Liam Payne seems to have put an end to the speculation about him and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, appearing to confirm that they are indeed in a relationship after posting a revealing message on Instagram.

On Tuesday (March 8th), the 22 year old One Direction star marked International Women’s Day on the social media site by posting a picture of his rumoured new beau, captioning it: “Happy #internationalwomensday to my favourite woman in the world hope I make you as happy as u make me X.”

Happy #internationalwomensday to my favourite woman in the world ???? hope I make you as happy as u make me X

A photo posted by Liam Payne (@fakeliampayne) on

It’s the first public acknowledgment that either Cheryl or Liam has made regarding the rumoured relationship, which is said to have started in secret way back in December. However, making such a declaration on International Women’s Day caused some of his fans to question whether he should have paid tribute to his mum or his sisters instead.

One follower said: “@Real_Liam_Payne says the one who says a short term gf is his favourite woman, instead of his mom or smth [sic]. But that's none of my business.” Another angry onlooker exclaimed: “@Real_Liam_Payne what about your MOTHER AND YOUR SISTERS?!!”

More: Cheryl to drop ‘Fernandez-Versini’ after divorce is finalised

Later in the day, Payne took to Twitter to call for calm. “Wow the internet is a dark place these days,” he wrote to his 22.4 million followers.

32 year old former Girls Aloud singer Cheryl is in the process of divorcing her second husband, French chef Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini, announcing that she’ll be reverting back to either her birth name Tweedy or Cole [her first husband Ashley’s surname, and the name under which she made virtually all her solo recordings]. Which will undoubtedly come as a relief to headline writers everywhere.

Cheryl Fernandez Versini Liam PayneCheryl and Liam leaving a London restaurant on Wednesday (Mar 9)

Liam and Cheryl have both kept the public guessing as to their possible romantic status, posting a number of cryptic tweets and Instagram pics over last few weeks.

A day after Liam’s message, the pair were spotted out and about in London on a date, holding hands as they left a restaurant in the capital. The previous weekend, they were spotted at a casino together, with a source telling The Mirror that Liam was “doting” on Cheryl.

More: Cheryl Fernandez-Versini concerned that intimate marriage details could be on ex-husband’s lost phone