Who from One Direction is still mates? A very serious investigation

Liam and Zayn are exchanging Instagram comments???


March 25th 2015. The day music died and the whole world changed forever. Yes, it’s the day that it was announced Zayn was leaving One Direction. I guarantee that when you heard the news you fell to your knees and weeped. Nothing was ever the same again. One Direction gave us so many bangers and five beautiful men for our teenage hearts to obsess over, between forming on the X Factor 2010 and eventually going on “hiatus” in January 2016. But it’s been years now since they broke up (sobs) and even now all I can think about is – will there ever be a 1D reunion? And which of the One Direction boys are still friends with each other?

In an interview in 2021, Liam said he’d rather do a reunion “sooner than later”, because of how “tough” it is doing a big tour. “But none of us talk about it, it’s like a taboo subject”, Liam said. “Like, ‘we can’t get back together, what do you mean? Us in the same room?’ What the fuck is that about?” There may be no news on a One Direction reunion, but luckily for us there’s a whole load we can learn about which of the former bandmates are still friends.

Here’s who from One Direction is still friends – or even on speaking terms:

Harry and Liam

Still mates? Yes

After Harry Styles won album of the year at the 2023 Grammys, Liam posted a gushing Instagram, congratulating him and calling Harry his “brother”. Liam wrote: “When you write music like you do Harry you deserve every millisecond of that moment looking down smiling at the trophy you’ve earned. God bless you brother congratulations”.

In a 2022 Instagram Live, Liam said he’s watched some of Harry’s Coachella performance and even called himself Harry’s big brother. Liam gushed over Harry performing with Shania Twain, who he said Harry is a huge fan of. “As a bigger brother it’s nice to see he gets to perform with those people”, he said.

He also said he wants to go to one of Harry’s shows, saying: “Can everyone please send me the dates of Louis’ and Harry’s concerts so my team see it to make sure that I can go? Because I definitely want to go and see.”

When he went on the Diary of a CEO podcast in 2021, Liam said he has a great relationship “with most of” the One Direction boys. He said he’d recently had a “lovely phone call from Harry who was checking in […] it’s almost like some people have got a sixth sense for you that you’re going through something, and he’s very much like that. He’s a lovely boy, I love him to pieces.”

Liam follows Harry on Instagram still, but Harry doesn’t follow Liam. Awkies.

Harry and Niall

Still mates? Yes

After Harry’s 2023 Grammy win, like Liam Niall also posted something on his Instagram. Niall posted a story with an image of Harry performing at the awards, captioned: “Very proud” with a red heart emoji, tagging Harry.

At the BRIT Awards in 2020, Niall said he’d only agreed to present an award so he could give Harry (and his other mate, Scottish musician Lewis Capaldi) “a bit of moral support”.

Then in February 2021, Twitter basically went into meltdown when the world’s blurriest pic ever supposedly showed Harry and Niall going for a hike together in LA. You couldn’t see either of their faces, but fans were convinced it was them.

Harry doesn’t follow any of his former bandmates and Niall is no exception, although Niall does follow Harry on Instagram.

Harry and Louis

Still mates? Probably

“I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bother me at first,” Louis said in 2022 of Harry’s success. “But it’s not surprising to me that Harry’s the most commercially successful because he really fits the mould of a modern star.” But Louis said he’s proud of Harry and what he’s achieved: “I look on Harry like a brother, man. I have a lot of pride for what he’s doing.”

In an interview back in 2017, Louis said he’s not as close with Harry as with Niall or Liam. He said he has a lot of respect for Harry, calling him a great artist, and said: “There’s no politics or anything. Inevitably in a band, you’re going to get some people who get on really well and some people who get on quite well.”

one direction, still friends, speaking, harry styles, liam payne, louis tomlinson, zayn malik, niall horan

Louis went on to say that the “Larry” conspiracy theories (where some fans believed he and Harry dated, when at the time Louis was with then-girlfriend Eleanor Calder) had put pressure on their once-close friendship. “It kind of happened naturally for me and Harry because a certain amount of the fans drew up this conspiracy.

“When it first came around I was with Eleanor, and it actually felt a little bit disrespectful to Eleanor. […] It created this atmosphere between the two of us where everyone was looking into everything we did.”

Then in 2019, Louis said he hadn’t “seen Harry for a while”, but had “been in contact with him”. It seems like the two are on good terms.

Harry doesn’t follow Louis on Instagram, but Louis follows Harry.

Louis and Liam

Still mates? Yes

Liam said on the Diary of a CEO podcast that he and Louis are good friends: “Louis I speak to a lot, we’ve always had a really close connection.” He said the pair “hated each other” at the start of 1D, but thinks this is almost why they ended up growing so close.

Louis and Liam were together on a Gogglebox celebrity special episode for Stand Up To Cancer in 2018. They’re also both dads with children relatively close in age – Louis’ son was born in January 2016, with Liam’s born in March 2017.

In a 2022 Instagram live, Liam said he wants to go to one of Louis’ shows, saying: “Can everyone please send me the dates of Louis’ and Harry’s concerts so my team see it to make sure that I can go? Because I definitely want to go and see.”

