By: Stephanie Marcus
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West began dating in 2012 and were married in 2014, but West had been pining for the reality star for years.
"I just knew I wanted her to be my girl for a long time," West told Ryan Seacrest shortly after he proposed to her in October 2013. "I remember I saw a picture of her and Paris Hilton, and I remember telling my boy, 'Have you seen that girl Kim Kar-dijon?'"
While that's sweet, their story actually begins two years before Kardashian was attached to Hilton's hip at every photo op. Their love story begins way back in 2003, when Kardashian was working as a stylist for Brandy and crossed paths with West during a recording session of "Talk About Our Love." The rapper was apparently smitten, but Kardashian was dating Brandy's brother Ray J, so it wasn't meant to be just yet.
In 2008, West recruited Kardashian for a failed pilot for a hip-hop puppet show called "Alligator Boots," in which Kardashian dressed as Princess Leia, while he played a Stormtrooper. According to Kim, this is when they "first really connected," but alas the timing still wasn't right.
So the pair, who would one day become Kimye, kept in touch. Even though they still weren't together, West is one of the people we have to thank for the existence of Kardashian's one and only attempt at music, "Jam." It's interesting that West advised Kardashian to go all in on a project she'd later call her "biggest regret."
Kardashian described her hesitation to try her hand at music during an appearance on "TRL" in 2011, acknowledging that "everyone kind of tries that, and it doesn't really work out so well."
"So I talked to friends like Kanye and a few of my other musical friends, like this is their life," she explained. "They gave me good advice. They asked me what I do for fun, and I said, 'I go shopping, I hang out with friends.' And they said, 'We go to the studio for fun. Come have fun with us. Don't think too much about it.'"
So, she she did it. And West was even on set during the shoot for the music video -- which provides us with proof of just how in love he was with her. Look at this smile.
But West's obvious love for Kim wouldn't matter, as she became engaged to Kris Humphries just four months later. (They got married, but split by November of that year.)
Finally, the universe decided it was time and in April 2012 their longtime friendship turned into more ... and Kimye was born.