Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka’s Serendipitous Love Story

Neil Patrick Harris and his husband David Burtka are quite literally two peas in a pod. “We have the same shoe size, body size, height, and weight,” Harris told Out magazine in 2012, adding that they share a wardrobe. “We’re both Gemini. We both like the idea of family — not a nuclear family, but a social family. ”But just as much as they’re similar, they’re also quite opposite in how they operate. Harris explained he’s “very introspective — thinker, rather than the doer. I tend to weigh options before making decisions, and David is the polar opposite of that.”

Burtka was in a relationship when they met
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Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka at the premiere of “Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay” at the Cinerama Dome on April 17, 2008, in Los Angeles, California

Despite having been billed a teen heartthrob, gracing the covers of teen magazines in the ’90s, Harris didn’t always feel lucky in love. “I remember being in my mid-twenties, lying in bed thinking, I’ve never taken a shower with anyone before; I’ve never had any kind of long-term relationship. I remember thinking that the rest of my life would be solo,” he admitted to Out. “I wasn’t weepy when I thought that — it was just a realization that I had gone this long being self-sufficient.” In fact, he was more than just sufficient. Harris had been earning ardent praise as the Master of Ceremony in Sam Mendes’ version of Cabaret on Broadway in 2003.

They first hung out at an ‘American Idol’ party
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Harris was respectful but also didn’t want to give up hope. “I didn’t want to be that guy who was creating some sort of romantic interference,” he told Out. “So I was always around when he was around, hoping the stars would align.” Their first real hangout was when Kate invited him to an American Idol viewing party. “I just stammered around him,” Harris remembers. “I couldn’t take my eyes off him.”

They moved in together just months after they started dating
Timeline of Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka's Relationship

From that first date, the two started seeing more of one another. “We started hanging out every single night, and after three months, it was just non-stop,” Burtka remembered, with Harris adding, “Once we started talking, we never stopped.”

They’re honest about their ups and downs
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Neil Patrick Harris (L) and David Burtka (R) with their twins, Gideon Scott Burtka-Harris and Harper Grace Burtka-Harris, in 2017

With that new life also came a new level of trust between each other — which included complete openness, even when it wasn’t the easy way to go. “I initially fell for David harder than he fell for me,” Harris admitted. “I remember saying, ‘I think I love you,’ and he was like, ‘That’s really nice,’ which is not necessarily what you want to hear. But I appreciated his honesty in not jumping the gun and saying something because he felt obliged to.”

Burtka proposed on the street corner they met followed by a proposal by Harris on Valentine’s Day
Timeline of Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka's Relationship

One day a few years into their relationship, the two were on their way to an event outside of New York City in a limo, when Burtka insisted on stopping. It turned out they were at the street corner where they had their first chance encounter. “He got on one knee and proposed, and I was so freaked out by it that I said, ‘Yes,’ but I didn’t know what it meant,” Harris said. “Then I got the ring and loved it, and a year later, on Valentine’s Day, I proposed to him in Santa Monica.”

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