Liam Payne and Sophia Smith
1D star Liam Payne began dating his school-friend Sophia Smith in 2013 LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images

Liam Payne may only be 22, but it looks like the One Direction star is already thinking about marriage. The What Make You Beautiful hitmaker has revealed he and his girlfriend of two years Sophia Smith have discussed tying the knot.

In a candid interview with Attitude magazine, the X Factor alumnus admitted that while he would like to make the brunette beauty his wife, he is willing to wait for the walk down the aisle.

"We have talked about marriage, but 22 seems a bit young for us," he told the publication. "Sophia needs to go off and do what she wants to do. I don't want her to be one of those stay-at-home girlfriends who doesn't really do much.''

The hearthrob met Smith while they were in secondary school and had a crush on her for a long time, describing their romance as "one of those childhood sweetheart stories".

"I didn't actually go out with her at the time [when we were younger]. I used to see her at school and we'd kind of chat. I asked her sister for her number" he said. "She was very shy and didn't give much indication that she liked me, so I just assumed that she wasn't interested, as well as thinking, she was way too hot for me anyway."

News of their potential nuptials has left scores of Directioners heartbroken.

Payne's decision to put off his wedding may have been influenced by former bandmate Zayn Malik, who ended his two-year engagement to Little Mix Perrie Edwards recently.

The Bradford-born singer, who popped the question in August 2013, is said to have ended their romance in July by text, leaving his partner "devastated". A source told People magazine at the time: "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. 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?"

Although the pair offered no explanation for the break up, rumours have been circulating that Edwards piled on the pressure to set a wedding date until Malik eventually cracked. The insider said: "She pushed and pushed and finally Zayn told her he didn't want to get married."

He also made his feelings towards the pop princess very clear with a not-so-subtle tweet that read: "Nothing changed you just never knew."