Do you remember what it was like to be young and in love? The sweet letters, the sleepless nights, those butterflies in your tummy. Oh, what a wonderful feeling, falling in love with your high school or college sweetheart!
As it turns out, many of our favorite celebrities were no strangers to puppy love. They, too, knew what it was like to fall in love during one of the most awkward phases of life. And, while it’s uncommon for people to end up with their childhood sweetheart, especially with all the added pressure of fame, a surprising number of stars are still with their first loves to this day.
In the pages that follow, we’ll introduce you to some amazing celebrity couples who fell in love at a very young age. And, we’ll reveal who among them managed to keep the spark alive throughout the years.
Mr. and Mrs. Bon Jovi
Ask any fan and they’ll tell you, Jon Bon Jovi is a certified heartthrob. Many a superfan’s heart has been broken over the years when they learned that he’s actually been happily married for almost half his life. If you’re only finding out about this now, we’re sorry to burst your bubble!
Here’s the story: Jon Bon Jovi met the love of his life, Dorothea Hurley, in high school. Dorothea first noticed Bon Jovi when he tried to cheat on a test by looking at her work. Despite his sneakiness, the two became good friends after the incident. Dorothea was seeing Bobby, Bon Jovi’s best bud, at the time, so they didn’t get together until years later. Still, Bon Jovi says he knew he was going to marry Dorothea the moment he laid his eyes on her. In fact, the song “Bobby’s Girl” was written for her.
A Secret Wedding
The lovebirds got married during Bon Jovi’s Jersey Syndicate Tour in 1989. It happened in a chapel in Las Vegas called Graceland Wedding Chapel. Fun fact: The chapel is known as the home of Elvis Presley themed weddings. Apart from the Bon Jovi nuptials, many other famous ceremonies have taken place in the chapel.
The lovely couple has four kids together – three boys and a girl. According to Dorothea, the secret to their long-lasting marriage lies simply in supporting each other no matter what. The loyal Dorothea has attended all of Bon Jovi’s concerts for the past 27 years. She loves all of her husband’s songs but appreciates them the most when she hears them live.
Tyler Posey & Seana Gorlick: Soulmates at Eleven
Does this guy look familiar, but you can’t remember how you know him? Well, believe it or not, this scruffy cutie is the kid who played Ty Ventura in the J. Lo rom-com, Maid in Manhattan. And the girl he’s hugging? That’s his childhood sweetheart, make-up artist to the stars, Seana Gorlick.
Ah, to be a kid again. According to Tyler Posey, he fell in love with Seana Gorlick at eleven. He couldn’t quite put his finger on it, but he knew they had a special connection even though they were both still young. The adorable stars dated each other since high school and tied the knot in 2013.
Not a Happy Ending
Sadly, though, it was not a happy ending for the two. After ten years of dating and three months of being engaged, Posey decided to call off the wedding. According to a reliable source, Tyler was at the peak of his career and realized he was not quite ready to settle down just yet.
Tyler, who was 23 at the time, knew that marriage and having kids would eventually force him to turn down career opportunities – something he wasn’t ready to do. And, since he had only ever been with one girl, he felt like he needed to explore other relationships first before finally settling down.
Bono & Ali Hewson: From Twelve to Forever
Bono met his wife, Ali Hewson when he was only 12. They went to the same high school in Dublin. Hewson went on to become a businesswoman and an activist for nuclear disarmament, children’s rights, and fair trade.
According to Bono, it is the red carpet that keeps the two connected. Whenever things are not going well, they get dressed up, hit the red carpet together, and the wonderful time they have reignites their appreciation for each other.
30 Years And Counting
While they have been together for more than three decades, the couple remains as strong and unbreakable as ever. They have four children and have homes in France, the United States, and Ireland.
According to Bono, to make a marriage last, you must view your partner as an equal. Considering that they’re still happily married to this day, a milestone that not many celebrity couples have been able to achieve, this sounds like solid advice.
Elizabeth Banks & Max Handelman: College Lovers
While Elizabeth Banks’ most recent film, the Charlie’s Angels reboot, was not a success, the same cannot be said about her marriage. She met her husband, Max Handelman when they were both studying at the University of Pennsylvania. Decades later, they are still very much in love.
Though he may not be as famous as his spouse, Max Handelman is a very successful sportswriter, film producer, and published author.
Together in Faith
Max Handelman was raised as a Jew. And while Elizabeth Banks did not technically convert to Judaism, she says she practices the same faith as her husband. According to the director-actress, she feels like she is now as Jewish as she can ever be.
The two married in 2003 and are still together to this day. They have two boys, Felix and Magnus Mitchell, both conceived through surrogacy.
The Taylor-Dogg Love Affair
Snoop Dogg is famous for being a badass rapper, songwriter, and producer. He is also notorious for his encounters with the law for his use of illegal drugs. What most people do not know about him, though, is that he has been married for more than twenty years.
