It has always been my own personal Zarry theory that Zayn and Harry got back in touch in 2016, and then got back together romantically on some level in 2017. It’s a bold statement to make, but I feel like there is more proof of their relationship now than there ever was in 2015 (the year we know they broke-up in some respects.) I made a series of videos detailing why I think they had been involved after 2015, which I will link at the bottom of this post for your viewing pleasure. For now, however, I’m going to focus on 2017 because I believe this was a special year for them.
It all started in Jamaica in 2016. (Read about that in detail here.)
Zarry ended up in the same city, in the same resort, in the same exact villa as each other, within weeks. Zayn is obsessed with Jamaica and Bob Marley and with that country’s music and culture. Hence, his entire Satisfaction video being set there and featuring a beautiful Jamaican couple (with the lyrics to “Intermission: Flower” displayed at the start). Harry is very aware of Zayn’s love of Jamaica, and I’m positive this was his entire inspiration for “Sunflower Vol 6,” in addition to Zayn’s sunflower tattoos.
For me, to think the Jamaica connection was just a coincidence is a bit laughable; especially because HS1 (written and recorded in Jamaica) did end up being very starkly about Zayn. And again, we know Harry is aware of Zayn’s love for that country. Imagine what Harry must’ve been feeling to prompt him to go to Jamaica (Zayn’s home in spirit) just a few weeks after Zayn had been there to write about him??? It makes my freaking heart flutter! The depth of romance. The love that must’ve compelled him to go there?? Harry booking it to a country in which he could be immersed 360 degrees in a world that reminded him of Zayn at every turn ugh…I have no words.
I really enjoyed writing about this time period in This Thing Upon Me. This reconciliation and second try at a relationship is what the book is based on. My 2016-2018 Zarry theory is what informed the plot of this book. So they get back in touch in early 2016, (at least enough for Harry to know Zayn had been to Jamaica in June and to go there behind him) and then 2017 is when they make serious steps toward one another.
January 2017, we get our first clue. Zayn goes and gets the “LOVE” tattoo on his hand. This intrigued me because something had to prompt him to get it, and I’m not convinced his 2 year old relationship with Gigi was incentive enough for this tattoo at this particular time. I’m positive he was bored of her and her vapid ways by then. This tattoo struck me as something one would get on a reckless oxytocin-hazed impulse when one was head over heels with another person. Like ya know, if you had gotten back in touch with the love of your life and needed to mark the occasion in some way??? Particularly because it’s the same tattoo this old flame has on his chest in 2012 (underneath the bird) just the word “LOVE.”
In early February 2017, Zarry were both in California (even though Zayn had been living in NYC for some time.) Harry had a birthday party there. Zayn was seen on the streets in Beverly Hills on February 2nd. The importance of that fact is the video he would release that day (the day after Harry’s birthday) on his YouTube Channel. Zayn recorded, filmed, edited, and uploaded an acoustic music video for his “I Don’t Want To Live Forever” single (which came out in December 2016) the day after Harry’s 2017 birthday (because he was potentially with him on his birthday) ALL IN ONE DAY.
It’s like, sir, what is the rush? That kind of turnaround is crazy, especially when you realize Zayn annotated the description of the video indicating that he edited it himself.
Which means he had a particular purpose in mind for wanting to do this video and wanting it released all in the same day in a sort of hurry. I think he wanted it released for Harry?? Because we all know his tradition of doing something pointed on or within a day of Harry’s birthday every year (even though he eventually stopped.) And in the video he made sure to pan the camera over himself, showing two matching tattoos he has with Harry (the heart and the hip text.) Interesting. That’s all.
The next clue was in March 2017. Harry suddenly popped up with a Great Frog Rose Ring, something we had seen Zayn wearing months before in his interview with the Evening Standard.
Later in 2017 Harry would admit his rings were gifts, and it was easy to see that this one meant a lot to him, because he wore it devoutly every day for almost 2 years, only taking it off for one single day after his emotional performance of Still The One at MSG in 2018, a show where Zayn is thought to have attended.
