EJ, Nicole gazing at eric mashup jpi days
Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI (3)

Sometimes it’s stunning to realize how time flies. 

Sometimes, even when two people are meant to be, it can take ages for them to finally get together and make it work. Whether or not this is true of Days of Our Lives‘ Eric and Nicole, they’ve certainly been doing their dance for quite some time — 25 years to be exact!

Over the years, they’ve come frustratingly close to making it work so many times — heck they even made it down the aisle — but a quarter century after they first met, “Ericole” fans are still as frustrated with the couple as ever. Still, nostalgia can be a powerful draw, and if there’s one thing we’ve learned about Eric and Nicole, it’s to never count them out.

Arianne Zucker talks about the milestone anniversary in the most recent issue of Soap Opera Digest, and the very fact that the show acknowledges it makes us wonder if there’s hope for the beleaguered couple after all.

After reminiscing with Abe and Paulina about how it’s 25 years to the day that she met Eric, Nicole, naturally runs into him at the park. And he, of course, admits that he’s been thinking of Nicole as well — especially since he and Sloan broke up!

Nicole isn’t surprised to hear the news, nor is she upset. In fact, Zucker says, she’s downright happy about it! But it doesn’t change things for her.

At Basic Black, Eric nuzzles Nicole's nose.

These two are like radioactive magnets.

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

“She’s going to commit to EJ,” the actress explains, “because he’s a good person and things are working between them at the moment.”

OK, EJ being a good person might be a bit of a stretch… but relatively speaking in the DiMera family? Sure, we’ll take that. He’s certainly no Rafe! But that will likely work out in their favor, because otherwise, EJ/Nicole are starting to give us Rafe/Nicole déjà vu.

Take EJ and Nicole’s Valentine’s Day dinner, for example. That went down exactly as every encounter did while married to Rafe, with Nicole obsessing over Eric the whole time. Plus, she flat out admitted to EJ that she’s only with him because she and Eric didn’t work out. He’s her consolation prize.

But also, as she told EJ, they’re a better fit because he’s not a saint and he doesn’t expect her to be. So maybe what Zucker means is that EJ is more a good person for Nicole. Will that be enough to save them?

“There’s this connection that will always be there no matter who else they marry or end up with,” Zucker says of Eric and Nicole. “There’s an underlying chemistry and history that these two people just have. It’s always going to be there, no matter what.”

Plus, her feelings for Eric never went away, Zucker adds. The flame may be out for now, but the embers still smolder. And it may take the slightest of breezes to cause them to burst into flames once again.

With that said, Zucker tells Digest that “Just because her feelings for Eric will never go away, it doesn’t mean he’s the right person for her.”

But that also doesn’t mean they won’t stop being drawn together and trying! They just may have to put up with getting burned over and over again — especially when EJ’s mixed up with them! Rafe may have just pulled back like a kicked dog, but if EJ feels slighted, he’s never been one to shy away from revenge. See Stefan.

No matter what happens, we have a feeling this 25-year-old dance is far from over.

Take a look at our photo gallery of all that’s come before in Eric and Nicole’s romance