Shante Taylor has been Snoop Dogg’s significant other since secondary school. While their marriage is filled with ups and downs, they have managed to stay together. Snoop and Shante are also the proud parents of three children – Corde, Cordell, and Cori.
Together, Apart, and Together Once More
On May 21, 2004, Snoop Dogg filed for a divorce, citing irreconcilable differences as the cause. In an interview, an understanding Shante shared that Snoop was confused and did not truly know what he wanted.
The rapper eventually realized how much he loved his wife and kids, and with time apart, it became apparent that he could not live without them. He threw the papers away and called off the divorce. The two got back together and even renewed their vows in 2008.
LeBron James and Savannah Brinson’s High School Romance
LeBron James and Savannah Brinson met in high school and have been together ever since. He played football while she played softball and was a cheerleader. It was a match made in heaven.
Their first date took place at an Outback Steakhouse. Little did the two young college kids know that LeBron was destined to be an NBA superstar. Today, LeBron’s net worth is more than $275 million. So yeah, no more cheap dinners for these two!
A Supportive Wife and Business Woman
While she is known to many as the loving wife of a successful NBA player, Savannah Brinson is much more than that. She is the owner of a furniture business named Home Court, and the founder of a mentorship program, Women of Our Future.
James and Brinson tied the knot in 2013. They have three children together, all of whom we quite often see sitting on the bleachers with their mom, cheering for LeBron during his games.
Jeff Daniels’ Greatest Achievement to Date
Jeff Daniels is one of the most charming actors to grace the silver screen. He has two Emmy’s to his name and has earned several Golden Globes, SAG, and Tony nominations. Despite the many accolades he’s received for his work as an actor, his greatest achievement in life is his successful marriage.
Jeff Daniels met his wife, Kathleen Treado, all the way back in college. They tied the knot in 1979, and are still happily married to this day. Divorce is such a common occurrence in Hollywood that a marriage of 40 years (and counting) is an impressive feat.
Those Bangs Though
They say couples who have been together for years start to look alike. This is certainly true for Jeff Daniels and Kathleen Treado. Together, they have three beautiful children who also happen to look a lot like their parents.
In this photo, we see three adorable children with the cutest hairstyles. Today, these kids are all grown up – Benjamin, Lucas, and Nellie are all in their thirties.
It’s A Hard Knock Life for LL Cool J
To say that LL Cool J had a rough childhood would be an understatement. He spent his early years in Queens, growing up in a Catholic family. His dad shot his mother and grandfather, almost killing them both, and young James (LL Cool J’s real name) saw the seemingly lifeless bodies and the horrific amount of blood. The worst part? He was only four when it happened.
Thankfully, his young life was not all bad. He met his future wife, Simone, in his teenage years through a mutual friend.
Staying Together in Sickness and in Health
LL Cool J and Simone tied the knot in 1995, and are still together to this day. They have four children together – Najee, Italia, Samaria, and Nina. They now also have a grandson named King-James. Sadly, though, Simone was diagnosed with a rare type of bone cancer in 2004. This sad turn of events prompted LL Cool J to retire from the entertainment industry to care for her.
Thankfully, after bone marrow replacement and years of rehab, Simone is finally cancer-free. The couple has become active supporters of cancer research since this harrowing experience. Today, LL Cool J is once again back at work as the host of Lip Sync Battle.
Samuel L. Jackson & LaTanya Richardson
Isn’t this photo of a young Samuel L. Jackson precious? What’s even more adorable is his four-decade-strong marriage with his loving wife, LaTanya Richardson.
Award-winning actor and producer Samuel L. Jackson met the love of his life, LaTanya Richardson, all the way back in college. The two both attended Morehouse College where they fell in love. They got married in 1980 and had a daughter two years later.
They Tried To Make Him Go To Rehab, And He Did Go
Samuel L. Jackson was 70 when he was given the Lifetime Achievement Award at the BET Awards. In his speech, he thanked his wife LaTanya and daughter Zoe for urging him to go to rehab.
The actor revealed that he had overdosed on heroin multiple times. Thankfully, his family’s support was enough to get him through those trying times.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus & Brad Hall: Northwestern Lovers
Julia Louis-Dreyfus recently celebrated 32 years of marriage with her husband, Brad Hall. She met the future SNL comedian at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. The future Veep star auditioned for a theater play that Hall was producing. They soon fell in love and tied the knot in 1987. The adorable couple now has two sons, Henry and Charles.
Julia and Brad were an odd couple, sharing very little in common. Hall grew up in California and loved surfing, while Louis-Dreyfus was born and raised in New York. But, in an interview on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Louis-Dreyfus shared that she knew almost instantly that Hall was the one.
