Tomlinson candidly talked about where the former bandmates stand seven years after their falling out due to Malik leaving One Direction. When asked if he was still friends with the "Pillowtalk" singer during his appearance on the "Zach Sang Show" podcast, Tomlinson replied: "You’d have to ask him."
“I could be wrong, but I believe I said, when you asked me a similar question [last time] … I believe I said I don’t think I’m mature enough to get over what’s frustrated me in that relationship,” Tomlinson, 30, said on the episode, which premiered Wednesday, September 28. "I don’t know if I’m mature enough now, but I’m definitely closer to being over all that."
Tomlinson and Malik have been at odds ever since 2015 when they got into a heated argument on Twitter after Gigi Hadid's baby daddy left the beloved band, which also consisted of Harry Styles, Niall Horan and Liam Payne.
Tomlinson claimed he has "tried to get in touch" with Malik, 29, as it was his mom's dying wish, but they have not spoken since their online feud. “There’s been numerous times over the last couple of years where I’ve thought about him and hoped he’s alright."
"But it's hard," the "Bigger Than Me" singer admitted to host Zach Sang. "I definitely wish him well."
Despite still being at odds, Tomlinson remains adamant that they can repair their relationship sometime down the line. "I think in time," he suggested. "I think we just have to bump into each other ’cause neither of us have each other's number. I suppose maybe social media might be the way."
Eagle-eyed fans noticed Tomlinson had been liking some of Malik's singing videos on Instagram as of late, seemingly as a way of offering an olive branch to his former bandmate.
And while Malik has been extremely open about his distaste for the music One Direction made throughout their years together, he has recently been posting covers of their music to Instagram, most recently singing "Night Changes," which garnered more than 30 million views.
When Tomlinson was confronted about appearing to show his support by liking Malik's videos, he pointed out the father-of-one is a "different caliber in terms of singers."
"I wasn’t just liking it for the sake of liking it," Tomlinson clarified. "It was a nice feeling ’cause in the past he's said what he’s said about the band, and I understand some of what he was saying."
Tomlinson added: "For me, in those videos, it showed he was reflecting. It showed he was thinking about those times. Of course, at the same time, showing off his incredible voice."