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It was during this period that he wrote last year's dreamy No1 single Perfect, of which the singer later admitted: “It was inspired by Cherry.” Shortly afterwards, they both decided to take a year away from their jobs to go globe-trotting together.
But Ed reckons it took him years to work out that this was the kind of partner he needed.
Very soon after the album hit the charts he started dating singer Nina Nesbitt, 23, before embarking on a string of showbiz flings which have never been revealed.
By 2013 he was rumoured to have been dating another British singer, Ellie Goulding, 31, but that ended in disaster.
But he never let the memory of that crush fade even when maths whiz Cherry moved to the US to study and work while he was busy being a global superstar.
Long-time pals always suspected that romance would one day blossom between the pair.