Staying Strong in the Midst of Adversity
In 2017, Louis-Dreyfus shared on Instagram that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She also expressed her gratitude for having a strong support group in her husband and two sons. During her treatment period, the filming of her show, Veep, had to be canceled.
What made the painful process of chemotherapy a little less agonizing for the actress was having her family and friends with her the whole time. She says, “it might be cliche, but laughter is truly the best medicine.”
Rainn and Holiday
Before we say anything, we just want to take a moment to express how epic Rainn Wilson’s hair is in this photo. With that out of the way, let’s talk about the beauty beside him in the photo. While his character in The Office, Dwight Schrute, has the uptight Angela Martin for a wife, in real life, Rainn Wilson is married to the far more relaxed Holiday Reinhorn.
This happy couple met in the mid-80s in a performing school at Washington University. They became close because of their common passion for the performing arts (though we can’t help but wonder if they also bonded over the fact that they have such quirky names).
Twenty-Four Years and Counting
Rainn and Holiday tied the knot in 1995 on the Kalama River in Washington. They have a son named Walter, who was born in 2004. They both adhere to the Bahá’í faith, which is a religion that recognizes the worth of all other belief systems.
After 24 years, the couple remains as strong as ever. In June 2019, Rainn Wilson shared a few adorable throwback photos of them together in honor of their anniversary.
Mark Zuckerberg & Priscilla Chan: A Memorable Frat Party
If you’ve seen The Social Network, then you already know how this couple met and fell in love. For those unacquainted with the story, back in 2003, at a frat party at Harvard, the future Facebook CEO saw Priscilla, and according to him, it was insta-love.
Priscilla Chan is a pediatrician and philanthropist. She was one of the most intelligent students in her class, with her classmates going so far as to call her a genius. She is the daughter of refugees and grew up speaking Cantonese.
Being that the two met at college, they had no idea of how successful Zuckerberg was going to be in the years to come. They met while waiting for the bathroom at a party, and have been together ever since.
Zuckerberg made an effort to learn Cantonese to have a closer relationship with Chan’s family. The two tied the knot after nine years of dating in May of 2012. The ceremony took place in their backyard in Palo Alto.
Timothy Olyphant’s 30-Year Marriage
Timothy Olyphant may have a zombie wife in the Netflix series, Santa Clarita Diet, but his real-life wife is very much alive. He met Alexis Knief many years ago when he paid a visit to the University of Southern California.
The two fell in love immediately and got married in 1991, despite both being very young at the time. While many college romances end shortly after graduation, these two managed to stick it through. Now, almost 30 years later, the couple is still happily married.
Family of Five
The lovely couple has three kids together, namely Grace Katherine (born in 1999), Henry (born in 2001), and Vivian (born in 2003). The whole family lives in Westwood, Los Angeles.
While Olyphant rarely talks about his marriage, their three decades of togetherness says a lot about how happy they are.
Pre-NFL Love Story
Eli Manning may be more famous for his successful career as a New York Giants player, but his success would be less meaningful without his loving and supportive wife and kids.
Manning met his future wife, Abby McGrew, long before he became an NFL quarterback. He was a junior at the University of Mississippi, while Abby a freshman. Manning proposed to McGrew in 2007. The couple tied the knot in a private ceremony in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, in 2008.
Party of Six
Abby McGrew may not be as famous as her husband, but she does have a great career in fashion. Their family may be relatively young but it is growing quickly – they welcomed their fourth baby in 2019.
The gorgeous couple now has three daughters and a son – Ava Frances, Lucy Thomas, Caroline Olivia, and Charles Elisha. With genes like theirs, we can understand why they want to keep making babies!
The Real Slim Shady Really Fell In Love
Marshall Mathers may have a bad boy image, but when it comes to love, he’s as soft and vulnerable as the rest of us. Eminem met his wife, Kim Scott, at secondary school while he was rapping the LL Cool J hit, I’m Bad.
Kim Scott and her twin sister did not have the happiest childhood. They ran away from home and stayed with Eminem, who was only 15 at the time. Two years later, in 1991, the pair married. They welcomed their daughter, Hailee, into the world in 1995
The pair has a tumultuous love story – head over heels in love one day and hating each other the next. In 2002, Eminem said in a Rolling Stone interview that he will never get married again. But lo and behold, he remarried Kim in 2006.
The two are no longer together but remain friends. What do you think? Will they eventually get back together again, a la Ross and Rachel?
The Colorful Lives (And Outfits) of Sarah and Todd Palin
The life of Sarah Palin has been as colorful as her husband’s sweater in this photo. The former Governor of Alaska met Todd Palin back in high school. Together, they have five children – CJ, Trig Paxson Van, Bristol Sheeran Marie, Willow Bianca Faye, and Piper Indy Grace.
Despite the pressures and challenges of leading political lives, the two remain strong and committed to each other and their kids.
