Ariana Grande and Ethan Slater are still an item — but don’t expect to see them hitting the red carpet together anytime soon.
“Ariana’s been told it’s too soon to go public with him and to take things slower,” an insider exclusively told Us Weekly of Grande, 30. “She’s very aware of how she’s perceived by her fans, and she’s trying to be mature. [But] if it were up to her, she’d be seen with him tomorrow.”
Grande and her husband, Dalton Gomez, split in January after nearly two years of marriage. Last month, a source told Us that Slater, 31, and wife Lilly Jay were already separated when he began dating Grande.
While some sources insist that there was no overlap between the relationships, the first insider tells Us that Grande and Slater’s inner circles advised them to “be respectful” because there is a family involved. Slater and Jay, 31, welcomed a son in August 2022.
“Things are heating up behind the scenes,” the insider says. “Publicly, they’re backing off, but [in reality], they’re not.”
Us confirmed last month that Slater filed for divorce from Jay on July 26. The reason for the duo’s split was not listed on the paperwork.
One day later, Jay slammed Grande, calling her “not a girl’s girl” in an interview with Page Six. “[Ariana’s] the story really,” Jay said on July 27. “My family is just collateral damage. “The story is her and Dalton.”
Grande and Gomez, 27, tied the knot in May 2021 after just over one year of dating. Last month, an insider told Us that Gomez is still holding on to the possibility of a reconciliation.
“Although Dalton knows Ariana has moved on with Ethan, he still hasn’t given up hope that they can make things work,” the source explained. “On one hand, Dalton wants to give Ariana her space, but on the other, he’s been trying to remain in contact with her.”
The insider added that Gomez is “still coming to terms” with the breakup. “What they had was the real deal,” the source told Us. “His friends have been trying to set him up with people and although he’s been dating, he’s still holding out hope that he and Ariana will get back together.”
For more on Grande and Slater’s romance, watch the video above and pick up the new issue of Us Weekly, on stands now.