Benji Madden and Paris HiltonBenji Madden has revealed the secret between the seemingly sudden serious romance between him and Paris Hilton: their coupling was a long time coming.

He told Yo on E! on Sirius Radio yesterday: “We were in love before anyone even knew we were together.”

“We have known each other for a long time, and I’ve always known the real Paris. I always knew that she was like… wife material or serious girlfriend material.”

“You just want to get on top of a mountain and go, I’m in love! But your fans would probably make fun of you.”

“You’re getting a lot of personal sh**t out of me, man!”

He added that “nothing would me happier” than marrying the socialite: “Wow, alright. Ok. I’m not gonna bet against you on that. We’ll see. I’m very, very happy right now.”

Benji and Paris went public with their relationship in late February, just weeks after Benji and fiancee Sophie Monk ended their engagement.