How Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka Met

Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka have been married for six years. Here’s the story of how Harris and Burtka met.

Neil Patrick Harris thought he would be alone forever

Harris thought he would never find love. He told Out magazine he was afraid he would be alone forever. One thing that gave a boost to his dating life was moving to New York. He said he felt more freedom.

I remember thinking that the rest of my life would be solo. I wasn’t weepy when I thought that — it was just a realization that I had gone this long being self-sufficient. Thankfully, the world changed, and perceptions changed, and my life went to the East Coast, where there’s a much greater acceptance of anonymity and freedom. In New York, I was able to date with my head held higher. In L.A., it felt much more gossipy.

Neil Patrick Harris says he and David Burtka share many similarities

Harris describes his husband as sexy and boyish. Although he says they have many things in common, he says they’re also opposite in some ways. Here’s what Harris says about Burtka:

He’s classically sexy, yet he’s very much a boy in his energy. It’s a great dynamic. When I see people who are equally attractive, they tend to seem more quiet and kind of Marlboro Man-y, and David’s the antithesis of that. He’s more like Tigger.

 I’m, in turn, very introspective–the thinker, rather than the doer. I tend to weigh options before making decisions, and David is the polar opposite of that. We’re hyper similar and also incredibly opposite. We share a wardrobe. We have the same shoe size, body size, height, and weight. We’re both Gemini. We both like the idea of family– not a nuclear family, but a social family. Yet, we’re incredibly opposite in the way we process information.

How Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka met

Harris and Burtka have been married since September 2014. As of this writing, they have two children, a son named Gideon and a daughter named Harper. The couple met in New York back in 2003. Harris says he saw one of his female friends walking with Burtka and assumed they were dating. However, once he discovered Burtka is gay, he decided to make his move.

In the book What Makes a Marriage Last, by Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas, Harris says he made an effort to show up at places he knew Burtka would be. His persistence worked, and the couple started dating.

Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka keep their marriage strong with communication and therapy

David Burtka and Neil Patrick Harris | Mark Sagliocco/WireImage
David Burtka and Neil Patrick Harris | Mark Sagliocco/WireImage

Harris and Burtka tell Thomas they see a therapist weekly. They have been in therapy together for the 15 years they have been in a relationship. The couple agrees that communication helps them maintain a strong bond.

“If you don’t communicate, you’re going to build up assumptions, and those can turn into resentments, and I think that’s more corrosive than anything,” says Harris. “So, the lines of communication deserve to be open. Can things get fiery and messy? Of course. But we don’t throw slanderous comments or insults. We don’t call each other a piece of s*** or put each other down. That doesn’t accomplish anything.”

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