Evdokia Klitschko. The pair met in 2009 at a party and dated soon after, but ended things after two years. Once again, long distance plays a factor. After dating NFLer Scotty McKnight, Panettiere reunited with the successful Russian boxer in April 2013, and months later announced their engagement.
11 Jarret Stoll & Erin Andrews
While Andrews has experience with sports, it’s not in playing but reporting, so this one counts with her making a name as an on air personality and journalist. She is also the co-host of Dancing with the Stars, while her new boyfriend Jarret Stoll is an NHL player with the Los Angeles Kings. He’s rather successful too, having won two Stanley Cups with the team in 2012 and 2014. According to Heavy.com, the two apparently met through mutual friend Michael Strahan, who now has his feet in both the athletic and celebrity world. Stoll and Andrews have been dating for about two years.
10 Kevin Love & Cody Horn
In one fated summer, Love found himself a beautiful actress girlfriend as well being moved to a professional basketball team that will be competing for a championship - not a bad offseason. Love, a three-point shooting NBAer resigned for many years to Minnesota, has found himself this year in Cleveland playing alongside LeBron James. Last summer, he started dating actress Cody Horn, perhaps best known for her role in Magic Mike, though she also had a 10-episode arc on Rescue Me. Horn of course lives in California, so if the Cavs win a championship this year, perhaps Love is one and done with the Northeast city and heading for the coast.
9 Evan Longoria & Jaime Edmondson
In another of an athlete teaming up with a beautiful model, baseballer Evan Longoria has found love with Playboy Playmate Jaime Edmondson. The two have been together for a few years now, finding romance and happiness in Florida where he plays for the Tampa Bay Rays – she was also a cheerleader for the Miami Dolphins. The couple announced their engagement in December of 2013. Edmondson recently gave birth to the couple’s second child, and it seems the two have plenty of space for raising a family, as it was reported in the fall of 2013 that the couple bought a $1.5 million waterfront home near Tropicana Field in Tampa. And they bought it in cash.
8 Iman Shumpert & Teyana Taylor
Two hopeful stars on the rise, New York Knicks point guard Iman Shumpert and R&B artist Teyana Taylor have been linked for a while now, looking to grow both personally and professionally it would seem. Working off of Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. music label, Taylor released her debut album VII last fall. Shumpert was recently traded to the Cavs and will be hoping to win a championship this summer. This relationship comes on the heels of Taylor dating Milwaukee Buck Brandon Jennings, and certainly a Cav is an upgrade on a Buck.
7 Enrique Iglesias & Anna Kournikova
Together for over 13 years, the attractive and talented couple are technically not married, but seemingly destined to be together forever. Iglesias, 39, is a world-spanning popular singer who recently put out a new album and went on tour. Kournikova, six years younger, has since retired from tennis where she shot on the scene due more to her looks than her performance. Rumours often swirl around the couple, and it seems marriage might be in the future and perhaps kids too. Regardless, the beautiful pair seem most happy and in control of their life. Iglesias told Life and Style Magazine in the fall: “She’s my girl and best partner in all my adventures.”
6 Nick Young & Iggy Azalea
It seems fitting that these two popular, yet maligned stars have teamed up. While there are people that love both Nick Young and Iggy Azalea, both seem to be the subject of ridicule for their proud and outspoken nature. Young, who calls himself Swaggy P, is notorious for chucking up the ball and never passing, while Azalea was recently criticized by an ESPN anchor on her music. Young is also on the abysmal Lakers and shooting a career-low 36.6% this season. Still, they two seem quite in love, taking a Valentine’s vacation to Hawaii and having been together for a year and a half.
5 Serge Ibaka & Keri Hilson
The Oklahoma City Thunder power forward is a big, bad menace on the court, but alongside singer girlfriend Keri Hilson, Ibaka comes across as a sweet and gentle giant. The two had a Valentine’s Day breakup last year, but following months of reflection and resolution, the pair got back together in the summer and seems thrilled once again. The 32-year-old Hilson is a popular R&B singer, and has also found her way to the big screen on several occasions. The two have been together for over about two years now and they aren’t shy about showing their love in public. Ibaka even shared a video of him teaching Hilson Lingala, his native language, spoken primarily in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola.
4 Gerard Pique & Shakira
One of the sexiest singers in the world has been paired up with a hunky footballer in a romance that seems set to continue forever. Since 2010, the Columbian-born Shakira has been together with Barcelona native Gerard Pique, who currently plays center back for FC Barcelona. The couple shares two children together, including young Sasha Piqué Mebarak, who was born earlier this year. Their son’s name means ‘warrior’ and ‘defendant of mankind,’ as the charitable couple took to social media in conjunction with UNICEF to raise awareness and help those impoverished around the world.
3 Derek Jeter & Hannah Davis
The legendary Yankees captain and All Star has often kept his personal life just that: personal. He has been linked with several young and beautiful celebrities over the years, and currently is linked up with yet another. Hannah Davis, 24, and Jeter have been dating for two years, but Davis finally got her big break by appearing on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, and in a most revealing pose as well. Jeter, 40, has given no public opinion on the cover, but it still seems fitting that a Yankees star and a super model link up.
2 Justin Verlander & Kate Upton
Another baseball player-model pairing on our list finds an all-star pitcher with one of the world’s most popular and sexiest starlets. Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander, 32, has been dating supermodel Kate Upton, 22, for a couple years now, and have been one of the more public couples on this list. They are active on social media together, make public appearances, and Upton has been spotted often cheering on her beau in Detroit. Last month, she caused online news when she jokingly said she turned down a marriage proposal from Verlander, but everyone thought she was serious. They were also subject to the phone hacking scandal that befell dozens of celebrities last summer, but remained defiant and proud.
1 Aaron Rodgers and Olivia Munn
This is a case of a superstar quarterback dating a beautiful and talented actress, but it may not have been intentional. At least not from the side of the actress. Munn recently revealed that when she first met the Green Bay Packers' QB, she had no idea he was a football player. So never mind the Super Bowl ring or MVPs, or even all those commercials. Munn saw an attractive man and soon the two started dating. Of course since they started dating in early 2014, Munn has become a serious Packers fan. We can assume he liked The Newsroom too.