Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi seem like a match made in Hollywood heaven. Both successful in their own right in their careers, they’ve enjoyed just as much success when it comes to the status of their relationship.
Married now for over a decade with no signs of their romance cooling off any time soon, it appears as if these two could teach the rest of us a thing or two about what it takes to make a long-term love affair work. DeGeneres and de Rossi have even expertly navigated ridiculous rumors, ambitious endeavors, busy schedules, and their wildly public lives without letting any of it put a kink in their plans for a happily-ever-after.
On top of that, they’re obviously head-over-heels in love. « She’s just so awesome! » de Rossi once told Entertainment Tonight. « Who wouldn’t want to be with Ellen all the time? » Meanwhile, her wife explained to Howard Stern on his SiriusXM radio show, « We are madly in love and I guess it’s boring. » That’s certainly debatable. Not only would many fans think that their love is exciting, but it’s also inspiring and perhaps a lesson in how to make a marriage last. Ready to take down some notes on marital success? Here’s how Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi make their relationship work.
Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi are best friends
This celeb couple isn’t only a pair of devoted spouses who are deeply in love: Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi are also best friends who would rather be spending time together than doing anything else with anyone else. De Rossi explained the nature of their relationship to Entertainment Tonight in 2016, saying, « We’re just really good friends and we talk about everything, and we never ever, ever lie to each other, like, not even the tiniest lies. »
Having been married for three years shy of a decade at that point, there was seemingly no hint of the « seven-year itch » that plagues some unfortunate couples. Instead, DeGeneres and de Rossi were still like newlyweds, eager to be together as much as possible. The former Ally McBeal actress added, « She’s the only person I want to hang out with. Like, she is my best friend and I just want to be with her all the time. »
DeGeneres apparently feels the same way about her wife and their relationship, which is why the TV star told People that same year, « I can’t imagine not being married. I have my best friend, the person I want to spend time with more than anybody else in the world. » BFFs 4 eva.
They celebrated their relationship with a magical ‘dream’ wedding
Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi’s lives together as wives began with what the talk show host described as a « dream wedding » while chatting with People ahead of their big day. The pair were married on Aug. 17, 2008, not long after California’s Supreme Court ruled that its ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional and struck it down. DeGeneres and de Rossi were legally hitched during what their spokesperson called « an intimate ceremony » at the stars’ Los Angeles home. Only 19 guests were in attendance to witness the wedding, including DeGeneres’ mom Betty and de Rossi’s mother Margaret Rogers, who had flown over from her home in Australia to see her daughter say « I do. »
« I’m the luckiest girl in the world, » DeGeneres said at the time, according to People. « [Portia]’s now officially off the market. No one else gets her. » De Rossi added, « I feel very, very blessed that both of our families have embraced the two of us together. »
Years later, these two are still celebrating their anniversary by sharing shots of the love-filled occasion, such as an Instagram post DeGeneres posted in 2019, which included a photo of the duo all smiles on their wedding day. « Happy anniversary, Portia, » read the sweet caption. « 11 years. My favorite number with my favorite person. » Aww!
Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi give each other meaningful gifts
When Ellen DeGeneres turned 60 years old in 2018, Portia de Rossi gave her « the gift of a lifetime. » While appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the Arrested Development star explained, « It’s your 60th birthday and this gift had to be really special and it had to represent who you are and what you really care about. »
She continued, « I combined that and questions [from] when we first met, like, ‘Who’s your idol?’ And, ‘What would you do if you weren’t a talk show host?’ … with the fact that … for like the last two years [you’ve] said to me, ‘I feel like I’m not doing enough.’ … So I put all that together and I got you this gift. » De Rossi then played a video that described how DeGeneres had been inspired by the work of the late conservationist Dian Fossey and introduced The Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund.
« The fund’s first initiative will be building a permanent and safe home for The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund » which « was created to protect and study endangered mountain gorillas, » DeGeneres’ website explained. Not only did de Rossi gift her wife with a lovely present, but she also gave the comedian a lasting legacy that will help to protect the precious creatures on our planet.
They make grand romantic gestures for each other
Ellen DeGeneres is willing to make equally grand (and romantic) gestures for her wife … however, they don’t always work out. « Portia and I started dating 15 years ago today, » the talk show host wrote on Instagram back on December 1, 2018. She continued by explaining what exactly she had planned in order to mark the special occasion, writing, « I hired a plane to fly by the house with a banner that said 15 with a heart. » So sweet! And surely something de Rossi appreciated. At least, she probably appreciated the thought since the actual gesture didn’t turn out the way her wife had intended.
