Simone Biles and her boyfriend, NFL player Jonathan Owens, have a very modern romance.
The Olympic gymnast revealed in a new interview with Wall Street Journal Magazine how they together at the start of the pandemic in March 2020 — and the tale involves Instagram and a nudge by her younger sister, Adria.
"He would say I slid into his DMs," Biles told the outlet. "I saw him and I was like, ‘Oh, he’s pretty cute,’ so I said hi ... and then I saw that he was in the Houston area, so we started chatting a little bit, and then we went to hang out a week or two later."
The Olympic gold medalist, 24, and the Houston Texans safety, 25, were flirting and FaceTiming for a few weeks when Adria grabbed Biles' phone during a conversation and asked him to join a trip to a lake house, the magazine reported. He brought his English bulldog named Zeus, and his future girlfriend brought her French bulldog Lilo. Before long, Owens was asked to join the Biles family's Sunday dinners.
He previously told Texas Monthly magazine that he wasn't familiar with Biles' athletic prowess when she initially reached out to him.
"I didn’t know who she was,” he said. “I just hadn’t heard of her, and when I told her that, that’s one of the things she liked.”
"I’ll show up at her house, and her dogs will peek around her looking for my dog," Owens added, referencing the second French bulldog, Rambo, that Biles got during the pandemic. "They’ve become best friends.”
In fact, he believes the pandemic played an important role in the foundation of their relationship.
"We ended up hanging out right before the pandemic,” Owens recalled. “It was one of the few times in her life where everything was just shut off, and she couldn’t do anything. So we used it to get to know each other — really get to know each other. It created our bond and made it stronger. Now I’m so thankful."
“This was a match made in heaven,” he continued. “There’s no better person for me. She loves me, she’s so affectionate. I just love that. And it’s just intoxicating seeing how much work she puts into everything.”
Biles has been known to rave about her partner, as well.
“He’s a real man. I just, I love him. We have a great time together,” she told TODAY co-anchor Hoda Kotb in January. "Our personalities match right up. We have the same sense of humor. And he’s just great. He’s an athlete, too, so we really understand each other and I think that’s why our relationship has been seamless."
For the first time, Owens got to watch his girlfriend, the most decorated American gymnast in history, compete at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships in January, where she claimed a record-breaking seventh U.S. Gymnastics title.
"What an amazing experience," Owens wrote on Instagram at the time. "First time getting to watch you compete in person and you didn't disappoint. It's so cool that I get to watch you do what you love, and be the best at that!! I'm so proud of you my lil champ. Trials up next and you already know I'm there!! Love you baby."
Biles excelled in the Olympic trials and will compete with the U.S. gymnastics team at the Tokyo Summer Games later this month.