ri­hanna: ‘i won’t call Drake my boyfriend’

They’re closer than ever – he even told the world he’s loved her for seven long years – so why won’t Ri­hanna put a la­bel on her re­la­tion­ship with Drake?

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Ri­hanna and Drake, Drake and Ri­hanna – it’s a re­la­tion­ship that’s been on again and off again more times than we’ve had Fri­day G&TS. The pair seem to have put on a united front once and for all: af­ter hang­ing out with her fam­ily at the MTV VMA Awards, they went on a date to Nobu be­fore jet­ting to Mi­ami to go to the E11EVEN club, where they were seen whis­per­ing in­ti­mately. To all in­tents and pur­poses they looked ev­ery bit the happy cou­ple. But… well, it’s never sim­ple with these two, is it?

Ac­cord­ing to our in­sid­ers, Riri’s still not keen to pub­licly la­bel their re­la­tion­ship, de­spite Drake mak­ing yet an­other pub­lic dec­la­ra­tion of love (more on this later). Awk­ward much? A source ex­plains that Ri­hanna thinks that if they keep peo­ple guess­ing, she’ll be able to keep some of their re­la­tion­ship to her­self.

‘In the past Ri­hanna has been very open about her ro­mances, post­ing pic­tures and talk­ing about them in in­ter­views,’ says a friend. ‘But she’s tired of all that. She sees how hard it is for other cou­ples who pa­rade their pri­vate lives – like Bey­oncé and Jay Z – and she re­ally doesn’t want that. She doesn’t even re­ally want to call Drake her boyfriend.’

This is de­spite the fact that their mys­tery re­la­tion­ship has gone on for seven years now. They first met at a birthday party in 2009 be­fore al­legedly be­ing seen snog­ging later that year, but in 2010 Ri was quick to deny there was any­thing go­ing on: ‘We just went out – my friends, his friends,’ she re­vealed, while Drake – clearly play­ing it cool – sang: ‘You could’ve been the one, but it wasn’t that se­ri­ous,’ on his track Fire­works. Then, when they first per­formed on stage to­gether in 2011, even we were con­vinced these two were made for each other – talk about chem­istry.

So surely, af­ter count­less al­bum track men­tions and joint per­for­mances, seven years is

long enough to be able to call him your boyfriend, no? But when it comes to la­bels, Riri’s still keep­ing every­thing on the down-low, re­fus­ing to ad­mit how she re­ally feels. That seems to have made Drake chase her more, be­cause re­cently he’s not been back­wards about let­ting Ri – and the world – know how he feels.

Be­fore hand­ing Ri­hanna the Michael Jack­son Video Van­guard Video Mu­sic Award at the re­cent VMAS, he an­nounced that: ‘She’s some­one I’ve been in love with since I was 22 years old. She’s one of my best friends in the world. All my adult life, I’ve looked up to her even though she’s younger than me. She’s a liv­ing, breath­ing le­gend in our in­dus­try.’

Sec­onds later, the pair kissed on stage (yeah, we may have done a lit­tle squeal) and were caught look­ing very loved-up and cute be­hind the scenes. Later, Drake shared a pic­ture of them look­ing ev­ery bit the happy cou­ple with the cap­tion: ‘This is a night for us all to be thank­ful for what you have done for us! You have af­fected so many of our lives in the best way pos­si­ble. Tonight we cel­e­brate you! @badgal­riri’.

And as if we needed fur­ther con­fir­ma­tion of their cou­ple sta­tus, they put on win­ning smiles to pose with Ri­hanna’s fam­ily, who had come to sup­port her. They were even seen hold­ing hands.

It’s un­de­ni­able that Drake has been putting in a lot of leg work, declar­ing his love for 28-year-old Ri on stage on sev­eral oc­ca­sions. In April, while guest­ing on her ANTI World Tour in Toronto, he called her ‘the great­est woman I’ve ever known in my life’; in June, in Manch­ester, he said she was ‘the most beau­ti­ful, tal­ented woman I’ve ever seen’; and in New York in Au­gust he told the crowds: ‘You know I got love for Ri­hanna’. Sub­tle.

A friend says: ‘Drake would re­ally pre­fer that they go pub­lic and he’s been go­ing all out to show the world how se­ri­ous he is. He’s told her he’s to­tally com­mit­ted to her and she’s said the same. They’re not dat­ing any­one else at the mo­ment, and he’d re­ally love to be able to call her his girl­friend.’ But in­sid­ers say Riri’s got con­trol over the sit­u­a­tion: ‘Ri­hanna’s be­ing re­ally savvy about this. She finds the pub­lic af­fec­tion a bit cringey. She knows that if they make things of­fi­cial it opens the flood­gates for peo­ple to ask about when they’ll get mar­ried or if they’re go­ing to have chil­dren. She doesn’t want them to be fol­lowed any more than they al­ready are.’

Drake has pre­vi­ously re­vealed that Ri is the only woman who’s ever made him feel ‘small’, telling the New York Times that the singer was prone to ghost­ing him. ‘She was do­ing ex­actly what I’ve done to so many women through­out my life, which is show them qual­ity time, then dis­ap­pear. I was like, wow, this feels ter­ri­ble.’

Fear­ing he’d of­fended the singer, Drake later clar­i­fied the state­ment, adding: ‘She is an amaz­ing woman that made me feel ner­vous, man. She’s an over­whelm­ing be­ing, like, she’s beau­ti­ful and tal­ented and her per­son­al­ity – it’s al­most, like, scary.’ Erm, still doesn’t sound like a com­pli­ment if we’re hon­est, Drake.

It’s lit­tle won­der that Ri­hanna finds the whole pub­lic dat­ing thing hard. In the last year alone she’s been linked to Leonardo Dicaprio and Travis Scott, but things be­tween her and the rap­per cooled quickly, re­port­edly leav­ing Ri hurt.

‘Fame re­ally freaks me out,’ she

She does like him but she’s be­ing very savvy about this

ad­mit­ted last year. ‘It made me back away from even want­ing to at­tempt to date. It’s be­come sec­ond na­ture for me to just close that door and just be OK with that. I’m al­ways con­cerned about whether peo­ple have good or bad in­ten­tions.’

Her re­la­tion­ship with Chris Brown – her last se­ri­ous boyfriend – came to a nasty end in front of the cam­eras. The pair dated un­til 2009, when he bru­tally at­tacked her fol­low­ing a pre-gram­mys party. They later re­united but split again in 2012, with the ups and downs of their time to­gether heav­ily doc­u­mented. Last week Chris was back in the head­lines again af­ter he al­legedly threat­ened a woman with a gun in LA.

‘Drake’s been try­ing his hard­est to make her see that this could be dif­fer­ent,’ says a friend. ‘But Ri­hanna’s tak­ing a long time to come around to his way of think­ing.’

Maybe give it an­other seven years, hon – we’re sure you’ll get there…

Ri and Drake pose with her fam­ily

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