Zayn Malik
Zayn Malik quit one Direction in MarchGetty

Zayn Malik is officially back on the market after calling off his two-year engagement with Little Mix star Perrie Edwards.

The former One Direction star, who popped the question in August 2013, is said to have ended their romance in July, leaving his partner 'devastated'.

"Perrie is being a trooper about it and putting on a brave face but she's devastated. She's doesn't know what he's thinking," a source told People magazine. "She's going to go out and promote the new single but obviously the timing could not be worse, especially when she's going to be doing so many interviews."

As fans across the world come to terms with the news, IBTimes UK rounds up a few reasons why he might be walking away.

The perils of fame

In July, Edwards gushed about her fiancée's lovemaking skills, telling the Sun newspaper: "I was asked what was better sex or food. I'm just saying I'm a lucky girl – it's got to be sex hasn't it?"

But despite being well-matched in the bedroom, sources say that the couple have neglected their relationship in recent weeks.

"Zayn and Perrie had been struggling for months. She's been touring and he's been focusing on the second chapter in his career. They barely saw each other and they hadn't even had sex in over two months," an insider told Hollywood Life.

Too young for marriage

While Malik's' garden proposal was incredibly romantic, actually saying 'I do' is another story entirely. Almost two years after he proposed, the couple have never publically announce their wedding date, leading many to believe that they have been given a reality check somewhere along the way.

At 22, the pop stars are both relatively young for such a lifelong commitment like marriage. Their celebrity status coupled with the fact that your dreams, goals, and ambitions change in your twenties, could have contributed to their split.

A source also claims that Edwards piled on the pressure to set a wedding date until he eventually cracked. "She pushed and pushed and finally Zayn told her he didn't want to get married," the insider told Hollywood life.

Fresh start

Just days ago, Malik signed a solo record deal with RCA and promised fans that he would reveal the 'real me' as he tweeted a picture of himself cross the t's and dotting the i's. After a roller-coaster few months, the Bradford-born singer may have come to the realisation that he was living a lie and wants to close that chapter and start fresh.

Cheating allegations

Malik got a lot of flak from fans after pictures emerged of him apparently cheating on Edwards with holidaymaker Lauren Rich in Thailand.

Although they have shown a united front in recent months there is a good chance that Edwards never fully got over the alleged fling. Constant bickering and trust issues may have led to the break down of their relationship.

Directioners

Following Malik's shock exit from One Direction, heartbroken Directioners accused his partner of persuading him to quit the group, slamming her as "the new Yoko Ono", in reference to the widow of the late John Lennon, who was infamously blamed for breaking up the Beatles.

Despite Malik setting the record straight on multiple occasions and Edwards insisting that she had nothing to do with his decision, the idea of spending his whole life defending his marriage may have been too much to for him to bare.