Once upon a time, Dove Cameron and Ryan McCartan were the ultimate Disney Channel power couple. They played the on-screen couple of Maddie and Diggie on Liv and Maddie fans immediately fell for and IRL, these two fell in love too. They had a band together, The Girl and the Dreamcatcher and they even got engaged so yes, we were all mentally preparing for the Disney wedding of our dreams. Sadly, after almost three years together, they split and well, things have been a bit dramatic since then. They've each moved on and are in new, happy relationships, but we just had to take a trip down memory lane and look back at the rise and fall of Rove.
When did Ryan and Dove start dating?
As we already know, Ryan and Dove met while they were co-stars on Liv and Maddie and in a YouTube video, Ryan explained in detail how he got the role on the show and that he met Dove in the auditions.
"I got an audition for a silly little role on a silly new TV show. At the time it was called Bits and Pieces and my agent told me they were probably going to change the name to the two girls who the show was about: Liv and Maddie," Ryan explained. "So I go in and audition and I'm like, 'this role is actually kind of fun.' They called me back, and then they called me back again and then I had a screen test with the girl who was playing both roles and who at the time was a total unknown. And I went and did the screen test. And they cast me."
This was in 2012 and by the summer of 2013 along with the show first premiering on Disney Channel, these two went public with their relationship. Ryan even exclusively told us all about the couple's adorable first date.
"We were shooting that night and I had recently gotten out of a pretty bad breakup and for whatever reason I was feeling pretty confident. We were shooting and then we were done and everyone went home. For whatever reason, I guess fate was just on my side, but Dove and I were the last people there," he said to J-14. "I walked out of my dressing room and Dove walked out of hers and I was just like, 'Hey, do you want to go out on a date?' and she was like, 'Oh my God, sure.'"
Seems like it was all meant to be, right?
"I took her out to dinner, [then] I took her out to frozen yogurt, and we went to this place in Hollywood called Bourgeois Pig and got some cider. We sat in this really cute room and just drank some cider and talked," he told us. "Then I took her up to this place up in the Hollywood Hills that has basically a panoramic 360 view of all of Hollywood and all of the valley. So we saw all the lights, the Hollywood sign, the Griffith Park Observatory, and it was so romantic. We were up there until three in the morning just like talking and looking at the lights. Then I took her home and it was the most perfect, most romantic first date ever."
Wow, seems like it really was out of the movie! In December of 2013, the couple even walked their first red carpet together for the premiere of Dove's DCOM, Cloud 9.
They looked so happy!
The couple starts making music together.
Dove and Ryan are both amazing singers and songwriters and they were often posting videos of themselves singing covers together on YouTube. In 2015, they officially announced their band name, The Girl and the Dreamcatcher, and they debuted their first music video and original song together, "Written In the Stars."
The duo went on to release one EP, Negatives in July of 2016 with songs they wrote and recorded together.
The couple happily announces their sudden engagement.
After often joking around with fans on Twitter that they would one day they would get engaged and eventually married, it actually happened! In a now-deleted Instagram post, Ryan shared a pic of the pair and in the caption confirmed they were getting married in April of 2016. "Dedicating my 1,000th post to my fiancée. I can't believe I get to call you that. Thanks for saying yes," he wrote in the caption. Dove also shared a pic of the couple at the beach, which is still on her account, saying how happy she was too.
"calling you my "boyfriend" never really felt right anyway. fiancée looks better on you. ?," she wrote in the caption.
Dove went on to explain in an interview with People that the engagement kind of just happened but it was something they both wanted.
"It was very spur-of-the-moment. It was perfect. It was more romantic and bohemian than traditional," Dove said about the actual proposal. "We were both very clear with each other that it was like, 'I know you're my person. You know you're my person. There's nobody else.' Because we already knew we wanted to get married one day, I didn't expect it to change anything. But 'fiancé' and 'boyfriend and girlfriend' is worlds apart. I literally feel like I've never been so calm before. I feel rooted to the ground. I feel good."
When M Magazine caught up with the couple after a performance in August of 2016, Ryan couldn't help but gush over how falling in love with Dove and being able to work with her too was something he considered a true dream come true.