As with all things Zarry, I can’t help but ask “What are the odds?” This ring seemed to have such significance to Harry that even Larries noticed it and tried to make up a theory that Louis bought it for Harry. Meanwhile Zayn had been seen wearing this identical ring months before and was never seen with it again. And unlike Harry, Zayn wears other rings from the Great Frog.
It has always been my theory (like other Zarries) that the rose ring Harry wore from 2017-2018 belonged to Zayn. However, my theory goes beyond that. I believe Harry wore this ring to symbolize his devotion to Zayn during the time they were “back together” after the 2015 fallout that led to the end of the band. I think his wearing this rose ring beginning in March 2017 marked the fact that they were back together romantically, and when he removed it in September 2018 (among other signs) I believe this is when they broke up again.
Next, on March 25th, the day Zayn left the band and the day Zayn released his solo debut album Mind Of Mine, Harry decided to use this day to start his new solo era. Clearly this was a nod to Zayn and his double anniversary. Harry is just the sort of hopelessly romantic, wild-at-heart type of person to do this, just like the heart tattoo kisses or the Little Things dedications or all of Fine Line. Harry likes to make his love for Zayn known in loud, wild ways. On this day in 2017, Harry whited out all of his social media by posting white squares and making all his profile pictures and headers white.
He then chose to air his promo for “Sign Of The Times” on March 25th as well.
The following day, after seeing what Harry did for him on March 25th, Zayn comes out of nowhere and tweets lyrics to an unreleased song called “Cigarettes,” written long before he got with Gigi. It was from the Mind Of Mine era along with “Pillowtalk.”
At the time, we didn’t know what the tweet was referring to, but in 2019 when “Cigarettes” leaked, we all figured out that back in 2017 Zayn was actually tweeting lyrics to “Cigarettes.” Ugh, my heart. I believe he tweeted this specific lyric from the song because in Harry’s commercial for SOTT that he released on March 25th (the day before) he walks through a cloud of smoke and out a door. Zayn is using this as a metaphor:
His use of this lyric in 2017 has two meanings:
- He compares his love/addiction for Harry to his love/addiction for cigarettes. (I drew the same parallels in TTUM but from Harry’s perspective, him wanting to mean as much to Zayn as cigarettes did. Him wanting Zayn to be as dependent on him as he was with cigarettes.) This is a strong connection for Zayn to draw between Harry and cigarettes, because cigarettes and nicotine specifically (“you’re my dream, my nicotine”) are highly addictive. More so than some hard drugs. It generates an hourly hankering. People addicted to cigarettes must smoke while doing certain tasks. They must smoke after doing certain tasks. They must smoke before bed. They must smoke when they wake up. They must take frequent breaks throughout the day to smoke, or else they experience serious withdrawals and mental discomfort. That’s an hourly craving. So to call someone your nicotine is to say they are all you think about and all you believe you need.
- Zayn is also using “clouded in your love” as a metaphor for the confusion he must’ve been feeling in 2017 when he and Harry were theoretically getting close again. I’m certain he was apprehensive to link up with Harry again, considering he had gotten out of that dark, addictive affair when he left him in 2015 (and I’m sure he had reservations because he was currently with Gigi.) So to even consider walking down that path with Harry again years later must’ve been daunting and confusing for Zayn. We already know Harry gives Zayn ambivalent thoughts. He has always sang about how confused his love for Harry makes him feel, and how he hates how much he needs him, and how he couldn’t tell whether their love was a blessing or a curse because it felt “tainted.” Nevertheless, he realized (I believe) in 2017 that the notion of living without Harry was impossible, and so he embarked down this road with him again, clouded in his love, but eager to follow.
The tattoo on Zayn’s hand of the smoking lips looks an awful lot like Harry’s. I noticed he may have been inspired by the artwork for MYKL’s 2015 song “Red” (which Zayn tweeted about) of smoking female lips, but the lips Zayn got tattooed in 2015 look nothing like those. They look like Harry’s, much like the large eye tattooed on his inner arm.
