Finding love on set. Lea Michele and the late Cory Monteith first sparked relationship rumors while sharing the spotlight together. The former Glee stars kicked off their relationship in 2012 following a longtime friendship. Although they kept their relationship semi-private at the time, the pair couldn’t help but gush about each other in interviews and pack on some major PDA during red carpet appearances. However, the actor died on July 13, 2013.

“A lighthouse doesn’t save the ships; it doesn’t go out and rescue them, it’s just this pillar that helps to guide people home,” the actress told ELLE in November 2013, after the actor’s death. “Someone once told me that, and I love the image. Lately, I’ve been using it as a guiding metaphor … I never thought I would be in this position in my whole life.”

She added, “From the minute I met Cory, I was like, This is the most handsome man I’ve ever seen in my whole life … One day we just looked at each other and we were like, ‘You wanna do this?’ We knew.”

While discussing life after his death, Lea also told the magazine that it’s been “very hard” following the loss.

“And you have to be very strong to come out of this alive, but I think by doing the best for myself, by showing that you don’t have to lose yourself, maybe someone else will feel some sort of strength or comfort,” she said.

Prior to his passing, Lea told Glamour U.K. that the couple “talked about children and what we would look like when we grew old and who would be fat and how we would stay thin.” She’s since married Zandy Reich and they welcomed a son named Ever Leo in August 2020.

“We talked about where we wanted to go and what we wanted to do. We were done. We were it,” she said of Cory in February 2014. “When you’re at that place in your life with someone, you talk about everything. But today I feel like I was given the best part of Cory and I’m thankful for that.”

Scroll through our gallery to look back at Lea’s relationship timeline with the late Cory.

Love J-14? Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for fun, exclusive videos with your favorite stars.