A Rocky Road to 32 Years
Today, they are close to celebrating 32 years together and have five grandchildren. Sadly, though, there might not be a 32nd anniversary to look forward to – Todd Palin apparently filed for divorce earlier this year.
However, according to Sarah Palin, the divorce is not final just yet. In fact, the two are attending counseling together. So, there’s still hope for this famous couple.
Enter The Sandman
When you’ve been with the same person for decades, it can be challenging to keep the fire burning. Yet for former major league player Mariano Rivera and wife Clara, staying in love is not a problem. Unlike many couples here who fell in love in secondary school, these two met in primary school.
Mariano and Clara tied the knot in 1991, and together, they have three children – Jaziel, Jafet, and Mariano III. The Panama-natives moved to the States in 2000 and now reside in Rye, New York.
Mariano Rivera’s Second Family?
In early 2019, a woman from Panama accused Mariano of having a second family, and of providing no support to his kids. According to the woman, she and Mariano have two children together – an 11-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl.
A 2014 Panamanian article also claims that Rivera admitted to cheating on his wife on several occasions. However, Mariano Rivera strongly denies these allegations. There are currently five lawsuits filed against the sportsman, and we are yet to see how it all plays out.
Joey Fatone & Kelly Baldwin: Highschool Sweethearts
We all know the adorable Joey Fatone for being one of the five members of the well-loved 90s and early 2000s boy band NSYNC. Since the band broke up, we’ve seen Joey take on many solo projects, including stints as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars, and more recently, The Masked Singer.
What few people know is that Joey has been happily in love since his high school days with a girl named Kelly Baldwin. In 2004, the high school sweethearts tied the knot, and together they have two beautiful daughters, Kloey Alexandria and Briahna Joel.
Bye, Bye, Bye
Though this romance may seem picture-perfect, it has not been all rainbows and butterflies for the couple. Since getting married, the two have been on-again and off-again over and over again.
Though they’ve been through some wonderful times in their many years together, it seems like their love story is not going to have a happy ending. Joey Fatone filed for a divorce in 2019. The performer has also been seen on red carpets with his new beau, Izabel Araujo. Apparently, the two have been dating for over four years now.
Robin Thicke & Paula Patton
Oh my, what a thick head of hair you’ve got there, Robin Thicke! All jokes aside, the talented singer-songwriter met his future wife, Paula Patton at an under-21 LA club called Balystyx in 1993. He was 14 and studying high school back then, while the actress was 16. They danced together as Robin Thicke sang Stevie Wonder’s “Jungle Fever” to her. In one night, they fell madly in love.
After twelve years of dating, the two finally decided to tie the knot in 2005. They welcomed their first child, Julian Fuego, in 2010. Everything seemed perfect from the outside, but apparently, things were gradually heading south for the pair.
(Very) Blurred Lines
Apparently, the couple’s marriage had been a rocky one, with Thicke repeatedly cheating on his wife and taking illegal drugs. Patton filed for a divorce in 2014, and after a long and painful process, the marriage officially ended in 2015.
In 2017, Patton was given sole custody of their son, Julian. Apart from the infidelity and drug use, Thicke was also accused of domestic violence. Since their split, Thicke started dating April Love Geary, a woman 17 years younger than him. Together, they have two children, Mia Love and Lola Alain.
Heather Morris and Taylor Hubbell’s Online Romance
Talented Glee alum Heather Morris met her hubby, Taylor Hubbell all the way back in high school. At the time, Hubbell was a college baseball player. The two did not start dating right away, though. When Morris moved to LA to follow her dreams, she received a message from Hubbell through MySpace, the two met up, and the rest is history.
In a 2011 interview, Morris seemed completely captivated with her beau, sharing how much she cared about Hubbell and how she wanted to marry him and spend the rest of her life with him.
Dreams Do Come True
Though Morris’ career was at its highest, she said she’d be willing to let it go if her personal life started suffering. Thankfully, though, her marriage to Hubbell did not stop her from pursuing her acting career. Thank goodness because we love Heather and don’t want her gone from the industry!
The loving couple now has two children, Elijah and Owen. The two tied the knot in 2015, and are still happily married to this day.
Taylor and Natalie Hanson
All 90s kids will remember the cute and talented pop-rock trio, Hanson. You’ve probably wondered more than once what happened to Taylor, Zack, and Isaac.
Well, we aren’t sure about Zack and Isaac, but we do know that Taylor is happily married with his college sweetheart. He met Natalie Anne Bryant in 1999 and married her in 2002.
Party of Eight
Taylor Hanson has six siblings, so it comes as no surprise that he too wanted to have a big family. He and Bryant went on to mirror his childhood by having six kids themselves. That’s a lot of Hansons!
Yup, every day is a busy one for the Hanson household. With Jordan, Penelope, River, Viggo, Wilhelmina, and Claude running around the house all day, the Hansons don’t get much quiet time.