Get ready to bring on the tears, you guys, because it has officially been 11 years since One Direction was formed! That’s right, as fans know, Harry StylesLiam PayneNiall HoranLouis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik all auditioned as solo artists on The X Factor, but Simon Cowell decided to put them together to form a band on July 23, 2011. They went on to come in third place on the singing competition show, but even though they didn’t win, they were quickly propelled into the spotlight. They went on to release five albums together, break numerous records, slay the charts with their songs, sell out tons of world tours, win loads of awards and more. Besides their epic tracks, they also released a few concert movies, books and merch — yeah, they definitely accomplished a lot together!

But in 2015, the group left fans all over the world heartbroken when they announced that they were taking an indefinite hiatus. And since then, all five of them have released solo albums and pursued various projects of their own. But wait, why did they split in the first place? Did a feud cause them to break up? We decided to do some digging, and we uncovered the real reason they went their separate ways…

They Were Fighting A Lot Due To Exhaustion

According to Horan, the guys were all so tired from working so hard, that they were arguing a lot.

“It was incredible. But we got tired. Not tired of it, just tired out. I can never really remember any major bust-ups, just brotherly family nagging, s**tty arguments like that. But we were gonna end up killing each other,” he later admitted. “We all sat down one day, had a chat and it was like, ‘We need to take a break, chill out and try something new.’”

Payne echoed this sentiment in another interview. He explained, “We all just got on with it, you know, it was just a case of this is your job and this is what you do and then you just slowly spiraled into this thing. I mean, more than anything for us, I think the danger zone is in the band. And actually what probably caused the demise of it, towards the end, was just the tiredness more than anything. Everyone makes stupid decisions when they’re tired.”

Liam Payne Definitely Wasn’t Happy

Liam Payne

The “Strip That Down” crooner has actually been the most open about his time in the band, and he once told Mens Health Magazine that it became “toxic” near the end.

“When you’re doing hundreds and hundreds of [concerts] and it’s the same 22 songs at the same time every single day, even if you’re not happy, you’ve got to go out there,” he said. “It’s almost like putting the Disney costume on before you step up on stage and underneath the Disney costume I was pissed quite a lot of the time because there was no other way to get your head around what was going on. I mean, it was fun. We had an absolute blast but there were certain parts of it where it just got a little bit toxic.”

He also later admitted to drinking a lot to “escape the crazy world” and the pressures of being in the spotlight.

“I was drinking too much and getting into really bad, bad situations for quite some time actually. And I hit a peak moment where I knew the drinking was going to get me. I needed to do something about it,” he revealed to GQ Magazine. “I spent a lot of time drinking to escape the crazy world that I had created for myself. I didn’t know what I was doing. That first therapy session and being like, ‘I don’t even know what I like or anything about myself,’ it was pretty scary stuff. I was afraid of how far my career was going and that it might go even further. You can say, ‘Who is afraid of success?’ But that’s what it entails sometimes. Success has got the better of me on more than one occasion. When I am losing I tend to concentrate more.”

The singer also explained that he and his bandmates would be locked into their hotel rooms due to the amount of crowds waiting outside, and that led to him drinking.

“So, at a certain point, I just thought ‘Well, I’m going to have a party for one,’ and that just seemed to carry on throughout many years of my life. And then you look back at how long you’ve been drinking and it’s ‘Jesus Christ, that’s a long time,’ even for someone who was as young as I was,” he told the outlet. “It was wild but it was the only way you could get the frustration out in the day. As a teen, the one thing you need is freedom to make choices and freedom to do stuff. We were always locked into a room at night. And then it would be car, hotel room, stage, sing, f**ked. So, it was like they pulled the dust cloth off, let us out for a minute to go ‘Woohoo’ then it’s like, ‘Get back underneath here!’”

He also said in another interview that during his time in the band, he faced a bunch of “erratic highs and lows,” which made things a “bit dark.”

“It was very touch and go at times. It was a point where every day, you didn’t know whether it was going to be the end. It was so touch and go, at every single show. I was slowly losing the plot,” he shared. “I was like: ‘I don’t really know how to deal with this.’ Once you start, you can’t really press the stop button.”

