Glee’s Lea Michele and Cory Monteith were costars first, but as they spent years together playing love interests, a real life romance began to develop. We've compiled a detailed timeline of their relationship in four parts.This is when rumors of their real-life relationship first started.

2011

It’s September 2011, and Lea has just revealed that she and her Broadway star boyfriend, Theo Stockman, have broken up. She and Cory are now both single for the first time since they started working together on Glee two years ago. But does that mean they’ll start dating in real life? Only time will tell.

Glee has just begun Season 3, and their characters, Finn and Rachel, are about to have sex for the first time. But instead of hanging out with Cory on set, Lea’s spending time with Mark Salling and his cute new puppy. She even helps name the little dog. Not long after, Cory goes to the iHeartRadio music festival, but Lea is nowhere in sight.

But as filming for the episode continues, it’s clear that Cory and Lea are filming a number of scenes together. Lea tweets behind-the-scenes photos from their bedroom scene, and more photos from the West Side Story performance that will be spliced in with the footage of Finn and Rachel’s first time.

In October, both Cory and Lea attend Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story premiere. Lea looks crazy hot in a super-short mini, but Cory’s off hanging out with AHS actress Kate Mara.   

Glee releases a Christmas album, but sadly, there’s no Finchel duet. Oh, but this is cute. Cory and Lea sit next to each other at a Glee panel.

In November, the still newly-single Lea takes her best friend, Jonathan, as her date to the Glamour awards. On November 25, Lea tweets a photo with two male co-stars...  but neither of them is Cory. Lea and Cory might both be single, but that doesn’t mean any sparks are flying off-set.


Oh wait, just kidding! Only three days later, a seemingly harmless photo from the set of Glee’s Christmas episode starts rumors that Cory and Lea may have started dating in real life. It’s a photo of Damian McGinty and Jenna Ushkowitz, but Cory and Lea can be seen in the background, and they’re looking very coupley.

The photo later gets mysteriously deleted, sparking a flurry of rumors that Cory and Lea might be secretly dating. It’s every Glee fan’s dream, but we’re still not convinced it’s real. Who’s to say we’re not just seeing what we want to see?

Whatever the case, Cory and Lea spend Thanksgiving apart. In December, Lea attends the premiere of her first movie, New Year’s Eve, and she flirts with co-star Ashton Kutcher on the red carpet. Later, she talks about touching Mark Salling’s butt. So what does all this mean? We’re convinced that Cory and Lea are dating, and all this stuff about other guys is only meant to throw us off the trail.

Okay, then Lea tweets this adorable and goofy photo of she and Cory playing around with Christmas decorations. We hope they’re dating. Because if they were, they’d be the cutest couple ever.

Soon after, Lea talks about having sex with Cory (you know, when they were acting in “The First Time”)... but she says it was gross!

Lea and Cory don’t appear to have gotten together over the holidays. Or if they did, they didn’t tweet about it. She’s in NYC, while Cory went home to Canada and then on vacation to Australia. Lea spends New Year’s Eve with J.Groff and Darren Criss.

2012

In January, we hear that Glee Season 3 Episode 10 will be called “The Proposal” (the name is later changed to “Yes”/”No”) and speculation immediately started that Finn might be about to propose to Rachel. Then Lea tweets she and Cory were filming a “very epic #Finchel scene.”

Did we mention that Lea’s making $75,000 an episode now? That’s not bad at all. Cory and Lea pose separately on the red carpet at the TCAs, but Lea does gush about how much fun it was to sing “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” with Cory.

“I’m just enjoying working with Cory,” Lea says. “I feel like we’ve grown so much together as actors working together. I’m just really grateful because he’s such a pleasure to work with.” Aww.

Okay, then at the Golden Globes party, they’re totally hanging out! Cory is seen photobombing one of Lea’s Twitter photos.

Rachel sings “Without You” to Finn in “Yes”/”No,” telling him he’s not worthless and that she doesn’t know what she’d be without him. They join the New Directions in helping Will propose to Emma, and then Finn proposes to Rachel at the very end.  The episode ends in a cliffhanger, and fans are dying to find out if Rachel says yes or not.

Credit: Glee on Fox on YouTube Photo: Watch! Finn Proposes to Rachel in Glee Season 3, Episode 10: "Yes/No" [VIDEO]

Rachel’s “Without You” hits #1 on iTunes, much to Lea’s excitement. We can’t stop thinking about all the romantic Finn and Rachel moments from over the years. Cory says he was “thrilled” about the proposal. Most fans want Finchel engaged, but quite a few think they’re too young, and should probably wait a bit before getting married.

Spoiler alert... it looks like Rachel said “yes.” Glee co-creator Brad Falchuk tweets a photo of Lea in costume as Rachel and wearing an engagement ring! More engagement ring photos soon emerge.

At the January 15 Golden Globes awards, Lea and Cory walk the red carpet together for the first time. They’re posing for photos together, and his hand’s even on her waist. This is suspiciously couple-y behavior for two single people, but it’s also possible that Lea and Cory are simply playing up on fan excitement about their character’s recent engagement.  

Oh, no big deal. Just Cory and Lea chillin’ in bed together on set. But then, at the January 29 Screen Actor’s Guild awards, Lea takes Jonathan as her date, not Cory. Does this mean that Monchele (Monteith + Michele) isn’t a real thing, after all? Le sigh.

