Former One Direction member Liam Payne and television personality Cheryl Cole have split after more than two years together.

“Cheryl and I are sad to announce that we are going our separate ways. It’s been a tough decision for us to make,” Payne announced on Twitter on Sunday, July 1.

“We still have so much love for each other as a family,” he continued. “[Our son] Bear is our world and we ask that you respect his privacy as we navigate our way through this together.” Cole shared the same statement on her account.

The couple first met in 2008, when Payne auditioned for The X Factor, where Cole was a judge. They went public with their relationship in 2015. In February 2017, after months of speculation, they confirmed they were expecting a baby, and in March 2017, they welcomed their first child, a son named Bear. At the time, Payne called his son’s birth “my favorite memory I have so far.” He also praised Cole, saying she “really made my dreams come true.”

Earlier this year, Payne shut down rumors that the couple were on the verge of a breakup. “The funniest thing was, a week before, we were getting married. The next week we’re splitting up,” he told ES Magazine about his and Cole’s talked-about appearance together at the 2018 Brit Awards.

The 24-year-old singer did admit that they faced the same problems as any couple, however, saying that while things were not perfect, they rarely are for anyone. “You know, we have our struggles — like of course I’m not gonna sit here and say that everything’s absolutely fine and dandy, because of course you go through different things, and that’s what a relationship is,” he said. “But we go through them together as a family and that’s the most important thing for me.”

Are you sad to hear about Liam and Cheryl’s breakup? Let us know @BritandCo.

(photo via Venturelli/WireImage)