But They Didn’t Breakup Because Of A Rift

Band One Direction

Despite the guys both admitted that there was some arguing between them before the breakup, they want everyone to know that they didn’t split because of a rift. How do we know? Well, when an article came out claiming that a “rivalry” between them caused them to go their separate ways, Tomlinson quickly shut these rumors down. He posted a screenshot of it to Twitter, writing, “Biggest load of bulls**t I’ve seen in a while. Typical unprovoked venom from The Mirror. Couldn’t be further from the truth!”

Tomlinson also gushed about his former bandmates in an interview.

“I f**king love the boys, and I love everything we’ve done together. And I still miss my time with them. I think any of the boys would be lying if they said otherwise. It was a special time in our lives, definitely,” he said.

Plus, they’ve all actually hung out numerous times since the hiatus started, so it’s clear that there’s no bad blood between them! Styles also proved everything was all good between them when he was asked during an interview about whose solo music he liked more.

“We loved being in the band. I think there’s a want to pit people against each other. And I think it’s never been about that for us,” he responded. “It’s about a next step in evolution. The fact that we’ve all achieved different things outside of the band says a lot about how hard we worked in it.”

Couldn’t have said it better ourselves!

They Didn’t Want To Tire Out Their Fans

According to the 27-year-old, another factor that led to their split was that they were worried fans would get tired of them. He told RollingStone Magazine, “I didn’t want to exhaust our fan base. If you’re shortsighted, you can think, ‘Let’s just keep touring,’ but we all thought too much of the group than to let that happen. You realize you’re exhausted and you don’t want to drain people’s belief in you.”

Louis Tomlinson Wasn’t Ready For A Break

Louis Tomlinson

It turns out, Tomlinson didn’t even want to go on a hiatus in the first place! He told Metro in October 2019, “I wasn’t really ready for the band to go on a break. As far as I am concerned, I am happy doing what I am doing. But the day that [a reunion] does happen, and everyone is ready to do it, I am ready.”

Although he admitted to The Sun that it was “difficult to accept at first” he now knows it was the right decision.

“If you asked me now if I think it’s the wrong decision, I don’t think it was. I think the market and the fans and everyone had had so much of One Direction that regardless of any individual ventures, the market could do with a two, three — or however long break away from us,” he added.

He also admitted to The Guardian, “In the last year of One Direction, I was probably the most confident I ever was. And then it was: ‘OK, hiatus!'”

“It had kind of been brewing and we knew the conversation might be coming around but it was just one of those things. It was always going to happen, we were always gonna take a break, but I think there are always people who are going to take things better than others,” the 28-year-old added. “I’m not gonna lie it hit me hard but it definitely inspired me to get on with my own solo career because it wasn’t something I was always going to do. I was just going to write songs and just hopefully send them to other people and stuff like that but everything happens for a reason, so they say anyway,” he added in another interview. “It was good to be back doing normal things but I wasn’t ready for the band to go on a break and it came as a shock for me. It definitely wasn’t my choice but I understand why the decision was made and there’s a good argument for that. I’m enjoying expressing myself now but it rocked me for a time and for a bit and I didn’t know what I was going to do.”

They Want To Get Back Together One Day

It turns out, the guys have actually confirmed multiple times that they are going to get back together one day — just not yet.

“It’ll happen at one point. We’d be stupid not to, but we’re just exploring and enjoying life as individuals now,” Tomlinson previously explained to BBC.

As for Styles, he told Kiss 106.5, “I don’t think I’d ever say never. I definitely never say never. You know it was a massive part of my life and something that we always have. It’s a pretty amazing thing to be part of.”

Payne also Sunday Brunch in December 2019, “I think at some point we will get back together. I think we will for sure. I don’t know when that is yet, but all I know is that there are at least two years because everyone’s released new music and you have to go and promo. There are at least two years.”

Plus, during an interview on BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show, he shared some ideas he had for when they do reunite, and boy, were they epic!

“This is the only way One Direction could get any bigger than it was. These next couple years, if we do well in our solo careers, imagine the concert of five massive solo artists coming together and doing their own thing. You’ll get five concerts in one! It will be amazing,” the “Strip That Down” crooner explained. “I think [we] could pop out with different tunes at different times. And people could join in. Maybe Louis could do the J Balvin rap [in “Familiar”]. Patience is key. It will be all worth while for the viewers and people who are massive fans later on. It’s going to be even better for you than expected so just hold tight.”

What about Horan, you ask? Is he down? Yep! While participating in a lie-detector test during a past interview, he revealed he definitely thinks the band will get back together one day! We can’t wait! And until then, we’ll be listening to their old songs on repeat.