If he is with Gigi and in love with her in 2017, why on earth is he tweeting lyrics to an unreleased song he wrote in 2015 about someone other than Gigi? Why not post lyrics to an unreleased song he wrote for her after he met her? Hmm…maybe he posted an old song because he was high on a person from his past all over again, and following him down a road they had travelled before.
April 2017 rolls around, and we get this lovely Rolling Stones article that gives us a glimpse into the life of solo Harry and his journey to create his debut album. In this interview he is feeling comfortable enough to spill some pretty deep thoughts about a mystery person he refuses to name, but who the journalist decided to hint at it being Kendall. Read that debunk here.
Harry explains that he “wants to give them the whole hat and hope they know it’s just for them” and in my opinion, it has always been glaringly obvious that person is Zayn (just like it was in Fine Line.)
In May 2017, Harry then went on to make it clear the album is centered around his relationship with Zayn when he adopted Zayn’s lotus rebirth symbolism from 2015 (which Zayn tweeted and later got tattooed) by wearing a lotus necklace for his cover art and pretending to be a lotus being reborn in a pool of pink water. (Zayn is also covered in lotus tattoos.)
Listen to Harry talk about the album cover art here:
By August 2017 when Zayn and Gigi were on the cover of Vogue Magazine together, Harry seemed to react strongly (typical Harry.)
Jealous Harry reared his beautiful head after the Vogue cover, and this is where we got the painful cover of “Girl Crush” at the BBC. This song choice was not random or meaningless, and the pain with which he performs it is coming from an authentic place. To deny that is to be intellectually dishonest. Read about that performance here.
In September 2017, we were blessed with Dusk Till Dawn, what I believe is the most romantic song Zayn has ever made. (Based on it’s bravery and boldness, the tenderness in the lyrics, the “Bonnie & Clyde” themes, the surrounding context of trying to make things work after their reconciliation, the countless promises made, and ultimately the way he delivers it. His vocals were insane and emphatic.)
Read about “Dusk Till Dawn” here. This song was so blatantly a response to “From The Dining Table” (Harry’s most honest and favorite song on HS1) that Zayn had to divert from their relationship when he was at a US Weekly event with Gigi’s mom (Yolanda Hadid.) He had to tell the outrageous lie that he never spoke to Harry in the band, and that he still hadn’t spoken with him after the band.
That lie is demonstrably false and anti-science. Here is the science behind Zarry’s relationship that Zayn seems to be ignoring to protect himself in front of his succubus wannabe mother-in-law.
Anyway, back to DTD.
This essentially means he and Harry were closed off from each other before, so they unzipped (so to speak) and now they will go through even the most dangerous currents in life to find a place where they can be together. They will go through hell and high water to discover a situation that suits them (like we saw of them from 2017-2018.) Such as, love on the run.
In October 2017 while on tour and performing “Story Of My Life,” after singing Zayn’s verse, Harry suddenly stops and says “I missed you…” Some people try to deny it was for Zayn by saying he was singing it to the crowd. But?? What is the logic behind that theory? Why at that precise moment in the song and at that precise moment in the setlist did he decide to say “I missed you…” to the crowd who had been there all night? Why not at the start of the show? Why not at an earlier show in the tour? Why did he randomly tell this particular audience he missed them in the middle of a song, and no other audience on the whole tour? I don’t buy it. That was for Zayn, and even non-zarries are convinced of it.
To solidify the idea that Zarry were back in touch in 2017 and that Zayn may have even attended some of Harry’s shows (which would explain him saying “I missed you” to him mid-show) Harry’s keyboardist, Clare Uchima, decided to follow Zayn in December 2017. Out of all the other 1D boys, she randomly follows Zayn? She would later unfollow him in 2018 (I believe when things got rocky between Zarry again) but she followed him out of the clear blue in late 2017. What are the odds? (She would eventually follow Niall much later the following year, but it was a huge deal when she followed Zayn in 2017 because she had not followed any other 1D member.)
And the rest is history! This is the basic understanding of my theory surrounding how Zarry got back in touch after the band.