Finn and Rachel officially get engaged in the Michael Jackson tribute. Cory calls the accompanying song “incredible.” Hold on a second, though. Are they getting married already? Lea tweets that Rachel is wearing a wedding dress in the Regionals episode, and the New Direction girls are dressed as bridesmaids.

IT’S HAPPENING!

Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Just after Valentine’s Day 2012, Life and Style magazine prints the story that makes the dreams of a billion Glee fans suddenly come true. Lea and Cory were spotted on a romantic Valentine’s date. He “stared at her with puppy-dog eyes" all night, and at one point, even fed her spaghetti. We’re picturing a perfect Lady and the Tramp moment, and we couldn’t be happier.

A week later, the new couple goes on a snowy vacation to his Canadian hometown of Vancouver. But while Monchele is just starting to heat up, Finchel is rapidly cooling down. After Regionals, Finn and Rachel decide to postpone their wedding. Still, there’s no doubt that Finchel and Monchele share a ton of similarities.

Lea and Cory still haven’t officially confirmed that they’re a couple, but Cory’s started tweeting cute photos of Lea on set. Then on March 24, Cory kisses Smash’s Megan Hilty... but no worries, it’s just for a charity kiss auction in New York. Oh, and Lea was actually with him on that trip to NYC.

In April, Cory and Lea take another vacation together; this time to Mexico! Lea’s wearing a tiny black bikini. Up next, Lea joins Cory at Coachella music festival. He went alone last year. Not this time! The couple is later spotted on a lunch date in L.A.

Lea’s just bought a new house, and rumors begin to fly that she’s asked Cory to move in with her. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, though: Cory doesn’t actually move in. Oh and just in case you were wondering, these two aren’t planning on getting married anytime soon, either.

In May, the Glee cast attends the FOX Upfronts, and it’s clear that Lea and Cory are spending time together at the event. On May 17, we get our very first instance of PDA: Lea and Cory are photographed holding hands in NYC. Think that’s a lot? Later the same day, photographers catch them sharing a kiss during a hockey game. Yes. Cory and Lea just kissed. In public. Still not convinced they’re dating?

Once again, though, advances in Lea and Cory’s relationship seem to go hand-in-hand with problems in Rachel and Finn’s. In the Season 3 finale, Rachel moves to NYC alone, and leaves Finn behind in Ohio.


Credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images For Chrysalis

That said, Lea still hopes that Finchel will get back together. “Obviously, I love working with Cory, so I selfishly want them to work out, but, you know, we’ll have to see.” Lea also reveals that she got really mad at Glee when she found out the characters were about to break up. Meanwhile, Cory calls Finchel a “legendary” couple.

In June, the couple heads back to Canada for a cuddly Vancouver date. Then they head back down to L.A., where a dapper Cory escorts Lea to the Chrysalis Butterfly Ball. In July, they both go to Comic-Con, but all is not well for Finchel in the world of Glee. Rachel is about to get a — pause for dramatic effect — really, really hot new love interest.

Lea is still totally smitten with Cory. She says she’s jealous of his red carpet style, gushes (you know, again) about how awesome it is to work with him. Everyone heads back to work for Season 4, and Lea even gets Cory a back to work gift.

She heads to NYC for Glee filming in August, and even though he’s not in any of the scenes, Cory still comes so he can be with her. Later that month, Lea and Cory cuddle on the red carpet at the 2012 Do Something Awards, and they both end up winning awards, too.

On August 30, Glee production has to shut down for a day when Cory gets sick with an intestinal problem. Meanwhile, Rachel’s new love interest is ridiculously attractive. But we still don’t like him. Mainly because he’s not Finn. Lea says that she and actor Dean Geyer have chemistry, but she still thinks Finn and Rachel are meant to be. In fact, Lea says that working with Cory is the best part ofGlee.

Just in case you needed reminding, Cory and Lea are both really hot. In September, Lea looks very sexy at the Glee Season 4 premiere party, while Cory makes Glamour’s list of sexiest celebrities.

Rachel and Brody’s chemistry starts rumors that there might be something between Lea and Dean, but both Dean and his girlfriend laugh off cheating rumors. Rumors also fly that Lea is angry at celeb guest Kate Hudson for flirting with Cory.

Finn and Rachel are about to break up for good. Cory and Lea are seen in NYC about to film the emotional scene. Lea seems sad, and cuddles up to Cory on set. She’ll later say the scene turned out “beautiful and emotional.”

Glee celebrates its 4-year anniversary. It’s crazy to think how much Lea and Cory have changed since then.

On October 15, Cory and Lea hold hands at the premiere of American Horror Story: Asylum.  It’s so different from when they attended last year’s premiere solo. Up next, Lea goes solo at an ELLE Women in Hollywood event.

Meanwhile, on Glee, Finn also moves on... to a bromance with Blake Jenner’s Ryder. Rachel reacts by having a KiKi, and adopting an even sexier new look.

On October 19, Lea starts recording her debut pop album. Later that month, Lea and Darren perform at a charity event. Finn is all over Episode 5, but Rachel isn’t in it at all, and plenty of fans freak out. Can there even be a Glee with no Rachel? It just doesn’t feel right.

On November 8, Cory says that he “kind of always” had feelings for Lea. We melt into puddles of goo on the floor. No seriously, Cory. Please stop being so cute.

Part 1: Before They Were Dating

Part 3: They’re Finally Together!

Part 4: A Tragic Ending



Credit: Celebified Photo: Heather Morris Welcomes Baby With High School Sweetheart Taylor Hubbell
Beth Douglass is an Associate Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. She's our resident Glee expert and loves celebrity kids. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!