I Want What They Have: Melanie Lynskey and Jason Ritter

Love is a many-splendored thing, especially when you’re gawking at it from the outside. In this column, we’ll be examining the celebrity couples that give us hope for our own romantic futures and trying to learn what we can from their well-documented bonds.

I don’t make a habit of stanning all that many straight couples, the annals of I Want What They Have history aside. (Listen, if it were up to me, I’d be writing glowing profiles of the two cute non-famous lesbians I saw holding hands once at a coffee shop every week, but that’s not entirely journalistically sound.) When I do fall head-over-heels for a cishet pair, though, it’s usually because the male half of the couple seems particularly besotted. To quote Mindy Kaling’s grandmother, “The best relationships are the ones where the guy likes the girl a little bit more than the girl likes the guy.”

On that note, I’d like to introduce the courtship of Yellowjackets star Melanie Lynskey and Parenthood lead Jason Ritter, who began dating in 2013, got engaged in 2017, had their first child—a girl!—in 2018, and officially tied the knot in 2020. I fell even harder for Lynskey when she thanked not only Ritter, but also the couple’s “angel” nanny in her Critics Choice Award acceptance speech on Sunday night (seriously, can we make it an industry standard for famous working parents to thank the people at home who help them juggle it all? Dads, you’re welcome to do this too!), but it was Ritter’s post-game Twitter dialogue that truly made me plotz:

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How do I love this? Let me count the ways: The self-deprecating opener! The oh-so-dad emojis! The clear, sheer obsession with making sure the world knows exactly how much Ritter loves and values his wife! As always, the bar for men is on the floor, but I’m just so glad that Lynskey has such a supportive spouse to hold her down while she’s dealing with typical Hollywood body nonsense and collecting what’s sure to be the first in a series of awards for her amazing work on Yellowjackets.

Lynskey’s response to her husband’s adorable simping was just as funny, and very pop-culturally literate:

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God, remember the Curvy Wife Guy Saga? Lynskey clearly does, and I love that she’s unafraid to reference it or acknowledge just how obsessed with her Ritter is. Whenever I see a bored-looking celebrity couple perfunctorily holding hands on the red carpet, this is what I wish we were getting from them instead; after all, the kids out there need romantic role models! (It’s me, I’m the kids.) May their bond be long and strong, may their daughter not rebel on them too hard when she hits her teens, and may Ritter always and forever tweet about his wife like she’s just some actress from TV he has a huge crush on.

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