Weeks before Hailey Baldwin and Justin Bieber solidified their ephemeral Hollywoodish relationship by getting engaged, Baldwin had a Hollywoodish relationship with Shawn Mendes. Mendes confirmed this in a recent profile in Rolling Stone, where he admitted that, yes, he and Baldwin had been a "thing" of sorts as recently as earlier this year.
"I don’t even wanna put a title on it," he told the magazine. "I think it was more of a zone of limbo."
Mendes and Baldwin appeared to confirm some rumors when they attended the 2018 Met Gala together in May. This was after months of reports that the two had been casually seeing each other. Apparently, they'd kissed at an EMAs after party in 2017 and they'd spent Halloween 2017 together. There was some light hugging in a paparazzi photo and one suggestive Instagram post, all of which sort of suggested that they were dating. All the while, both Baldwin and Mendes insisted that they weren't seriously seeing each other.
"He's a friend of mine and we hang out, so I see why people obviously want to make assumptions. Any guy I hang out with people are like, 'Oh, she must be dating him or something's going on,' but I don't ever really feel like I have to explain myself," Baldwin said at the iHeartRadio awards.
Now, of course, Baldwin is married to Bieber, who has his own history with Mendes. Bieber and Mendes have historically been pitted against each other; they're both Canadian pop stars who rose to fame via the internet (Bieber, Youtube; Mendes, Vine). Plus, they were both teen heartthrobs. In 2015, when asked about Mendes, Bieber casually remarks, "Who's Shawn Mendes?" while chewing on a bottle cap. More recently, fans speculated that Bieber's verse on "No Brainer" aims at Mendes and his previous relationship with Baldwin. ("Him or me, be for real, baby, it’s a no-brainer.")
Nevertheless, Mendes congratulated Baldwin on her engagement, according to RS, and he insists that he's happy for her. "I think I’m an idiot to not, you know," he said. "But you can’t control your heart." Which implies that maybe Mendes regrets not keeping Baldwin on his side? Or that he regrets that he couldn't give Baldwin what she wanted? Whatever it is, Mendes has feelings about Baldwin that seem unresolved. How does that JoJo song go?