Here at Cosmo.ph, it's our ~tradition~ to report the newest Korean celebrity pair at the start of the year. For 2023, IU and Lee Jong Suk are revealed to be the "New Year's Couple" and we were so happy with this news that we did some serious sleuthing! But before we give you a *deep dive* into their love story, here are fast facts about the Hallyu stars + similarities between them that will make you extra kilig.
IU is that celebrity (*winks at Uaenas a.k.a her fandom*). The 29-year-old made her debut at the age of 15 and with her longstanding career, she has made an impact as a singer, songwriter, actress, and philanthropist. You've seen her in the K-dramas Dream High, Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo, My Mister, and Hotel Del Luna. She's also the voice behind the hit tracks "Good Day," "Blueming," and "Strawberry Moon." In both fields, IU has earned several awards throughout the years.
Lee Jong Suk may be a household name in the K-drama industry, but did you know that he started as a runway model when he was 15 years old? He then started training as a K-pop idol (he prepared to be the rapper of a group) but he ultimately pursued a career in acting. The 33-year-old has starred in a string of successful series including School 2013, Doctor Stranger, Pinocchio, W: Two Worlds, While You Were Sleeping, Romance Is A Bonus Book, and most recently, Big Mouth. Aside from being an actor, Jong Suk has also dipped his toes into business and is also recognized for his charitable works.
In case you've noticed, IU and Jong Suk both debuted at the age of 15 and have trained as K-pop stars. But their *connections* don't stop there—they also have the same blood type (A) and they're introverts! Meant to be, I guess?
The long wait is over, here's a detailed timeline of IU and Lee Jong Suk's relationship:
December 2011 - IU opens up about dating and marriage
12 years ago, IU guested on Happy Together 3 where she shared her thoughts about relationships. She said, "When I get older, I will be able to have more chances to date but I feel like I will get sick of it. Meeting someone, dating, breaking up, meeting another person, and repeating the same things—this will all just lead to marriage so I feel like I will get sick of that dating process. I'd rather get married as soon as I become an adult."
August 2012 - IU and Lee Jong Suk become hosts of SBS' Inkigayo
IU and Jong Suk first met when they became emcees of the SBS Sunday music program, Inkigayo. In this TV show, they dressed up depending on a theme and introduced K-pop acts. Their hosting stint together ended in December 2012.
June 2013 - IU and Lee Jong Suk are rumored to have a small conflict
Jong Suk mentioned in an episode of Hwashin that there were claims about him and IU not talking to each other when they were in the Inkigayo waiting room. The actor then told that it was because of the outfits they had to wear, and there were times when he didn't agree with IU's costume ideas. Jong Suk further explained that he felt sad after their hosting jobs ended BUT he kept in touch with her. "We told each other about the things that upset each other and that's how we became close. Now, she's one of my few close friends," he said. Aww!
Sometime in 2013 - Lee Jong Suk mentions that IU is one of his close friends
BFF alert! When asked about the Korean celebs that he's close with, Jong Suk mentioned IU as one of them.
February 2014 - Lee Jong Suk ~also~ opens up about dating and marriage
Spoiler alert: Jong Suk and IU have the same thoughts when it comes to love! He agreed when a reporter said that he'll make it public once he's in a relationship, and the actor added: "I actually want to just kind of skip being in a relationship, and head straight to marriage."
December 2017 - Fans spotted Lee Jong Suk at IU's Palette concert in Seoul
The effort is real, you guys. Jong Suk headed to the Jamsil Indoor Stadium in Seoul RIGHT AFTER HE CAME BACK FROM JAPAN. Ahem!!
March 2021 - Lee Jong Suk shares IU's latest album on his Instagram Stories.
More support is coming IU's way, courtesy of Jong Suk! In 2021, he posted a screenshot of IU's songs "My Sea" and "Epilogue" from her fifth studio album, Lilac.
February 2022 - Lee Jong Suk talks about marriage again + reveals that he listens to "Winter Sleep" by IU
Elle Korea tapped Jong Suk as their cover star for their February issue, and this included a video interview with him. Here, he shared that "Winter Sleep" by IU is on repeat because he can relate to the song and the lyrics are good. Jong Suk also mentioned that he has always fantasized about having his own family.
September 2022 - Lee Jong Suk attends IU's The Golden Hour concert in Seoul
Consistency is really the key! Jong Suk went to an IU event once again and this time it's her award-winning concert The Golden Hour (it won Stage Of The Year at the 2022 Melon Music Awards. Well-deserved!) at the Seoul Olympic Stadium.
September 2022 - Lee Jong Suk serenades the crowd with "Meaning Of You" by IU during his fan meeting in Seoul
In the same month, Jong Suk held his fan meeting Re, Jong Suk at the Blue Square Mastercard Hall in Seoul where he performed IU's single, "Meaning Of You." We love a true-blue Uaena!
October 2022 - IU sings at the wedding of Lee Jong Suk's sibling
ICYMI, everyone was surprised after finding out that IU attended the wedding of Lee Jong Suk's sibling where she also sang "Meaning Of You." I mean, it's been a long time since we've seen them together and we can't help but smile because the event has something to do with Jong Suk's family! *insert heart eyes*
December 2022 - Lee Jong Suk confesses his feelings for a *special someone* during his acceptance speech at the 2022 MBC Awards
On December 30, it was announced that Jong Suk won the Daesang (Grand Prize) for his role in Big Mouth and he then delivered a heartfelt speech. He thanked someone without revealing her name, and his words made us all kilig. "After completing my military service, I had a lot of worries, fears, and troubles plaguing me. But at that time, there was someone who helped me to find a good direction as a human being and to think positive thoughts. There's something I really wanted to tell that person using this opportunity. I want to tell that person that I'm thankful to them for always being so admirable, that I've liked them a lot for a very long time, and that I respect and admire them greatly." Omo!
December 2022 - IU and Lee Jong Suk are confirmed to be dating
A day after his love confession, Dispatch revealed that IU and Jong Suk are dating (ICYDK, the South Korean newsgroup usually relay a report every January 1 but this year it's earlier)! Following the news, the Hallyu stars' respective agencies (Edam Entertainment and High Zium Studio) confirmed that they're in a relationship. Happy new year indeed!
January 2023 - IU and Lee Jong Suk write heartwarming letters to their fans
IU and Jong Suk make everyone swoon as they describe each other fondly. The "Celebrity" singer recalled her friendship with Jong Suk and mentioned that he's a reliable person who supported her for a long time. On the other hand, the actor said that IU is like Kang Dan I from Romance Is A Bonus Book to him, and that she makes him want to be a better person. Read their letters here.
Bonus: SBS' Inkigayo shared a throwback recently—which are videos of IU and Lee Jong Suk during their hosting stint in 2012!
May your relationship last for a long, long time, IU and Jong Suk!
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