And in a 2019 interview, when asked who from 1D he would go to in a crisis, Liam said Louis, saying they both “lean on each other for a lot of different things”. He says in the band if there was ever a problem the two of them would try and sort it out, and now they do that still other things.

Liam and Louis both follow each other on Instagram still.

Niall and Louis

Still mates? Yes

In a 2022 interview Louis said he and Niall had bumped into each other at Glastonbury. “Even though we hadn’t spoken all year, it was like absolutely no time had passed. Because we’ve lived through such experiences together in One Direction, this bond that we have is for life”, he said.

Louis and Niall were both performing at the same festival in Mexico in 2019 and were seen hanging out together backstage – and even sung a One Direction song together at soundcheck. Now, Niall is still in regular contact with Louis, and has reportedly said he thinks it’s important to check in on both him and Liam as they’re fathers.

one direction, still friends, speaking, harry styles, liam payne, louis tomlinson, zayn malik, niall horan

In an interview, Louis called Niall “the most lovely guy in the world”. Niall and Louis both follow each other on Instagram.

Liam and Niall

Still mates? Yes

Back in 2020, Niall did an Instagram Live and Liam ended up joining him on it. That same year, Liam said in an interview that he’d just had a “beautiful FaceTime” with Niall and said the pair “hadn’t spoken in a long time”.

Like with Louis, Niall is apparently in regular contact with Liam, and reportedly saying he thinks it’s important to check in on both him and Louis as they’re fathers.

Liam follows Niall on Insta, but Liam is the only former 1D member who Niall doesn’t follow.

Liam and Zayn

Still mates? Possibly??

In 2016, Zayn said he was closest to Liam since leaving the band, but reportedly said no one else had really reached out. “I’m still probably the closest to Liam”, he said. “We talk on the phone… We haven’t met up in a long time so we want to meet up.”

But then in 2018, fans thought there was some beef between the two of them. A One Direction hashtag was trending worldwide, and Liam tweeted a screenshot of it, tagging Louis, Harry and Niall – but not Zayn.

Despite saying a few years ago that he was closest with Liam still, in multiple interviews since Zayn has said how he’s not really in touch with any of the 1D boys, and even said he “didn’t make any friends from the band”.

But in July 2023, One Direction fans went into actual meltdown when they noticed Liam and Zayn exchanging Instagram messages. Zayn posted a teaser for some new music on Instagram. Liam commented saying “this sounds big already” and Zayn replied, saying: “appreciate it bro, thanks for the love”. It’s not much but it’s the biggest public interaction we’ve seen in ages.

via Instagram

Zayn doesn’t follow any of his former bandmates on Instagram (he only follows 18 people), but Liam follows Zayn.

one direction, still friends, speaking, harry styles, liam payne, louis tomlinson, zayn malik, niall horan

Niall and Zayn

Still mates? Probably not

Niall has said there’s no bad feelings between him and Zayn, but the two don’t really talk. He said in an interview: “He’s quite a hard fella to keep in touch with. He’d probably tell you that himself, to be fair.

“I don’t particularly talk to him a lot. I mean, if he’s got something coming out or something I will text him. He might not reply but I’ll give him a shout, but I don’t know … After the band, he left for his reasons and then he never really spoke to us much afterwards.

“I’ve got no bad blood with him at all but some things have a lifespan.”

Zayn doesn’t follow Niall’s Instagram, but Niall follows Zayn.

Louis and Zayn

Still mates? Probably not

Remember when Louis and Zayn got in Twitter beef back in 2015, when Zayn had just left the band? And it was over Naughty Boy, lol.

Then in 2016, when Louis’ son was born, Zayn said in an interview that the two weren’t on speaking terms. He’d liked a picture Louis posted on Twitter, and when asked if he’d be going to meet Louis’ son said said: “We’ll see if I get an invite. Obviously I wish him the best of luck. His kid is cute as fuck so obviously I favourited it. We’re not talking on friend terms obviously, so that’s as far as I can go, by favouriting his picture.”

one direction, still friends, speaking, harry styles, liam payne, louis tomlinson, zayn malik, niall horan

When Louis’ mum died, and he did an emotional X Factor performance just three days after her death, Harry, Liam and Niall went and supported him, but Zayn didn’t. Louis told a podcast: “Truthfully it never really got better. I had a couple of calls with him after I lost my mum and all the boys had agreed to come to that performance and he didn’t show so that really bugged me.” Louis said that having Harry, Niall and Liam there was the support he needed that night, “so on the other end of the spectrum, it kind of really showed”.

Louis still follows Zayn, but Zayn doesn’t follow Louis on Instagram.

Harry and Zayn

Still mates? Probably not

According to Zayn, he and Harry were never close – even during 1D days. He said in 2017: “To be honest, I never really spoke to Harry even when I was in the band…so I didn’t really expect that much of a relationship with him.”

Harry and Zayn do not follow each other on Instagram.

Featured image via Instagram @zayn and YouTube

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