While Sam Heughan is best known for playing Jamie Fraser on the Starz show Outlander, the Scottish actor has appeared on a number of BBC series, including River City, Midsomer Murders, and the long-running soap opera Doctors. He also has a background in theater and has starred in productions of Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet, Macbeth, and King John. But when it comes to his love life, the 41-year-old-actor purposely shies away from the spotlight. Does Sam Heughan have a wife or girlfriend? Here’s what we know about the heartthrob’s relationship status.
No, He’s Not Dating His ‘Outlander’ Co-Star Caitriona Balfe
Many wishful shippers would love to hear that Heughan is dating Caitriona Balfe, who plays his character’s love interest, Claire Randall, on the show. Unfortunately for fans, this is not the case. Despite the fact that they have incredible chemistry, the pair are not romantically involved—though Heughan says he understands why Outlander viewers wish it were true.
“I think people want to buy into something,” he said in a 2016 interview with Elle. “When they watch a show, they want to believe it’s true. I guess it makes it more exciting if you think that the two people onscreen are revealing a little bit of themselves. But isn’t that what actors do? We make you believe something is true?”
Balfe also says she appreciates the fact that viewers want her and Heughan to get together. “[It’s] just a testament to the characters that we portray, that the love story is so inspiring and so aspirational that people just really wanted to believe in it,” she said in a 2018 interview with Parade. “And that’s a nice thing. But I think things are pretty clear now that I’m engaged to someone else. Everyone gets it now.”
The fiancé that Balfe is talking about is music producer Tony McGill, whom she married in 2019. The couple got engaged in 2018 after two years of dating and had their first child together in August of 2021.
While Heughan and Balfe’s relationship is completely platonic, the 42-year-old actress says they’ve had a very close friendship since the start of the show. “We made a decision before we ever started filming,” she said in her Parade interview. “We were just talking about [the show] and we were like, ‘Who knows what this is going to be?’ We hadn’t filmed anything yet. But we both said, ‘We’ve got to have each other’s backs. If we don’t support each other, who knows what kind of mess this could be?’ And we’ve done that from day one. We’re each other’s biggest supporters. He’s always there if I ever need to talk, or if I’m stressed out about something, and vice versa.”
His Rumored Relationships
Heughan is notoriously tight-lipped when it comes to his personal life. Heughan is believed to have dated actress MacKenzie Mauzy, who’s appeared on shows like Guiding Light, The Bold and the Beautiful, and NCIS: New Orleans. The couple showed up to a variety of public events together in 2017, including an Oscar night party and a gathering for New York Fashion Week.
Sadly, this relationship didn’t last, and Mauzy is now engaged to professional lacrosse player Scott Ratliffe.
He’s also been linked to Irish actress Amy Shiels, who’s known for roles in TV shows like Red Election, The Detour, and Twin Peaks. While the couple never publicly acknowledged their relationship, they attended a number of Hollywood events together, including the premiere of The Spy Who Dumped Me, in which Heughan had a supporting role.
According to Us Weekly, the couple had a long-standing “flirty friendship” dating back to 2014 and were likely romantic at some point during their relationship. But the pair have not been seen together in quite some time and it’s believed they called it quits in 2018 or 2019.
Heughan Says He Doesn’t Have Time To Date
Giving fans a rare glimpse into his love life in 2020, Heughan said his hectic work schedule makes it very difficult for him to maintain a long-term relationship. “Certainly, relationships are hard when you’re working in Scotland 10 months a year,” he said in a 2020 interview. “I travel a lot and any downtime I have, I’m trying to do other projects, so very much, my career comes first. Maybe I will find someone eventually.”
We hope he finds time for love one of these days!