"If I could tell my childhood self anything, it's that I was going to fall in love with the most amazing woman and get to perform with her on stage. I mean I'm really weird, I'm a hopeless romantic and I have been since I was tiny, like my favorite game when I was five was House. I loved being a husband and I've always been that way," Ryan said. "Anytime I have dated someone in the past, I was like, 'are you going to be wife?' And they would be like, 'No, I'm 12' and I said, 'I don't care!' I've always been that way, so my childhood self would be like, 'You're going to fall in love and perform with her?' This is literally the dream come true for me."
The couple calls off their engagement and breaks up.
Everything seemed to be going fine for the pair, each working on exciting projects with Ryan's The Rocky Horror Picture Show TV musical event about to air and Dove off filming Descendants 2. But it was in October of 2016 they both took to Twitter to let fans know they had split. Ryan made it seem in his tweets that Dove was the one who wanted to end things.
Dove has decided this relationship isn't what she wants. We still love each other very much. Please be sensitive, as this is painful.
— Ryan McCartan (@ryanmccartan) October 5, 2016
I love you all. Thanks for keeping me up 💙
— Ryan McCartan (@ryanmccartan) October 6, 2016
Dove wanted everyone to know that was hurting too and still had nothing but love for her ex.
Thank you for your support & full hearts in this very intense & human time. There's a lot love between Ryan & I. Life is beautiful & long.
— Dove Cameron (@DoveCameron) October 6, 2016
Ryan then appeared on the Allegedly with Theo Von & Matthew Cole Weiss podcast where he spilled about how the break-up was hard, but things were pleasant between the former lovebirds.
"It just sucks. That’s kind of the bottom line. I have the most amazing family and friends, just truly life-savers in my life who are being really, really good to me. Dove and I were just texting today," Ryan said. "What I’m saying is that it ended cordially. So that helps. I’m just trying to distract myself, like have fun with my friends and go. The fact that it happened right before Rocky came out was kind of a Godsend because I had a lot to do around the time of the premiere. It just plain old sucks. It’s really hard. I still love her very much, but C’est la vie. That’s just kind of how it goes. Time heals everything."
He went on to say he never had any regrets about the fact that the pair was engaged at young ages either.
"I just always wanted to get married young. I took it very seriously. I’m also a serial monogamist. It was just always something that I wanted. I have no regrets. It’s not like I would take it back. I thought it was going to work out and we would be together forever," he said.
Ouch, that one hurts. Ryan has since deleted all the photos he posted of the couple from his Instagram page, but Dove still has hers up.
The accusations begin.
Rove shippers were naturally super bummed their fave ship had come crashing down, especially since publicly, Dove and Ryan seemed so happy and in love. Slowly but surely though, Dove started to share details with fans that allude to the fact that no, she wasn't in a happy or healthy relationship like we all thought. She did even say an interesting joke to Twist when they asked her which song means the most to them.
"Umm, yeah, 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,'" Dove said, before quickly adding that she was totally joking, "I’m sorry, I’m sorry! Sometimes my comedy thing turns on and I can’t turn it off. I guess, 'Make You Stay.'" Was she trying to tell us something then?!
Dove started replying to fans on Instagram in the comments section of her pics when she started posting about the new love in her life. When a fan commented simply "Ryan" underneath the selfie with her new boyfriend, Dove answered saying "was terrible to me."
Then, another fan commented to say she looked "so much happier" now, and she jumped in to agree.
Ryan didn't directly comment on these responses, but he did post a cryptic message about "taking the high road" on Twitter around the same time, which fans interpreted as his statement on it all.
Take the high road, there's less traffic.
— Ryan McCartan (@ryanmccartan) February 6, 2017
He then followed up by saying he finds gossip to be boring – but he didn't call anybody out by name.
You guys, gossip is like Monopoly money. It's worth nothing unless you're willing to play a long, boring game.
— Ryan McCartan (@ryanmccartan) February 6, 2017
The shade didn't stop there either. During the series finale of Liv and Maddie, Dove was live-tweeting along with fans and in the last episode, she ended up sharing more of her true feelings about Ryan and his character Diggie. It all began when Dove decided to share a funny tweet pointing out the massive height difference between Maddie and Diggie since IRL, Dove is 5'2" and Ryan is 6'1".