DeGeneres added, « I should have specified the size. » You’ll likely agree with her considering the video she shared shows a plane passing by with a teeny-tiny, barely visible banner. You can also hear laughing as someone (DeGeneres?) asks, « Can you see it? » Followed by another person (de Rossi?) replying, « I can’t see it! » and even more laughter.
At least we can assume that this brought a smile to their faces.
Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi indulge in plenty of PDA
This couple certainly isn’t S-H-Y about PDA (that’s public displays of affection, if you aren’t familiar with the lovey-dovey-based acronym). Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi regularly appear on the red carpet together or can be spotted sitting side by side in the audience at industry events. And they definitely don’t hold back when it comes to showing off their love by holding hands, sharing a kiss, or gazing sweetly at each other — although one of their favorite poses is gently putting their heads together while smiling for the cameras.
The married pair also regularly posts pictures of themselves together on social media. DeGeneres likes to share snapshots of the duo on note-worthy occasions, where they can be seen smooching in a birthday post or spotted spending a special moment together backstage. And de Rossi is even more active when it comes to sharing photos of the couple doing adorable things, like cuddling in private and cozying up together in public, as well as holding onto each other while on the beachfront and sweetly reaching for the other while riding horses.
Considering their followers leave comments like « Most adorable couple » and « Nuttin’ but [LOVE], » it seems clear that fans adore having the opportunity to catch glimpses into this couple’s ongoing romance.
They travel together for both work and play
Distance makes the heart grow fonder, as they say, but for Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, it seems like one key to their successful relationship is sticking together. That’s apparently why they regularly travel with each other, either when one has to work or to simply head out on a new adventure.
In the same way that de Rossi posts about their day-to-day PDA-filled lives, she also shares peeks at their travels on Instagram. If you follow the star, you’ll see shots of their trips to Montreal, where they « [bent] over backwards for Ed’s fans » (« Ed » being DeGeneres’ initials and de Rossi’s nickname for her wife); French Polynesia, where the comedian was spotted « working on her Netflix special; » and Tanzania, which found them « somewhere on the Serengeti, » according to the Australian-born actress.
DeGeneres also shared footage of their trip to Rwanda on her show in 2018, which featured a wild experience with gorillas. While traversing the Volcanoes National Park, the group they were traveling with not only met up with the beautiful beasts, the talk show host also got an up-close and personal encounter with a massive male primate named Garunda — who’s the oldest living silverback at 47 years old. While he didn’t seem to be starstruck by DeGeneres, she was certainly awed by him.
Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi support each other’s careers
Along with indulging in their fair share of PDA and arranging romantic gestures, these spouses express their love for each other by cheering on one another’s individual work-related endeavors. De Rossi regularly pops up to make appearances on The Ellen DeGeneres Show either to support her wife’s television work (and surely boost ratings since fans adore the duo) or because her wife is using her show to support something de Rossi is doing, like the actress’ return to Arrested Development or her General Public art business.
In return, de Rossi likes to post about DeGeneres on social media while praising the funny lady’s projects. For instance, when the comedian released a stand-up special on Netflix at the end of 2018, de Rossi was apparently proud enough to post a photo of the pair together, along with the caption, « Getting ready for our viewing party for my wife’s brilliant Netflix special Relatable!!! Check it out!! »
Considering de Rossi has over 1.3 million followers on Instagram – and the fact that DeGeneres’ account has a whopping 77.5 million followers on top of fans who follow them on Twitter or aren’t on social media at all — these two have plenty of power to promote each other’s work and definitely seem eager to do so.
They encourage each other to be the most that they can be
While Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi support each other’s current career-related endeavors, they both also encourage their loved one not to limit themselves in any way. In DeGeneres’ December 2018 profile with The New York Times, de Rossi admitted that she sees her wife doing more than just her long-running talk show, saying, « I just think she’s such a brilliant actress and stand-up that it doesn’t have to be this talk show for her creativity. There are other things she could tackle … I don’t see the end of her show as her career ending. »
The actress also told Us Weekly that same year that one of the reasons she set up The Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund was to give the host something to focus on after the show eventually ends: « She’s not going to do her talk show forever, and I want her to be able to look forward to retiring, to know that there was something … that she could sink her teeth into. » If DeGeneres finds even a fraction of success in her future wildlife-focused projects as she has with her entertainment career, the animals on our planet will certainly benefit.
Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi relish in rumors
Being a celebrity couple comes along with a lot of (sometimes nasty and often unwanted) attention, but instead of being bothered by rumors, Portia de Rossi told Us Weekly in 2018 that the buzz makes her feel accepted.
« The divorce rumors came and then we really knew the perceptions had changed, » she explained regarding her same-sex marriage with Ellen DeGeneres. « I’m not kidding. I know it sounds ridiculous, but when that started happening I thought, ‘Oh, now we’re finally accepted.’ We get the same s**t as every celebrity couple. » De Rossi added, « I thought, ‘Wow, this is great that I’m pregnant, not pregnant, divorced, not divorced, whatever. That means there is an acceptance for this. »
DeGeneres similarly explained why they don’t mind the false facts surrounding their marriage to the titular host of The Howard Stern Show. Although she doesn’t read the tabloids herself, she explained that de Rossi’s publicist stays on top of press and once let them know about claims being made about DeGeneres having an alleged affair. The actress’ PR pro suggested that they sue, but DeGeneres admitted, « We’re kind of flattered because for a while no one cared about us and we thought, ‘Oh, lesbians aren’t, you know, worthy of tabloid stories.’ So now we’re kind of flattered that they even care about us. » At least these two have a positive perspective on what could otherwise put a strain on other relationships.
They’re thankful for their love
Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi are clearly deeply in love, but they also appreciate how fortunate they are to have such a devoted partner in their lives and are excited to grow old together. « I’m grateful for everything … and I’m so grateful for the love in my life, » DeGeneres told People in a 2016 cover story. « Because not everybody finds that, » she added, while acknowledging the rarity of such a rock-solid relationship that she can rely on without a doubt in her mind or heart.
DeGeneres continued by revealing that she regularly stops to recognize her charmed circumstances, saying, « Portia and I constantly say to each other, ‘We are so lucky.’ Sometimes it’s lying in bed at night before I go to sleep, and I just say thank you to whatever, whoever is out there. » She went on to say, « I’ve gotten to a place where I really am just settled. Really. I know that I’m not going anywhere. She’s not going anywhere. I’m not saying the relationship took a while; I’m saying in my life, it took a while to find this. »
These two are certainly proof that some things are worth waiting for.
This married pair has created a loving family together
Over the years, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi have grown their family with cute canines Wolf, Augie, and Kid, and fuzzy felines Charlie, George, and Chairman. While gushing about her animals to Good Housekeeping in 2016, DeGeneres said, « They offer unconditional love in ways humans can’t — plus, they don’t talk back. Unless you have one of those dogs who says, ‘I ruv you,’ in which case, please videotape it and send it to my show. » She also joked about her pets: « I would tell you more about them, but like any celebrity parent, I think it’s important to keep them out of the press. Do I have a favorite? I couldn’t possibly answer that! It’s Charlie. »
In September 2019, DeGeneres skipped onto the stage of her show to introduce the family’s newest addition, a rescued three-month-old poodle puppy named Mrs. Wallis Browning – or simply Wallis for short. « She’s so cute! I can’t even take it, » the host gushed, before discussing her new pet’s past circumstances with « irresponsible » owners. « She was kept in a cage outside in the desert since she was two months old … So, she was never able to run; she never had a toy; she never wagged her tail; she never lived next door to Oprah [Winfrey] … It’s all changed. It’s all different now. »
Now that’s a tale with a happy ending. Or rather, a happy tail!
Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi learn from each other
Just because Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi have been together for over a decade, doesn’t mean that they’re willing to let themselves or their relationship become sadly stagnant. Instead, as the years pass, the devoted couple continues to learn from each other and grow together.
« She’s taught me lessons about myself, and I feel like I’ve taught her, » DeGeneres told People magazine back in 2007. « We’ve both changed and grown, and we just feel like, ‘Oh, OK, this is completion.' » Fast forward to 2016, and you’d find DeGeneres opening up about her marriage with de Rossi to the same publication. Saying that she thinks that one’s true family is made up of the « people [in your life] who get you, » she added, « I think the word ‘love’ is thrown around, like, ‘I love you’ is great to hear, but you want to feel it. You want to feel that you’re understood, and they know exactly who you are, and they know how to take care of you. That, to me, is family. »
Now that certainly sounds like a loving relationship that’s worth treasuring, nurturing, and holding onto.