Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard are like the definition of #couplegoals, but they both say this isn’t a case of finding “the one”, it’s a case of finding someone and then working really hard at a relationship.
“We definitely had to work really hard at being a couple because we’re both incredibly, painfully stubborn, and we’re pretty much opposites,” Shepard tells People.
Shepard didn’t always believe in marriage, and early in their relationship Bell accepted that she would not be changing his mind on that. But he came to understand that marriage was important to her and did eventually propose for that reason.
“Forget the tradition or history of marriage as a concept, you knowing I was doing something that I didn’t want to do because I loved you was a big sign for you,” he said in an interview with Bell by his side.
Fast forward a few years and the pair are now raising two daughters, running a new baby care business, Hello Bello, and of course still working on TV shows, movies and podcasts. But more than anything, they work on connecting with each other.
“All these movies from the ’80s taught us that it’s love at first sight, and it is supposed to be easy and [that] all you have to do is find that person,” Bell told People. “It took me a while to realize, ‘Oh, that was such a lie,’ because things that you work really, really, really hard for always yield the best results.”
Her comments echo her previous thoughts on her marriage and the commitment it takes to make it work.
“This isn’t a special fairy tale,” Bell recently told Parade.
Shepard agrees. “This is two people who worked really hard and it’s attainable for you if you work really hard in your marriage too,” he says.
For these two, sometimes working hard means committing to a therapy session instead of a date night, something Bell told Good Housekeeping last year.
“If something pisses you off, you’ve got to find the balls to bring it up immediately and say it in a way that the other person can hear,” she said. “If you’re still uncomfortable… you say, ‘I need to have a therapy session with you.’ There may be something that really hurt your feelings that you’re scared to bring up. Go talk about it with a therapist who can mediate. You’ll walk out of the room feeling like you’re [on the same] team.”
If there’s one thing that’s clear about Bell and Shepard, it’s that they are definitely on the same team (and that team is winning).
They might not think they’re #couplegoals, but we still do.
[A version of this post was originally published March 8, 2019. It has been updated.]