In 1991 audiences were introduced to detective Elliot Stabler, played by Christopher Meloni, and detective Olivia Benson played Mariska Hargitay on Law & Order: SVU. 

The two detectives worked side by side for 12 seasons, and despite their chemistry, they were strictly professional on the show. 

Meloni and Hargitay’s undeniable on-screen chemistry led many fans to wonder, “Did Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay ever date in real life?”

In late September last year, photos of the duo looking cozy surfaced online and sent fans in a frenzy. 

They believed the duo was confirming their romance, but the two debunked the dating rumors during an appearance on the Today show. 

The intimate scene was actually for their series. 

The actors have never dated and most likely will not; as they have mentioned many times, their relationship is strictly platonic. 

Over the years, Meloni has referred to his co-star as family, and it’s clear that the feeling is mutual.

Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay on Their Decades-Long Friendship

There was an inexplicable connection when Meloni and Hargitay first met on set. 

For the Plain Truth actress, meeting Meloni is a gift that has truly stood the test of time. 

“There’s so much love and there’s so much trust and there’s so much ease and there’s so much chemistry,” she said. 

The two are so close that Meloni could tell when Hargitay was crushing on her husband, Peter Hermann. 

Hargitay and Hermann first met when he landed a guest-starring role on SVU. And sure enough, they started dating. 

Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay

Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay at the Glamour Woman of the Year Award (Source: Mariska Hargitay/Instagram)

One day the actress came up to Meloni sobbing over her relationship with Hermann. She and Hermann had a deep conversation and ended things. 

But all Meloni could think was, “you’ll be married within five months,” and he was right again. 

Hargitay acknowledged that her co-star knew her well. She noted that after her husband, Meloni was the one who knew her best. 

During the Glamour Woman of the Year Award on November 2021, she added it was meaningful that he was handing out the award to her, especially after 22 years of friendship

Meanwhile, Meloni could not stop gushing about Hargitay. 

He described her as radiant and fearless and added that she was always compassionate and empathetic. 

Christopher Meloni, Mariska Hargitay, and Their Spouses

Besides being close, the duo also gets along well with the other’s spouse as well. 

In 1995, Meloni tied the knot with his wife, Sherman Williams, and the two are still going strong.

Hargitay married Hermann in August 2004. The couple shares three children. 

In an interview with E! News’, Hermann revealed what it was like to share his wife with her longtime TV partner. 

“We make it work,” said Hermann, after the trio was jokingly called one of the most “progressive marriages in Hollywood.”

The Beautiful People alum said that there was a lot of give and take, and communication was key to ensure all three of them were happy.

Hermann added that there was much to be said about progressive marriages.

After seeing a photo of his wife and Meloni reunited, Hermann jokingly said, “I took that picture on a date we were all on. We make it work.”