— Dove Cameron (@DoveCameron) March 25, 2017
This innocent tweet came as quite the shock since fans weren't sure if Dove would even acknowledge Ryan's presence in the episode. But she sure did, since in a now-deleted tweet, Dove even brought up the fact that the way Diggie reacted to Maddie changing her life plans is the way a boyfriend should react. Here it is:
In the final episode, Maddie decides to go to New Orleans to build houses and do humanitarian work, instead of playing basketball. Diggie says he is nothing but proud of her and will follow her as she chases her dreams. Dove's tweet perhaps implied that Ryan may not have reacted in the most supportive way when it came to her flourishing career. The starlet even liked some tweets from fans that were calling out the fact that she was obviously throwing some shade.
Another character on the show, Dump Truck, said in the finale that he was always team Josh and was hoping Maddie and Josh would end up together, instead of Maddie and Diggie. And we all remember that love triangle. Clearly Dove loved this line and maybe agreed.
Since Dove has since deleted that tweet that let's just say had a bit of sass to it, it's safe to think she didn't mean to cause any drama and was just stating the obvious about the situation going on in the show. Or maybe it wasn't a direct call-out to what went down between her and Ryan. We'll never know! The former couple was then in another interesting battle of sorts when their song "Glowing In the Dark" was used in ABC's telecast and coverage of the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse as a theme song of sorts. Dove naturally took to Twitter to let everyone know just how much this meant to her.
— Dove Cameron (@DoveCameron) August 21, 2017
It is interesting to note she referred to it as "song of mine," which you know, is half true. It's both her and Ryan's song, not just hers or his. She retweeted a ton of fans who were just so happy and proud of their girl, as they should be. But none of these messages made any reference to her ex.
And what about Ryan? Well, he was just as excited to hear their song playing during the telecast, but he had a bit of a different reaction.
— Ryan McCartan (@ryanmccartan) August 21, 2017
He referred to it as "our" song, meaning his and Dove's. And when fans tried to tell him otherwise, he set them all straight.
OK Ryan hitting back with the sass, we see you, bro.
But he's right, it is BOTH his and Dove's song. They wrote and recorded it together after all and even though they're not together anymore, doesn't discredit the fire jams they created together. After this saga though, more shady tweets emerged. Dove once again was interacting with her fans on Twitter and she was liking tweets fans were sending her giving their approval of her new relationship. She even liked a tweet that said "McTrashcan" and we can't help but think well, that one is about Ryan since you know, his last name is McCartan.
Yikes. And she replied back to a fan who called out the fact that Dove appears to be now happier than ever and isn't with someone who seems so controlling. This fan can relate since she was once in the same situation.
This is all so interesting as more details keep coming out about the Rove relationship. Ryan opened up to J-14 exclusively about his time with Dove and how when he was in the relationship, he was focused on them together as a unit, not really focusing on himself, something he is all about now which is being reflected in solo music as well.
"A year and a half ago, I was engaged to be married. I was in a band. My life was all about like unity and togetherness and teamwork – and now, my life is all about individuality and self-love and self-reliance," Ryan said about his EP. Watch our video below to see what else Ryan dished:
Dove and Ryan move on and start dating other people.
Any hope of a Rove reconciliation has clearly gone out the window by now. Dove fell head-over-heels in love with her Descendants 2 co-star Thomas Doherty although they were just friends at first when they met since Dove was still with Ryan and she didn't think anything of Thomas and his sharp AF jawline.
"When we read the script, my first thought was not 'Who are these new actors?' My first thought was 'okay, how I am going to manage doing this.' Your focus is on your own job," Dove explained in an interview with On Demand Entertainment. "So when I showed up, and there were all these new dancers and we were looking at the set designs so the first day when I met him, I really didn't think much of it. I met him, I met Dylan [Playfair], I met all the new dancers, I met the people who were working behind the scenes. It was we're all doing a new project together, how fun. That was it. I don't remember when he started to stand out to me as somebody who I was going to love."
Just precious. As for Ryan? When, he's happily dating someone new too, recently going public with his girlfriend actress Samamtha Fekete.
So Dove and Ryan seem much happier now with their new loves and while their days together are long gone, we'll never forget the Rove era.
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