Ever wonder why Freddie Prinze Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar’s marriage works? One of the most likable couples in Hollywood, they always look so smitten with each other — even after more than two decades together. So, yeah, we kinda want to know their secret. And as luck would have it, Prinze Jr. is getting refreshingly candid about what it takes to have that sort of seemingly blissful longevity.
For starters, says Prinze Jr., he’s not a fan of the idea that there’s a magic formula for a happy marriage. “There’s no keys. There’s no rules. There’s nothing like that. I don’t believe in false expectations. I just believe in knowing who you are when you start a relationship. And if you don’t, then that relationship probably isn’t going to work,” he told Us Weekly, adding, “For Sarah and I, we’re very private people. We try to make each other laugh, and we both kind of knew who we were.”
He continued, “If you don’t know who you are when you get in that relationship, odds are the other person is going to have a big hand in defining what kind of person you’re going to be. Or, and worse, if you pretend to be someone else, that’s a lie you’ve got to live forever if you want that relationship to work out forever. So, knowing yourself is sort of the key to doing it.”
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20 years ago this week, my friend @realfreddieprinze and I were supposed to have dinner with a mutual friend from out of town. That friend missed her flight, but we decided to still meet and catch up. Now 20 years together, 17 plus married and two kids, we still go to that restaurant for dinner. So thank you @sloaney77 for not showing up for dinner.
In other words, while Prinze Jr. doesn’t necessarily think there’s just one thing that will make a marriage last, he knows with some degree of certainty what will tank one: if the people in the relationship don’t have a strong sense of self prior to committing to each other. Hollywood — being the overpowering industry that it is — can change a person who isn’t in command of their own identity. But if you know who you are already, you “control your own destiny much more easily.” He and Gellar had that individually, and it carried over.
This has undoubtedly played out in big ways throughout the course of a marriage. But the actor points out an everyday example, revealing, “I played video games since I was a little boy. Sarah knew I played video games. If she ever gave me a hard time about playing video games, Sarah and I would not be together. Period. There would be no us. We’d just be friends ’cause I’m not giving up something I love because you don’t think it’s cool. And conversely, Sarah likes what she likes. I don’t trash reality television. I don’t trash any. If she digs it, cool.”
Of course, this is only about video games on the surface. Ultimately, though, it’s a question of accepting someone for who they are. “If you love and respect someone, what brings them joy should make you happy, whether you’re involved with it or not. So, let your girls watch what they want to watch. Let your dudes watch what they want to watch,” he suggested. “Don’t give them a hard time. And if you find yourself in one of those relationships, maybe it’s time to have a conversation.”
Click here to see other happy celeb couples who are building a future together.