The singer revealed last month that he is dating Sarah Richards, confessing that they are "really happy" together.
He has now explained that he is glad the couple had a strong friendship before they became romantically involved.
"I always wanted to be friends with a girl first, and that's what happened," Merrygold told the Daily Star.
"We met about a year ago and then over the summer things started happening."
Merrygold recently insisted that he will not become "boring" just because he is no longer single.
Watch the video for JLS's new single 'Hottest Girl in the World' - out October 21 - below: